Apple’s Defining Moment

26 06 2008

I got into a good discussion last night with my boyfriend about Apple. And then the topic of what product really made Apple so widely known. Let me preface that: Apple has, for the most part, been a stable company, sure they have had their hard times, but they still strove and were still able to compete in the market. But their products had always been purchased by a certain niche of consumers. Those people who hate Microsoft (I don’t hate Microsoft, but I don’t love it either) and refuse to use anything created by them. Those people who don’t mind spending a large chunk of their paycheck (or all of it) to get a new MacBook, cinema display, etc. And Apple had been so proprietary before now too; iPods initially only worked with Macs. So, after these notes, what was it that made Apple not so much more widely know or more popular, but so much bigger? It seems like you can’t go anywhere without hearing about Apple on the news, on a blog, in discussion with friends or coworkers. Was it the iPod itself? Was it opening up the iPod to be used on Windows? Was it the iPhone?
I think it is all pretty opinion based. And maybe also depends on when you decided that Apple was worth taking another look it (if you weren’t already using Apple’s products). For instance, my boyfriend’s opinion was that once the iPod could be used on a Windows PC, Apple really started to boom and become a viable choice for the mass consumer. However, in my opinion it was the iPhone. Yes, the iPod did change Apple, but I think that because the iPhone was SO different than anything on the market at the time, it really made Apple stand out and make people think that Apple could really be on to something. As far as I can remember, there wasn’t really a phone like the iPhone last summer. Yes, there were smart phones, but nothing like that. Additionally, I think it was a great way for all of Apple’s products to get promoted. Even if you couldn’t afford an iPhone, at least you now would maybe consider buying an iPod.
What makes me believe even more that the iPhone was Apple’s defining moment, is the surge of competitors imitations. Well, maybe not so much imitations, but phones that offer the same features, that kind of look similar and that are so much different than what they had been previously producing. The iPod did spur some change too, most noticeably the Zune. But they weren’t the first MP3 players (even though I know they played more than just MP3s), and they kind of got into a market and produced something that wasn’t so different. But the iPhone was the first of it’s kind and I think that is what makes a company – having an idea for something so different and following through with that idea.
Feel free to comment and tell me what you think is Apple’s defining moment.




One response

17 07 2008

I think Apple’s defining moment was when they switched to Intel processors. That was the high point of the revolution that started with the iMac

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