I'm a little sick of reading the same circular rationalizations around here about why Apple doesn't have to respond or worry about any other forces or competitors in the market.
You're talking to a guy who sold his Amiga to buy a Mac Classic II. You're talking to a guy who has two Macs, three iPhones, and several iPods in his home.
Real Estate never goes down. The rules have changed with these internet stocks. We don't need to worry about revenue.
Every time someone says the rules don't really matter in this one case, they get smashed in the fact with the truth.
Apple is undergoing some very clear shake ups and while they used to blow away their own conservative estimates and even the whisper numbers Wall Street could mutter, now they are barely meeting their own estimates.
You can't say nothing will ever hit Apple or cause a change in the market just because Apple is Apple. That's nonsense.
Apple is already largely ceding majority marketshare to Android. Then the talk was that while a consortium of Android manufacturers was outselling Apple, Apple was still shipping more than every individual company. Now Samsung is outshipping Apple. Apple still has a strong hold in the countries where purchases are subsidized with expensive post-paid contracts. In areas of the world where this isn't true Apple is losing share.
Android competitors started off behind. Then they reached parity on hardware. Then they started to exceed Apple but we didn't mind waiting a few extra months to see what Apple would come up with next. We are now at a stage where Apple has just released all their pent up products and Google unleashes products that match or best Apple six days later. This isn't Spring as it has been the last couple years and we will wait until September (after first wondering what happened to July releases) to see what Apple will do to match the competition. Apple threw their best out there and it isn't going to be good enough.
Does this mean Apple dies? No. Does it mean Apple will automatically lose? No. Does it mean Apple won't sell anything? No.
A million units at $200-250 a unit is over $2 billion of revenue a month. Since when the hell did we start turning up our noses and ignoring competition only generating $2 billion in sales a month? Also it is only one competitor. Apple has to beat a dozen of them. Are we going to hear the same tired refrains? Yes but none of them ship more than Apple. Apple has majority share. Then Apple has minority majority share. Then finally Apple has a very large share and takes better profits. Then......
We shouldn't want until those final outcomes. Apple needs to step it up.
Google just refreshed this line. A 32 gig model WITH cellular radio is $30 cheaper than the baseline iPad mini. I understand Apple products are premium but the reality is the iPad line is more vunerable because there are no cell providers helping hid the true cost with confusing subsidized contracts. There are no cell companies stealing the price difference as profits. Right now as an example, a Samsung Galaxy S3 basically looks no different in cost to an iPhone 5 to U.S. consumers because the major cell providers charge $199 for each and sign both customers to 2 year contracts. They just pay Samsung less and keep more for themselves in profits or they may even be using those cheaper phones to help subsidize what they have to pay Apple for the iPhone.
The point is the contracts are a form of hidden credit and distort the prices within the market. When those distortions sort out, Apple could be hurting. Likewise since there is no subsidy model for the iPad, Apple could have a much harder time and cede marketshare that much faster.