In the last two decades, Apple has gone through a lot of change. It went from a company that was struggling to sell Macs to one of the world’s most highly valued and profitable companies, which is nearly worth $1 trillion. And there is one revolutionary product that helped Apple become what it is today — the iPhone.
But sales of the iPhone aren’t the same as they were before. In the last quarter Apple reported that the iPhones sales dropped by nearly 12 percent and in the quarter before that, the sales fell by 17 percent. For the first time in six years, iPhone sales did not amount to half of Apple’s revenue.
This is partly because people are finding fewer reasons to upgrade iPhones since the newer models aren’t offering anything extraordinary that would make customers want the, just one example showcasing how innovation at Apple seems to have slowed down significantly. Also, Apple’s business in China is constantly decreasing. The sales in China fell off by nearly 25 percent in the last two quarters.
With the news of Jonathan Ive (fondly known Jony Ive)leaving Apple, people are speculating what Apple’s future is and how the company plans to hold its position in the market, especially with Android competitors coming up with more and more innovative smartphones.
What does Jony Ive’s exit mean for Apple?
It was announced last month that Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jonathan Ive will leave the company later this year, bringing an end to a whole era in Apple which focused on crafting some of the most innovative products including the iPhone.
Jony Ive, who headed Apple’s design team ever since 1996, is one of the most esteemed industrial designers in the world and he has worked on all the major products by Apple, including iPad, iPhone, iPod, Macs, and Apple Watch.
It is obvious that Ive has played a big role in reshaping Apple’s software too. He played a significant role in popularising the skeuomorphic design era from 2006 to 2013. Then from iOS 7, he embraced a whole new philosophy of flat UI and minimalism. He was the one responsible for the drastic revamp of iOS 7 in 2013 and he also gave Apple’s desktop software a whole new look, which is now known as MacOS.
After Steve Jobs, it was Jonathan Ive who was credited for making Apple what it has become today. Ive was considered as Jobs’s right hand man and he was responsible for fueling a generation of minimalistic and sleek products.
It is also important to note that almost the entire previous generation of superstars at Apple including Steve Jobs, Jon Rubinstein, Tony Fadell, Scott Forstall, Ron Johnson, and now Jonathan Ive, who revived Apple from 1997, have now left.
That only leaves Tim Cook, Phill Schiller, Eddie Cue, Dan Riccio and Craig Federighi, who joined much later in 2009.
After Steve Jobs passed the mantle to Tim Cook, the company has grown over three times, but people still feel that Apple hasn’t innovated enough. Those die-hard Apple fans have stopped lining up outside Apple stores to be the first ones to get their hands on the new iPhones.
All we see are advanced versions of the same iPhone, without any new revolutionary products. There was also the Apple Maps 2012 fiasco and the bending iPhone 6 in 2014 that created big problems for the company.
Though, the company has strongly emphasised on the fact that Ive isn’t completely leaving Apple. He will be opening up his own design firm and Apple will be their primary client. So, it can be expected that the future iPhone, iPad, and other devices will still be designed by Ive, even if he isn’t an Apple employee anymore.
At the same time, it is also clear that things will change at Apple. The company will try to fill the void left by Ive as soon as possible. A trillion dollar company like Apple wouldn’t want to depend on an outside company for all its design needs.
Of course, the major question that the customers and investors have on their mind is — How will the future Apple handle product innovation now and how will things change now that Ive is gone?
Say hello to Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, and Apple TV Plus
With the changing market trends and consumer behavior, Apple is changing too. And the biggest sign of that change was seen at Apple’s event in March this year.
CEO Time Cook talked about how the company will be launching a series of subscription services in the coming year, including:
- A magazine and news service (Apple News Plus)
- TV and documentary service (Apple TV Plus)
- Gaming service (Apple Arcade)
The subscription for apple TV plus and Apple News plus will be $9.99 each per month
Though, Apple has signed some major names for their Apple TV Plus service including Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Jason Mamoa, and JJ Abrahams. It has also been reported that Apple has been spending up to $15 million per episode on its TV shows. This number is a lot considering HBO spent $15 million per episode for Game of Thrones. It is clear that Apple was to come off as a strong competitor against Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Apart from working on the new iPhone 11, Apple is exploring newer markets with Drive.ai and Project Titan
Although, Apple’s push into services will definitely be a big and high profile bet for the company in the coming years, it is not the only thing that Apple is betting on. It is speculated that the company will launch iPhone 11 with a third rear camera before the end of the year in order to compete with the new smartphone models from Samsung and Huawei.
Apple is also working on a powerful set of wireless headsets which are designed to leverage virtual reality and augmented reality. Powered by Apple’s own chips, they will possibly be released by 2020.
The company recently acquired a self driving car startup, Drive.ai which was once valued at $200 million. It is predicted that Apple will be using the self driving car technology from Drive.ai for its Project Titan, the company’s autonomous vehicle project.
The world is changing, and Apple is changing with it. But the real question is — How exactly will Apple change?
- Will Apple be able to sustain its revenue and market share in the next decade?
- Will Apple finally realise its iPhone dependency problem?
- Will the new services move Apple’s attention away from the iPhones
- Will the Apple TV gamble pay off in a market dominated by giants like Netflix, Amazon, and now Disney?