Apple pushes us further toward cloud computing and brand affinity

Apple Brand Affinity

With the latest release of Mavericks (Apple’s newest operating system) we are being channeled further toward cloud computing and brand affinity.

When I first learnt that the latest Apple operating system was free I was delighted. I couldn’t wait to upgrade my Mac Book Pro. After leaning about the new features and how connected all my apps and my data could be across devices it made me want to switch from my Android mobile phone back to an iPhone (I made the switch from Apple 12 months ago). The power of free and clever things!

Mavericks is the first version of MacOS X that Apple has given away, and Apple doesn’t do anything without a reason.

It’s not just Mavericks Apple is giving away, it’s also giving away the iWork and iLife desktop software suites with every new Mac, which previously cost $129 each. Meanwhile any new iOS7 device comes with Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie and iPhoto pre-installed for free, saving iGadget owners another $50. Apple has also released the iOS7.0.3 update to add compatibility with iCloud Keychain and other Mavericks features.

Apple could be making millions on these software updates so why are they free?

With this new release, Apple seems to be tightening the relationship between desktop and hand held devices and the ability to link content seamlessly. The applications link more closely with iCloud encouraging us to store content on the cloud in order to access it from our many devises. The more people who have these applications, the more iCloud will be widely used.

This has two advantages for Apple. It causes us to rely on iCloud and save more data in the cloud. Eventually we get to a point where we’ve used up our free space and now have to pay yearly fees for data upgrades. Apple then receives a regular income stream, which would far outweigh a minimal cost for an operating system upgrade.

Secondly, once you start using a iCloud storage system it makes it hard to ‘jump ship’ to another system because of the time and effort involved, therefore encouraging brand affiliation. In essence if you’re an iCloud user you’re more likely to continue to buy Apple hardware in the future, almost guaranteeing your long-term brand loyalty.

Even though I understand their motives I’m impressed with the sentiment of Apple giving away the upgrade for free, it makes me feel valued as a customer and definitely makes me more inclined to stay with apple products, although not quite enough to switch from my Android phone. Well, not yet anyway!

Gemma Dittmar
Director of Brand Projects

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