The first episode of Anstandig on the Future studies Apple, and in creating the podcast, it made me realize just how massive the company is.
Basically, Apple is everywhere.
You can stream Apple TV+ on your Apple TV while reading emails on your MacBook and sending texts on your iPhone. Even the word “podcast” is a portmanteau of the words “broadcast” and “iPod.”
In many ways, Apple has extended far beyond serving as a B2C company…
It’s a lifestyle.
Or, at least, to many customers.
There’s a reason why the consumers of Apple products are as passionate about their iPhones or Airpods as most fans are for their favorite sports team: there’s a bond between company and customer that’s nearly unmatched.
In other words, Apple has become the largest company in the world by market cap not by trying to become the largest smartphone vendor, but the most beloved.
But how did Apple make this happen, and what comes next?
Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, and while the company sold computers and tech products for decades, everything changed in 2001 at the introduction of the iPod, the sleekest and most portable music player ever created.
The iPod was a massive success because Apple created something to engage a gigantic target audience in a non-speculative market. The combination of use and design proved effective for the 2007 launch of the iPhone, too, and since then, those two elements have heavily infused every product Apple has released.
But with so much established dominance, how can they stay on top?
Ceaseless innovation is the single most important piece to maintaining competitive advantages for tech companies, and we see that in Apple’s history. The iPod turned to the iPhone, which paved the way to iWatches, iPads, AirPods, Apple TVs, and more. On top of this, they release a new iteration of previous devices almost every year.
To keep up with the trend, Apple is working on even more products in the coming years—and many reports about each of them can be found on Mac Rumors. Of these reported projects, some of the most noteworthy are Apple Chips, Apple Glasses, and even—wait for it—and Apple Car.
In short, Apple maintains its lead on the technology race by continuing to innovate with its eyes set years—or decades—down the line.
Apple has made some mistakes over the years.
One such problem has been rooted in the company’s quest to offer sticky solutions that encourage consumers to get not one Apple product, but all Apple products. For example, remember when Apple controversially removed the headphone jack from its iPhone around the same time it introduced new—and expensive—Bluetooth earphones?
Other shortcomings are more aligned with Apple’s emphasis on design outweighing practical application. My favorite example of this is the Apple TV remote. It looks sleek, sure, but it is also very easy to lose.
For Apple to stay on top, they must not only continuously innovate, but also they must never let form overtake function or forget the mindset that got them in the position they’re in: always put the consumer first.
Ready for more about Apple’s future? Want a deeper dive into the past? Want to learn the 6 Pillars of Steve Jobs’s Design Philosophy?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, download Episode One of my new podcast, Anstandig on the Future. I hope to see you there!