Apple: The New and the Old from 1997 and 2007

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Apple is a giant in the technology industry. Apple has been making computers and electronics for a very long time with Microsoft as a direct competitor. Apple being a very technological company, it makes sense that they would have a website for their company since the inception of the internet. Being a key player at the forefront of consumer technology, Apple should have an awe-inspiring and high-tech website to represent their power, but the reality is quite different..

Image from WaybackMachine

This screenshot of the apple website is, to put bluntly are very plain. There are barely any graphics, but the images are pretty crisp, and the page is full of text and hyperlinks. It is a very professional website. The only real significant colors of the site are red and white; it is very professional but pretty dull. Looking at the sections on the side, we can see sections such as “Developer World” and “Technology and Research.” The “Where to Buy” link is at the bottom,” it doesn’t seem that securing simple consumer sales of their products are the priority. There are sections on the website that talks about preorders and mail lists to learn about new products, but this website is mainly for people who know their computers and the Apple company. The average layman can navigate the website easily, but there’s not much to grab their attention. Other sections under the “Hot News” section include corporate news and pitches for businesses to buy apple computers in bulk. Some hyperlinks lead to various products such as laptops and printers, but it is all just text; there is nothing to grab attention unless a person already knows what they are looking for. There is not much available on the website that I can see that can attract new users. The website does have an interesting bit like the date counter at the top, which I doubt was manually changed every day and that on the side, you can see a plethora of links to international versions of the Apple homepage. It has a lot of different versions. Another interesting tidbit of the site is that there is a link to an archive of the Apple homepages by Apple itself. There is not much to do on the homepage other than clicking the links learning about the information within. Visitors can learn more about the Macs they already use, converse with other Apple consumers in the online chat room, and generally just learn about Apple products and how they are used.

From what we can see about the website, it seems that the primary audience for this is professional adults. The website is very business orientated from advertising bosses to switch to Apple computers in their offices and for people who are part of the technology world, whether knowledgeable hobbyists or financial experts. There is virtually no pull for family orientated consumers or an everyday consumer at all. It seems like Mac had a different idea from Microsoft, where Microsoft hammered in on getting a PC in every family living room while Apple focused on serving professionals. And if there was a person who simply wanted to buy a computer, that person would definitely be a bit more on the professional and wealthy side. A normal person could be overwhelmed by the amount of information on the homepage

Image from WaybackMachine

The Apple homepage from 2007 shows an entirely different story. It’s early 2007, and the iPhone has just been revealed, and its right in the middle of the homepage. It is important to know that the website usually was mainly bright gray and is only mostly black in the screenshot because of the iPhone reveal. The website and all the information are much more compact and organized; the aesthetic is very sleek. The graphics are definitely much more lively now in content and color. Apple’s hottest products are on clear display. There is no need for a bunch of text; the images can speak for themselves. Interestingly enough, Apple is a computer company or at least early on, and on this webpage, there are barely any computers present at all. Products like the iPhone and iPod are at the forefront. It easy to tell where each tab at the top will take you. Important to note that Apple has their own online store now. The homepage is very minimalistic, and that’s the style Apple has using for a very long while now and continues to do so. It is also pretty funny that Apple puts out its own ad on the homepage for people to see. People can see learn more about the hottest products, get support, and even order products using the online store; most importantly people don’t have to be tech wizards the website is very easy to navigate. It is also clear that Apple is much more than just a computer company now.

This webpage is very user-friendly, which also another big goal Apple pursues in all its products. It looks like Apple is actually trying to sell its products with this webpage, unlike the other one. Looking at the tabs, there are still options for developers, businesses, and schools, but they’re being pushed into the shadows to make more room for the new products. Through the images that are on the homepage, Apple is making clear what their intended audience is. All the products on the homepage are for an active lifestyle; the sedentary Mac is no more. The smartphone and the iPod are for a younger and much more outgoing people that can take the products anywhere outside. They are also the most technologically advanced consumer electronics available. At that time, the most advanced phone is the iPhone, and the most advanced mp3 player is the iPod. It’s the best on the market, and it is also very expensive because it’s the best. The audience for Apple products at this time are trendy young adults with a lot of disposable income.

Apple really changed their standards in presentability since the ’90s. The clutter of information is gone, and they embraced the minimalistic style that they are known for today. Their audience is of a high standard, too, since Apple’s audience are those with money. Apple changed their audience from older professionals to young and trendy adults. The transformation of their webpage exemplifies it; their old homepage had a plethora of information about the company and how to use their products. It was a webpage designed to mainly support those who already know what Apple is and those who consume Apple products. On the 2007 webpage, Apple is all for the user experience with an easily navigable webpage that won’t overwhelm the viewer. The new products are on display with grabbing images that draw attention. While the Apple audience’s faces changed, their wallets did not; Apple was almost always more expensive than its competitors and is still true today. An important aspect to note is that there was a new revolutionary piece of technology called the smartphone, and it was much more expensive than any other consumer mobile phone at the time. A large group of people cannot afford that phone. Once again, an exemplary piece of technology is barred from the less fortunate by the price point. This audience that Apple had at both time periods did not include these people. Luckily there are a bunch of smartphone manufacturers selling capable smartphones for a lot less money than Apple.

Featured Image from Wikipedia

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