Millions of people around the world know and love the Apple brand, but why is that? What does Apple do as a computer and consumer electronics company that makes them more popular than their competition? I’ve decided to provide an in-depth exploration of why I believe they have become so successful in the past decade.

For starters, Apple is a company that not only designs and builds hardware, but develops the software to go with it as well. This gives the company an edge over the competition because they can make the hardware and the software work together seamlessly. This means that the end user gets an experience where everything just works and remains trouble free.

When Apple designs and builds its hardware, they pay fanatical attention to how a product is designed so that it feels great to use and looks aesthetically pleasing as well. A stunning example is their unibody manufacturing process. A CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machine takes a single block of aluminum and mills the main body of a notebook to exacting standards. Because it’s one piece of aluminum, it’s more structurally sound than multiple parts layered and then fastened together. This also alleviates weight from the notebook after it’s completely assembled, making it lighter to travel with. So by reengineering how Apple builds a product, they made it far stronger and substantially lighter than their previous assembly method.

Of course, with great hardware comes great software and Mac OS X serves as Apple’s native operating system that runs on all the Macs that it ships worldwide. What makes Mac OS X such a great operating system is that it’s advanced, but at the same time super simple to use. This makes doing stuff on a Mac far more fun while being easy to understand, and it’s because of Apple’s team of software engineers that pay attention to every little detail that makes this possible. What might be considered one of the best features of OS X is the iLife software suite that comes installed with every new Mac. The suite includes applications that allow you to edit and sort photos and videos, create web pages, DVDs and even your own music. With software like this, it’s no wonder that Mac OS X is a fun but incredibly useful piece of software to have.

But by far what has most definitely skyrocketed the Apple brand to its well known state is the iPod and iTunes. The iPod single-handedly changed the face of digital music and iTunes revolutionized the way people bought digital music legally. As Apple released updates to iTunes and refreshed its iPod line every year, they continue to add great new features that enhance the digital music experience along with video, podcasts, audiobooks, and even games. Currently showing no signs of slowing down, iPod and iTunes will continue to dominate digital music market for years to come.

More recently however, Apple made their move into the smartphone market with the iPhone. This combined a mobile phone, an iPod, and the internet all into one device that fit into your pocket. Because the iPhone runs a mobile version of OS X, it allowed developers to create their own desktop-class applications for the device that were absolutely unparalleled to any other smartphone out in the market. Now currently on its third generation: the iPhone 3GS, it will continue pave the way for future innovation for smartphone design.

Everything explained and described above really show Apple’s true colours of what make them such a fantastic company in my opinion. Although they will continue to have a fierce competition from other companies, Apple has always found a way to innovate with something completely new and original that blows everyone else away. This has been shown when their company executives deliver a keynote at important tech conventions and conferences. With a strong reputation like this, Apple will continue to lay down the standards for the future.