Key technological changes
After a rather uneventful period, the company resurfaced in the late 1990s with a number of strategic and technological changes: in 1997, Apple introduced the Apple Online Store, followed by the iMac and the video editing program Final Cut Pro in 1998. The iPod was launched in 2001, which marked the company’s first venture away from computers and into other segments of consumer electronics. With several hundred million units sold, the iPod was a tremendous success. Its popularity however started to decline in 2008, as advanced music functions of smartphones began to substitute MP3 players. Apple’s digital media store, the iTunes Store, was launched in 2003 and became one of the most popular online music stores in the world, generating several billion U.S. dollars in revenue per quarter.
In 2007, the release of the iPhone marked a revolution for the global smartphone market, due to the introduction of the first touch screen interface. In the United States especially, the iPhone has been a key product for the company, generating millions of unit sales and high levels of revenue. The iPhone is currently contributing about 60 percent to the company’s total revenue. In total, Apple has sold close to 1.5 billion iPhones from 2007 to 2018 worldwide.
iPad and wearables
In January 2010, the iPad was unveiled, marking yet another milestone in the industry. The device went on to sell more than 3 million units in the first 3 months, thus setting a new benchmark in the industry. With the launch of its Apple Watch in early 2015, Apple entered the growing wearables market, competing with companies such as Samsung, Pebble and Fitbit.
Global market position
As of June 2019, Apple’s market capitalization reached 913 billion U.S. dollars, higher than that of competitors such as Microsoft, IBM and Google, and almost ten times more than its own capitalization in 2006. The company’s market cap topped the one trillion U.S. dollars mark on 2. August, 2018, becoming the first public company worldwide to reach that milestone. After hitting a record high of 1.12 trillion in October 2018, Apple's market cap slowly dropped back to the sub-trillion level.