Back then Apple was synonymous with the Mac. There were, more or less, one and the same. Today, the Mac business at Apple Inc. is bigger and better than ever; resurrected, revived, and prospering. But the Mac is much less of what makes Apple. What of Apple’s future?
That Was Then, This Is Now
Since the iPod was launched, Mac only, in 2001, Apple has gone through some gut wrenching changes that have altered the landscape of a number of industries.
The iPod and iTunes Store revolutionized portable media. The iPhone was the first truly smart phone and disrupted the entire mobile device industry.
Even the highly leveraged iPad became the tablet that started the post-PC era, and a dangerous slide in traditional PC sales.
In just over a decade, Apple has gone from Mac only and Apple Computer, Inc to plain old Apple Inc, and a worldwide purveyor of chic mobile devices with premium caché.
That Apple of yesteryear, back in the Mac only days, is drastically different than Apple today is obvious.
The Mac accounts for about 13-percent of Apple’s growing revenue, while the iPhone weighs in at 55-percent, iPad at 18-percent. Combined, diminishing iPod sales, iTunes and software and services, plus accessories bring in more revenue than the Mac.
Apple Of The Future
If the company can undergo such a dramatic change– product lines, number of customers, retail presence– what would Apple look like 10 years from now?
Mobile devices are all the rage and make up a huge proportion of Apple’s product line. There’s little doubt that mobile products will remain an important component at Apple.
Recent executive and engineering hires indicate Apple is about ready to venture into new areas, which I suspect will be health, fitness, fashion, and home. Those four areas are ripe for Apple to leverage the company’s strong suits– mobile devices, product integration, and applications.
Within a few years I predict we will see an array of health devices and apps from Apple, which work hand in hand with fitness and fashion products– wearable technology. And it won’t take long for Apple to be at the center of the home, despite not investing billions in Nest Labs (started and run by former Apple executives and engineers).
Apple today doesn’t look much like Apple when co-founder Steve Jobs returned in 1997, so we can’t expect Apple of the future, a dozen years down the road, to look like Apple of today. If it does, Apple probably needs Steve Jobs to rise from the dead.