Apple is one of the most popular companies in the world, known for making top-notch smartphones and sleek, stylish laptops, but what is the secret to its success? Apple rarely gives out specific sales figures, but experts believe that the company sold over 500m iPhones in the last quarter alone. The Wall Street Journal’s Digitimes Trade News reported that Apple sold over 350m iPhones in the final quarter of 2019 alone, putting the company on track to beat the 500m mark for the year.
Aside from amazing device sales, the company also saw a boom in demand for its various online and mobile services, especially its App Store. According to Apple, downloads for its various apps, games, and albums grew by 75% year-over-year in the last quarter.
But how did Apple get so big and so popular in the first place? And how is the company dominating the market now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic? We’ll examine these questions and more, showing you exactly how Apple accomplished such incredible feat, and how you can follow in its footsteps.
The Biggest Reason Why Apple Is So Popular
While 500m iPhones might not seem like much compared to the billions of smartphones that cellphones giant Samsung produces yearly, those figures put an incredible amount of pressure on Apple to keep up with demand, and it seems that the company cannot get enough of our attention. In 2019, Apple released six flagship smartphones, including the iPhone 11 series and the more affordable 10 series. In 2020, the company increased that number to ten new smartphones, including the popular 5G smartphone, the iPhone 10R, and the Apple Watch Series 4.
Here’s a breakdown of how Apple grew so much in 2019 and how you can replicate that success with your own app development company:
A Surge In Sales
When you have a new phone in the market every three months, as Apple does, it’s easy for customers to get excited about a new line of iPhone models, especially since all of the company’s phones use cutting-edge technology and are quite sleek and stylish. This excitement leads to a rise in sales as people rush to purchase the latest iPhones, boosting Apple’s bottom line.
Over the past five years, Apple has released a new iPhone every year, adding several new features and upgrading the hardware. This cycle has led to an incredible bounce in sales every year, as people rush to get their hands on the new iPhone before the price drops. In the past, this cycle would leave Apple in the black, but in 2019, the company reported an operating loss of $9.81billion, mostly due to the effects of the pandemic. But even with that loss, Apple still managed to increase its revenue by 27% year-over-year, largely due to its booming services and app stores. One source explained that the sales figures were ‘amazing’, citing the iPhone’s popularity during the lockdown, and the fact that people were trying new things during the pandemic.
Solid Branded Products
Not only has Apple grown its hardware business over the years, but the company now has a full suite of branded products from which to choose, starting with its laptops, then moving to its various mobile devices, including the iPhone, and now including the Apple Watch. Having a range of products under its belt allows Apple to expand its appeal to different markets, with each product group supporting the others.
Each piece of Apple branded merchandise, from the iPod Up Dock to the Apple Watch Series 4, is an opportunity to grow sales. While not every product will be a hit, considering the company’s brand recognition and name recognition alone, it’s almost inevitable that some of its products will see incredible demand. In 2020, Apple saw its branded products rise in value, with the iPhone 10R and the Apple Watch Series 4 having the greatest increase in value. In the last year, Apple’s range of branded products, including all of its laptops, have risen in value by an average of 21%. This is likely due to people wanting to purchase a piece of technology that they know will work seamlessly with their other Apple products.
iPhone fans have been excited about the iPhone since the iPhone 4 was released in late 2010. The device, as well as the other iPhones that followed, had several features that were exclusive to the device, such as the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and the Siri virtual assistant. These features made the iPhone special, and at the time, it was obvious that this phone was going to become extremely popular, especially since it was one of the first smartphones to truly appeal to the masses.
Samsung makes almost all of the smartphones that you see in today’s market, but it’s also the company’s main rival in terms of market value. Despite this, Samsung’s smartphones do not always capture the hearts of consumers. One analyst from Counterpoint Research stated: “Samsung’s smartphone market share dropped in 2019, falling to a four-year low. While the company sold over 200m smartphones last year, only 80.5m were globally preferred, as opposed to Apple’s 86.5m.”
Part of the reason for this is due to Samsung’s practice of locking down its devices and sideloading apps and games. The company rarely gives out specific app store figures, but according to Apptopia, the average Samsung smartphone user has over 150 apps on their device (versus the recommended 70). To make room for these extra apps, users are forced to delete useful apps and replace them with games or music albums to manage storage. Locked-down environments like these make users feel like they’re missing out on something, but when your goal is to make a profit off app sales, building a locked-down environment can be a good idea.
Growing Services And App Stores
Since the iPhone was first introduced in 2010, Apple has continued to expand its services and app stores, creating platforms that anyone can leverage to grow their own business.
Along with creating the App Store, which started as a way to sell apps on the go and is now the world’s most popular app store, Apple also established the Apple Arcade, which launched in 2019 and allows users to play a variety of games on their mobile phones. Users can purchase credits or coins to continue playing, creating a potential market of people who want to spend money on gameplay rather than the hardware itself.
These services are great for Apple because they expose customers to new experiences, enticing them to try out new things and new apps that they might not have seen otherwise. Services like these allow Apple to continue growing its customer base, creating a virtuous cycle where more and more people want to use Apple products, apps, and services, attracting more and more customers to the platform.
Every new device that Apple releases generates excitement among customers and gets them talking about the newest iPhone, but it’s the company’s services, especially its app stores, that are helping it to stand out above the competition. With hundreds of thousands of apps, games, and albums to choose from, customers have countless options and can find something to suit their needs.