Apple's Brand Expansion With the iPhone: From Fans to Customers.

Judging from the comments on my post about troubles with the iPhone’s phone, there appears to be a cleavage betweeen Apple’s original core of younger, devoted fans and the new, older group of regular consumers. The Originals have great loyalty and forgiveness—and denial—going for them. The Newbies to Apple don’t. They want all the new good web stuff but insist on a cell that works all the time.

As Apple expands its customer base beyond its Originals, it’s going to have to pay more attention to the needs of its Newbies. And as Apple starts to partner with other corporations to get into new businesses, it is going to have to pick the best—and work with them to make the consumer experience “Apple-like” even if Apple is only partly responsible for it.

So the Big Lesson here is this: If Apple wants to grow out of its original base of loyal, young, fanboys and fangirls, it has to begin to deeply understand the needs and wants of of its older, newer customers customers. Who would have thought that Motorola could fade so fast and so far?

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.