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An Apple a day ...

By Anika Gupta

The US tech-titan Apple is revolutionising the technology industry. With a vast array of products and services, Apple is a household name. Though I tried (for too long) to connect the following two, the company’s link to the 19th century English proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is tenuous at best. Nevertheless, Apple’s hold and dominance of global markets in the 21st century has undeniably seen the tech giant keep its competition away, and very much at bay.


Last week, it was reported that Apple had overtaken its biggest competitor Samsung as the world’s leading smartphone maker. Apple’s long 12-year race against its South Korean arch-nemesis had finally resulted in a victory.


Indeed, the iPhone took the top dog spot in 2023 with 234.6 million units sold that year. These figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicate that Apple sold over 8 million more units than Samsung, which amassed a competitive 226.6 million units in total. It appears that Apple, valued at over £2.2 trillion dominates over a fifth of the market, at 20.1%, 0.7% ahead of Samsung’s 19.4% market share. These figures, placing Apple as the prime mover and shaker of the tech world, at first glance appear to have minimal effect. Nonetheless, they have a huge impact on how the global economy is impacted and consequently shaped.


Apple’s success doesn’t stop at smartphones.


Today the company’s first Macintosh computer turns 40. The game-changing instrument that transformed the way we use personal computers first went on sale exactly 40 years ago today, on 24th January 1984.


Intriguingly, the product was advertised and launched through a big-budget Super Bowl commercial, which referenced George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. What is often considered a “watershed” moment in advertising, the Macintosh’s promotion was a pivotal point in helping people surpass expectations and fears of what the decade, and technology in that period, would look like.


Despite extremely high costs, costing $2,495 (equivalent to $7,500 today!), Apple sold over 70,000 Macintosh units in the first four months alone. Even though the idea of a personal computer was a relatively new concept at that time (side note: what would we do without our laptops today?!) a huge buzz surrounded its release.


While Apple has faced its controversies and challenges, undeniably it is still on the rise. Current Macs are now almost paper-thin, headphones are completely soundproof and even 3D cameras are being released.


Who knows, with Apple’s technology taking the world by storm, maybe the next generation of iPhones will be glitter-clad and can project holograms …


We’ll just have to wait and see!


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