Analyst: The 6 Reasons Apple is So Successful

Analyst: The 6 Reasons Apple is So Successful

Analyst Tim Bajarin, writing for Time, says there are six key principles that make it hard for competitors to compete with Apple.


…After years of watching Apple up close and personal and having to deal with every one of their CEOs, as well as interacting with various Apple execs over the years, I would like to suggest that the reasons the company is successful can be boiled down to six key principles that make it very hard for competitors to compete with Apple.

1. For any product that Apple creates, the people who create it have to want it themselves
With many tech companies, the goal is based on technology first, then whether or not people actually want to use it. Apple’s approach is quite different. Apple engineers actually create products for themselves. When Steve Jobs was alive, he was considered the chief “user” of all Apple products. Apple engineers had to come to grips with the idea that when designing a product, it has to be something they can’t personally live without.

2. The products have to be easy to use
Design is an important component of every product Apple makes, but if it’s not easy to use, it’s considered worthless to the consumer. All of the products they create have to be intuitive and easy to understand and learn. Bajarin says, “Apple is the only company I deal with where ease of use is more important than the product itself. Apple makes this a critical goal of its approach to creating anything for the market.”

3. Keep things simple
Bajarin: “I was in Paris in the past two weeks and had talks with various French telecommunications officials about many mobile-computing issues. But one conversation I had in particular emphasizes this keep-it-simple point. We were discussing how to compete with Apple — a major pastime for all Apple competitors and carriers these days — when the question of why Apple is really successful came up. And one exec nailed it when he said he felt that the real reason Apple is successful is because it has one product; in this case the iPhone. It minimizes the decision making process for the consumer by making things simple.”

4. Offer great customer service and in-store experiences
When you go into an Apple Store, and are greeted by the staff, you’re not asked, “How can I help you?” Instead they ask, “What would you like to do today?” They go right to the heart of any technology user’s question, a question that’s always related to what they want to do with the technology the user is interested in.

5. Apple only makes a product if Apple can do it better
Apple doesn’t usually invent a new product or category. Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player, smartphone, or tablet, they just made them better.

Jonathan Ive said recently, “Our goals are very simple — to design and make better products. If we can’t make something that is better, we won’t do it.”

6. Apple stays at least two years ahead of its competitors
While Apple’s competitors are just getting products to market that are competitive, Apple is working on products for two years from now. The iPhone that will likely be on the market this fall was signed off on at least two years ago. The one the company is working on now will be available in the fall of 2014. Same with the iPad. This is a continuing nightmare for Apple’s competitors.

Bajarin closes by saying, “These six principles may seem a bit simplistic given the fact that Apple also has great software, industrial design and a powerful ecosystem of content, apps and services as part of the company’s success equation. However, I can tell you that from my three decades of following Apple, it’s these six key principles that are what really makes it successful. And as long as it adheres to them, it’s pretty likely that Apple will continue to grow and command a relatively large share of the market in the company’s product categories where it competes.”