Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss
There's a bit of historical revisionism at work here. Apple released the Mac into an existing market already dominated by the IBM-PC, so it's not clear that they squandered anything you could actually put your finger on. The market was a monoculture already, an artificial construct built on IBM's lack of foresight and Microsoft's dumb luck. The smartphone market is far more diverse now than the PC market ever was back in the '80s.
I'm not arguing that Android won't harm Apple's sales of the iPhone (little doubt it has already). What I am saying is, there's no reason to expect a similar monoculture to emerge from this market. Nobody has to win it all, and nobody is likely to do so.
Thats absolutely not the case. The market had many players. In 1985 the biggest selling OS, and one on a very huge trajectory, was the Commodore OS. It fell off a cliff that year. The Osborne had fallen off a cliff a few years before. Across the pond the BBC micro and the Sinclair were selling like hot cakes. They were to disappear by the end of the 80's.
The two more expensive players, IBM and APPle, survived. I say IBM because most PC's sold were IBM, not "clones".
It was the 90's, as Jobs himself has pointed out, where Apple refused to trade margins for market share. The IIFX cost from $9000 to $12000 when it was released in 1990. It was discontinued in 1992. Someone else can work out the index linked 2011 dollars for that - I would guess the top model sold at the modern equivalent of $18000. At least.
Why do people mis-remember the 80's? Who knows? Any ideas?
The story of the 80's is relevant to the present in one way though. The cheap manufacturers fell away, as I said. On that note: here is the latest report from Sony Ericcisson
The quarter ended in a net loss of €50 million compared to a net income of €12 million in Q2 2010, and €11 million in the last quarter.
Average selling price for the quarter was €156, a three per cent decrease year-on-year but an 11 per cent increase sequentially. Sony Ericsson said the year-on-year decrease was due to product and geographical mix and price erosion with the sequential increase attributed to favorable product and geographical mix, more than offsetting price erosion and unfavourable foreign exchange rates.
The company estimated that its share in the global Android-based smartphone market during the quarter was around 11 per cent in volume and in value. It maintained its forecast for modest industry growth in total units in the global handset market for 2011.
It is part of a larger conglomorate, of course, but the company which sells 11% of the Android market ( in value?) is loss making
Jebus! This is the fastest commodificaiton in history, there is nothing to differentiate low to medium-high level Android's machines from each other. The surivors will be the most cut throat. In the long term this will reduce the number of phones available in shops, and Apple willl produce more models, so the swamping of iPhones won't last.
( Also to those of you who wonder why producing your own OS, I mean BADA etc, makes sense. Thats why. To differentiate from the mass and make higher margin).
At the moment Apple is not really competing at medium and low end. A cheap world phone will see where we really are . It may not reverse the trend but it would stall it.