Jobs Keeps Staying Ahead of the Crowd

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-08-29 Print this article Print


5. Better pricing doesn't mean cheaper

Too often today, companies think that to appeal to consumers, they'll need to beat the pricing of competitors. But Steve Jobs has shown the industry a different way. His products are more expensive than their counterparts, and they have higher sales. Apple is able to do that because it has a reputation for delivering high quality for the money. Now, other companies are trying to establish the same approach. But whether or not they will be able to see the same sales performance (and high margins) remains to be seen.

6. Changing the face of entertainment

When Steve Jobs became CEO of Apple again, the music industry was enjoying itself. Physical media was the best way to get tracks, and consumers were forced to buy players that could only play a handful of songs at a time. But then he changed that with the iPod-a device that, history has proved, is one of the finest products ever launched. It transformed how people listen to music, it affected the retail industry, and it practically turned the music business on its head. That's Steve Jobs for you: changing multiple industries with a single device.

7. Tablets galore

Prior to the iPad's launch in 2009, tablets were available, but none rose above the level of niche products. In fact, the market was practically nonexistent. But then the iPad entered the fray, and all that changed. Now, tablets are everywhere, and many believe they will continue to take down netbooks and lightweight notebooks. Not bad. Thanks to Jobs, an entire marketplace was created and several others were drastically altered.

8. Touch screens everywhere

The iPad's ability to revolutionize the industry wouldn't have been possible without the iPhone. That device, which came with a 3.5-inch touch screen at its launch in 2007, dramatically changed how people bought mobile products and what buyers expected to see in these devices. Prior to the iPhone's launch, consumers were content with devices featuring smaller displays and physical keys. But now, that's not the case. Consumers today want devices with big displays and touch screens. Without them, devices will fail. Just ask RIM.

9. Making tech "cool"

Over the years, technology hasn't necessarily been viewed as the "coolest" thing for people to be into. But after Steve Jobs shook things up at Apple and offered up some of the finest products in the market, all that changed. These days a neat gadget is a necessity for someone who wants to be viewed as a stylish, or "cool," person. Unfortunately for other companies, typically that means buying a Mac, iPhone and iPad.

10. Ditching tired products

Steve Jobs has been known to ditch tired old products and bring on the latest and greatest technologies. Even as of late, he has been an agent of change. Rather than continue to include DVD drives in his company's computers, before he left as CEO, Jobs started to ditch them. He also offered up a disc-less version of Mac OS X "Lion" for download in the Mac App Store. But it's not always discontinuing what he believes are old ideas. Jobs made Apple one of the first computer makers to adopt USB technology. He's doing it again with the high-speed ThunderBolt I/O technology. Simply, Steve Jobs has never been shy about being the first to drop obsolescent technology and establishing new trends and technical standards. That trait alone could define his legacy.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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