Apple, in the past 36 years (mainly within the past 15 years) has revolutionized the world as we know it by revolutionizing or creating many industries. Lets recap the industries that Apple has revolutionized through its amazing ability to, well, revolutionize.
The Personal Computer
The first industry that Apple invented is the personal computer. While Apple did not invent the personal computer, they were the first to make the personal computer widespread with the Apple II. This computer was so successful, Apple sold computers of the series for a long 15 years, from 1978 to 1993. That is a very long time for what was an outdated technology when it was canceled. It provided enough revenue for Apple to survive during the decline years. Despite the fact we now have computers that are so far advanced (your average phone is more technologically advanced than the Apple II), we must remember where our technology now sprouted out from and that was the Apple II. Today, while Apple’s sales of Macs are nowhere where they should be, they certainly have grown a astronomical amount just in the last few years. While sales of the Mac continue to increase, Windows-based computers continue to decrease, a first in a very long time, if ever. That is quite an accomplishment. Apple has truly changed the world of computing.
When thinking about industries that Apple revolutionized, TV commercials don’t usually come to mind. However, zoom up 6 years at the introduction of the Macintosh. The commercial that Apple had aired during the third quarter of that Super Bowl in 1984 was declared the single greatest commercial of all time and has set the standard for TV commercial makers since its release. Ever since that commercial, and especially in recent years, Apple has enjoyed a complete media coverage that provides advertising for the company. When the commercial aired, it was replayed over and over providing Apple advertisement. Now, the hype from people and media alike about every product Apple made, is making or even is speculated on making, is astonishing and has benefitted Apple tremendously. Not all the tech companies get this fame. Compare the excitement of a new iPhone or MacBook or whatever with a competitors product. Not even close. The hype Apple gets is not liked by everybody, but who cares? Apple gets the media coverage and fame it deserves.
With the introduction of iTunes in 2001, Apple entered the music industry with a big boom. Music producers were becoming increasingly more upset with the file sharing sites that had plagued the internet during that time. They were desperate, they were down to their knees. With limited, unpopular options of buying music on the internet, Steve Jobs saw that the reason why they were unpopular was because they were limited in features and limited in music. When iTunes was released, all of that changed. People were then able to download songs from a very vast selection for very cheap. The media warehouse Napster was also shut down, allowing Apple’s sales of music to boom further. But with the introduction of iTunes, came the introduction of a product no one saw coming, the iPod, and it would revolutionize the way we would listen to music forever.
Media Player (iPod)
The music player is again a product that was already out there, had potential but had not garnered strength. The music players out there were dull, expensive, hard to use, had very little storage space among other problems. Steve Jobs saw this industry as a powerful one that had yet to get the attention it needed. He realized that people wanted easier ways to listen to music. Steve Jobs set out to do that. Steve Jobs introduced the iPod in 2001 and in the process completely changed the way we listened to music. To date, the iPod is the most successful media player on the planet. Since its release, it has had many successful lines. The most recent are the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod touch and the iPod classic. Apple has sold an incredible 350 million* since its inception. (estimates as of July 2012). With all of this said, the iPod has been declining in the past few years due to another of Apple’s products, one that has revolutionized the world more than anyone (besides Steve Jobs) could have possibly imagined.
Since its release in 2007, the iPhone has been the strongest selling phone on the planet. With just 5 iterations of the device in just 5 and a half years (soon to be a 6th), the iPhone had changed the way we communicate. The release that Apple had the most innovation with was the iPhone 4. Released in 2010, alongside iOS 4, it introduced FaceTime technology that changed the way we talk to each other alongside other features. The iPhone took the world by storm and it is regarded as one of the highest selling releases of any product in the world. The way the iPhone brings the world together is astonishing. It truly has changed the world, but there is no way it would have gone far without the introduction of another Apple innovation, the Apple App Store, the worlds most successful App store.
The App Store has truly changed the way we do things. All iOS devices are not iOS devices without the App Store. With over 500,000 apps on the App Store, there truly is an app for just about everything, making our lives easier. Since its inception alongside the iPhone 3G and iOS 2 (dubbed iPhone OS 2 at the time), it has sold an incredible 30 billion downloads. It has garnered so much profit for Apple that Apple probably doesn’t even know what to do with it. Individual developers make one or several apps that, in all cases, make a positive impact, whether small or large, in others lives. I don’t think the world could possibly imagine the world without Apple and its App Store now. Catch-phrases such as “download it from the App Store” or “Available on the App Store” are about as widespread as the saying “Google it” and that is a true impact on humanity. Of course Apps aren’t just available for the iPhone and iPod touch, they are also available for Apple’s biggest innovation yet, this one being one they invented.
These days it is getting harder and harder to find people who don’t have an iPad. When it was first released in 2010, analysts viewed the iPad as a joke, an expensive toy that couldn’t possibly get any support. Boy, were they wrong. The iPad has become Apple’s best selling product, and for good reason too. The iPad and subordinate competitors are poised to wipe out the Desktop industry. Apple is the best seller when it comes to tablets, despite there being hundreds of other Android-based tablets out there. With the iPad, Apple brought out a product that took the world by storm, it has become a product that people can’t imagine living without. That is huge since its only been out for 2 years, and the last time I checked there isn’t too many 2 year olds using iPads. The iPad has become so powerful that professionals ranging from pilots to doctors to teachers trust in it and the apps for it to provide an one of a kind experience. And it has.
That may be the next question in your minds. All of this innovation came when Steve Jobs was around. Did you notice that giant gap of time between the commercial and iTunes, that just so happens to be the time Apple didn’t have Steve Jobs. And then when he left he was still innovating, that time the entertainment industry with the introduction of Pixar. Steve Jobs came back to the company when it was no less than 90 days before total collapse, and he took Apple to become the worlds most successful comeback of any company in the world. Apple, however, has something that it didn’t the first time he left. It has Steve Jobs branded into its DNA, it has a decent CEO (John Sculley was not decent, he sold drinks for crying out loud, what did he know about technology?), it has the resources that not many other companies have. Despite this, I think Apple will still have some bumps along the way but it will continue to succeed. Apple has some amazing people still in the company and I can guarantee you Steve was not the only one behind the multinational, multibillion dollar company. It has great people to carry on the torch, and the torch has yet to show signs of burning out or being dropped.
Thank you for reading,