Apple shocked the geek world at the start of the new year with Steve Jobs’ keynote speech at the Macworld Expo and Conference in San Francisco. It was here where he announced the oft-rumored and much-awaited iPhone, and along with that the change of the company’s name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. Taking out the “Computer” from the name meant a huge shift in the company’s primary focus from being a company about computers, to being one about consumer products.
True enough, Apple had always been considered a niche company, catering to only a minority in the world’s computer-using population. These were mostly those who loved and preferred Apple products, particularly professionals in graphics and video production, and as well personal users who prefer the non-complexity of using Macs. However, this all changed when the iconic iPod became the most popular portable music player, and the iTunes Music service became the largest online music store. Apple was then catapulted to a dominant position in the music industry.
Among the things discussed in the 2007 Macworld keynote, notable was the introduction of the iPhone and the Apple TV (styled TV). The iPhone is seen as revolutionary, as analysts think other mobile phone manufacturers are likely to follow suit with the innovations that the iPhone is supposed to bring in, like a touch-based user interface, unified messaging, and the like. The Apple TV, meanwhile, is touted as something that will help bring Apple into the consumer’s living room.
What’s the trend we’re seeing here? Tech companies are increasingly moving away from computers, and towards more consumer-oriented applications.