Ive: "... our goal isn't to make money ..."

31 July 2012

Wired:

We are really pleased with our revenues but our goal isn’t to make money.

So many people have balked at this statement, but it’s obvious what Ive actually means if you read the rest of the quote. Most sites only quoted that sentence.

We are really pleased with our revenues but our goal isn’t to make money. It sounds a little flippant, but it’s the truth. Our goal and what makes us excited is to make great products. If we are successful people will like them and if we are operationally competent, we will make money,

Obviously, Apple serves its shareholders and aims for profitability. What Ive means is that their root to wealth does not happen by searching for ways to make products as cheaply as possible, to maximise margins1. Rather, they make, what they think to be, the best products possible and then charge above that (higher) cost price.

Basically, it’s an ethos to make the best products possible, and then charge what they are worth, with the belief that there is demand for the best, not necessarily the cheapest.

1 Of course, Apple doesn’t miss out on opportunities to minimise costs of commodities and other components. I am referencing examples such as the Retina display, which is not on the cheap-end of display manufacturing.