How Apple Navigates Downturns

Steve Jobs in a 2003 Rolling Stone interview:

”We’re making some money because we’re innovating. And we decided to innovate our way through this downturn, so that we would be further ahead of our competitors when things turn up.”

Steve Jobs in a 2008 Fortune interview:

”We’ve had one of these before, when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company was that we were just going to invest our way through the downturn, that we weren’t going to lay off people, that we’d taken a tremendous amount of effort to get them into Apple in the first place — the last thing we were going to do is lay them off. And we were going to keep funding. In fact we were going to up our R&D budget so that we would be ahead of our competitors when the downturn was over. And that’s exactly what we did. And it worked. And that’s exactly what we’ll do this time.”

Tim Cook today, on Apple's Q1 2016 financial results call (thanks to iMore’s transcript):

"Despite the economic challenges all over the world, Apple remains incredibly strong. We have a very satisfied and loyal customer base. We saw a greater number of switchers from Android to iPhone than ever in Q1, and we are very optimistic about our business in the long term. Innovation has always been the reason behind our success, and we remain committed to making the best products in the world and expanding the Apple experience to change our customers' lives in better and more meaningful ways.

We've invested through economic uncertainty in the past, and we've always come out stronger on the other side. In fact, some of the most important breakthrough products in Apple's history were born as a result of investing through the downturn."