THE BLOG

Why the Apple Brand Is Slipping

10/01/2013 09:26 am ET | Updated Dec 01, 2013
  • Gil Laroya Award-winning Silicon Valley product designer

It finally happened.

Android tablets have surpassed sales of Apple tablets, while at the same time Apple ASPs (average selling price) dropped 17 percent as their Android competitors increased by the same 17 percent. This means that Apple is losing both margin and market share with every tablet device it sells, and this is worrisome for the tech giant. But it's not for lack of technology that is causing the big "A" to slip, but more of an abundance of lackluster product improvements, combined with an internal loss of brand focus that is hurting the company. But how can this happen to such a big dog like Apple?

A recent ABI Research Report indicates that Android tablet sales surpassed Apple tablet sales in Q2 of 2013. If we add this to an earlier report this year that touted Android smartphone sales surpassing iPhone sales, one has to sit back and wonder how the tech leader Apple could watch its markets slip away like a wet catfish. One would think that such a tech-savvy company like Apple would have its markets pre-planned and forecasted for centuries to come, based on their huge worldwide market share.

But the chink in the armor at Apple has little to do with technology itself.

What Apple has actually lost, is the expressive engine that was Steve Jobs. What has happened at Apple is the shift away from expressive thinking, to that of analytical thinking -- and that's bad news for Apple. What Steve brought to Apple was the expressive mindset. For those of you who have never attended a social-styles course before, personalities can be divided into four types. They are expressives, analyticals, amiables, and drivers.

Clearly, Steve was an expressive. He was creative, impulsive, versatile, excitable, achievement-oriented, and visionary. Expressives look ahead, love attention, are enthusiastic, and hate being told "no." Steve ran Apple with this culture and outlook. When he was gone, so too was the expressive force that made for great, innovative, no-holds-barred products.

If Apple is really serious about halting the slippage of its markets, which are slowly yielding to the momentum of Samsung, Microsoft and others, then it needs to find its expressive mojo, and do it fast.

Apple-loyalists can only keep the ship afloat for so long, before the leaks overcome the bilge pumps.

Apple is an expressive company being run by analyticals and drivers. This formula makes for a guaranteed loss of market share if things don't turn around.