For years, Apple’s detractors have predicted that the company’s industry-leading profits from Macs, iPods, iPhones and iPads would erode away as cheaper products from high volume competitors–and more innovative disruptors–emerged to knock it from its profitable perch, forcing the company to constantly invent new product categories just to stay alive. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, Apple keeps increasing its profitability while also expanding into new market segments.
As long as the metrics are based on number of units sold, Apple will never match Wall Street’s expectations.
Because those are based on the Age of Mass Production, the roughly 100 year period where assembly line approaches produced millions of the same thing for people to consume.
Then, the companies that could produce the most ended up winning and then getting profits.
But today, anyone can make millions of things. That is not how profits are generated in the Age of Personal Production.
Now, profits are made from being able to produce specific items that people desire, that fell personal and often times are.
Apple make s 100 of millions of iPhones each year. But the ability to customize, to make each phone feel extremely personal, means that people are willing to pay a higher price.
I mean, you can order a specific model of iPhone online and watch its progress to your door. Apple controls the experience all along the way.
Its retail stores turn a tremendous profit. Because it is a personal experience.
This is why Apple has had rapid fans from the beginning. It has always had a personal connection to its customers, creating a social community that saved Apple through the years when it forgot what it was.
There is a reason it is called the personal computer.
Since Jobs returned, Apple knows just what it is and what it must to.
Make personal items for people. Don;t give them a mass produced item fit for the last century. Give them a personal item fit for tomorrow.
That is why Apple is the only one making a profit. People will pay a little more for something that is personal, because it gives them value that simply cannot be attained by mass production.
Image: Yutaka Tsutano