By the way, if you watch the video linked here, take notes on the expectation and excitement Jobs builds into his presentation, in addition to the impressive numbers.
During the talk, Jobs highlights two key things, and it does so with beautiful and uncluttered clarity:
- the company is highly profitable
- the company redefines itself around mobility
Pay attention to the language he uses
Magical, revolutionary. iPods have changed the way we discover, purchase and enjoy music, at the tune of 250MM; phenomenal retail store buying experience right in the neighborhood with our customers, 50MM who visited 284 locations; app store an incredible phenomenon with 3b applications downloaded since its inception.
The company was started 34 years ago and it ended its first quarter in the fiscal year of 2010 with $15.6b in revenue -- Apple is an over $50b company. Apple is the #1 mobile device company is the set up for the new product announcement. Jobs then proceeds to show a series on firsts for Apple.
Did Apple ever make mistakes?
Their entire experience with the Power PC chip (before going to Intel) was a failure. After telling their customers for years that PPC chips are inherently better than x86 architecture chips, they flip-flopped.
They've not made any substantial changes to the UI since the change to Intel.
One thing that comes across in this presentation is the total commitment the company has to its products -- and its profitability, why not? Does it control every aspect of the brand, including its messages? You bet. Completely.
Yet, the company has plenty of customer evangelists. Apple knows how to create a product it believes in and build the platform for a conversation about its performance.
Part of that conversation has been a fairly large ad budget, estimated at 13% of its SG&A budget in 2008. Part of the buzz is the massive fan support the company gets with product launches.
The image on the side is a bit Apple to oranges, if you'll indulge me the pun, as we're comparing two very different demographics and messages. It's indicative of the buzz Jobs announcements builds online.
What makes this product company so effective while, as you might note, it's as committed as other companies?
The products are extremely simple to use -- and truly designed with user experience in mind.
I didn't wait in line when the iPhone came out, I was a big Nokia fan and had a flip phone at the time. Although their European models have traditionally been better than those for the US market.
A Nokia phone, loaded with day to day contacts. I also had a PDA, an old PalmOne Tungsten, where I kept my thousands of contacts. For over a year, I carried a company BlackBerry as well, which you may argue holds both. I disliked the BlackBerry interface and usability.
When my home PC hard drive blew up, the third PC hard drive to do so in the span of three years, including at work, the time came to replace my old (and failing) devices. I didn't think twice. The Apple store was my only destination.
The iPhone -- I still own the first generation -- combined both PDA and phone data, which I then could back up on my laptop and desktop. A whole system working together, connected to support my needs as a user. Did I have any difficulty learning the software and system? I did not. It's all very intuitive
The store staff is helpful, knowledgeable, and patient. They seem to like being there, it makes a big difference when you have that kind of attitude. No chasing a blue shirt around the isle who could be as passionate about a model as they would of another -- as long as they're in stock.
Launch from the customer's seat
Jobs doesn't launch into a lengthy discussion of Apple's new product's features. He starts the conversation with a list of tasks this third category device Apple envisioned would need to do better than a laptop and better than a phone for customers -- for you:
- browsing the Web
- sending and receiving email
- photo sharing
- watching video
- enjoying music
- playing games
- reading eBooks
Those are all things people who consume media want at their fingertips. Although, we could argue that many of those people are also creators of media. Many have noted the absence of a camera, the iPhone's is one of the best I've used on a phone, for example.
The camera may or may not come. What we know at the moment is that Apple bet on a winning horse. They'll no doubt be shipping out the device in good quantities. They are simple to use, provide a great Web experience, and highly portable.
Do you still wonder why Apple has such passionate evangelists in the online community?
Does your company create the same level of enthusiasm when it announces its new products and results among employees and the industry as a whole? If not, rethink differently.
© 2006-2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.