Business & Economy

Apple celebrates 45th anniversary planning to move from hardware to services

By Marc Arcas

San Francisco, Mar 31 (efe-epa).- From Mac computers to iPhones and now into services like the App Store application, Apple on Thursday celebrated its 45th anniversary with the aim of continuing to reinvent itself and guarantee itself a predominant position in the business world after having revolutionized every sector into which it has ventured so far.

Almost half a century since Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak spent hours upon hours in the family garage in Palo Alto, California, building the computers that they would take to market, the company is now seeking to capitalize on this story in the coming years.

To do that, in a market for computers and cellphones that’s more and more saturated, where gaining market share requires enormous investments and efforts, Apple is now focusing its strategy on taking advantage of the “captive” customers it already has so that their lives revolve almost fully around the company and the services it can provide.

The Cupertino company, which since its inception has always placed its main bets on design, image and marketing, wants having an iPhone, an iPad or a Mac to be a decision not to buy something else but rather to acquire a lifestyle, a physical entry portal to an intangible world: that of music and television consumption, games, news, etc.

It is within this context that all the firm’s new services have been developed and announced in recent years: Apple TV+, Apple Card, New+, Apple Arcade … and, of course, the jewel in the crown, the already veteran virtual App Store.

For the firm headed by Tim Cook, the revolution over the past decade was the iPhone, which since it was first presented in 2007 by Jobs has achieved an immense worldwide popularity and now is carried in the pockets and pocketbooks of approximately a billion users, according to the Statista Web site.

Now, it’s all about building on this gigantic user base so that when all those people watch TV, read news stories or pay for their other purchases, they do so via Apple.

Cook – who took over the company after Jobs’ death in 2011 and who has always been credited with more strategic vision, but less creativity, than his predecessor – has openly detailed the plan on several occasions and, for now, it seems to be humming along perfectly.

Just in the past five years, the firm has doubled its income from the services it provides, bringing in almost $53.8 billion in 2020 in that segment, which is the company’s second biggest income source behind only the iPhone and ahead of other flagship products such as Mac computers and iPad tablets.

In fiscal years 2019 and 2020, when the company was burdened by downward trending sales of iPhones worldwide, it was the increase in services income that allowed the firm to overcome that and stay on the growth path.

Emboldened by the great trajectory of his personal choices for the firm so far, Cook has doubled down on the strategy and in an interview at the beginning of this year with Outside Magazine he said that the company will not be remembered for the Mac or the iPhone but rather for its contributions to the health sector.

The company CEO said he believed that when people look back in the future and ask what Apple’s contribution was, the answer will be in the area of health and wellbeing.

The express wish of practically all the big tech companies – getting into the health services sector – is a move that is just as risky and huge as the potential profits, and without a doubt Apple, with its Apple Watch smartwatch and Fitness+ sports subscription service, is among the Silicon Valley firms with the best chances for success.

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