Apple After Steve Jobs: Is it At Its Peak?
When Steve Jobs was head of Apple, the company came up with innovative products like the iMac in 1998, the iPod in 2001, the MacBook in 2006, the Apple TV in the same year, the iPhone one year after, the iPad in 2010 and the iWatch in 2015. After Steve Job's death, a lot of people claimed that Apple had peaked. Some said that only Steve Jobs could operate according to Apple's business model. Then, Apple experienced its first down quarter in more than ten years. Its Worldwide Developers Conference was also met with mixed reviews. This was enough to get people talking. Tech writer and venture capitalist, Dileep Rao said that Apple peaked after the death of Steve Jobs. He said Steve Job's replacement, Tim Cook is a nice guy but he is just not Steve Jobs. He said only Steve could manage to make Apple's business model succeed.
Jerome Hardaway, a tech entrepreneur said that Apple peaked after the company's release of the iPod in 2001. He said that this showed Apple had the ability to broach new markets armed with innovative ideas and a good understanding of the customer's needs. The CPO and cofounder of SaferVPN, Sagi Gidali said that the peak of Apple, innovation-wise came in 2007 after the iPhone was launched. He said the the product was truly unique and it stood out in the mobile device market. Sagi Gidali credited the iPhone with revolutionizing the function and role of mobile devices. He also said that the iPhone popularized mobile devices. However, Tayven James, a tech writer, said that the peak of Apple was more recent. He said Apple just could not hope to top the launch of the iPhone 6 in 2014. He said that that was one of the most profitable period in the history of Apple. The sales number for the iPhone 6 alone was enough to increase Apple's stock value. But then, which opinion hold true? Has Apple truly peaked after Steve Job's death?
View Number 1: Cook Vs. Jobs
The most common comment about the present stare of Apple is simply that the company was better off under Steve Job's leadership. The basis of the argument was that Steve Jobs was an innovative thinker while Tim Cook was just a supply chain manager. People that hold this view will claim that Apple was operating in peak condition just before Steve Jobs died. The truth is just a little bit different. Sales figures do not quite agree with this view.
View Number 2: Stock Price
This is true. While Steve Job's focus was on innovative products, Tim Cook is more concerned about the stock price. This is the best measure to meure the opinion of the public on a company. At least that is the way it is in the world of investments. The confidence of investors in a business is usually measured by how much they are ready to pay to lay claim to a company's stocks. If we go by this criteria, Apple's peak occurred in early 2015. The company had an unprecedented record sales in the holiday quarter of 2014. The sales of 74.5 million iPhones within the space of three months surpassed the expectations of market analysts n The sales figures was almost 50% higher than what was recorded in the previous year's holiday quarter. And record sales were also recorded in that year so that says a lot about the magnitude of the achievement by Apple. If we are going by this view, it is only right to highlight the fact that the price of Apple's stock has gone up considerably after the death of Steve Jobs.
View Number 3: Revenue
It is a well established fact that the stock market is not always stable. This is because investors act based on what they expect rather than the Monet itself. Because of this, a lot of people answer the question of Apple's peak condition by simply alluding to Apple's quarterly revenue as the most accurate yardstick to measure the company's success. The company's value has not dropped. During holiday quarters, it records $75 billion peaks while it records a $50 billion profit every quarter for the rest of the year. In comparison to Apple's stock figures in 2010 during the launch of the iPad, the recent revenue figures are more than triple that number.
View Number 4: Year Over Year Growth
When the percentage of people who use Apple's trajectory as a point during arguments do so, they often ignore the raw totals. Making $50 billion is one thing, increasing this revenue by 50% year after year is another.
In the history for the company, Apple's strongest quarter of annual growth was in the fourth quarter of 2010. In that year, Apple had annual growth figures of more than 100%. This was partly due to the fact that the months the iPhone was released were inconsistent. After this year, the releases were more standardized. Even with this, Apple still had a 50% annual growth rate that ran from early 2010 to the middle of 2012. This fact was enough to make people claim that Apple had peaked. However, this growth was largely due to the launching of the iPad in 2010. It succeeded in creating a new product category for the company and it even sold more than the iPhone.
View Number 5: Pace Of Innovative Product Launches
Some platforms like Gidali and Hardaway measure the success of Apple by how frequently they release quality and innovative product lines. If the launch of products like the iMac, iPod, MacBook, Apple TV, iPhone and the iPad is used as a criteria, it can be argued that the peak period of Apple was around 2006 to 2007. That was the period when Apple introduced three unique product lines and this included the successful iPhone. The question to be asked is which product counts as an innovation. Should the Apple TV be categorized alongside the iPad? The question really is how to measure iteration as opposed to innovation.