I am sure by now the iPhone 4 news is all over the net and you can read about it just about anywhere including here and here and here. But what is amazing of the news isn’t just about another marketing hype that Apple managed to build up like it does over and over. Personally, what I find amazing is Apple keeps finding ways to impress its audiences, be it a tech geek, a gadget lover, an industry analyst, or a shareholder. I really like Apple products because I think they put a lot of thought into their products, and I think as a company, they execute their business really well.
* image screen-captured from http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/retina-display.html
I am not an analyst, nor do I own any Apple stocks (I wish). But there are some very good indicators that Apple is doing something better than other high-tech product companies.
- Just a couple of weeks ago (May 26), Apple’s market cap exceeds the biggest high-tech company in the world. I am sure there is no fluke about this success.
- Apple claimed to be the biggest mobile device companies by revenue (Jan 21) with $15.7B revenue in Q4 2009. It is a pretty bold claim indeed. Even there are different interpretations of how the “biggest” should be measured, the momentum of what Apple has built up simply should not be ignored.
- Share price of Apple was ~$7 in 2003, today it is worth ~$250, a 35.7x its value in 7 years. That is quite impressive (not that history will repeat itself in the next 7 years, don’t go out and buy Apple’s stock based on this general observation).
- According to Answers.com, Apple hires ~36,800 employees,generating $36,537M revenue in 2009, that is roughly $1M of revenue per employee. It is an interesting perspective when you compare that to the previous biggest tech company in market cap with ~93,000 employees and generating $58,437M, roughly $0.63M of revenue per employee, and compare that to the biggest search engine company with ~19,835 employees generating $23,650M revenue, roughly $1.19M per employee.
iPhone 4 features I find most interesting:
- Stainless Steel and Aluminosilicate Glass construction – Maybe it is just marketing speak, but it sure sounds like they put some thought into the material used in this new phone. Most phones these days in the same price range still have a lot of plastic construction to keep the device light and durable, but definitely, Stainless Steel and Aluminosilicate Glass sounds much more sophisticated than plastic. Of course only time will tell how well this combination will measure up to some daily abuse ;)
- High-resolution screen – I know calling it a Retina Display is really pushing it. Albeit Apple achieved 326 pixels per inch, which is pretty high (an old laser printer would typically give you 300 dpi resolution). If you are curious about human eye resolving power (or what is a typical discernible resolution human eyes can tell apart) you can read this article. Update: more reading of the Retina Display dispute at Gizmodo.
- A4 processor – they put the same processor from the iPad into the iPhone 4, that is pretty impressive. I have experienced the power of iPad and having the same power in a phone would simply be amazing (at least compared to my current iPhone I will be totally blown away).
- Camera and HD Video Camera – I always like to have a camera with me, even though the iPhone is probably late in the game with a 5 megapixel camera (Sony and Nokia have had it for years now), the combination of the iPhone and a 5 megapixel camera built in does make me feel excited. Plus 720p video recording is pretty sweet.
- Price point – I remember when I bought my 16GB iPhone 2G back in February 2008, it cost US$499. In a little over 2 years, Apple announced today that iPhone 4 starting at US$199 (16GB) with a brand new contract, and starting at US$
499599 without a contract. I like the option of no contract gadgets! And compared to some of the latest competitions, the price point of iPhone 4 sounds pretty reasonable.
Do you like the new iPhone 4? Will you get one if you had the money?