Sometime in the next two months, Apple will sell its billionth iOS device. According to some estimates, Apple will sell around 90 million iOS devices, primarily iPhones, in the next three months. And it will, for sure, make more money in the next three months than it has made in all of 2010. Apple will achieve all of this while keeping its customers happy and providing them with an unparalleled experience that no technology company has provided its customers ever before.
In the words of Apple CEO Tim Cook, “You’ve seen how our operating systems, devices and services all work together in harmony. Together they provide an integrated and continuous experience across all of our products…. We do this so that we can create a seamless experience for our users that is unparalleled in the industry”. ‘Only Apple’, he keeps repeating. ‘Only Apple’ can do this.
Apple blogger John Gruber analysed this mantra. After examining the motivations and the business models of major technology players like Samsung, Microsoft, Google and Amazon, Gruber has predictably concluded that it is in fact only Apple that can do what it is doing.
In the last two months Apple has introduced two new iPhones in two different sizes, a new iPad, an iMac with a 5K display with 14 million pixels, an Apple Watch that seems poised to revolutionise the wearables industry, two new operating systems in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite and the biggest revolutionary technology of all, Apple Pay which lets you pay in both physical and virtual stores with a touch of a button on your phone.
While there were some glitches like the iOS 8.0.1 update that made some iPhones unusable, Apple pulled off all of the above with astounding success. It is the only company that is selling more premium phones than it can make. It is the only company that has customers still queuing up outside its stores one month after the launch of the said phone. Apple did all of this while increasing the price of the iPhones even as smartphones become commoditised and other phone makers are in an arms race to go more and more cheaper.
Whether introducing a chip with 64-bit architecture or including the Touch ID finger-print scanner in hundreds of millions of devices within one year, all without compromising the security or the privacy of the users, Apple is proving that it has been right all along.
For decades now, Apple has been mocked for its philosophy that software and hardware should be made by the same company so they can work seamlessly. Detractors showed Microsoft as an example to the contrary and laughed at Apple. It turns out in the post-PC era, just making the software or the hardware not only puts you out of business but also provides a very inferior experience to the customers.
By immersing myself into the Apple ecosystem, I could stop typing this article on my Mac, pick up my iPad which will have open the exact article at exactly the same spot where I left off. I can then leave the house, pull out the phone and finish off the article. If I am working in the living room and my phone rings in the bedroom, I can just answer it on my Mac. I can use my fingerprint to unlock my phone, to log into my bank app, to log into my Dropbox and to buy stuff on Amazon. Only Apple can provide such an experience right now, and I suspect only Apple can provide even better experiences in the future because only Apple has spent decades in honing every part of the stack that makes up the ecosystem.
Matham is a tech geek. Follow him on Twitter @AdarshMatham