Originally Posted by charlituna
Or not. Fact is that Apple is seen by many as a luxury brand and thus they can get away with price tactics others can't.
Oh, absolutely... but I'm not concerned about Apple's sales, I'm concerned about the health of the Apple market. These two go hand in hand, don't get me wrong, but they're *not* the same.
But there's a fundamental difference between computers and, say, stereos. For stereos, you can sell dramatically overpriced gear as long as someone buys it and you keep your margins. That's because (generally) anyone can plug any bit of stereo into any other bit of stereo. So buying one doesn't mean you have to buy everything else for that. The same is not true for computers, where you cannot plug a Windows application into a Mac.
So, it's perfectly OK for B&O to sell dramatically overpriced gear. The high price of their gear does not lower the size of the overall market. If someone chooses to buy a lower priced amp, say a Sony, all of the other companies in the ecosystem will still have the same number of customers. And those customers still pay the same price for everything else in the "audio world", say an iTunes download or a pair of speakers.
The same is not true for a closed platform ecosystem like iOS. If a customer chooses to buy a lower cost solution, like a freebee Android phone, then *everyone* in the iOS ecosystem loses a customer. You can't buy an iOS app for Android, so all of that money goes away.
Do you see the fundamental difference there?
This fact does not mean there *is* a problem, just that one can occur. There is a balance between number of customers and profit margins that is almost certainly in Apple's favour right now. But if that were to change, and developers were to find greater profits in Android, the market would dry up as fast on Apple as it did on RIM, even if sales of the devices themselves continued at the same pace.
And on top of that, there is the coolness factor issue to consider. Developer's only have so much time, and brainshare. When a platform becomes less attractive, they stop supporting it, quickly. "Less attractive" can mean many things. It could be a lousy return on investment, like RIM (ask any RIM developer). But it could also mean having to jump through hoops and pay lots of money to distribute your app.
Right now it is clear that iOS still has relatively strong coolness, but certainly not what it had two years ago. It also has a better ROI, although I suspect that is being eroded too. It definitely is better to develop on. On the other hand, Google has dramatically increasing market share in all segments, and no signs of slowing. It also has an open platform for both development and distribution. Both of these are *major* plus points, do *not* discount this.
I think it's perfectly valid to look at the past for hints of the future. Apple lost the coolness battle prior to the release of Windows95. Sales staggered on for some time, even increasing in cases, but as the developers fled the platform the applications dried up and suddenly there was no software for the platform. This has happened to many platforms even over the last decade - Palm, Symbian, BREW, etc. Anyone who thinks that it couldn't happen to Apple is dreaming.