I also loved my Nokia — my first ever mobile phone purchased in 2001 (I think). I own a Samsung and an iPhone (well my employer does). I first used an Apple Mac desktop back in 1993 and I remember vividly being confused when Windows 95 launched as it was such a poor copy of the Mac OS. That said, I’ve never been on the Apple-train. I get they are often beautiful objects and there is a brand proposition around design and aesthetics as much as functionality. Traditionally the choice of Apple was seen as being anti-establishment. These days the device inter-connectivity and app sharing sucks you in and keeps you there. A bit like the recent reading (Choi, 2013) the sunk cost (or effort required) is just too high to switch — exactly as you describe when talking about Samsung as an alternative.
Your analysis of the platform component is really strong. But I was also wondering about some of the other practices Apple has adopted as a global player. The ones that lock you in for content delivery as much as for device choice. As we’ve seen previously with Microsoft and others, domination of markets through platforms, operating systems and content as well as acquisition of smaller competitors are all means to (legally) grown your market share.
As a global player Apple now has a multi-national supply chain and received a lot of bad press relating to its treatment of workers (other phone manufacturers may also be subject to such claims, but Apple is the one I remember). It would be interesting to understand how this supply chain expansion developed in line with the increase in company strength and market dominance.
According to this article, Huawei is now 3rd behind Apple and Samsung in smart phone manufacture. The number of global outlets selling these phones increased by 116% (May 2016) and sales jumped worldwide by 40% in the first half of the year. So back to your point on platforms, what is Huawei doing? Is it a latecomer piggy-backing on the existing standards and innovations (Ernst, 2014). Has it received a boost because of the devaluation of the yuan (Clark, 2015)?