It wasn’t so many years ago that the sales for any Apple product were mostly in the single digits. The Mac was a niche computer, a plaything for the well-heeled or for temperamental content creators. “Real” people used Windows, and Mac users really needed to get with the program.
For many years, Apple and “beleaguered” were frequently mentioned in the same phrase, and death watches were frequent. Yes, Steve Jobs made a huge number of changes to shore up the bottom line when he took over the company some months after the purchase of NeXT, Inc. in 1996. But maybe he was just postponing the inevitable by a few years, or so the critics claimed.
The sea changes began with the introduction of the iPod in 2001. How could anyone seriously consider paying $399 for a digital music player, the skeptics said. But Apple persevered, even moving iTunes to the Windows market to attract the larger number of potential customers who didn’t use Macs.