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Apple through the years

Nothing to do with banking except that, as readers know, I am fascinated by how technology changes our lives and particuarly our relationship with each other and with our money.

Right now, the biggest innovation appears to be the iPhone and iPhone apps.

Only two years old, the iPhone has stormed the world and Apple is the innovator.

Gartner estimates that the Apple iPhone accounts for 17.1% of global Smartphone sales in Q3 2009, just behind Nokia and the Blackberry by Research In Motion. Apple shipped 7 million iPhones in the third quarter, whilst the Smartphone segment of the mobile market is growing 12.8% year-on-year .

Mind you, if the world's most sophisticated market – Japan – is anything to go by, things will become even better for Apple soon.  Take this news from 9to5mac:

Apple is big – really big – in Japan, where the iPhone now accounts for 46.1 percent of the smartphone market, according to the latest data from Impress.
The company achieved sales accounting for almost half of the entire Japanese smartphone market across 2009, the analysts said. This drove the company’s iPhone 3G and 3GS to claim the top two slots in the sales charts, with the 3G model seizing 24.6 percent and the 3GS grabbing 21.5 percent.

So I was interested to see that Silicon.com had assembled a list of Steve Jobs speeches through the years, as Apple announce innovation after innovation, each a landmark of its time.

First, there was the Big Brother launch of the Mac way back in 1983 …

Then there were the hard times after Steve Jobs left.  He returned in 1997 and committed the heinous crime of agreeing to partner with arch-enemy, Microsoft.  It did not go down well …

Back then, Apple was struggling badly.  The origins of Apple today were seeded however when the company launched the new generation of Apple computers in 1998 with the iMac …

And then the unit they probably did not realise would make Apple the most innovative and successful of technology firms was released into the world in 2001.  The iPod …

Followed in 2007 by the iPhone …

Now,the iPhone and iPod, along with iTunes and the iMac, have made Apple a powerhouse of technology innovation and leadership.

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Source: MacWorld (latest Quarterly results here)

Can they keep it up?

Sure.

Have they made mistakes.

Sure – has anyone used the new iPod shuffle, the G4 Cube, a MacBook Air?

Will they maintain their position. 

As long as Steve Jobs is at the helm, it seems certain, although his abilty to stay at the helm is not so certain.  Equally, if we remember that the Wilderness Years almost bust the company, that was due to Steve's departure.

There needs to be a succession plan here … and many cannot see one yet.

Nevertheless, if you are wondering what Steve Jobs will announce in 2010, then it should be a Kindle-killer.

The Kindle is Amazon's electronic book reader which has been a real money-spinner … but Amazon recently licensed the Kindle software to Apple for the iPhone as an app.

So here's my prediction for MacWorld 2010.  One of these …

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

Now that, along with Apple through the years, is a story worth telling.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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