If you asked me what the world would be like without Apple, I might tell you about the major breakthroughs that Apple has been a part of in its history and how they may have been significantly different had someone else come along. The answer might be very similar if Microsoft were Here is an example of five industries Apple changed since its founding in 1976:
The iPod, coupled with iTunes, created a market within itself. Users not only had a music device that played music files, but in order to use it they had to install a store that sold music files for the device. The iPod was so revolutionary in its design and concept that it picked up at an incredible pace. Users took advantage of the convenience of having one of the few legal online digital music stores online connected directly with their music player.
The iTunes Music Store also helped pave the way for music sales to be based on song, rather than album. Where someone might be hesitant to drop $10+ on an entire album, a $.99 song is easier to buy on impulse. Well over 10 billion song purchases later, Apple has become the largest music retailer in the US.
Considering Apple’s current reputation for portable consumer electronics, it’s easy to forget how the company originated. When the idea of a personal computer that came pre-assembled and ready to go came to Steve Wozniak, he began working night and day to make it a reality. Steve Jobs, his long-time friend, discovered a way to turn what was at that point a hobbyist’s passion in to a marketable product. Through development of their hardware and a fortunate find with Xerox, the modern PC was born. Not only was the Macintosh created through this process, but what became the first version of Windows was as well.
Anyone who does serious video editing on a professional level knows about Final Cut Pro. This piece of software, which runs only on the Mac, has stood toe-to-toe against Avid’s long-time industry standard editing programs.
In recent years, Apple extended its digital download retail arm to include movies and television in both sale and rental capacities. This, coupled with the iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, and iPhone, created a convenient way to experience movies and television both on the go and at home.
There is no question that the iPhone changed the way smartphones are perceived and designed. They’re no longer a businessman’s signature status symbol. Now, you see them everywhere and anywhere, and the ability to communicate seamlessly through data, voice, and text has improved dramatically since the iPhone was announced.
This shift is industry-wide. Android has been developed to work in a very similar way, and other mobile operating systems including Windows Phone 7 have based their development models around taking the current trend and making improvements to fit the needs of their target customers.
The iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch are all portable gaming devices. Currently, the iOS platform is beating the Nintendo DS and the PSP in game sales. This is due in part to a much lower cost of entry per game. For $.99, you can play one of thousands of games where a single game on other platforms usually runs between $20 and $50 a piece.
The accelerometer has brought a new dimension to portable gaming as well, giving the player a fluid method of control that takes advantage of a 3D space rather than relying on keypads and analog sticks. The ability to design games around a multi-touch screen has also opened doors for a new type of control experience altogether.