Blog Post

How to launch an astronomically successful operating system

Step 1. Announce a device running a version of said operating system with proper modifications for the device’s interface and applications.

Apple Announces iPhone, Stock Soars. Jan 9 2007
There have been very few times in Apple’s history where investors bought on the news. When Jobs started to introduce the phone, before calling it a phone, the numbers were climbing. He tells the crowd the iPhone prices $499 for the 4Gb model and $599 for an 8Gb model, making it one of the most expensive devices on the market. But no one seems to care because it is that cool and that revolutionary. Even if you’ve changed your mind now, I know very few people who saw it and thought it was going to fail.

Step 2. Build up tension through product delay, mention undisclosed secret features, in order to release the iPhone on schedule.
Apr 12th, Apple made a big statement that day. Jobs was betting that the iPhone was going to be a cash cow and worth the trade off. Marketing and PR went to town and made the bad news good, and I don’t think too many third party developers were upset. It was pretty clear, in my opinion, that the WWDC disks handed out during the conference were a clue that it might get delayed.

A few months later, the iPhone goes on sale June 28th just before the end of Q3. “We are very pleased to report strong financial results including cash flow from operations exceeding $1.2 billion for the quarter,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2007, we expect revenue of about $5.7 billion and earnings per diluted share of about $.65.” I think the growth projections speak for themselves!

Step 3. Cash in on your hard work for the device and software.
Oppenheimer Cashes In. July 30…

Jobs Cashes In. Aug 17
On Monday, the iconic leader exercised 120,000 that were set to expire this week. Apple gave Jobs the options, which carried a strike price of $5.75 a share, in August 1997 when he rejoined the company’s board as part of his official return the company.

Apple announces price cuts for iPhone. Sept 5

Step 4. Slash the price on a successful product 68 days after release and offer early adopters $100 store credit.

And as we know, Mac OS X Leopard is $129 which means most of you probably held onto your credit to get Leopard for $30. Which for $30 is a steal, making 10.5 the most successful product launch on the planet. With Apple’s market share literally doubled since 10.4’s release combined with market data showing people buying new Macs regardless of the upcoming release, one can deduce that Apple has put themselves on a short time line to make enough copies to meet demand. As one reader said earlier when he asked the Fedex guy, “I’ve got a ton of these things”.