Thanks, Gruber, for linking to this piece.
To get an idea of how deeply Apple continues to penetrate the market, last year the company produced 50% less in sales and over 71% less in earnings than it will this year. That means the 2010 Apple is nearly 50% larger than the Apple of 2009 – almost an entirely different company. If this growth continues into 2011, Apple will surpass Exxon (XOM) to become the largest corporation in America. Not to mention that it already has more cash than any other company in the United States – $41 billion.
It’s very clear to me that the current Apple is one of America’s greatest corporations, both in size and substance. It embodies the business ethos that you should produce and market a produce that you are truly proud of – and that others should be proud of as well. Can Microsoft say that (I am thinking about this latest piece of crap)?
From the most fundamental design elements, to the finished products, to the stores that those products are sold in, this company has created a brand that is distinct, yet uniform and recognizable wherever it springs up. I can’t recall picking up a single Apple product of the last five years that doesn’t feel Apple. Product performance is key. But Apple’s unique aesthetic and knack for beautiful, utilitarian design will continue to mean that other electronic devices are NOT substitutes for Apple products. And that means that Apple really has profound market power.
Business schools around the world could teach courses for decades about Apple.