Apple is one of the biggest companies in the world, a feat they have seemingly achieved in the last few years. To a modern day teenager or kid, it is difficult to imagine Apple as anything but a super stylish, super high-tech company that has always been aspirational and in-demand, but as anyone a little older will tell you, that is someway from the truth. There was a time when all Apple were famous for was bulky computers that offered less power than their rivals and sold in much fewer quantities, and failed developments that promised the world but never really got off the ground. This is a company that has been around for a long time, one that began in the shadows of the tech world, remained in those shadows and then very nearly disappeared completely, facing bankruptcy and total annihilation.
So how did they turn that around, how did they go from nobodies to a company that has more money than many developed nations? The truth is that there is no simple answer. Apple do many things differently from their rivals. They focus on design and on customer support, they create a hype around all of their products that ensure everyone wants them and everyone that can afford them will buy them, sometimes more than once. They excel in excellence.
Another area in which Apple stands out front he crowd is with the Apple Stores themselves. If you have an issue with your Dell or Microsoft computer, you might send it back to the manufacturer, waiting several weeks for it to be fixed, getting frustrated and then blowing your top when they make a mistake or delay the process. You might also send it back to the shop you bought it from, but that shop sells hundreds or thousands of other products, they know very little about your machine and are often just as incompetent and frustrating as the manufacturers. Apple, on the other hand, have created a chain of stores where all of your Apple products can find a home. It doesn’t matter if you bought it directly from Apple or if you bought it from your local retail store, they treat all products the same and they ensure they do their best to fix them. You rarely hear complaints against the staff in the Apple store, just as you rarely hear anything bad said about the service, because Apple knows that the customer always comes first and they are happy to sacrifice a little money for a lot of reputation. In the online world one angry customer can turn a tide of people against a specific brand, and although many companies seem to be struggling to grasp this concept, Apple understand it perfectly. All of their machines have a built-in warranty and although they are all built so that they very rarely breakdown, all Apple Stores will accommodate them and fix them if they do.
An Apple Store is just as well designed as an Apple product. It is sleek, stylish, fashioned in a modern aesthetic. We probably sound a little dreamy, but only because we love the Apple experience, and we’re not alone in our adoration for this company. There are millions of people all over the world who will happily queue outside of these stores, trying to get their hands on the latest device. That’s where Apple rules, that’s part of their business model that every other company would kill to have. They don’t need to sell the product to the consumer anymore, because the consumer will come to them. It doesn’t matter whether their new release is a next-generation phone, a smartwatch or just a re-hash of an old product but in a new colour, people will not only buy it, but they’ll queue up to buy it, they’ll fight others to buy it first and they’ll probably buy more than one. Maybe this speaks more to the state of the modern retail environment than to Apple’s success, but either way, it is this consumer attitude that has led Apple out of the shadows of mediocrity and anonymity into a company that recorded close to $200 billion in revenue last year alone, which just so happens to be more than the entire GDP of many countries. In fact, as well as being twice the GDP of gambling-rich Macau, it is close to 7 times more than the GDP of oil-rich Bahrain. It has some way to go before it can topple the United States and other major countries, but as many of them are on the decline, and Apple are still on a rapid ascent, our money is going on the tech giants.
If you want the best service and the best product, not to mention the best experience (with banks of tablets, smartphones, laptops and desktops at your disposal) then you need to head for your nearest Apple store. Luckily for you they can be found in 15 countries worldwide, with close to 500 stores. A number that is growing all of the time, just like the wealth, the power and the reach of Apple itself.