Apple is an exception to nearly every rule

“Walking into my first ever meeting with a structural packaging designer, I started rooting around in my bag before exclaiming, ‘This is the sort of thing I want!’ She leaned forward in her chair, delighted to have a customer with a strong guide, then groaned audibly when she saw what I had placed on the table: the packaging from my new iPhone,” Haje Jan Kamps writes for TechCrunch. “‘You can have anything you want,’ she countered, ‘but if you want your packaging to look and feel like Apple’s, you’ll have to increase the unit cost for your packaging by 10x.'”

“Packaging is just one example — there are dozens — of why Apple is a rank outlier in almost every way. Or, put differently: Using the Cupertino-based company as your template for how to build a startup is not a great idea,” Kamps writes. “Apple is unusual in many ways, but nothing sets it apart from your hardware startup quite as much as its cash reserves. The company sits on a quarter-of-a-trillion-dollar pile of cash, about twenty thousand times more money than even the best-funded startup in the world. Having a rainy-day fund the size of a national budget means you’re able to demand certain things. One example: Chipset manufacturers will jump through hoops to make things possible for Apple that they wouldn’t do for anyone else.”

“When designing the new unibody Macbook Pro, Apple’s designers had a very specific design in mind. In almost every other company, the design team would have been told by the manufacturing team that what they wanted to do wouldn’t be possible. Here’s what manufacturing would say: ‘The only way to accomplish what you’ve designed is to use a CNC mill. That doesn’t scale! We would need thousands of the damn things!’ At Apple, with its mountain of cash, that turns out not to be a limiting factor,” Kamps writes. “If the designers want something, they’ll have it, even if that means buying 10,000 CNC mills to scale manufacturing or buying the entire output of a laser-drilling manufacturer (and later buying the whole company), because Apple needed the entire world’s supply of that particular type of laser.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We wrote this about Apple’s move into original content production, but it applies to all of Apple’s so-called competitors, from fake Mac assemblers to pretend iPhone peddlers:

Those who can wrap their heads around Apple’s massive cash mountain and the company’s unparalleled ability to generate cash can clearly see who the winner will be.MacDailyNews, January 3, 2018

With each passing year, and especially with iPhone X, it becomes increasingly clear – even to the Android settlers – that the competition has no chance of even remotely keeping up against Apple’s unmatched vertically integrated one-two punch of custom software and custom hardware. The Android to iPhone upgrade train just turned onto a long straightaway, engines stoked, primed to barrel away! — MacDailyNews, September 13, 2017

Peddlers of dog-slow Android phones can’t copy Apple’s TrueDepth system; stuck with antiquated fingerprint readers instead – March 23, 2018
Samsung Galaxy S9 thoroughly beaten by Apple’s iPhone X/8/8 Plus in early benchmarks – March 1, 2018
Android settlers are about to understand there’s a limit to what you an achieve with hype and marketing – January 11, 2017
iPhone 8’s Apple A11 Bionic chip so destroys Android phones that Geekbench creator can’t even believe it – September 30, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic chip is by far the highest-performing system on the market; totally destroys Android phones – September 19, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic chip in iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X leaves Android phones choking in the dust – September 18, 2017
The inside story of Apple’s amazing A11 Bionic chip – September 18, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic obliterates top chips from Qualcomm, Samsung and Huawei – September 18, 2017
Apple accelerates mobile processor dominance with A11 Bionic; benchmarks faster than 13-inch MacBook Pro – September 15, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic chip in iPhone X and iPhone 8/Plus on par with 2017 MacBook Pro – September 14, 2017


  1. One other significant difference for Apple’s iPhones & MacBooks exists that is significant & powerful.

    The MacOS is not using you as a product to be sold to other companies which Google sure does and likely Microsoft.

    The more that people start to figure this out with the Facebook sale of “your info”, the more likely Apple is to grow.

    As someone noted awhile back, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple sets up its own modernized social connection platform. It might even be an “arm” of email.

  2. If I were Apple, I would stay far away from a FB-type of social networking platform. The upside for Apple is uncertain, and the downside is glaringly evident given FB’s ongoing crisis. Providing a public service that involves monetizing social interactions is tricky, at best. When you mix in the bad actors peddling money, influence, and politics without any moral or ethical boundaries, the results are disastrous.

    Apple makes the tools, like the iPhone, that enable social interaction and even provides some basic tools, such as iMessage. Let FB and Twitter deal with the fallout of managing public platforms for social discourse.

    1. I don’t want a Facebook-like social networking platform from Apple. All I want is for my contacts to stay up-to-date via some “social networking” magic.

      If everyone I know is using an iPhone and/or a Mac, everyone’s changing details should by automagically reflected in Contacts. As it is now I’ve given up on Contacts and use LinkedIn instead.

    2. Totally agree. I would, however, love to see Apple bring back “Sherlock”, the search engine. It produced the cleanest, most relevant searches for me at the time. Sigh…

  3. The cash pile allows Apple to finance capital-intensive manufacturing process and take gambles on new ideas, but it’s important not to confuse cause and effect.

    Apple’s mountain of cash is a *result* of their investments in high-end manufacturing and packaging (and many other things) not the *cause*.

    Apple makes huge margins because Apple makes great stuff using great processes.

    1. No. Apple makes gobs of money using Chinese labor and skimming 30% of every app sale. Except for a few things like the failed trashcan Mac “Pro”, Apple has no mfg tech. iPhones roll off the Foxconn assembly lines in the same building as android phones.

      1. This. Just like every other mutinational corporation.

        Why do so many people here keep trying to push the image that Apple is a special unique little boutique company? It’s a corporation. It cares about maximizing its cash extraction, and it doesn’t give a damn about America First or any other nation for that matter. Cook and his lieutenants are in it to enrich themselves. They aren’t directly returning the cash hoard to shareholders, and not so much to a domestic supply chain either. The operations that Apple does have in most nations are relatively low pay, low skill retail employees. Just like every other corporation.

        Ever notice that the people screaming “America First” the loudest are the last people to buy expensive products made in the USA, and the last to sign up for assembly line work?

  4. Maybe it would have been simpler for me to say expensive packaging doesn’t cost more money, it makes more money (when paired with a killer product and it’s killer ecosystem).

  5. But.. perhaps surprisingly… the competition IS keeping up. More or less. The latest Galaxy, at least hardware wise, gives an iPhone X a damned good run for its money. I’m not saying it’s better, but it’s in the game. To say otherwise is foolish.

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