The key to Apple’s success

“Apple has changed the consumer landscape over the last decade: Where there was once a market driven by platform application availability (e.g. Windows), it’s evolved into a combination of end-to-end operating systems, diverse devices, services, and applications,” Michael Gartenberg writes for iMore. “This has all worked to devalue consumer perception of a given platform, carrier, or device relative to the total experience.”

“Apple is a world class hardware designer, a world class software creator, and a world class services provider. Very few companies are any of these; no other company in the world is all three,” Gartenberg writes. “The key to understanding Apple’s ecosystem is this: The company focuses on innovating a few great things that work together to change markets. Apple’s goal is not necessarily to be first, but always best. The areas of Apple innovation are then linked together to create a holistic experience.”

“Currently, no competitor comes close to delivering the focused combination of the various parts in Apple’s ecosystem,” Gartenberg writes. “That success, however, has raised new questions for me… I wonder: Has Apple lost the focus that brought it to the success of today?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, Apple has lost some focus, but they have grown so quickly, so recently, that we believe the company will get back into balance sooner than later and shore up some loose ends that vex longtime customers who are used to a level of experience not offered by certain products of recent vintage (iTunes, Apple TV at launch, Mac Pro stagnation, etc.)

16 Comments

    1. MDN never made an effort to tear Apple down, nor did they deny Apple’s success.

      All companies need to focus and refocus constantly, especially in an industry that is entirely about change.

    2. MDN is not tearing Apple down, they are voicing criticism of some glaringly obvious product issues. As Apple has deliberately chosen to position it’s brand as the highest value/highest quality, particularly the notion of “it just works”, Apple has something of an obligation to address problems with their products or services. Apple users have high expectations that Apple needs to continue to work at meeting.

    3. Um. Shame on you for defending iTunes, Apple TV at launch, Mac Pro stagnation, etc.

      Sometimes I have loved Apple’s products. Lately I seem to run into a bug or frustration every day, and I am one of those “pro’s” dying for a real pro machine so i can dump Windows completely.

      One reason Apple fans are complaining about the rash of small issues is that frankly, if Apple ever stops delivering high quality where are we going to go? That is a depressing though for anyone who loves Apple today.

      1. I loved Apple circa 2009. Today toleration is a better word.

        I don’t care how much money Cook rakes in, from a user perspective, today’s Apple is an embarrassment on many levels.

  1. Is there any such thing as a perfect company? Every company has some faults. Apple makes some pretty good hardware although not necessarily cutting edge but I think that hardware suits the majority of consumers who buy Apple devices. Unfortunately, I only use Apple products so I have nothing else to compare them to. I can only say they satisfy me quite well but I’m no longer using lots of programs. I’m only using the basics.

    All my Apple computers adequately serve me for five to seven years without problems so I can’t complain. The most I’d ever done was replace hard drives and memory for higher capacity. And years ago I replaced a cooling fan that failed on my old MacBook Pro but no problems since that time. I’m definitely getting my money’s worth.

    As humans, I suppose we’re always looking for improvements so it’s natural to have complaints if something isn’t the way we expect it to be. If Apple isn’t the best, it’s probably one of the top computer device makers and that’s good enough for me.

  2. “Apple is a world class hardware designer, a world class software creator, and a world class services provider. Very few companies are any of these; no other company in the world is all three,”

    Add to that a massive expansion into all world markets full speed ahead and everything that extrapolates from that…

    No Apple hasn’t lost its focus, but its priorities are to establish and cement its unrivaled growth and that takes on a whole new dimension that requires focus, attention to many details, the ecosystem now requires tight coordination of R&D accross all products, innovation and R&D are firing all over the place at warp speed and Apple is outpacing the industry easily at all.

    With all of this never ending growth, Apple’s mass appeal has brought in a whole generation or two of new users, which it needs to cater to…It would be impossible to not have glitches along the way.

    The DOJ and the FBI have been helping distract America’s number one company too, with lawsuits and lies, which take up a lot of executive rhythm.

    Apple’s DNA will ensure its continuing sucess and attention to quality and detail in time.

    Count on it.

  3. Oh, come on guys and gals, APPLE is kicking butt and is the best, by far. Sure, things aren’t perfect and as such we all worry because of the flaws in this and that, but overall, we’ve got it good.

