So, the day has finally come. We now have the first public company worth $1 trillion, and it is none other than the US Tech giant Apple. In the last quarter, the company collected profits of $11.5 billion because of the record sales that hit $53.3 billion, pushing shares of the iPhone giant higher and enabling the value of the company to rise from $935 billion towards $1 trillion (£770 billion). With this, Apple is now worth 2 Facebooks, 7 Netflix and 42 Twitters. Stated otherwise, if we add the current value of Facebook two times, then we’ll get the value of Apple. If we talk about the biggest economies of the world, Apple will rank 16 if it was an independent nation. Stated this way, Apple’s present stock market value is more than a third the size of the UK economy and more significant than the economies of Turkey and Switzerland. This has come after 42 years when it was first founded on 1 April 1976.
It all started when the two Steve’s - Jobs and Wozniak, both college dropouts founded this company in a garage. Both being technology lovers, they both began Apple, which is now known as that American multinational technology company which designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. One of the reasons why they named the company Apple was, it would be the front of any listings (as it started with A). Their dream was to make a small computer which was user-friendly. They developed Apple I and then Apple II. During the years in which these two products were produced, the sales increased manifold, and it marked the entry of Apple into the market (for the public in 1980).
As time passed, Woz started losing interest in the company and resigned. Meanwhile, Steve Jobs hired John Scully and made him the president of the company. But things turned awry when due to some controversies, Steve had to leave his job. The one which led to the formation of the company had to quit his own company. On the hand, the company kept posting its high profits and increased sales. However, things again took a turn. Due to some poor decisions by the new president and the increasing competition from Microsoft, Apple had to call Steve Jobs back again to revive the company. The rest is history. The company's success brought Jobs (the founder) into one of the most respected inventors and business figures in the world.
Apple always had something for everyone. For music lovers, it has an iPod and iTunes, for teenagers and other professionals, Apple has iPhones, MacBooks and tablets and for the remaining, it has Apple TV, iBooks etc. In marketing terms, this is called Segmentation Targeting and Positioning (STP) wherein the company decides which the target groups are and how to position the products to make their target audience buy the product and Apple has done that beautifully.
The brand is never out of sight. Now and then you would hear something related to it. From the invention of Apple I and Apple II (home computers) in late 1970’s to Macintoshes in late 1980’s, from iPods in the early 2000s to iPhones in late 2000s, from being the highest brand equity in the world in 2016 to being a trillion dollar company in 2018. With a history of coming out with successful product launches year after year since the start of the 21st century, Apple made a name for itself. Today, whenever one thinks of technology and especially of mobiles, laptops or even tablets, the word that comes into the mind the most times is that of Apple. No surprises as to why owning an Apple product has become a status symbol nowadays.
What sets Apple apart from its competitors?
To be successful in this dynamic world, critical factors are needed to achieve competency, resources and an edge over others. For Apple they are many.
Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of Apple and its products would know what Steve Jobs means to this company. He was as famous as brand Apple. It was him who took the bold decision to join hands with Microsoft and change the fortunes of the company when it was reeling. His marketing tactics, aggressive promotions, plans to expand into the mobile technology market, and most importantly his ability to know what customers want before the customers themselves see what they want to make him inseparable from the image of the company.
Apple always changes its business plan according to the situation. It first accessed the pulse of the audience and then started expanding in other areas result of which has resulted in a variety of products. Today, Apple Inc. (changed from Apple Computer Inc.), truly reflects its vision to provide innovative offerings to their customers ranging from computers to mobile phones to watches. Their tagline ‘Think Different’ is a testimony to this. In its print ads, Apple made use of a simple yet effective technique known as minimalism. The ads were straightforward and were mostly black and white with a coloured logo at one of the corners. This was unlike the other campaigns of that time and proved to be a game changer in the advertising industry.
Be it any product; its users love almost every product they make. This is due to their focus on simple design and easy usability. The one button look of iPhone is the best example of the company’s commitment towards making products easy to use, which ultimately helps boost their sales. Apple knows that to inspire customer loyalty and increase the sales of the company, the users of its products needed something which no other company could provide – Experience. Hence, it started to open its retail stores, charge high prices, and ensure the highest quality (both regarding design and innovation). What other companies to- see what type of products customers want, make them, sell them. In other words, push strategy-providing customers what they are after. What Apple does- build something which is new, exciting, and customers would love to have it with them. Just like the latest iPhone X which comes with a bezel-less screen (bezel is all the plastic/metal on the front of a phone that isn't screen space.). In other words, they work with a pull strategy- assuming customers don’t know anything.
Once on the verge of bankruptcy in 1997 (when the stock traded at $1), the turnaround which has happened ($1 trillion) is remarkable. Apple developed many of the technological marvels we see today. For about two decades, Apple has been a pioneer in the consumers’ electronic market and stands as the undisputed leader of the world. Apple only makes a product if Apple can do it better. Any other company cannot match the kind of domination that it has achieved at least in the short run because it always stays two years ahead of its time. Its products are a leader in the market owing to the superior technology, the image of the brand and finally the revenue it earns over time.
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Reisinger, D. (2011, December 6). Ease of Use. Eweek. Retrieved from http://www.eweek.com/mobile/ease-of-use
Times Now News. (2018, August 3). Apple net worth hits $1-trillion mark; now worth 2 Facebooks, 7 Netflixes and 42 Twitters. Retrieved from https://www.timesnownews.com/business-economy/article/apple-net-worth-hits-1-trillion-mark-now-worth-2-facebooks-7-netflixes-and-42-twitters/264029
Viswanathan, P. (2018, May 16). What Makes Apple So Profitable and Unique? Lifewire. Retrieved from https://www.lifewire.com/what-makes-apple-so-special-and-desirable-2373223
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