Technology

A look at Apple’s second trillion dollar products and services

Tim Cook at Apple’s September 10, 2019 event   | Photo Credit: Apple

Apple Inc. hit the $2 trillion market cap this week, becoming the first publicly traded US company to reach the milestone.

The iPhone maker’s entire second trillion came in the last five months as the global economy contracted faster than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis has been a boon for the several tech companies, including Apple. In the recent quarterly results, Apple posted revenue of $59.7 billion, up 11% compared with the same quarter previous year.

Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the company took 42 years to reach the first trillion mark in value. During this time, it launched the Macintosh computer in 1984, iPod in 2001, and iPhone in 2007.

Since then, Apple has churned out products like Apple Watch Series 5, the AirPods Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The tech giant launches its iPhones, MacBook, iPads every year with updates to its software and hardware to enhance user experience.

We looked at Apple’s products, services and other features the Cupertino-based company launched during its $1 trillion to $2 trillion journey.

iPhone:

On September 12, 2018, Apple announced the launch of iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR. Similar to iPhone X’s front camera, iPhone XS and XS Max have a super retina HD display and A12 bionic chip, boosting the processing power and increasing the battery strength.

iPhone XR was rolled out as a more affordable option compared with the other two. Smaller than its counterparts, XR came with a liquid retina HD feature and more colour variations than XS and XS Max.

Cut to September 2019, Apple launched its generation 15 through iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The iPhone 11 was introduced as the most affordable of the lot, with a price of $699 in the US.

 

iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone Pro Max were priced at $999 and $1099 respectively. The iPhone 11 came with a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display with six colour variations. The model is equipped with two 12MP back cameras with multiple and ultra-wide lenses.

Keeping its non-large screen lovers in view, Apple released iPhone 11 Pro with a 5.8-inch Super Retina XDR display with three 12MP HDR camera lenses, giving users wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto lens to handle all their photography needs.

Next came the largest and most expensive model of 2019: iPhone 11 Pro Max. The phone came with a Super Retina XDR with the same three-lens camera setup as iPhone 11 Pro. The only difference was its larger 6.5-inch size for big screen Apple buyers.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max

The iPhone 11 Pro Max   | Photo Credit: Apple

 

Apple Watch and iPad:

With its iPhone series, Apple also launched the Apple Watch Series 4 in September 2018. The watch retained the design of the previous edition but the display size was increased 30% than the former version.

The watch was equipped with a new accelerometer and gyroscope to detect hard falls, and an electrical heart rate sensor to take electrocardiogram (ECG) using the ECG app.

 

HomePod, the company’s wireless speaker got some touch-up as well. The new features allowed users to search songs by lyrics, set multiple timers, and make or receive calls. It also got some Apple Watch features, letting users ping any of the nearby devices.

Apple Watch Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5   | Photo Credit: Apple

 

Within a few days of announcing its iPhones, Apple released iOS 12.0. The 12.1 version of the iOS brought Group FaceTime and more than 70 new emojis to iPhone and iPad.

Simultaneously, Apple bought Shazam, a global music-app. “Apple and Shazam have a long history together. Shazam was one of the first apps available when we launched the App Store and has become a favourite app for music fans everywhere,” Apple said.

In March last year, it had launched iPad Air and iPad mini with 10.5-inch and 7.9-inch screen display respectively. For small screen iPad lovers, iPad mini’s upgrade was touted as a breakthrough advancement.

 

Same year in September, along with its iPhone series, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 5 with an always-on retina display, built-in compass and international emergency calling feature in over 150 countries. Apple’s wearable division revenue rose to $6.4 billion from $ 5.5 billion during that time, a year ago.

Apple also introduced the seventh-generation iPad with a 10.2-inch Retina display, Apple Pencil support, the fast A10 Fusion chip, and support for the full-sized Smart Keyboard.

Apple released its updated iOS version, the 13.0 in the same month. The software offered dark mode to the whole iOS interface. Earlier, in May it had also updated its MacBook Pro with 8th and 9th generation Intel core processors aimed at delivering speed up to 5 GHz.

Few months later, In November, Apple introduced the 16-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, a few days after it revealed AirPods Pro in October. AirPods Pro is the addition to the AirPods series, and comes with an add-on noise cancellation feature. In March 2019, Apple had updated its AirPods with the second generation, adding features like 50% more talk time, hands-free ‘Siri’, and the wireless charging option.

Apple’s Services:

Apple TV+ is available in more than 100 countries

Apple TV+ is available in more than 100 countries   | Photo Credit: Apple

 

In 2019, Apple entered a new territory- the services space. The company started selling subscription for streaming music, movies, TV programs and providing news. It introduced Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Card as a part of its services.

Apple TV+ was launched in over 100 countries and regions to enable customers to watch Apple TV+ on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung smart TVs, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, as well as on the web at tv.apple.com.

“2019 was the biggest year for Services in Apple’s history. We introduced several exciting new experiences for our customers, all while setting the standard for user privacy and security,” Apple said.

According to the company’s third quarter results of 2020, revenue from Apple TV Plus, Apple Card, Apple Care and App Store is now the second-largest product segment; iPhone continues to be the company’s cash cow. Apple’s services rose 15% year-on-year in the quarter ended June.

Products Launched in 2020 and what is expected:

Coming to an unforgettable year, 2020- not for all good reasons. Apple has already launched a new iPad Pro, iPhone SE, a MacBook Air with improved keyboard, and a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. The company doubled storage in Mac mini and boosted build-to-order graphics card option for the 16in MacBook Pro.

The iPhone SE launched in April is a second-generation iPhone SE with a 4.7-inch Retina HD display starting at 42,500. “The new iPhone SE is powered by the Apple-designed A13 Bionic, the fastest chip in a smartphone, to handle the most demanding tasks,” Apple said.

The company held a virtual Worldwide Developer Conference in June where it announced the next set of operating systems- iOS 14, watch OS7, TV OS 14, iPad OS 14, macOS, and 11 Big Sur.

The watch OS7 is said to add significant personalisation, health and fitness features to the Apple Watch. It also said that it will move away from Intel processors to its own Apple Silicon in the next couple of years. The first Apple Silicon powered Macs will be available by the end of 2020, it said.

 

In August, Apple announced an update to the 27-inch iMac, which the company claims to be the fastest and most powerful mac ever. “With blazing performance, double memory, SSDs across the line with quadruple storage, an even more stunning Retina 5K display, a better camera, higher fidelity speakers, and studio-quality mics, the 27-inch iMac is loaded with new features at the same price,” Apple said in a blog post.

That’s not all, the company has other devices in the pipeline- an iPhone with 5G capabilities, a sleep tracking feature for next generation Apple Watch, a new HomePod, Apple TV, and an iPad Air with a home button below the glass.

 

The journey, however has been accompanied by call back of older generation of 15-inch MacBook Pro due to battery overheating issue and payment to Qualcomm to reach a settlement regarding the license agreement.

“The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement,” Apple said in a press release.

Amid the rally in stock prices and growing valuation, Apple is facing a string of headwinds on the regulatory front. Most pronounced is the recent legal challenge from Epic Games over Fortnite, which is suing Apple for removing its game off iOS after Epic tried to circumvent Apple’s payment status.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 1:22:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/a-look-at-apples-second-trillion-dollar-products-and-services/article32419665.ece

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