December 5, 2002 Cupertino says he has served his millionth unique customer in the Apple Online Store, a significant milestone for the company. That’s a benchmark worth celebrating for Apple, which launched its online store just five years earlier.
“Reaching our millionth customer is a major milestone and is proof that our online shopping experience is unmatched,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations at the time, in a statement. “The Apple Store is a popular way for more and more consumers and businesses to buy Apple products, and with extensive customization options, simple one-click purchases and free order delivery, it’s never been easier to buy a Mac. online.”
Apple’s history of ignoring the web
Apple did not fail to fully realize the importance of the Internet during the 1990s. It has launched services such as Cyberdog, an openDoc-based internet application suite. He also managed eWorld, which was partly a messaging service, partly a news aggregator. (Both died by the time Steve Jobs returned to Apple.)
However, it is fair to say that – like many companies founded before the Internet – Apple has been messing around looking for a way to incorporate the growing World Wide Web into its existing business. And in the mid-90s, Cupertino was constantly falling.
However, things changed quickly when Jobs returned.
The first came the iMac G3, a computer that is explicitly advertised as a tool for bringing families and individuals to the Internet for the first time. Apple followed suit with a similarly stylized iBook, a colorful foldable laptop that helped bring about a Wi-Fi revolution with its cordless AirPort network card.
But Apple is still lagging behind when it comes to using the Internet as anything other than a news site. Jobs wanted to make it right. While leading NeXT, he oversaw the development of web application technology called WebObjects. When Apple bought NeXT, Cupertino used this technology to build an online store to sell Macs.
See you in Dell
Apple – like the rest of the computer world – witnessed the success of Dell Computer Corporation using this strategy in the early 1990s. Dell’s founder and CEO, Michael Dell, famously belittled Apple, saying that if he ran the company, he would shut it down and return the money to shareholders.
Perhaps partly motivated by a desire to turn things against Michael Dell (we know that comment annoyed Jobs), Apple’s CEO personally oversaw the development of the Apple Store online. And he embraced the project with his typically open, perfectionist manner. As Jobs said during Apple’s introductory speech, citing Dell’s “indecent” comment, “We’re going after you, buddy!”
This move made complete sense for Apple. As Apple’s physical retail stores have shown, the company has long been disappointed with the way third-party retailers have presented their merchandise. Apple wanted complete control to properly display its products. The online store turned out to be perfect for that.
Apple Store Online: Success From the Beginning
When the online Apple Store was launched in November 1997, it raised more than $ 12 million during its first month. Jump forward in 2002 and the millionth unique customer of the Apple Store has shown that Apple’s strategy has succeeded in a big way.
In later years, Apple will celebrate other significant events, especially during the iTunes era (with a strong focus on numbers). Apple has since withdrawn from such transparency.
What was the first Apple product you ordered online? Leave your comments below.
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