It’s been ten years since Steve Jobs died. During his second term at Apple between 1997 and 2011, he was deeply involved in the launch of Imac, Ibook, Airport, Ipod, Macs with Intel processors, Ipad and probably the world’s probably biggest product success ever: Iphone.
How would it go without Steve at the forefront of new product development? Many users were worried, and many experts were sure of their thing: It would go to hell. Maybe not immediately, but as Apple ran out of ideas that came from Steve, the creative energy would disappear. Apple was, in short, doomed. Tim Cook was admittedly one of the world’s foremost experts in logistics, but without a feeling for the products it was impossible for him to lead such a product-focused company, it was called, among other things.
So how did it go? After ten years, we can look back and see what Apple has accomplished under Tim Cook’s leadership.
With Steve Jobs as CEO, Apple basically launched four new product categories: The first modern, colorful computer; the first successful mp3 player that forever changed the way we listen to music; the smart phone that has completely revolutionized both the mobile industry and how most people use the internet; the tablet.
Under Tim Cook, Apple has launched two products in the same class: Apple Watch and Airpods. In addition to these, Apple has launched computers with high-resolution “retina” screens, and is in the process of changing its third major processor architecture, from Intel to Apple Silicon. There are rumors of two more new categories – scar glasses and a car – but those are just rumors until Apple is there with a finished product at one of its special events.
Both Steve Jobs and Tim Cook were CEOs when Apple launched a speaker that was later discontinued. Ipod Hi-Fi under Steve, Homepod under Tim.
Last year Steve Jobs was CEO, Apple sold around 70 million Iphones and had total revenues of just under one trillion kronor. It was not so tedious, but in 2020, according to estimates from various analysis companies, around 200 million Iphone units were sold and Apple’s revenue reached over SEK 2.3 trillion. In total, over one billion Iphones are in use around the world. The number of units sold was at its highest in 2015 (just over 230 million units) but has increased again after falling to around 190 million units in 2019.
Despite analysts’ doomsday prophecies that cheap Android phones will devour the entire market and leave the iPhone with a meager percentage, Apple has maintained over ten percent market share globally and in key markets such as the US and Japan, the iPhone today has over 50 percent of the market.
The iPad had a long slump after initial successes, but in recent years has started to grow again and in 2020 sales increased significantly by an estimated 60 percent compared to 2019.
Apple Watch has gone from eight million units sold in 2015 to an estimated 43 million in 2020. Over 110 million units of Airpods were sold in the same year, according to research firms.
Mac sales have also been stagnant or increased throughout the decade, while the rest of the PC market has eroded. Since the M1 Macs were launched last autumn, sales have skyrocketed further. The Mac has thus gone against the flow and grown in a shrinking market.
It may have no direct connection to success from a consumer’s perspective, but in response to analysts’ doomsday prophecies, Apple’s share price may still be worth mentioning. Recalculated to include the share splits carried out in 2014 and 2020, Apple’s share price in October 2011 was approximately $ 15. Today it is just under 140 dollars – an increase of 830 percent.
Whatever we think of Apple’s current products, it’s clear that the company has had a successful decade. How it will be in the future remains to be seen.