Apple Inc. is still a startup

“Apple has walked the tightrope between ubiquity and coolness, attaining one without sacrificing the other,” Andrés Martinez, editorial director of Zocalo Public Square, writes via TIME Magazine. “The company just announced the most profitable quarter in U.S. corporate history, a three-month period in which it sold almost 75 million iPhones and 5.5 million Macs.”

“What’s most astonishing, given those numbers, is that Apple is far less ubiquitous than you might think,” Martinez writes. “It has plenty of room to grow. Indeed, it may only be getting started.”

“If you look at its existing product lines, Apple only dominates the tablet market,” Martinez writes. “The competing Android operating system runs more than two-thirds of the world’s smartphones. Apple ranks fifth worldwide in the number of computers sold, and third in the U.S. There is plenty of market share left for Apple to steal from others.”

Much more in the full article here.


    1. Apple was a startup around 1976 when it was founded by Steve Wozniak and the legendary and late Steve Jobs.

      Apple was a “startup again” around 1997 when the legendary and late Steve Jobs returned to ignite it with a four product only lineup.

      Apple is no longer a startup but for many products or projects it’s treated like a startup company, with Apple Watch the latest one.

      I don’t think market share determines whether a company is a startup.

  1. ‘One of the things that happens in organizations as well as with people is that they settle into ways of looking at the world and become satisfied with things. And the world changes and keeps evolving and new potential arises, but these people who are settled in don’t see it. That’s what gives start-up companies their greatest advantage. I think as long as humans don’t solve this human nature trait of sort of settling into a world view after a while, there will always be opportunity for young companies, young people to innovate. As it should be.’

    ‘Steve Jobs Bio: The Unauthorized Autobiography.’

    1. Most companies get into so many different businesses that the leaders cannot possibly have special insight into their own products and services. They have to manage without that vision thing, i.e. blind.

      Companies that stay focused on a particular mission tend to be much more understandable and its efforts more aligned. Everyone is working to solve the same problem.

  2. I don’t agree with the Catholic analogy, (read the full article) but other than that it is well written, nice job.

    As for Verlyn, (again, read the article) I would be interested in hearing what he thinks of the Apple Watch five years from now.

  3. Wall Street certainly doesn’t consider Apple as a start-up company. Far from it. It’s not even close to being valued as a start-up company. Apple’s low smartphone market share is seen as a disadvantage and not something Apple is going to be able to increase significantly. I think that view is based upon Apple’s premium pricing and the theory that only companies selling cheaper products can gain in market share.

    There are obviously certain gut factors that exclude Apple from being a start-up company and Apple’s huge market cap has to be one of them. That ridiculous theory of the law of large numbers automatically puts a cap on Apple’s growth potential in investor’s minds. For all practical purposes, companies are not supposed to grow further from a nearly $700 billion market cap. That number is seen by Wall Street as an ending point and not a starting point. I don’t see it that way but I’m a shareholder so my judgment is biased.

    1. The law of large numbers makes sense. At some point every market is saturated.

      What does not make sense is applying that to Apple when its smartphone, PC and AppleTV marketshare have so much headroom and Apple continues to announce new products and services like Apple Watch and Apple Pay.

    2. The problem with WS’s understanding of Apple is the same problem Apple’s competitors have.

      APPLE IS A COMPUTER MAKER. Apple makes desktops (distinctive feature: keyboard, runs Office), laptops (distinctive feature: same as desktop, but is mobile), ultra mobile (distinctive feature: more mobile than laptops, can make telephone calls, cannot run Office), and tablet (distinctive feature: cannot make phone calls, larger form factor better suited for company specific software tasks) COMPUTERS.

      The iPhone is a computer capable of making mobile telephone calls. It is not a mobile telephone capable of some computing functions. As a computer the iPhone can be given new jobs: digital camera, digital photo manager, digital music player, digital video player, digital book reader, digital game player, and now digital wallet (with all that implies).

      The Apple Watch is a wearable computer that monitors bodily functions, with the ability to communicate findings to medical professionals in real time

      Apple’s secret to disrupting, then dominating, industries, is that Apple looks for jobs that can be served by a new category of computer. Then it builds a hardware platform par excellence, with software that is easy to use, intuitive and can communicate/integrate with its other “computers”. An ecosystem that supports the computing platform is not only a natural extension of this mindset, it is required. Even here the competition gets it wrong. Apple’s ecosystem is not just a digital marketplace (as Android Stores are) it is a medium that ties all Apple computer products together in a seamless, cohesive family, that plays together nicely.

      This difference in attitude makes Apple an industrial category onto itself, that cannot be valued as its commodity manufacturing competitors are.

  4. have we confused startup and entrepreneurial? Apple is a mature company with the best customer service and it has much, much, much room to grow, because it does entrepreneurial ventures at a very high quality.

    Google is still a startup because it is stuck in beta.
    Apple is a technology leader / entrepreneur

  5. Why the either/or classification? Why does Apple have to be characterized as EITHER an established company OR a start-up? Apple is BOTH a company that sells established products, AND a company involved in start-up businesses producing revolutionary products in new fields.

    Apple’s true growth potential has always come from its “start-up” ventures. But it never ignores its well-established businesses, either.

    Maybe this is why most analysts don’t get Apple?

  6. The law of large numbers makes sense. At some point every market is saturated.

    What does not make sense is applying that to Apple when its smartphone, PC and AppleTV marketshare have so much headroom and Apple continues to announce new products and services like Apple Watch and Apple Pay
    Agree!!! Well said. Even tho I just bought a Mac Mini in January, I’d buy another one WITH QUAD i7, BETTER graphics, (hey remember the used to put in separate graphics?) , and a MUST, expandable mem.
    I bought the 2012 Mini (quad i7), and it was the LAST ONE in stock BestBuy !!! Lucky me, but Apple shouldn’t be F%@&ing their customers with bullshit. Room to grow? Hell yeah ! How about a custom chopset. They could call it the Amiga 10,000. Just kidding, but they Could try for a higher % in the Mac. And a WEAK-ass Mac Mini, ain’t gonna do it. But it will do a little.

  7. There is plenty of market share left for Apple to steal from others.

    NO. What a sad statement about how the modern biznizz bozoid thinks. 😛

    There is plenty of marketshare for Apple to EARN, GAIN, ATTAIN, for which to COMPETE, and especially: to CREATE! :mrgreen:

    Apple is ENTREPRENEURIAL, which is the way to grow any company. Stay that way Apple! <3

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