People buy Apple products, because Apple has a powerful brand that connects to their ideal customer.
Consumers can see the connection to the iPhone in their hand or the MacBook Pro in their lap along with the company itself.
It doesn’t matter if the products are manufactured offshore by companies and people they don’t know exist. It doesn’t matter if the components in the phones are fabricated by other companies most of us have never heard of. It doesn’t matter if the raw materials in the device include plastics derived from oil.
It especially doesn’t matter if Apple makes enormous amounts of profit.
What matters is how consumers perceive the value they receive from Apple. That is their brand. Apple fans are fanatically loyal. Brilliantly managing their brand has been the key to Apple’s success in the last decade.
Contrast that with the oil and gas industry.
I head to the pumps to buy gas, because I need it to run my car. Gasoline is pretty much gasoline. There might be a difference between Shell’s Nitrogen Enriched Cleaning System and Petro-Canada’s SuperClean Ultra 94. However, unless you are a high-end car buff or a chemist, you are more likely to choose a gas station based on the points you will collect and the lowest price.
If you are driving a pickup truck, SUV, or other gas hungry vehicle, you may be paying anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per month to feed it. The car company gets the brand recognition. The perceived value of ownership is associated with the vehicle and not the fuel.