Apple’s mission is “to bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.” And in a manifesto dated 2019 Tim Cook set the vision specified as “We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing.”
- Why does it matter?
- Breaking down Apple’s mission statement
- Understanding Apple’s platform strategy as a key driver for its mission
- Breaking down Apple’s vision statement
- How does Apple build a business platform on top of a product
- Apple’s multi-sided value proposition and the push into privacy as core to its value proposition
- A glance at Apple’s business model
- Related to Apple
Why does it matter?
Breaking down Apple’s mission statement
The Company is committed to bringing the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software and services.
Apple points this out in its annual reports. Understanding the elements of Apple’s mission statement is critical:
- Best user experience.
- Innovative hardware.
- Innovative software and services.
Not surprisingly Apple products are beautifully crafted. Everything about Apple products has to be designed with maximum attention to detail.
At the same time, Apple has leveraged software and integrated it into the hardware that made its products more valuable for users.
On January 9th, 2007, on the stage, at Macworld San Francisco 2007, Keynote Address, Steve Jobs explained:
This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two and a half years.
Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything and Apple has been well first of all one’s very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career.
Apple’s been very fortunate it’s been able to introduce a few of these into the world in 1984. We introduced the Macintosh, it didn’t just change Apple it changed the whole computer industry.
In 2001 we introduced the first iPod and it didn’t just change the way we all listen to music, it changed the entire music industry.
Well, today we’re introducing three revolutionary products of this class:
the first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls.
The second is a revolutionary mobile phone.
And the third is a breakthrough internet communications device.
So three things: a widescreen iPod with touch control, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device
an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator,
an iPod, a phone
are you getting it?
These are not three separate devices, this is one device and we are calling it iPhone.
Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone
This is how Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone!
Yet, the real, more silent, revolution, came the year after, in 2008, when Steve Jobs introduced the App Store:
As Steve Jobs, explained at the time:
So you’re a developer and you’ve just spent two weeks or maybe a little bit longer writing this amazing app.
And what is your dream? Your dream is to get it in front of every iPhone user and hopefully they love it and buy it, right?
That’s not possible today, most developers don’t have those kinds of
Even the big developers would have a hard time getting their app in front of every iPhone user well we’re going to solve that problem for every developer big to small and the way we’re going to do it is what we call the app store.
This is an application we’ve written to deliver apps to the iPhone and we’re going to put it on every single iPhone.
With the next release of the software and so our developers are going to be able to reach every iPhone user through the App Store.
That was the turning point!
An iPhone without its App Store would not be worth much, even though that is a beautiful device.
This also leads to a clear business strategy for Apple:
The Company’s business strategy leverages its unique ability to design and develop its own operating systems, hardware, application software and services to provide its customers products and solutions with innovative design, superior ease-of-use and seamless integration.
And a set of business objectives to be achieved:
As part of its strategy, the Company continues to expand its platform for the discovery and delivery of digital content and applications through its Digital Content and Services, which allows customers to discover and download or stream digital content, iOS, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV applications, and books through either a Mac or Windows personal computer or through iPhone, iPad and iPod touch® devices (“iOS devices”), Apple TV, Apple Watch and HomePod.
The Company also supports a community for the development of third-party software and hardware products and digital content that complement the Company’s offerings.
Also, it can leverage resources to achieve the business goals defined within its mission statement. Indeed, part of the “best user experience” implies a high-quality buying experience, where the whole process is controlled and customized:
The Company believes a high-quality buying experience with knowledgeable salespersons who can convey the value of the Company’s products and services greatly enhances its ability to attract and retain customers.
Therefore, the Company’s strategy also includes building and expanding its own retail and online stores and its third-party distribution network to effectively reach more customers and provide them with a high-quality sales and post-sales support experience.
The Company believes ongoing investment in research and development (“R&D”), marketing and advertising is critical to the development and sale of innovative products, services and technologies.
Breaking down Apple’s vision statement
How does Apple build a business platform on top of a product
This, also justifies the wide premium the company is still able to sell its products for.
This is the fruit, of what I like to call a business platform strategy, where, the product becomes a platform, for a business ecosystem to build up, and as a result, the company enjoys wide margins for years:
Below also another graphic that explains that:
Apple’s multi-sided value proposition and the push into privacy as core to its value proposition
Starting in 2019, Apple started to emphasize more and more, over privacy, to strongly distinguish itself, from other companies, especially the Google-Facebook duopoly, which business models, are based on advertising.
More precisely, Apple added an opt-in policy, each time there was the chance a user might get tracked (for various reasons).
This shifted the previous policy, upside down. Where users accepted tracking by default, now they need to opt in.
Image Source: The Verge
This led to the destabilization, of the whole Facebook advertising machine, which, the whole revenue model got based on tracking users across various platforms.
Indeed, Facebook quickly rebranded into Meta, and it’s trying to build a platform on VR, so it can break free from Apple’s marketplace.
Yet, the Facebook advertising machine is already losing billions of dollars, and it might sink billions of dollars for years before a VR platform might actually take off.
Indeed, the Facebook rebrand into Meta and its swift move into the Metaverse isn’t a vision, it’s a survival move.
A glance at Apple’s business model
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