Clever Apple. The software, hardware, and everything electronic giant has built its reputation on quality, using proprietary software and hardware that simply works. To this day, Android and Windows platforms—mobile or otherwise—can’t approach that level of usability, stability, and quality.
Apple has never missed a deadline. Why is that? Because they never make any deadlines—not externally, anyway. Known for developing products in a Skunkworks-like shroud of secrecy, it’s amazing that no other companies have followed suit. Rarely has Apple fallen victim to its own (often considerable) hype.
This strategy works wonders for them internally, as well. With no huge-hype deadlines to meet, the company is never forced to release a product that isn’t finished (that hasn’t been true in the past, but we’ll avoid that discussion for now just for the sake of starry-eyed admiration). The release of the iPhone 4s, which arrived to almost universal acclaim, was predated with no hype whatsoever. The internet was abuzz with conjecture—news stories announcing that Apple was going to make an announcement—but what?
Why is this sound business? It is important to remember that, unlike Samsung or HTC, Apple started off as a software developer. For the first three decades since the personal computer was released, one word could snap a software company like a twig: vaporware. Many software giants announced some piece of software that never materialized. Often, the announcement was made to scare the competition; more often, it was made because development took much longer than expected. In the millisecond-attention-span world of computer science, vaporware was a kiss of death. Famous examples of vaporware include the original release of Windows, and games like Duke Nukem Forever—which was released 14 years after it was announced to stale reviews.
Learning lessons from its famous competitors—especially Microsoft—Apple doesn’t announce a product until it’s done. That way, there’s no vaporware. A company can’t fail to deliver on a promise it doesn’t make. It is a simple strategy—and it is amazing that mobile developers around the globe don’t follow suit.
There is more to Apple, of course, then a clever release strategy. Stunningly complete R & D, inventive design, and Steve Jobs’ unique ability to bring cutting edge technology into the mainstream are all factors. However, nothing builds a relationship between a business and its consumers like character. Apple avoids the simple mistake of, as Clint Eastwood once said, writing checks with its mouth that its body can’t cash.” This is another great business strategy that just might help Apple one day take over the world.