Apple tops phone, tablet, laptop, watch, earbuds sales! Steve Jobs and Tim Cook’s way to the top
This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Whether we like it or not, it's Apple's world, and we are simply a tiny part of it…
If you watched WWDC, you'd know that at one point during the keynote, Apple got around to bragging about an important achievement. It was totally deserved! As it turns out, the 2020 MacBook Air is now the world's best-selling laptop (also happens to be my laptop of choice).
Of course, we don't really cover laptop news here at PhoneArena, but it's impossible to ignore this milestone, mostly because it comes around to complete Apple's five Olympic rings of best-selling products...
Tim Cook & Co now make the:
- Best-selling phone in the world - iPhone 13
- Best-selling tablet in the world - iPad (2021)
- Best-selling laptop in the world - MacBook Air (2020)
- Best-selling smartwatch in the world - Apple Watch (Series 6)
- Best-selling wireless earbuds in the world - AirPods Pro
Is this a surprise? Well, not really - Apple happens to be the world's highest-valued company and certainly the most powerful tech brand there is. I'd also argue there isn't a better marketing team than the one based in Cupertino, which has certainly played a massive role in taking Apple to the top.
Still, managing to take the number one spot in virtually every single hardware category a company is competing in is… difficult to comprehend. But let's look into it anyway! Also, if Tim Cook & Co have conquered everything there's to conquer, it's probably time for Apple to move onto bigger and better things, isn't it? We'll look into that too!
Apple's way to market dominance: Homemade chips are the best and cheap to make (not a cooking recipe!)
In my view, we can't ignore the fact that Apple's way to success was tightly linked with Cupertino's "controlling character", and approach to products, business, and the market.
Everyone can make a nice phone or laptop chassis, but it's on the inside what matters. Apple's homemade processors have played a huge role in balancing costs, enabling innovation, and ultimately delivering unparalleled performance and efficiency. Just take a look at the raw power and battery endurance of the iPhone 13 Pro Max and M1-powered MacBooks.
The interesting part of the equation is that although Apple's first big venture was in the area of personal computers, Steve Jobs' MacBook masterpiece turned out to be the last Apple-made product to use an in-house-made processor.
Interestingly, this one was inspired by (and based on) the same type of chip from Jobs' most successful creation - the iPhone. And while Apple's processors aren't the sole reason for the incredible sales, they are 50% of what enables Cupertino to take control over the "ecosystem", which itself is what helped the iPhone and MacBook pull users in like the world's strongest magnets.
Apple's way to market dominance: Cupertino's ecosystem - the world's strongest magnet
And that's where the iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods come onto the stage.
The iPad is certainly one of Steve Job's biggest achievement at Apple, and although it was met with a healthy dose of skepticism before its global rise to dominance, the ultra-sized iPhone is now as popular as it gets.
iPadOS 16 happens to (finally) make the M1-powered iPad a computer, at least as far as multitasking is concerned, and it's very close to bridging the gap between the laptops and tablets in Apple's world, especially if you don't need professional apps like Final Cut and Logic Pro.
On the other hand, Tim Cook and Jony Ive's Apple Watch is a completely different animal...
The biggest reason it managed to get where it's at was the already existing Apple ecosystem, which is and will be the key to Apple's current and future takeover in the tech industry.
For one, you need an iPhone to use the Apple Watch, but also, the wearable is so well optimized to work with all your Apple products (mostly via iCloud) that it makes no sense to own another smartwatch if you have an iPhone and/or a Mac.
In the end, Apple Watch is the most popular watch in the world, but probably its biggest achievement remain the brilliant fitness and medical features it brings to those who need them. Not many mainstream products can be labeled "life-savers".
It happens so that watchOS 9 is here and it brings a bunch of new health and fitness features. What stood out during WWDC was the new Medications experience on Apple Watch and iPhone, which helps users manage and track their medications, vitamins, and supplements.
I have a feeling that Apple's push into the medical field is very far from over and probably won't remain tied to just the iPhone and Apple Watch, but only time will show...
As a writer, I can say that from all of Apple's best-selling products, the success of this one might be the easiest one to fathom because the concept behind it is about as simple as it gets.
Back in 2016, Apple took its iconic pair of earbuds (that used to come bundled with the iPhone) and decided to cut the wires. The result seems so obvious and natural now that when I see someone rocking wired earbuds in the tube, I feel like I'm on an old movie set...
Sure, the "toothbrush-looking" AirPods were made fun of at first, but it took no time for the world to accept them and fall in love with their simplicity. AirPods are the number one best-seller in the wireless earbuds category on Amazon and probably the most popular Christmas present, considering they fall into the "not cheap, but not too expensive" price bracket. It's not a coincidence that the original AirPods were released for Christmas 2016.
Tim Cook's AirPod forever revolutionized the way we listen to music and might just be my favorite Apple product ever. Unlike the Apple Watch, they also pair nicely with any Android device, which means they've never left my bag, and I use them with my Mac, iPhone, Pixel, and Huawei.
Product categories that Apple is expected to enter in the future: AR Glasses, Apple Car, and more...
While talking about Apple's past achievements and present glory days makes sense, it's also interesting to take a quick look into the future of Apple products!
I won't take too long with this topic because it probably needs and deserves its own story, but these are the product categories that Apple is expected to enter in the near future, according to various leaks and rumors:
- Augmented/virtual reality - Apple's first AR/VR headset is now expected to debut sometime in 2023, and it could be Cupertino's first door to the Metaverse
- Apple AR/MR Glasses - This would be a more sophisticated version of the headset that's more suitable for the outside world. Some analysts believe the advanced glasses are exactly what might eventually replace the iPhone...
- Electric vehicles - During WWDC, Apple announced a big update to CarPlay, which will soon allow car-makers to practically let Apple's software take full control of their cars. The more important bit is that the detailed demo looked so complete that… it's only missing the car before it's ready to challenge Elon Musk's Tesla...
- Foldable phones/tablets - We hear new rumors about Apple's first foldable iPhone quite often. According to DSCC analyst Ross Young, Apple is now likely to release the first foldable iPhone in 2025. In true Apple fashion, Cupertino will be taking its time with this one, but I'm on board! Make it as good as possible before asking $2,000 for it...
- Foldable laptops - Ross Young also reports that Apple is exploring the foldable notebook category too! In case you didn't know, Lenovo and Asus are already shipping the first foldable laptops in the world, and I dare to say that they look much better than anticipated, allowing you to have a much bigger screen when you need it, in a smaller form-factor than traditional notebook. The concept of a foldable MacBook is brilliant, and it even seems to make more sense than a foldable iPhone or iPad since it… saves much more space.
So, who knows… a few years from now, you might be driving an Apple-made EV, while texting on your foldable iPhone, with a foldable MacBook on the seat next to you…
Yes, texting while driving would be OK… if you're in the Metaverse! And yes, having a foldable MacBook on the seat next to you probably means you won't have a virtual girlfriend/boyfriend... or even a real one! :(
Things that are NOT allowed: