The original Mac sold a few hundred thousand units in 1984, but Apple now sells half a million iPhones every day. (by @benedictevans)

…Every year, with metronomic precision, it delivers another new set of hardware and software, and another set of technology building blocks that fit into a decade-long strategic plan.…

origin: Benedict Evans – A decade of the Tim Cook machine

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…Apple is the $2tn elephant in the corner, mostly silent ad serenely indifferent to the news cycle…

…Apple pioneered PCs, and then lost the market and barely survived. But now it’s bigger than PCs — there are more iPhones and iPads in use today than all PCs combined, and they run chips created by Apple that are ahead of anything from Intel or Qualcomm.…

…if you’ve spent a decade making Apple the privacy company, that makes it easier to sell a credit card, or (one day) a pair of glasses with built-in AI-powered cameras. Privacy is another building block.…

Apple’s sometimes rather pious public stance on privacy can raise hackles in parts of Silicon Valley… Last year that commission was perhaps $15bn (and 80-90 per cent games), but not all of that will go, and $15bn was only 5 per cent of Apple’s revenue. Meanwhile, Google probably paid Apple $10bn last year to be the default search engine on the iPhone. There’s a lawsuit here as well, from the US Department of Justice, but combined, that $25bn just happens to match Netflix’s entire business. Apple is a big company, and the legal challenges, so far, can look small.…

…Apple now has two very big projects — glasses and cars. A pair of glasses that become a display, and add things to the world that look real, seems worth trying — it might be the next universal device after smartphones, and Apple’s skills should put it at the forefront. But people have been trying for a long time: there are basic, unsolved optics problems, and we don’t know if Apple has the answer, or when it might. Apple Glasses might launch next week, or next summer, or never. Cars are a puzzle as well. Apple might design a better Tesla (and build one, with its $207bn of cash), but what problem would that solve?…

…Maybe Apple can find and solve another huge problem (or fail to solve it, as happened with TV and a few other things). But meanwhile it will carry on making a certain kind of product for a certain kind of customer. That’s been the plan ever since the original Macintosh, and in some ways all that’s changed is how many more of those customers there are.