Apple is the company that every other firm in the industry wants to be. And why not? For years, Apple has been generating billions of dollars in profits, and the company’s products are considered the very best in the world by a countless number of customers. Apple is simply the most important technology firm in the world.
And yet, over the last decade, we’ve watched company after company attempt to be the next Apple. The companies have tried to produce products that look like Apple devices, they’ve engaged in business practices that resemble those set out by Steve Jobs, and they’ve tried to revive their marketing efforts by making it cooler. All the while, few customers have taken notice.
So, what makes Apple special? It’s hard to say nowadays. For a long time, the very fact that the company was led by Steve Jobs immediately made it a “cooler” option for many customers than any other product maker. Jobs was a highly respected giant that earned that respect. And there are no other CEOs that quickly come to mind that have been able to engender such respect.
Similarly, we need to acknowledge that Apple was the first company to truly understand the importance of solid product design. For years, we suffered under the idea that technology products were supposed to be functional and not sexy. Apple changed that thought process, and its success proved that gadgets could truly be an extension of an individual’s personality.
[aquote]Being first matters[/aquote]
Being first matters greatly in the technology industry. By delivering new, innovative products before the competition, Apple has been able to make other companies look like they’re only trying to catch up. And consumers, believing that, feel that it’s a better idea to buy the latest and greatest Apple device, rather than opt for some knock-off that can’t compete.
Still, it’s important to acknowledge that the tide might slowly be turning against Apple. Steve Jobs is no longer there to help lead the way, and on the smartphone and mobile OS front, Apple is facing stiff competition from Samsung and Google. In fact, both of those firms have been able to gain market share under Apple’s nose by providing compelling products.
But to say that those companies – or any firm, for that matter – has been able to achieve what Apple has is purely ridiculous. While they might be profitable and performing well in the mobile space, the companies are not necessarily trendsetters or capable of inspiring the kind of downright hysteria that Apple can. Samsung and Google are simply capitalizing on a business model that Apple has leveraged successfully for a very long time.
So, perhaps it’s time that other companies in the industry start getting with the program and doing something special or unique all their own. Apple has shown that major success can be achieved. Now it’s time for other companies to follow suit and show that they, too, can be Apple.