Originally Posted by Ireland
You don't wait until the competition has caught up to "stay ahead" of them. His point is not only valid, but so obvious anyone could be doing his job.
The phrase 'stay ahead' as used here implies that there is some concern re losing the lead, i.e., that Apple might not 'stay'
ahead without this new product.
In fact, there is no reasonable chance that Apple will NOT be the world leader in this category by the end of this year. Or even next year. Therefore, there is no reason for Apple to be concerned with 'staying' ahead. The actual situation is that Apple has an almost-comical lead, and its wanna-be competitors are disorganized and short on resources (compared with Apple).
Therefore, Apple is looking to co-opt its competition. Keep them off-balance, keep them from getting traction, keep them pursuing a moving target.
Apple's concern is strictly tactical. The iPad 2 IS NOT crucial to 'staying ahead' They could sell the original iPad for quite some time and 'stay ahead' quite nicely, thank you. However, the iPad 2 IS crucial tactically - in terms of keeping competitors off-balance.
Ireland is (as usual) so slow to listen and so quick to find fault that he tries to condemn BOTH the writer of this column and myself in one blow, which is pretty awkward. This column's writer is, in fact, not wrong, but misdirected. I have attempted to point out the needed adjustment (rather than just trash the guy, as Ireland sadly is bent on doing).
With the adjustment made, the column is not 'obvious' but in fact, insightful. To reiterate, Apple does NOT need a new product to 'stay ahead'. No one is passing them any time soon. But to disrupt its competitors, yes, the iPad 2 IS crucial, as the author states.
Just a matter of a choice of words and a more finely-tuned understanding of the issue, really.