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article imageApple's appeal 'eclipsed' by companies building for the future

By James Walker     Oct 30, 2017 in Technology
According to a recent survey, Amazon is now the most trusted tech company, beating rivals Apple, Google and Facebook to win over customers. Facebook and Twitter rank particularly poorly with web users saying they wouldn't mind if social media disappeared.
Amazon's only just shaking off its retailer background to emerge as a major tech firm. Its relative youth in consumer devices and services is proving to be a winning factor though. Customers trust Amazon almost as much as their bank, according to a survey of U.S. web users by tech news site The Verge in partnership with Reticle Research.
The study looked at attitudes towards tech giants expressed by 1,520 U.S. residents between September 28th and October 10th. The results, described as "nationally representative" of the U.S., suggest common representations of manufacturers and service providers don't reflect what users really think.
Lack of trust
Facebook and Twitter both struggle in the charts. Respondents said they are less likely to trust the two social media firms than Amazon, Google, Microsoft or Apple. The wariness is centred around the platforms themselves, rather than the content housed on them. Most people said they believe Facebook news is as accurate as other sources.
The study also revealed that Facebook's primary use is as a personal communications platform. 66 percent of people said they mostly use it to send private messages, followed by 55 percent who share photos and 52 percent who read the news.
However, only 52 percent said they "like" Facebook and just 29% said they "trust" it. These statistics could prove troublesome for Facebook as it pivots towards becoming a content platform in its own right.
Embracing the new
The results consistently paint Amazon in a favourable light. Respondents said they are more enthusiastic about new Amazon products than counterparts from firms like Apple and Google. This might be due to Amazon's early adoption of digital assistance and smart home tech, a field where it is generally considered to be dominant.
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Interest in Apple's devices has dropped considerably with the company ranking fifth in the "level of passion" chart. Amazon leads the metric, followed by Google, Microsoft and Facebook.
Over 10% of respondents said they "would not care at all" if Apple disappeared tomorrow, compared with under 5% for Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Apple also fared worse for user trust than Google, a company regularly attacked for its targeted ads and search monopolisation.
The future is now
The survey concluded that the popularity of Amazon and Google is down to their readiness to adopt new technologies. By contrast, Apple has been relatively slow to launch products focused on the smart home, Internet of things and augmented reality. This has caused its appeal to diminish as its ecosystems have become less relevant to the shifting consumer tech landscape.
"Despite its track record on consumer privacy, record-breaking revenue and market valuation, and reputation for premium hardware and top-tier design, Apple appears to have been eclipsed by companies that are becoming more deeply embedded in the fabric of everyday life," wrote The Verge.
"While neither Google nor Amazon really compete with Apple in key categories like premium desktops, high-end tablets, and smartwatches, both have dominant positions in areas increasingly more relevant to our digital existence."
Apple won't be disappearing overnight or relinquishing its market position without a fight. However, the landmark survey suggests it needs to do more to demonstrate its commitment to future tech. The company has repeatedly stated its interest in emerging platforms but is yet to look to the future in the same way its competitors have. Apparently, consumers have been left wanting more, giving newcomers like Amazon the upper hand.
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