Asymco has a brilliant piece on the difference between Apple and Amazon and when reading through the comments (probably one of the only sites on the internet, where this is actually worth ones time, I want to come to the oversimplified solution that the main reason people argue for the business model of Amazon is that they love their stuff cheap.
The biggest bummer about Apple is that their product costs real money. In the end we are all consumers, and our perception is clouded by the idea that we want out stuff cheaper. Any company that makes stuff cheaper than their competitor will be supported and heralded.
Apple had brief moments in time when their products were so unique that price didn’t matter, but the competition usually always catches up. Never in quality, craftsmanship, or design. Certainly never in longevity or ability to integrate the product into an eco system, but by undercutting the market, the product is allowed to exists, as shitty as it may be, because the consumer wants to spend less.
The iPod was so unique, there was really no comparable product on the market, so the product sold, no matter the price. The iPhone for a brief moment was the same. With the iPad especially Apple hit a brief home run where the announced price point was immediately touted as unattainable by any competitor. But a couple years down the road Apple’s iPad is considered the top-of-the-line tablet, both in price and in quality. (I am not even considering the Surface in that equation.)
We are unhappy about their unwillingness to change the prices of their products so we can enjoy their cool stuff cheaper.
I’m pretty sure that the technology field is not that much different than other business sectors and companies focused on quality can survive quite well. Just think of every European car maker, that’s thriving despite the onslaught of low end competition.
The more technology becomes an integral part of our life, we will seek the better quality product because we depend on it for our daily lives.