From visionary Steve Jobs to millionaire Tim Cook

in apple •  2 months ago

iPhone is 11 years old. A year ago, to celebrate the tenth anniversary, Tim Cook introduced the iPhone X, Apple's most expensive smartphone. Many criticized, but 12 months later, it is already the iPhone that gave the most money to Apple.

REUTERS/Regis Duvignau


On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs replicated a quote from an American computer engineer, Alan Kay, to explain the reasons that led Apple to work on a product that would completely transform the mobile phone industry. We were at the Apple event and at one point, the then CEO of the most valuable company in the world, put the following phrase in his presentation: “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware”. What Steve Jobs meant by Alan Kay's words was that Apple had managed to make a perfect symbiosis between software and hardware that culminated with the first iPhone.

In his lectures, Steve Jobs put the suspense growing as he explained the problems Apple's innovations promised to solve before unpacking the products. "I waited two and a half years for this day. From time to time, there is a revolutionary product that changes everything", Jobs said in that 2007 presentation.

"Today we will introduce three revolutionary products. The first is an iPod with a wide screen and with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is an innovative communicator with the internet". He repeated it three times, until the audience (and the world) realized that it was a historical moment of technology: a device that was both a mobile phone, an iPod and a device that connected to the internet - this is the beginning of the iPhone.

The rest is history. The statistics portal (Statista) estimates that 1.4 million first-generation iPhones were sold.

Three years later and two iPhones later (iPhone 3 and iPhone 3GS), Steve Jobs returned to the stage to present the one that constituted the "greatest progress since the original iPhone". Describing the device as a piece of art, Jobs revealed that the iPhone 4 was the thinnest smartphone on the market. The steel lining around the phone, in addition to being aesthetically appealing, was also technologically advanced because it housed three integrated antennas.

In the same year, Steve Jobs gave one more lesson of how to marketing. This time he turned to another product that many use as a complement to smartphones and computers. Jobs introduced the iPad this way: "Everyone uses a smartphone and a laptop. The question is: is there room for another device between the two?".

For him, iPad would be better than smartphones and laptops for searching the internet, consulting and writing emails, viewing photos and videos, playing, listening to music and reading eBooks. In the three months after the market launch, about 3 million units were sold. The success of this hybrid device from Apple was so much that in 2016, 25% of tablet sales worldwide were iPads.

When he died, Tim Cook became Apple's CEO, having been the company's chief operations officer. Many criticized him for not having Jobs' vision that kept him from launching innovative products. Many of these criticisms were recently rebounded when Apple unveiled the "best third quarter ever" results in June 2018. Backed by iPhone X sales, services and wearables (including Apple Watch), Apple revenue in the quarter amounted to $11.5 billion.

In an industry that is already mature, Tim Cook has managed to launch the most profitable iPhone ever: the iPhone X. According to the Economic Times, since it was released, about 63 million units were sold by August 2018. It is the second best selling iPhone ever, just behind the iPhone 6 which, in addition to being the most popular of all, was also released in the market during the reign of Tim Cook.

It is today that the most valuable company in stock market capitalization will present its new products. There has already been a leak on the names of the iPhones that will be released within a few hours, as well as the size and colors of the new Apple Watch.

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