US technology giant Apple crossed an recently amazing milestone. Earlier this year its market capitalisation exceed US$500bn for the first time –
a remarkable comeback story as a decade ago the company was valued at just US$10bn.
Ever since it launched on to an unexpecting world back in 1976, Apple has been redefining our relationship with technology. Established by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the company helped create the market for personal computers with the Apple I personal computer kit. The hand-built machine was sold to amateur enthusiast who assembled the device themselves and placed it in a wooden case.
How Apple grew so big
How times have changed. Now Apple is the largest company in the world. It’s devices famous for their plug-and-play ease of use. The modern Apple designs and sells a range of consumer electronics that have reshaped the electronics market. Not only have they pioneered the point-and-click computing that is now everywhere, Apple has created and helped shape the market for portable MP3 players (it’s iPod has become the industry standard and a byword for high-quality); mobile phones and tablet PCs. The company’s iPhone is so popular that it has shifted as many as 146m of the devices since they first went on sale.
A software pioneer
Moreover, the company’s software has won admiration for its software. Not only has its long heritage of operating systems (OS) helped define popular computing (and won many copycats — including Microsoft Windows) but its peripharal software, such as iTunes have become industry standards.
The age of communication
Of course there are still other ways to communicate which are suitable in an office and work environment without using Apple products, such as those cordless phones on Gigaset.com or other such innovations as virtual meetings and web conferencing, each of which are becoming hugely popular in an ever more global market.
Not quite game over
Apple is a strong brand known for its success, high quality of its products and its innovation, but it has still to make inroads into many markets. Apple has virtually no presence in the video games markets, it has yet to make an impact in sat navs and in a whole range of consumer durables, including Televisions, although the much mooted Apple TV is rumoured to be launching some time next year. Although the company has made such inroads into mobile telephony, it has yet to enter the voice over IP (VoiP) market click here for information about VoIP phones despite this sector being valued at over $1.2 billion today.
A dynamic brand
From small beginnings Apple has grown and grown, transforming itself from a small computer company into one of the most dynamic technology brand yet known. For years it was the plucky outsider in the shadow of Microsoft. But because it continued to innovate, Apple has created new markets far away from the standard desktop PC and in doing so they have enriched the lives of millions of consumers across the world.