Last year, Apple reported a net income of 57.41 billion dollars. Even while the Covid-19 pandemic was causing widespread losses to various national economies, Apple managed to sell a whopping 64.8 million iPhones worldwide. It wouldn’t be out of line to say that Apple has come a long way after being founded in a dusty garage in Saint Altos.
You might be familiar with the quote, “Great success attracts great controversy”. And in Apple’s case, this quote describes their market position quite perfectly.
From selling outrageously expensive products to dabbling with monopolistic trade practices- Apple has done it all.
Hey, remember when Apple released those $700 Mac Pro wheels?
Yep, you read that right. Apple is selling wheels for their Mac Pro for the cost of an iPhone 12. You might be having some queries, such as “Who the heck is buying those?” and I totally get you. You see, Apple likes to be known as an elite company - a company that charges a lot more for their products than their competitors, but also provides a better product than their competitors.
Selling products like these helps Apple create a brand image for itself. As American YouTuber MKBHD says, “They are nice wheels!” When an average consumer comes across these Mac Pro wheels, nine out of ten times, they will think, “Huh, the company that makes these must be ultra-elite.”
That’s what allows Apple to keep charging much more than their competitors and still stay competitive in the market. Brands like Gucci and Chanel do the same thing- they price their products so much that people have just accepted them as a luxury brand. Once Apple sets their image as a luxury brand in front of you, they have already won half the battle because now they can charge you more for their product, and you have just accepted that it’s just the way it is.
As the story goes, Apple reportedly refused to unlock the iPhone of a Saudi Arabian national who shot and killed three US Navy sailors and injured eight. When the US Government insisted Apple unlock the perpetrator’s phone, Apple stated that they could not bypass the company’s privacy laws. Cracking their phones would count as a violation of privacy. This act earned Apple open criticism from former US President Donald Trump.
Surprisingly, this hasn’t been Apple’s only run-in with US law. Apple has been accused of monopolistic trade practices by several companies in the past. Let’s take Tiles as an example. Tiles are essentially tracking devices that can be snapped on car keys, vehicles, phones, etc. So, if you accidentally misplace your car keys, the Tiles app will help you locate them.
Most recently, Apple launched AirTags, which is eerily similar to Tiles in many ways. AirTags should work better on iPhones than Tiles since they are better configured for iOS devices. So, which tracking device will the consumer pick? Nine out of ten times, AirTags will emerge as a clear winner.
But it all boils down to this: Since Apple didn’t delete the Tiles app from the App Store or explicitly harm Tiles in any way, they haven’t done anything wrong.
Apple’s management style has allowed them to stay dominant in the market. In the end, that’s what separates them from all.