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Apple delivers best experience in every category, research says

Commentary: Research that examines which brands engage customers and are the drivers in their product categories sees Cupertino win -- yes, even in music.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Simply the best? Still?

Stephen Lam, Getty Images

Apple's image as an innovator and general leader of all things exciting has been assaulted of late.

There are accusations that the company has lost it, that it's dull, that its products are the same and old.

What, though, do real people think?

Apparently, they think the Apple brand delivers more than any other. In every product category in which Cupertino operates.

Research consultancy Brand Keys has just released its 2017 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index. This seeks to find the "category drivers that engage customers, engender loyalty and drive real profits." It's based on the views and emotions of 49,168 consumers aged between 16 and 65.

And when he looks at the results, I fear we may see Tim Cook dancing on the tables at some local Cupertino hostelry.

When it comes to the smartphone category, the top driver is Apple. In tablets, it's Apple. In laptop computers, it's Apple. Yes, this despite the launch of the somewhat deflating MacBook Pro.

What about online music? Goodness me, it isn't Spotify. It's Apple Music.

Even in the headphones product category, Apple-owned Beats ties with LG as the category driver.

Can it be that at a time when Apple is subject to criticism from seemingly all sides, it's still the most emotionally involving, customer-pleasing brand of all?

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. However, Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, underlined in a press release that customer expectations in all product categories are soaring. In the online sector, for example, he said that customer expectations had grown 35 percent over the last 12 months. (Google drives the search category, Facebook the social networking category.)

Despite appearances to the contrary, it appears Apple still makes a lot of people happy. Well, more than Samsung, Microsoft and the rest of its competitors in the various product categories.

In this survey of 83 categories and 740 brands, smartwatches weren't examined. I wonder how Apple would have done in that one.

Then again, if the iPhone 8 projects the sort of almost self-conscious dullness that the iPhone 7 did, I wonder what this survey will say next year.

Humans are known to be fickle.

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