“Yes, I said lust,” Llamas said in an interview today. “If you look at the Apple iPhone, whatever version, what makes it so special is not just the product, but what Apple generates at the end of the experience. It’s really product lust … Apple is a cult.”
Llamas said Apple has built a cult-like following over many years, with simple and easy to use MacBooks and iPod products. It also includes retail stores that are clean, well-polished and shiny and a friendly workers. “In the TV show The Simpsons’ take on the Apple store, they are shown as sterile, but also robust and spiffy, and the iPhone device experience lives up to that image.”
Llamas said of the iPhone, “I haven’t seen this much lust for a wireless device since the first Motorola Razr device of 2005. Now four years later, all we hear is the iPhone.”
Gartner Inc. analyst Ken Dulaney agreed that the Apple faithful are a serious consideration in how well the iPhone competes with the Droid. He added that the iPhone’s two-plus years on the market have not been diminished, despite problems with the iPhone’s exclusive carrier in the U.S., AT&T.
“iPhone users are loyal to Apple , and they have been suffering with an [AT&T] network that’s had coverage and capacity issues for a while,” Dulaney wrote in an e-mail. “They have not left and won’t [for the Droid on Verizon Wireless] in my opinion.”
Neither Dulaney nor Llamas has tested the Droid, which goes on sale Nov. 6 , and the number of analysts who have used it so far is small. But many observers can still make important distinctions, including the most glaring one — that the Droid has a physical keyboard as well as a touchscreen keyboard, while the iPhone has a touchscreen only.
So far, much of Google’s impact on Droid, and even that of Motorola and Verizon, has been in advertising that brags about what the iPhone lacks.
So to observers like Llamas, it’s too soon to tell whether the public will develop a yearning for the Droid. “Is there product lust for Droid yet? I don’t know. The arena is relatively young,” he said.