The launch of the first iPhone in 2007 (Goldman, David (2011), revolutionized the way in which people connected, both with each other as well as their environment. The reason for the iPhone’s immediate cult status, as well as its ongoing sales success, is very simple: it is designed with the consumer at heart and its purpose is to solve problems that consumers were having, or in some cases solving problems that consumers didn’t even know they were having – and therefore making their lives easier. Arguably Simon Sinek (2009) explains this concept the best with his “The Golden Circle” principle, which demonstrates that Apple’s core competency is not just in creative marketing strategies, but in delighting consumers with innovative, inspirational and revolutionary products that makes their lives better (solving consumer problems).
In 2007, when Steve Jobs launched the first iPhone (Jobs, Steve (2007), he introduced it as “combining three products—a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod® with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps—into one small and lightweight handheld device.” In fact, the iPhone provided much more, to name a few:
- A built-in, megapixel, high-definition camera that disrupted the traditional camera and photo printing markets by solving consumers’ needs for immediately accessible photos that they can alter and share digitally and not have to print.
- A QWERTY soft keyboard with predictive and corrective text, which allows consumers to quickly and easily type emails and text messages, making it easier for them to connect and communicate.
- Google’s groundbreaking maps service which not only allowed you to find a specific location anywhere on the world, but it also could show you exactly where you are currently and used voice to give directions – thereby solving consumer’s navigation problems in a way that printed map books could never compete with.
Then on the 10th of July 2008, Apple adapted its Product offering and further cemented the iPhone as a revolutionary connection device, with the launch of the App Store (Helmrich, Loren and Waldron, Alex (2018). The introduction of these Apps further advanced Apple’s consumer offering by turning the iPhone into a torch, a gaming device, a health monitor and so much more. A flurry of new Apps were launched on a daily basis, allowing consumers to use their iPhones in new ways to solve problems they were having on a daily basis like standing in bank queues (online banking apps), having to print and carry airline tickets (electronic ticketing apps), making photos more beautiful and sharing them instantly (Instagram) etc.
In addition to Apps, Apple also constantly updates its iPhone software, sharpening and adapting it’s product offering and making it more relevant and useful for consumers.
Philip Kotler (2017) famously stated that “within five years, if you’re in the same business you are in now, you’re going to be out of business.” This view perfectly captures the fact that consumer needs, the environment, technology and competitors are constantly evolving, and successful companies evolve and innovate within these changing dynamics. From its start back in 1976, Apple has demonstrated that its ability to evolve its product offering to not only meet consumer’s needs, but also anticipate and create future needs, has been fundamental to its ability to retain the top spot as Forbes’ most valuable brand for almost a decade. (Forbes Magazine, 2018). One thing is for certain – in less than 5 years from now, the tiny mobile phone that we all carry in our pockets is going to disrupt, replace and create new industries in ways we cannot even imagine today!
- Forbes Magazine (2018). “The World’s Most Valuable Brands”.
Available at: https://www.forbes.com/powerful-brands/list/#tab:rank [Accessed 14 March 2019].
- Goldman, David (2011). “Apple’s financial empire”. CNN Business.
Available: https://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/technology/1101/gallery.apple_sales/index.html [Accessed 15 March 2019].
- Helmrich, Loren and Waldron, Alex (2018). “The App Store turns 10”. Apple Newsroom. [online] Available at: https://www.apple.com/au/newsroom/2018/07/app-store-turns-10/ [Accessed 14 March 2019].
- Jobs, Steve (2007). “Apple Reinvents the Phone with iPhone.” Apple Press Release, 9 January 2007, San Francisco.
- Kotler, Philip (2017). “My Adventures in Marketing: The Autobiography of Philip Kotler”. Idea Bite Press.
- Sinek, Simon (2009). “Start with why. How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”. Penguin Books Ltd
- Image 1: Sinek, Simon (2009). “Start with why. How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”. Penguin Books Ltd
- Image 2: Williams, Wayne (2015). “App Store hits 100 billion downloads”. [online] Available at: https://betanews.com/2015/06/08/app-store-hits-100-billion-downloads/ [Accessed 24 March 2019].
- Image 3: Bilton, Nick (2011). “Apple Uses Over-the-Air Software Update”. [online] Available at: https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/apple-uses-over-the-air-software-update-for-battery-fix [Accessed 22 March 2019].