WHAT a remarkable brand Apple is! My daughters and I all have iPhones, and all of them are broken – yet we still love our beautiful gadget. A friend of mine who is an avid advocate for all things Apple, and who relies on his iPhone every hour of the day, was shocked when it broke and Apple gave him a bog-standard normal mobile phone while they repaired it. But he did not complain, he simply bought a second.
When I talk to my colleagues who have Blackberries, they all say it works all the time, and they rave about Blackberry Messenger Service (BBM). When I talk to iPhone users, they admit it constantly fails. But look at the graphs of scores below (aggregating three months of data): they show that 82 per cent of UK iPhone customers are satisfied compared to 78 per cent for Blackberry, while in Germany it’s 83 per cent versus 81 per cent. On most of the other scores Blackberry pips iPhone. Satisfaction seems to derive from the concept more than the reality.
Meanwhile, politics: YouGov conducts continuous daily polling now, which turns out to be a very useful gauge of reaction to individual stories. With occasional polls, we can only guess at the effect of particular headlines, and can’t be sure whether any movement is genuine or just margin-of-error. What we notice is that neither the Brown bullying story, nor the Ashcroft affair, moved the dial one way or another. What has happened, though, is a clear and steady narrowing of the gap between the Conservatives and Labour. The cause seems clear: there has also been a continuous edging up of economic confidence, along with a more positive perception of Labour’s handling of the economy. Stephan Shakespeare is co-founder and co-chief executive of YouGov.