Apple is dominating the tech market like no other company has ever done. Just last February, Apple became the world’s first $700 billion company, making it the most valuable company in the world and about twice as valuable as its rival, Microsoft. Apple first became very profitable due to the success of the Macintosh computers and the iPod, but the company has managed to change its products to keep up with new trends. The iPod still has 72% of the MP3 player market share, but the popularity of MP3 players has dwindled because many customers are using their smartphones instead. In fact, the iPod accounts for less than 1% of Apple’s overall sales.
But where one technology fails, Apple has produced several more to take its place. Apple’s constant innovation, strong brand recognition, quality leadership, clever marketing techniques, and cutting-edge technology have helped the company break several world records and leave its rivals in the dust.
The iPhone is the main driving force behind Apple’s impressive sales. In fact, Apple holds a whopping 93% of the handset industry’s total profits, according to Mike Walkley from Canaccord Genuity. (Strategy Analytics placed the number at 89%.) The increasing popularity of the iPhone, along with holiday sales, helped Apple overtake its rival Xiaomi in China, sell 74.5 million iPhones, and earn a record-breaking $18 billion during its first quarter. Meanwhile, its competitors, namely Samsung, have been struggling to keep up with Apple’s track record.
Part of the reason Apple has continued to remain so popular is that its customers are fiercely loyal to the brand. A poll by Simonlycontracts.co.uk found that 59% of iPhone users admit “blind loyalty” to the device and that 78% of respondents said they “couldn’t imagine having a different type of phone now.”
Apple has also made a ton of money from its app store. Apple users spent $15 billion in 2014 on paid apps and in-app purchases, about twice as much as Google made from app purchases during the same year. Most of Apple’s sales came from games such as Minecraft, Trivia Crack (ad-free), and the increasingly popular horror game Five Nights and Freddy’s.
However, Google Play is becoming increasingly more popular; it could threaten Apple’s dominance of the market. Amazon is struggling to keep up with the two companies, but it will have a long way to go if it ever hopes to dominate the app market.
While PC sales have dropped since last year, Apple has seen a 16% increase in shipments and has become the fifth most popular PC vendor in 2014, according to IDC. Apple’s sales have remained strong and the company held its fifth place in 2015. While it may not be dominating the PC market, the top five vendors held 65% of the market in 2014. Apple is still selling more computers than ASUS and other brands.
Apple’s sales could potentially see even more growth late this year if the Macbook Air becomes more popular. It has the thinnest display the company has ever created, weighs only two pounds, has a 12-inch screen with a 2304×1440 resolution, and consumes 30% less energy than its predecessor.
There’s also the rumored iMac 8K, which was accidentally spoiled by a blog post by LG. The iMac 8K would have a 7680 x 4320 resolution, the highest resolution the human eye can process.
Tablet sales are also falling, but Apple still dominates a large portion of that market. Apple sold 21.4 million iPads during last year’s holiday quarter and outsold all of its competitors, according to IDC. Predictions from Gartner and Statista claim that Apple will continue to hold a strong position in the tablet market, falling behind in sales only to Android. Windows will supposedly to grow in sales, but not nearly enough to be considered a threat to Apple or Android.
The Apple Watch may be the company’s first entry into the smartwatch market, but it is poised to disrupt the industry like no other. The Watch comes in three different models: the low-end Apple Watch Sport starting at $349, the midrange Apple Watch Collection starting at $549, and the luxury gold-played Apple Watch Edition starting at $10,000. With three different models, the Apple Watch offers something for almost every customer.
The Apple Watch has a lot of truly impressive features. You can customize its faces, activate Siri, monitor your heart rate, look at GPS, and make phone calls. Third-party apps will allow you to do everything from hailing Uber cars to unlocking your hotel door.
Unfortunately, Swatch inventor Elmar Mock said that the Apple Watch will threaten Switzerland’s four-century-old $38 billion watch industry. “I do expect an Ice Age coming toward us,” he said. “Apple won’t die if the smartwatch isn’t a success. But in the next two to three years, a part of the Swiss watch market will suffer strongly.” Researcher Strategy Analytics predicted that the smartwatch market would explode this year with 28.1 million units sold, up from 4.6 million units in 2014, and that Apple would hold 55% of the market.
Apple has changed a lot since it was first established in the 70’s. The company saw success after its iconic 1984 Super Bowl ad based on the George Orwell novel of the same name and directed by none other than the legendary Ridley Scott. Apple’s sales grew with the introduction of the iPhone, iPod, iTunes, and Macbooks. While the iPod is no longer as popular as it once was, it still remains an iconic piece of technology that was everywhere during the early 20th century.
So what is next for Apple? Rumors around the internet suggest that the company might be building its own electric car or even plans on buying Tesla. There are even rumors that Apple may move into the virtual reality industry.
We can safely bet that Apple will make some sort of move in the headphones industry as the company bought Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion last year. We also know that LG said the iMac 8K will be released later this year. Furthermore, we know that Apple has managed to get the attention of Game of Thrones fans as the show will premiere on Apple TV on April 12.
The truth is that Apple could do whatever it wants. The company is worth more money than most of us could even dream of having. Apple will continue to innovate and will probably be a huge force in the technology market for decades to come.
About the Author
Patrick W. Dunne is currently a staff writer for SMBAdviser.com and writes about topics like business, leadership, productivity, finance, and marketing. He graduated from Chaminade University with a B.A. in Business Administration and a minor in Psychology. If you’d like to contact him for freelance or guest blogging opportunities, send an email to [email protected] , send a message to his LinkedIn profile or follow him on Twitter.
Photo credit: Apple