Why Does Apple Not Have a Responsive Site

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Questions that have fuelled many debates online and ones in which I find myself asking: Why is Apple’s site not responsive?


I first came across this issue when I was using my iPhone 4 to buy a product on the Apple site and became very frustrated at the customer journey I was thrown into. I browse and test sites daily as part of my work duties and I was surprised at how bad the customer journey was.


If you go onto the Apple site on your mobile phone or on your tablet you will notice how hard it is to see everything that should be displaying, this is due to the fact that this site has been designed with desktop only in mind. The text sometimes disappears from sight and is almost impossible to use the navigation options available. I also struggled to find the footer which is where I would expect to find some crucial links when browsing. The overall user experience for such a technical giant was very disappointing.


With Apple being a lead competitor in sales for Mobile and iPads why doesn’t their site reflect this innovation and lead by example?

We are currently living in a world where 67% of mobile web users make purchases only from mobile – friendly sites therefore this asks the question is Apple alienating mobile customers and losing potential sales by not having a fully up to date responsive site?


I was an Apple customer for many years, however I have been put off due to the similarity in designs and this non-responsive site element made me lose trust in the brand and push me towards a competitor which so far, I still believe this was the right decision to make. To stop Apple losing more customers due to this I have listed below some suggestions to consider:

Reasons Why Apple Should Consider a Responsive Site:

User Customer Experience – If you were in a shop and received bad customer service would it stop you from buying from that retailer? For me this answer is Yes most definitely Therefore being an online customer is no different, any poor customer experience will hinder sales. If Apple look to improve their site to be fully responsive for Mobile and Tablet users, this would mean a greater exposure to millions of mobile users which in turn offers more potential to raise sales and profits.


Reputation – Apple is known for its edgy modernised designs and cutting edge technology however having a site which doesn’t fully respond and work on their own cutting edge designs doesn’t measure up well for their brand reputation.


Competition – Apples competitors such as Android, Samsung and Microsoft are doing it right and are making sure all their customers’ needs are being met which doesn’t look good for Apple in this cut-throat market.


Lost Sales – Now I know Apple make millions every year but there is still always potential for growth and this could be an area that if exploited correctly could increase their overall profit turnover, especially due to the amount of sales that go through on mobile sites that they are currently missing out on.


Everyone’s Doing It – Mashable called 2013 the year of Responsive Design and it has continued to grow ever since. Everyone is getting in on the action and are noticing the potential for sales if the site is responsive and available for all types of consumers to purchase on.


However, one thing Apple have established is their Mobile/ tablet App which they prefer their customers to use opposed to the responsive site. In saying this I am one of those consumers and I am sure there are plenty like me who will still go onto the site on my mobile through my internet connection opposed to using an App. Does this mean that I am not entitled to the same journey as an App or desktop user? Am I not just as important?


I do believe Apple have launched the iPhone 6 and the new Smart Watch which are meant to be responsive, however if we delve in deeper are they really fully responsive? The answer is No if you are like myself and drill into sites you will notice that many of the existing pages don’t adapt responsively to the device you are using wither it be mobile or tablet. Look at the pages devoted to the Mac they are definitely not designed to be responsive.


To summarise I will give Apple praise where it’s due, they are a great stylish cutting edge company and the pages that they have made responsive look amazing with Apples great use of white space and striking imagery. It is just unfortunate that they haven’t made all pages the same. I do understand this would take some time and effort and hope that this will be a continued development process and who knows maybe this time next year Apple will have joined their competitors and have a fully responsive functioning site and will see the benefit in doing this.


I asked Mike O’Brien from Jam Partnership Limited to share his view on this topic and found his viewpoint to be very interesting:


As an Apple groupie for countless years, I am occasionally baffled by their approach but in this instance (responsive deign) they have the long-standing reference point of Apple customers being very tactile in their interactions with devices. (It is said, Apple users are 40% more efficient than PC users due to the way they work the keyboard and mouse.) Apple believe the iPhone is so well designed that it is already suited to anything the web can throw at it and that responsive design actually degrades the web experience in some way. I think this is missing the point myself and is classic Apple arrogance.


I no longer have an Apple phone because of the ‘simplicity’ of the one-button-does-it-all design. You can engage at a much faster rate with Android. However, my wife would totally disagree, and this counterpoint gives substance to why I think Apple does things their way:

  • Mobile devices are habit forming and if you can get people addicted to your way of engaging with the web… they can’t easily move away to another platform.

They would also claim that more customers are using apps to engage with web content and that their customers have a passion for elegant sites (like their own) that are so well designed – they work well as they are on any platform. It seems a little arrogant to me, though I am sure they would say confident is the right word.


Whatever the case, they seem to sell a great many phones.


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