Apple — still thinking different

With the launch of new MacBook Air, as well as upcoming Mac OS X Lion, Apple still testifies that age and maturity beneficially affects their ability to create and innovate. January 2011 will put 27th annual mark on Mac’s firstborn, Macintosh 128k. 27 years, you say? In the world where past gets measured by months, that feels like an eternity.

However, company owes much of the loud praises to Steve Jobs, genius behind the Apple empire. Since he came back in 1996. Apple’s revenue has skyrocketed. Although Steve and Apple have, by the standard’s industry, ‘grown old’, their behaviour and products certainly convince us otherwise. Today, they offer us plenty of different devices, carefully crafted to suit our needs, whether we’d pick an iMac, portable MacBook with 10-hour battery life, or revolutionary iPhone or iPod. Here, question imposes itself: what’s the reason behind the success? What’s the ingredient Jobs has discovered that has remained hidden from most of the other industry competitors?

Power of the brand

Considering that I was a Windows user for what seemed an eternity, I was convinced I’ll spend rest of my days reinstalling and optimizing same ol’ Windows over and over and relentlessly searching for antivirus and antispyware software solutions. The day I departed from Apple store holding a Mac I entered completely new environment — place where using computer is always joyful, and never cumbersome. In my opinion, that’s perfect justification for high price of Apple products — you aren’t spending money on 0.4 GHz faster processor, or 1GB more RAM memory, but the luxury of having your data safe and sound, healthier and more secure digital environment as well as elegantly simple interface. Mind you, those aren’t nickels-and-dimes.

Despite the advantages, Macs haven’t established themselves as widely popular devices. There’s more then few reasons for it. Some find software too restraining and non-compatible; some find them stupidly overpriced and some are turned off by media wars against Microsoft. Also, public opinion hints that Apple obviously isn’t interested in penetrating the market further, which means resolving issues non-Apple users have with their products are pretty low on their priority list. Their main focus are their customers (often referred to as Apple fanboys), who are carrying the brand forwards. Apple gives them what they crave: sense of uniqueness, elitism and accomplishment. Today we have around 30 million Mac users versus Windows’ 400 millions, which only strengthens the brand image. As long as it stays that way, Apple lovers are happily pouring great sums of money into their guru’s cashbox. However, the day Apple equals numbers with PC, magic will be gone. Mac will become common and dull device, as bad as the PCs in their commercials.

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