Unfortunately, it may not be what you think or hope for. Many critics argue that Apple products are too expensive. That won’t change. Others say Apple needs to reinvent television. It’s a fragmented and Balkanized industry ripe for change that won’t come. Here’s where Apple is lining up the troops.
Devices To Use And Wear
The technology is already there for Apple to disrupt the television industry, but it’s unlikely to happen. There are too many major players, each with a cut of the pie, for Apple to disrupt, let alone dominate.
No, Apple has become a master at leveraging technology and business from one segment to another and it all started with the iPod in 2001.
Think about it. The original iPod was 1,000 songs in your pocket, FireWire and Mac only. Niche, right? Just like the Apple Stores, huh?
But Apple expanded the iPod’s reach from the Mac and iTunes to Windows PCs, Windows iTunes, and the multi-platform iTunes Music Store. That was the beginning of Apple’s leveraged approach to industry disruption.
Apple’s success with the iPod– adding a few hundred million customers– was used as leverage for the iPhone (although, in fairness, the iPhone was a necessary product to maintain Apple’s music business).
Leverage Because We Have To
The iPhone was the best iPod ever, but also did email, web browsing, and was a cell phone. The iPhone had hundreds of millions of Apple customers who loved their iPads and Macs, and signed up for the future of smartphones.
Apple then leveraged the iPhone’s popularity to disrupt the smartphone application industry, and opened the platform to apps– all securely and easily installed from Apple’s newly minted iTunes App Store.
See where this is going?
Apple then leveraged the few hundred million iPhone and iPod customers into the iPad business. Distribution channels were already in place. Everyone already knew how to use an iPad because they had used iPhones and iPods. And, Apple had hundreds of retail stores worldwide which became shopping Meccas for eager customers.
Leverage For Tomorrow
Apple’s success in leveraging itself into other business segments is built upon an industrial design ethic with rigid cost and manufacturing controls.
This is almost too easy. Apple has hired hundreds of executives, engineers, and marketing people from the fashion industry, fitness industry, and the health industry. What could be brewing? A growth in Apple’s product line.
Think wearable technology. Think healthcare devices. Think fitness devices. Think home.
See? I told you it was too easy.
Over the next couple of years Apple will march into a crowded field– fashion, fitness, and healthcare– and become the trend setter, a purveyor of devices for the fashion conscious, the health-minded, and the home. Within a few years of that, Apple is likely to own the lion’s share of the profits of those industries.
See? It’s déjà vu all over again.
I still wish Apple would just buy up the entire television and movie industries.