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What drives the Apple craze? Just ask two Indian fans who met Tim Cook

Customers are not only enthusiastic, but also passionate about Apple's products even though they are priced higher than competitors. Some staunch Apple fans surprised Cook at the store launch in Mumbai

Naandika Tripathi
Published: May 5, 2023 09:56:22 AM IST
Updated: May 5, 2023 10:30:42 AM IST

What drives the Apple craze? Just ask two Indian fans who met Tim CookFrom left: Apple fanatics Purav Mehta and Sajid Moinuddin pose with their 'priceless possessions'; Image: Anshuman Poyrekar/HT via Getty Images

Mumbai-based Purav Mehta, who works with job portal Indeed as a lead, global product solution, with their India team, is a hardcore Apple fan and currently owns 29 Apple products. “I have a MacBook, iPod, iPad, AppleTV, iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods and a HomePod. Additionally, if I count accessories like MagSafe chargers and their cases and watch straps, I own 35-plus products. Among them iPhone 3GS is the oldest. Apple has launched 26 models of the iPhone till the 14 series and of these, I have used about 13 or so personally (holding some, traded in some),” he says.

No wonder then that he camped outside the Apple BKC store for 15 hours waiting to be the first customer to walk in when Apple opened its first store in India on April 18.

Also Read- Made in China to Make in India: Apple's new big bet

“I was the first in line and when I reached closer to Mr Cook, I saw him putting his hands up for a high five and then I shook hands with him and politely told him I’m a big fan of Apple, him and Steve Jobs,” recalls the 30-year-old. “I thanked him for this opportunity to be able to experience the Apple Store in India, and in return he said, ‘No, I thank you for coming and attending the opening’,” adds Mehta, who also carried his iPod Touch (5th Gen)—manufactured by Apple in September 2013—and got it signed by Tim Cook and Apple’s head of retail Deirdre O’Brien. Mehta had bought the iPod from an online marketplace for around Rs 12,000 almost a decade ago and counts it among his invaluable possessions.

What drives the Apple craze? Just ask two Indian fans who met Tim CookPurav Mehta first in the queue at 6:30 AM on the launch day of Apple's first store in India at Jio World Drive

It’s brand loyalty that Apple has built over the years where customers are not just enthusiastic but also passionate about its products even though they are priced higher than its competitors. Since its inception in 1976, Apple has continued to surprise its fans with products that have gone from the Mac, iPod and iPhone to AirPods, iWatch, iPad and more.

At the opening, however, it was 52-year-old Sajid Moinuddin’s turn to surprise Apple CEO Tim Cook by walking in carrying a vintage Macintosh SE, which was launched back in 1987. “Oh my God, you still have this!” Cook told Moinuddin who had been waiting outside the store since six in the morning, carefully holding the eight-kilo computer. Both Cook and O’Brien autographed it, with the latter recollecting that she started her career with Apple, scheduling the production lines for early Mac products.

What drives the Apple craze? Just ask two Indian fans who met Tim CookSajid Moinuddin poses with all his preserved and currently in use Apple products

“I don’t discard Apple products, I preserve them like souvenirs,” says Goregaon resident Moinuddin who is head of design, internet products and services, Sigmoid Frogs. He picked up the Mac in 1994 when he was working for an ad agency in Dubai and the company was on the verge of discarding it because it was not working. Moinuddin has preserved the whole set, including the keyboard and mouse. “It is one of my priceless possessions,” he says, adding that besides iPhones, he has also preserved six iMacs, floppy disks, and currently uses the Apple Watch, MacBook Pro, Apple TV and AirPods.

Professionally too, he says he prefers designing only on Apple products because of the display, clarity and colour quality. “The joy you get using and working with Apple products is really good. There is an emotional bond with Apple products. Windows does not offer anything like that,” he says with a smirk.

Also Read- Steve Jobs, spirituality, and now Tim Cook: Why Apple sees India as 'glass half full'

Apple’s customer satisfaction and brand loyalty have been growing over the years. According to NPS Benchmarks, Apple’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) in 2022 was 72, significantly higher than the average NPS score of other brands. NPS is a way of measuring customer satisfaction and a NPS of 30-60 is an indicator of great brands with plenty of satisfied and loyal customers, while everything above 70 is considered excellent.

According to the best global brands 2022 report by international brand consultancy firm Interbrand, Apple was voted the best global brand for the 10th consecutive year. With an 18 percent increase in brand value, Apple remained at the top of the charts.

One of the biggest reasons for this—for preferring iOS over Android—is the security, privacy and speed offered by Apple products. “iOS has been faster [at integration] compared to Android. Since Apple designs its own silicon chips, it offers seamless integration of hardware and software, providing a complete ecosystem experience and assurance of multi-year OS updates,” says Mehta.

Also Read: Shot on iPhone: How this Apple became a go-to for independent filmmakers, photographers

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