Advertising Age: Apple’s critics focus on wrong kind of cool

«… For a marketing world that has been hanging on every Apple move for decades, these are huge questions that seem to herald some sort of new brand order.

They also might be the wrong ones entirely. After all, it’s been a long time since Apple has had to worry about issues of cool — it’s a ubiquitous cultural force with little of the underdog feel it had when it was the hip alternative to IBM or Microsoft.

Late last year, Strategy Analytics found that iPhone loyalty dropped for the first time since the launch of the phone. Eighty-eight percent of owners said they would definitely or probably buy another Apple phone, down from 93% the year before. Most companies would sell their soul for these numbers, but for Apple the drop is worth noting.

Ultimately, missteps like the company’s attempt to force its own inferior maps product down its users’ throats last year might end up being more important than abstract notions of cool.