One Giant Apple Tree
After reading and attempting to put in perspective Apple’s 2012 Q1 earnings ($13.06 billion), I needed to step back and see why Apple is chosen over its competitors. Why are so many buyers so quick to go Apple? What is in their products that is not in their competitors’ products?
Note: I do not have any bias toward Apple, Google, IBM etc. I use what works best for me. I objectively critique any new product I buy, I do prefer some products to others, but do not assume I’m an Apple groupie.
What is in an iPad, iPhone or Mac computer that makes it so desirable?
1. Simplicity/Functionality (user experience)
“There’s a phrase in Buddhism, ‘Beginner’s mind.’ It’s wonderful to have a beginner’s mind.” – Steve Jobs
Number one reason why people choose Apple? Almost anyone can use their phones and computers, and if you can’t you probably could teach yourself. This is a direct result of well designed (sometimes too basic) user interfaces for iOS and OS X. Apple enables their customers by offering simple and eye-pleasing navigation via consistency and simplicity in their products. The easier someone can access their desired content, the more someone will use it. I think the Buddhist quote above was used as inspiration/motivation for the iOS platform. Nothing wrong with keeping things simple.
2. Hardware (elegantly designed)
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
Most of us wouldn’t have guessed you could make computers so small, graceful and polished – one decade ago. Apple has become the bench-mark for great design in tech products. Why do Apple products feel so well-built and solid? Apple has a bunch of talented designers, but more importantly they make their own hardware. This was a passion of Jobs since his early twenties. He said something along the lines, “once you have an appreciation for great software, you want to make great hardware for it to run on.” Imagine designing an iPad from the inside out – each part of the puzzle (hard drive, CPU, memory, cameras etc.) was specially designed to fit inside the product. One of Apple’s most obvious hardware attractions is their screens. Since the majority of user-interaction on phones and tablets is touch, it is extremely crucial to have high quality touch screens. None of Apple competitors (as far as phones and tablets) have yet to notice how inferior their touch screens are. I’m blown away by this, 99% of the interaction on phones/tablets is touch, how can a company afford to offer a screen that does not respond properly?
Well, I could go on – but software (user experience) and hardware (power/design) are the only two things that go into a great computer product. Sure – Apple has great ads, cool stores, an impressive marketing campaign and the appStore, but all that aside…it is Apple’s products that have gotten them where they are.
– US smart phone market share = 44.9% (as of Dec 2011)
– $97.6 billion cash in hand ($64 billion of shore)
P.S. – If you haven’t read it yet… Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson