Is Apple still the same company Steve Jobs developed into one of the most innovative tech firms in the world? For the most part, this is still the case; however, Apple has gone through substantial changes related to their products and services in recent years. It might not seem like much has changed in the grand scheme, but looking back at the various products and new innovations, we can see how things have developed. Here are five trends that provide a glimpse at the way Apple is changing while maintaining its status as one of the most important firms in technology.
Replacing Old Standards
In 2016, Apple delivered on its controversial promise to eliminate the standard headphone jack from the iPhone 7. Months later, Apple introduced the new MacBook Pro, which kept the 3.5 mm audio jack but eliminated many standard ports such as USB and HDMI. This radical decision is the company’s new way to force hardware buyers to adopt future standards that will improve user-experience. It’s definitely a risky move and only time will tell if it will pay off.
Making Hardware that Lasts
Although Apple continues to stick to a fast-paced product release schedule, the company is committed to manufacturing durable devices that users will enjoy for many years. Early versions of the iPhone and iPad were not as sturdy as they are these days. Apple wants users to be able to hold on to their devices for a few years before they start considering an upgrade. The idea is to have more than 10 percent of iPhone and iPad owners who keep their devices for more than three years. So while you may see sites that sell iPhone 6 models, getting cash for phones is often easier with newer models.
Cutting Down on Innovation
Apple has been more interested in improving its existing products and services than on pushing its trademark innovation. This change is not exclusive to Apple though. Other hardware manufacturers are going through a period of diminished innovation, which can be explained by looking at all the advances made in terms of personal computing thus far in the 21st century.
Apple’s new iPhone refurbishing program is something the company had placed on hold for nearly a decade. Prior to November 2016, a few stores selling iPhones online offered devices refurbished by third-party technicians. Apple’s new program offers Certified Refurbished versions of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Attracting Enterprise Customers
Hardware designed by Apple has traditionally attracted musicians, graphic artists, filmmakers, and educators. Once the company noticed that the iPhone was being used as a replacement for the Blackberry, a new effort to cater to corporate and enterprise users was born, and this can be appreciated in the new Apple iWork suite, which has been upgraded to include real-time collaboration.
The changes above are probably the beginning of a new era for Apple. Though it may be too early to tell the direction that the company will take in the next few decades, these changes show where they are headed.