Premise #1: Apple’s Number One Priority Is To Make Great Products
[pullquote]It is key to understand that Apple puts the experience first. Everything else flows from that priority. ~ ßen ßajarin (@BenBajarin)[/pullquote]
“The most profound contribution that Steve Jobs made was in demonstrating a radically new way of a running a company: the goal of the firm shifts from making money for the shareholders to delighting the customer. As Jobs said: “My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. The products, not the profits, were the motivation. Sculley flipped these priorities to where the goal was to make money. It’s a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything.” ~ Steve Denning
Apple has restated this priority over and over and over again.
I’ll tell you what our goal is. Our goal is to make the best personal computer in the world and to make products that we are proud to sell and that we would recommend to our family and friends…we just can’t ship junk. ~ Steve Jobs
Sure, what we do has to make commercial sense, but it’s never the starting point. We start with the product and the user experience. ~ Steve Jobs
We have never worried about numbers. In the market place, Apple is trying to focus the spotlight on products, because products really make a difference. You can’t con people in this business. The products speak for themselves. ~ Steve Jobs
[pullquote]Apple tries to make the useful enjoyable. Sometimes they succeed. ~ Ángel Lamuño (@AngelLamuno)[/pullquote]
The goal of Apple is not to make money but to make really nice products, really great products. That is our goal and as a consequence if they are good, people will buy them and we’ll make money. ~ Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief
Our goal isn’t to make money. Our goal absolutely at Apple is not to make money. This may sound a little flippant, but it’s the truth…Our goal and what gets us excited is to try to make great products. ~ Jony Ive
Our north star is to make the best product. Our objective isn’t to make this design for this kind of price point, or for this arbitrary schedule, or line up other things or have X number of phones, it’s to build the best. ~ Tim Cook
For us, winning has never been about making the most. Arguably we make the best PC, we don’t make the most. We make the best music player, we wound up making the most. We make the best tablet, we make the most. We make the best phone, we don’t make the most phones. ~ Tim Cook
Our objective has always been to make the best, not the most. ~ Tim Cook
We believe that we’re on the face of the Earth to make great products, and that’s not changing. ~ Tim Cook
Premise #2: People Who Are Willing To Pay For Quality Make The Best Customers
People who buy expensive phones that are sold on quality and UX are generally the best customers. Shock. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)
Premium products attract high value consumers; for Apple, remaining highly profitable and driving revenue from its entire ecosystem is of greater importance than market share statistics. ~ Tim Coulling, a senior analyst with Canalys
Premise #3: The best customers — not the most customers — support the best platforms
Beleaguered Apple reports biggest quarter ever. ~ Kevin Fox (@kfury)
iPhone ASP/volume clearly shows that it remains strong among their most valuable customers, but is losing their least valuable buyers. ~ Sameer Singh (@sameer_singh17)
FACT: Apple’s customers willingly pay higher prices.
There is no point in addressing unprofitable segments and no point addressing segments that do not enhance the platform.
FACT: Apple doesn’t target bargain hunters.
If the iPad was losing sales to competing tablets, Nexus 7 sale wouldn’t be tiny. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)
FACT: Apple generally dominates the premium portion of the sectors that it targets.
Apple has 0% market share of those paying less than $400 for their phones.
FACT: Apple does not target that portion of the market that is least capable of sustaining its platform.
No sign of large-scale switching (from Apple). Quite the opposite. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)
I don’t see Apple’s valuable, identity-driven customers going anywhere. Less profitable ones, not so much ~ Sameer Singh (@sameer_singh17)
FACT: Apple’s customers are extremely loyal.
More & more time on Apple earnings calls is on painting a clear picture: the goal is 2 win the ecosystem war not just the smartphone battle. ~ carolina milanesi (@caro_milanesi)
FACT: Apple’s customers are best able to support the best ecosystem.
In 2013 Apple passed 1bn cumulative mobile devices sold (1056m iPod, iPhone & iPad). ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)
In a few years, annual smarpthone sales will be close to 2bn. Apple’s % share of that is not terribly interesting. Share of value is aim. Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)
(Apple’s) current high-end position is secure and only pricing will drive a change in growth. ~ Benedict Evans
Talking about market share of smartphones is essentially meaningless at this point. Phone share, rev share, engagement share mean far more. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)
I’m unconvinced an ecosystem w/ 400m users and $10bn annual sales would collapse if there’s another one with more users and less revenue ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)
FACT: Apple’s customer base is large enough to be self-sustaining.
Jack Benney once quipped: Give me golf clubs, fresh air and a beautiful partner, and you can keep the clubs and the fresh air. I suspect that Apple could equally say: “Give me the best client’s, the best profits and the best ecosystem and you can keep the market share.
Conclusion: Whom Apple Pleases
There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less.
We will be the second. ~ Jeff Bezos
Apple will be the first.
Apple has never, and never will, try to please everyone. That’s a PC and Android behavior. ~ Ken Segall
The primary motivation of Apple is to make the best. They cannot accomplish that unless they both sell their products for a premium and sell their products to premium owners.
If you want the best — and are willing to pay the price necessary to obtain the best — then you are amongst those whom Apple pleases. On the other hand, if you’re not on that exceedingly short list, then you’re probably not pleased with Apple.
I doubt if they care.