    Can you imagine how much crowing we would hear from the Windows crowd about how great and dominant their platform was if they were in our shoes? It would be an endless stream of, “Give it up Mac-people. You’ve lost. Your sorry excuse for a platform needs to go away and die. Please!”

    And those who have been around from “forever” know it’s true because we heard it and read it constantly. Compared to those days we are golden. Okay, point out where we need improvements, that’s fine. But to think that somehow we suck and aren’t as good or as strong or as agile as… Microsoft? Google? Facebook? Amazon? … LOL

    The “Apple is ready to die” crowd is feed mostly by those who are envious and those playing the market and need to bash the stock one month and pump it the next. No big deal. Frustrating to read, but no big deal.

    Like Cramer says, “Own Apple. Don’t trade it.” That’s good advice. Own the 800 lb gorilla who will one day rule the world!

  4. I’m a bit worried about the moving and adjustment period to The Mothership. Apple certainly has more than a few stumbling points at the moment, despite their wonderful ongoing success. I suspect there are going to be further stumbles simply due to the rather extreme environmental change for much of the company. We shall see.

    Anyway, please! Anyone! Point out a more creative, innovative, quality oriented company than Apple? It certainly isn’t Google or Amazon or Facebook. Tesla: Them I like. But they’re still growing into maturity and don’t directly compete in the niches of Apple, yet.

    1. What, is someone going to stumble carrying boxes of stuff to his new office and lose irreplaceable files? Is the room numbering scheme going to confuse folks and delay product development meetings? Will a tired engineer resting under dense foliage in the central atrium slumber like Rip Van Winkle? Will there be root rot there, mislabeled toadstools, flooding from a rogue irrigation bot? Is the underground transport system going to trap day commuters like Charlie on the MTA? Is the entire organisation going to shudder from comfort zones untimely ripp’d? Sorry, but nobody else is worried about that kind of tragic triviata..

      1. I spent 35 years working in various companies in the Valley, and at one time or another, usually due to (sometimes barely managed) growth. It’s rare to see a major move not end up causing more churn, cost and effort than estimated.

        While I doubt there will be permanent adverse consequences, it’s going to affect operations to a greater or lesser amount for months.

    2. As you directly stated, no tech company other than Apple is more creative, innovative, quality-oriented, and mature. They have growing pains. So does any company experiencing rapid growth.

      I’m trying to discern why I should seek counseling worrying over whether such a company should sweat relocating its corporate headquarters. It isn’t relocating manufacturing from China to the US, which would decimate its bottom line. It’s moving from Campus One to Campus Two. In the world of actual Universities, which I inhabited for a good while, campus swaps were a matter of logistics and fixed costs and little more. They weren’t beset with uncertainties like Omaha Beach on D-Day. Derek, if the move to the spaceship campus affects Apple’s bottom line in any appreciable way, I’ll eat my hat. (Of course what you were saying related to stumbles and not profits, but stumbles are subjective; the bottom line is not.)

      1. I certainly am injecting subjectivity as I have horrible memories of the disruption created by moving in the past. Home was one place. Then you have to make another place home. If one is used to moving around, as I was as a professional student, it’s not much of a big deal. But when one has had a home for 14 years then is forced to move, it’s a plain and simple nightmare from hell. That’s my personal perception of such a situation.

        I’m done worrying about it.

        1. I didn’t intend to badger you and I am sorry I did. The fact is, Herself was an army brat and never could put down roots. I don’t have a real home, the way you did for a long time; I’m a vagabond like the camel tenders of Arabia, only with a technical twist. As of now I’m in my third resident country and ninth US state.

          Maybe that’s why I don’t emotionally understand disruption coming out of a corporate move of less than fifty miles. “Home” isn’t involved, only continuity of business operations. The psychic torment doesn’t seem comparable. But now I think of your post and Doubt intrudes.

          Exile and displacement appear in mythology, story, and song, religion and literature. They are obviously important in human culture, and you were the first to bring it up in the context of Apple Campus II. It’s a new meme, if I can get my Twitter working…

          1. I’ve been assuming you are another friend here using a different nick. She also is in California. I much better see your point from your explanation. I had no sense of you badgering. We’ve simply been using this inefficient communication form to share information. It’s not a particularly important subject, but I thought I’d bring it up in the context of this thread.

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