Comparing the Pixel 4 and the iPhone 11 to examine the actions of consumers on Black Friday

By Ritu Atreyas

Black Friday. Customer Derek De Armond set up a tent on November 11, more than two weeks before Thanksgiving, outside a Best Buy, rotating through his tent with three other teammates in order to hold his place in a growing line.

Similarly, as CBS Dallas reports, the Garcia family has continued to set up a tent well before Black Friday for the past six years, most recently to save $300 on a smart TV.

On Black Friday, along with other products, Best Buy sold the Google Pixel 4 XL 128 GB for $799, a discounted price compared to the $799 for the 64GB Pixel 4. 

Best Buy is also discounting the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max by up to $500 with qualified activation on AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. 

The iPhone 11 was released on September 20, whereas the Pixel 4 was released on October 15, less than a month after. Tech critics have taken the opportunity to compare and contrast the two phones.

Sophomore Anish Cherukuthotla points out that when family and friends have Apple devices, services like iMessage and Facetime are helpful. At the same time, for people who use services like Spotify instead of Apple Music, Google Maps instead of Apple Maps, Duo instead of Facetime and Google Assistant instead of Siri, the switch to Android may not prove as problematic as predicted.

Junior Adithya Patil currently owns a Pixel, however, he suggests a reason why iPhone users may hesitate before switching to Android. 

“If you’ve only used iPhones in the past, I understand why you’d want to continue using them. It’s just easier than adjusting to a new system,” Patil said. “It’s the same way that after using my Pixel, I’m definitely more likely to purchase a Pixel again. I’m just used to it.”

Tech critics state that one of Android 10’s features is the full gesture navigation system that’s extremely similar to the iOS operating system — so similar that it is possible to use the Pixel 4 XL out of muscle memory from using, for example, an iPhone X.

Brand Loyalty

The reputation of Apple’s fans is as well known as Apple’s products. Scouring for articles that confirm their belief in Apple’s products, reacting to articles and comments from those that don’t share their views, lining up outside Apple stores to get the latest iPhone due to go on sale. These are a few of the stereotypes of those referred to as “iSheep” for their unquestioning following of Apple, regardless of the worth of the product. 

But what’s making consumers identify so strongly with the brand?

A reason as to why consumers buy a particular product has to do with self-identity. People buy products that have an aesthetic appeal as it helps build their sense of self. 

Brand loyalty, the dedication to purchase the same product repeatedly in the future from the same brand, regardless of a competitor’s actions, has played a large part in Apple’s global success, retaining market share and allowing revenues to stay high. Apple’s customer satisfaction and loyalty have grown steadily over the years, reaching an NPS score of 72. A score of 72 is significantly higher than the average for the consumer electronics industry, showing how many people promote the brand with NPS scores relating to company growth and customer retention levels.

The concept of social identity that helps people define themselves through the groups they belong to also plays a part. As soon as people define what groups they belong to, it dictates their actions toward people with conflicting beliefs. Consequently, they either ignore failures of the groups they belong to or take them personally: a recent study suggests that those who have more experience with a brand are more personally impacted by incidents of brand “failure.”

Cognitive biases including the false consensus bias and confirmation bias further perpetuate the behavior of so-called “iSheep” and “fandroids,” the most loyal Android customers. Professor Sandra Trafalis brings up the idea that cognitive biases play into our actions every day and are dangerous as they often lead us to incorrect assumptions, judgments and conclusions. 

“False consensus bias works in the way that if you like a product, you assume everyone else does. With confirmation bias, we don’t look for information that is accurate, we look for information that confirms what we think and that often leads to inaccurate statements,” Trafalis said. “We are only hearing and looking for things that agree with our perspective. It is dangerous because it helps maintain the stereotypes we have of other people and other things.”

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