My Little Paris, a lifestyle website dedicated to everything Paris, is having a sample sale of apparel from womenswear fashion brand Des Petits Hauts today. Only on its iPhone app. The sale was advertised on Facebook and half of the comments published so far are from annoyed, iPhone-less followers.
iPhone-only apps are a branding black hole. Once upon a time, the photo-based social networks Instagram and Pinterest were reserved for Apple users. Then as their user numbers grew, they adapted and introduced apps for Android.
It’s not just that the iPhone was the most developed of any smartphones, but rather having your product on Apple, which many confused with aligning with Apple values, made you one of the cool kids. Availability for iPhone users isn’t just about serving the customer, it’s about the perception the customer has of the brand.
Companies like tagging on Apple’s reputation for disruptive innovation and on its authority in cool design. They also like the female-dominated, city-living, degree-owning, country-hopping, HBO-watching, Woody Allen-loving, high-earning iPhone user, who is bang in their demographic, real or ideal.
Brands seem to be picking up though. Last October, Apple and Google announced equal numbers of apps were available for iPhones and Android phones, at 700,000.
In the US, Android currently owes 51.7 percent of the smartphone market (down two points since the beginning of the year). Shouldn’t that market share be enough for Chanel, Style.com and Diane von Furstenberg (despite her partnership with Google on Project Glass) to factor the development of an Android app into their budgets?
A survey by the Reynolds Journalism Institute last August showed that the Android market is dominated by the under 34’s, the very millennials who shop and get their information on their smartphones. It’s time fashion brands and publications caught up with their customers.
Disclosure: I’m an Android user (obviously).