This blog post looks at how Apple, not the government, has become the tech superpower. It discusses how Apple has been able to dominate the tech industry and how other companies have been unable to keep up.
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early days of Apple
Apple was founded on April 1, 1976, steve jobs Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, to sell the Apple I personal computer kit. The Apple I was Apple’s first product, and it was hand-built by Wozniak and first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club. Jobs and Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer, Inc. on January 3, 1977, and Wayne sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800.
The founding of Apple
Apple was founded on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne as a personal computer company. The company’s first product was the Apple I, a computer designed and hand-built entirely by Wozniak. Together the three partners invested $1,350 start the company, with Jobs selling his Volkswagen van to raise most of the money.
Apple I was sold as a motherboard (with CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips)—a fully assembled computer for $666.66. The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 and was market-priced at $495 ($3,120 today). Apple was incorporated January 3, 1977, without Wayne who had left and sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800 ($4,938 today).
The early success of Apple
In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple in Jobs’s garage. The company’s first product was the Apple I, a personal computer kit that they sold for $666.66. In order to finance their startup, Jobs sold his VW van and Wozniak his HP-65 calculator.
By 1978, Apple was selling its computers for $1,995 and had become a profitable company. The following year, it released the Apple II, which became one of the most popular personal computers of the time. Apple went public in 1980 with a stock price of $22 per share.
Between 1980 and 1985, Apple released several groundbreaking products, including the Macintosh computer in 1984 and the Lisa computer in 1983. The Macintosh was notable for its graphical user interface, which made it much easier to use than other computers at the time.
Under Jobs’s leadership, Apple became one of the most innovative and successful companies in the world. In just a few years, it had transformed from a small startup to a tech superpower.
The fall of Apple
The decline of Apple
In the past decade, Apple has lost its way. The company that once redefined the smartphone, tablet, and laptop categories has become a victim of its own success. It’s not that Apple’s products are no longer industry leaders—they are. The iPhone is still the best-selling smartphone, and the iPad is still the best-selling tablet. But Apple has lost its competitive advantage, and it’s struggling find new ones.
The company’s fall can be traced back to three main factors:
1) The death of Steve Jobs
2) The rise of Google and Android
3) The rise of Chinese smartphone makers
When Jobs died in 2011, he left behind a company that was uniquely positioned for success. Under his leadership, Apple had created two game-changing products—the iPod and the iPhone—and it was on the cusp of releasing a third, the iPad. But without Jobs’ vision and direction, Apple has floundered. It has released several new products that have failed to live up to expectations, including apple watch and HomePod speaker. And it has been slow to respond to major changes in the tech industry, such as the rise of artificial intelligence and 5G wireless networks.
Jobs was replaced as CEO by Tim Cook, who is a competent executive but lacks Jobs’ vision and creativity. As a result, Apple has become more focused on making money than making groundbreaking products. This shift was evident when Apple released the iPhone 7 in 2016. Rather than innovate, Apple simply removed the headphone jack and added a new color (Jet Black). The following year, it released the iPhone 8—essentially an iPhone 7 with a glass back—and then skipped ahead to release the iPhone X (pronounced “ten”), which was just an iPhone 8 with a slightly larger screen and an OLED display.
At the same time that Apple was resting on its laurels, Google was making major strides with its Android operating system. Android was launched in 2008 as an open-source alternative to iOS (the operating system used by iPhones). It quickly gained market share by being available on a wide range of devices from different manufacturers (such as Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and LG). And thanks to Google’s vast ecosystem of services (such as Gmail, Maps, and YouTube), Android became more appealing to users than iOS. Today, Android accounts for 85% of all smartphones shipped globally; iOS accounts for just 15%.
Another factor in Apple’s decline is the rise of Chinese smartphone makers such as Huawei and Xiaomi. These companies offer high-quality devices at much lower prices than Apple does. As a result, they have taken market share away from Apple in key markets such as China and India. In China , Huawei is now the No . 1 smartphone maker with a market share of 38%; Apple is No . 4 with just 10% . In India , Xiaomi is No . 1 with 27% ; Apple is No . 5 with just 2%.
Apple is still a profitable company; it generated $59 billion in profit last quarter alone . But its glory days are over , and it faces an uncertain future .
The resurrection of Apple
When Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. He immediately set about making changes, both big and small, that would help to turn the company around. One of his first moves was to streamline Apple’s product line, which at that time included more than three dozen different models of computers. Jobs believed that customers were more likely to buy a product if it was simple and easy to understand, so he cut the number of models down to just four: the iMac, the PowerBook, the Power Mac, and the portable iBook.
He also shook up Apple’s advertising strategy, hiring the London-based ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day to create a series of now- iconic commercials featuring the company’s products. The ads were strikingly different from anything that had been seen before in the tech industry, and they helped to make Apple’s products seem cool and desirable.
Under Jobs’ leadership, Apple also ventured into new product categories, such as digital music players (iPod) and smartphones (iPhone). These new products proved to be hugely successful, and they helped to cement Apple’s position as one of the world’s most innovative companies.
The present day
We’re in the middle of a technology cold war, and the U.S. is losing. China is on the rise, and its tech companies are doing things that would have been unimaginable a few years ago.
Apple’s current position
In the present day, Apple is one of the most valuable and well-known companies in the world. It is worth over $1 trillion dollars and employs over 137,000 people. Apple is regularly ranked as one of the most innovative and customer-friendly companies. In 2019, Apple was ranked #3 on Forbes’ “World’s Most Valuable Brands” list and #4 on Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” list.
The future of Apple
Apple’s future is shrouded in secrecy, but that hasn’t stopped analysts and pundits from speculating about what’s in store for the technology giant. Here are some of the most popular predictions for Apple’s next big move.
1. Apple will release an augmented reality headset
It’s no secret that Apple has been working on augmented reality (AR) technology for some time now. The company has been granted numerous patents related to AR, and its iPhone X even features a special TrueDepth camera system that enables Face ID and Animoji — two features that wouldn’t be possible without AR.
There have been several rumors indicating that Apple is working on an AR headset, and it’s possible that we could see this device as early as 2020. This headset is said to be similar to the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, but it will use your iPhone as the processor and display instead of dedicated hardware.
2. Apple will launch a subscription-based news service
Apple has been working on a news service for several years, and it was previously rumored to launch in early 2019. However, recent reports suggest that the service has been delayed due to disagreements between Apple and publishers over revenue sharing.
It’s still not clear when Apple’s news service will launch, but it’s believed to be a subscription-based platform that would cost around $10 per month. This would give Apple another avenue for generating revenue from its huge base of iPhone users.
3. Apple will enter the electric vehicle market
Apple has long been rumored to be working on an electric car, and there have been several reports indicating that the company is serious about this project. In fact, Apple is said to have hundreds of employees working on an autonomous driving system that could eventually be used in an electric car.
Apple hasn’t officially announced any plans to enter the auto market, but it’s believed that the company could debut its first car as early as 2023. Given Apple’s track record with disruptive products, it could be a major player in the electric vehicle market if it does indeed release a car in the next few years.