The more things change, the more things stay the same. In recent years, comics Doonesbury has been republished. This week’s tape, starting in 1995, coincided with the launch of Windows 95 and one of the characters in it talks about the superiority of Apple’s Macintosh, but now it’s come back to light when Microsoft is the platform. dominant form.
Over a quarter of a century later, Apple has grown into one of the world’s most valuable and penetrating companies, but there are things that certainly haven’t changed. CEO Tim Cook said in the last quarterly financial call: “We don’t have any significant holdings in any market.”
Cook was specifically talking about the iPhone, which is a minority in the smartphones compared to Android, but the same goes for the Mac. Yet the company has always managed to maintain a huge presence, even in a minority.
Cook continues to see this as an opportunity for Apple. A lot of people aren’t your customers yet, which makes them potential customers. And that seems to be the theory backed up by the numbers. For ye ars, Apple has said that half of those who buy Macs or iPads in a quarter are new buyers.
But even with such a large potential market, how do you convince people who haven’t yet switched to Apple to do so?
Ice water in hell
Even for those who do not own an Apple device, it is increasingly difficult to escape the Apple ecosystem. With 1.65 billion active devices, chances are you at least know someone who owns an iPhone, especially in markets where the company is more established.
Additionally, now that Apple has moved on to services, there are more and more places where the company is present outside of its comfort zone and has brought the Apple brand to other platforms.
For example, with the release of Apple Music in 2015, Apple not only did it on its own devices, but also on Android. More recently, he has worked with manufacturers of Smart TVs, game consoles and TV boxes to bring Apple TV +, knowing that he must go beyond those who are already Apple customers.
Apple has been around for a long time on Windows: first with iTunes in the iPod era, then with iCloud for Windows. It’s all part of the strategy Steve Jobs called “a glass of ice water in hell”: teaching people what life could be like on the other side.
And Apple has continued to expand its reach. The latest rumors suggest that the popular iCloud Keychain password manager, previously exclusive to Apple devices, may soon move to the Microsoft platform with a Chrome extension.
Where is the trap?
With the anchor in place, Apple does what any business does: compete. But where Apple has always been very smart is prioritizing technological expertise. You can appeal to people with specs like memory or processor speed, but Apple has realized that it will go a step further by emphasizing quality: easy to use, good design, privacy.
These differentiators point to places where Apple’s competitors have been used to fail. Privacy is a good example, as some of the company’s biggest competitors have built their businesses around advertising and users realize how invasive, disruptive, and potentially dangerous data collection can be. (Although, to be fair, Apple played a big role in the promotion.)
It’s about re-telling the story, and that’s smart because the smartphone It’s no longer a luxury market, it’s almost essential. As an automaker, Apple boasts about the smoothness of its ride and the convenience of the coasters, not so much the number of horsepower it has.
The secret recipe
All of this wouldn’t make much sense if Apple couldn’t deliver on its promises, and this is where the company has a huge advantage.
During last week’s financial call, an analyst asked how Apple decides which new market to enter, and one thing Tim Cook pointed out is that you need to find a category in which your expertise in Equipment, Software, services (and how the three work together) can make a difference.
(I would add that Apple stores are also a big factor, as they provide an attractive and very controlled environment in which to display all of their products, although they are not currently.)
This unity is the great promise of the Apple ecosystem, and while it’s not a promise the company always keeps, when combined with those drops of ice water and the new narrative that Apple has created, it’s a strategy that allows Apple to win new buyers. After all, you can’t question a business that in just three months can make $ 100 billion.