“The only things more impressive than Apple’s financial numbers are the products that generated them. For a company routinely slagged for not having had a hit since 2010’s iPad, Apple, which as of mid-January was valued at more than $900 billion, had a heckuva 2017: Its wireless AirPods became ubiquitous from Brooklyn to Boise, and can now be paired with the best-selling Apple Watch Series 3, which has GPS and cellular connectivity, for a meaningful, new consumer experience,” Robert Safian writes for Fast Company. “Developers embraced ARKit, Apple’s augmented-reality framework, like nothing since 2008’s App Store (which paid out $26.5 billion last year). After a year of whining about what the new iPhone might offer, most skeptics were blown away by the iPhone X, with its facial recognition, camera quality, bezel-to-bezel screen, and new user interface.”

“Now, HomePod, first announced last June, offers a fresh take on the intelligent speaker,” Safian writes. “These category-redefining products don’t just defy the adage that scale hampers agility and creativity–they obliterate it. During a January 10, 2018, conversation at the newly opened Apple Park (itself an impressive product launch), Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with Fast Company to discuss the overarching philosophy behind Apple’s ever-evolving universe and what unites its ambitions and endeavors.”

Some snippets from Cook:

What drives us is making products that give people the ability to do things they couldn’t do before. Take iPhone X, the portrait-lighting feature. This is something that you had to be a professional photographer with a certain setup to do in the past. Now, iPhone X is not a cheap product, but a lighting rig – these things were tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars. And an iPhone X does more than just take pictures. There are so many parts. With ARKit, we created something that essentially took the heavy lifting with [augmented reality] and put it in the operating system, which empowers thousands of developers eventually to be able to build AR into their apps. Some will be very profound, life changing. There is no doubt about that in my mind.

I think about things from a core technology point of view. If you look at the core technology in each of our products, we had to start working on it years before the product shipped. With iPhone X, for example, if you look at the Bionic chip, we started working on that many years before it came out. Because we [design] our own silicon, it puts a level of discipline in our planning process. Now it also gives us an incredible advantage from a product point of view, because we can do things that others can’t.

Think about the production that goes into a recording of a song. Great artists spend enormous time thinking about every detail. If you get this little squeaky speaker, all of that is gone! All of the art and craft of music is gone. [HomePod] is the realization that that is important. Part of the enjoyment in music is hearing the full sound.

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Only Apple – because of the values Steve Jobs instilled in the compnay – can do personal computers, smartphones, tablets, wireless earbuds, smart watches, smart speakers, etc. this well.