Economic uncertainty. Swine flu. Almost all of us wanted to see the end of 2009. I say almost because for Apple, 2009 turned out to be a really good year.
Apple is one of the few companies that I admire simply because of their innovative technology that is cool and brilliant branding and marketing techniques.
In recent years, it might have seemed that Apple took its eye off the Mac platform in favour of newer, shinier gadgets like the iPod and especially the iPhone.
The past 12 months have seen Apple revamp its hardware offerings as well as the operating system that runs on them, with many of those changes helping fuel strong sales and profits at a time when other tech companies are scrounging for loose change among the couch cushions.
And Apple shows every indication of continuing that momentum into the new year.
Every desktop and laptop in Apple’s product line underwent an update in 2009, with perhaps the updates to the Mac mini being the most surprising of all.
Given up for dead by many Mac users, the mini saw its first update in more than an year adding new processors, improved graphics, and different ports.
Then later in 2009 Apple updated the Mac mini again, this time adding faster processors and doubling memory capacity.
The company also introduced a well-received mini configuration designed specifically to act as a server.
It was a remarkable change for a computer that began the year as the forgotten model in Apple’s lineup only to wind up as an exciting option for business users.
Since 2007 Apple’s largest share of revenue comes from the sale of laptops. In 2009, Apple sold more than 7.2 million laptops.
What’s driving those sales? Apple’s steady stream of updates to its laptop line. Apple kicked off the year by giving its 17-inch MacBook Pro model the same unibody enclosure that the rest of the MacBook Pro line got in 2008. But the biggest changes came in June of 2009, when Apple overhauled its entire laptop line.
The 13-inch unibody MacBooks were promoted into the MacBook Pro line, which also saw improvements to the specs of its 15- and 17-inch models.
At the same time, Apple refreshed the MacBook Air line, adding more processing power and storage space which it badly needed to be a hit. More significantly Apple slashed the prices of its ultra-thin portables.
The bottom line: Apple’s laptop line is continually evolving. If the current lineup doesn’t appeal to portable-loving consumers, chances are an update will soon come along that will grab their attention.
I guarantee you this will happen ! Simply because this approach has helped Apple sales even as PC makers try to carve out their own share of the portable market with netbooks that are both cheap in price and construction.
There is so much that all of us can learn from Apple, whether we are end users or corporations.
They have indeed homed the skill of delivering technology that works and meets the demands of the users continuously. Needless to say 2010 will be another great year for them !