Editorial: When Apple is 2 years behind you, put your things in order

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2017
Oh no! It seems Apple is "years behind" competitors in Virtual Reality, TV content subscriptions, self driving cars and home voice assistants. That's a clear sign the company may be studying the market like a cat about to pounce on its target, just as it did with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods. There is a solid decade of evidence that, for Apple, being behind is a competitive advantage.


Apple is dangerously behind, so watch out


It seems hard to argue that Apple isn't behind. It has no Virtual Reality products like Samsung's Gear VR, Google's Cardboard Daydream and Facebook's Oculus. No library of subscription TV content like Netflix or Amazon Prime. No electric car strategy circulating like Google, Tesla or Faraday Future. And Apple's Siri appears to be behind Alexa and Google in the race to dribble out a few million cloud-based, voice surveillance appliances aimed at home installation.

Lots of brands have fallen behind in the markets they once mattered in and ended up unable to ever catch up again. Prime examples are Sony, Palm, Nokia, Windows Phone and Windows Tablet PC, Blackberry, Google Maps and FitBit.

The common thread among these isn't evidence that Apple "could be next." The common thread was that Apple entered their markets and crushed them.

Is Apple the next Apple?

Recall last year's punditry cycle of "is Apple the next Blackberry?" In that pinnacle of fallacious logic, the fact that Blackberry (nee RIM) could dramatically fall from its massively successful perch was evidence that Apple could too, sort of like how Nancy Kerrigan was evidence that Tonya Harding could be attacked, because she too was a figure skater.

Or for a less obscure reference, does FitBit's massive decline in smartwatch shipments present evidence that Apple Watch might be next? Who knows, really!? Cause and effect are so difficult to connect together in a relationship. /s.

It's actually quite easy to see the relationship between death and killer when you have a series of bodies each marked with a telltale mark of the same assassin. That would be evidence that vulnerable targets should be on the lookout for flying bullets, not evidence that a sniper is probably about to fall from his perch because it's apparently dangerous to be outside.

A decade of Apple being crazy behind--like a fox!

I've been writing about Apple for more than a decade. So looking back, the broken record of observations that Apple is being "passed up by True Innovators who are years ahead" leaps out as evidence of a clear misunderstanding of what is actually happening in the tech sector, and why.

Examine a decade of history recounting the various companies leisurely crossing the tracks just ahead of the Apple Train, while the media cheered them on as being avant-garde rather than fated for death. Consider why their celebrated efforts to crush Apple with various "iPhone-killers" failed. Note: because this game involves capitalist enterprise, points are awarded in dollars rather than pats-on-the-back or participation trophies.

MP3 Phone

2007: A year prior to Peak iPod, Microsoft announced its own Zune to much fanfare as the "iPod-killer," just as pundits began imagining in parallel that phones playing MP3s would kill Apple's iPod empire. Everything seemed so dire for Apple. Zune could do wireless WiFi sync and MP3-playing feature phones appeared to cost much less than an iPod!

However, that year Apple introduced iPhone. Steve Jobs described it as "a widescreen iPod" in addition to a phone and "breakthrough internet device". Zune staggered along like a zombie until it was terminated while basic phones playing MP3s were blown away by Apple's "iPod phone" with a real web browser.

Incredibly, we also had proof collected by PR firm ABI that given a contrived survey, many participants exposed to slanted marketing would agree that they might actually buy a Zune. But headlines aren't facts, and Zune lost miserably. The feature phone industry did too, despite its "overwhelming global market share of units shipped." Apple also overcame being clearly behind in smartphones--which had been around for half a decade by the time Apple showed up. And it was just getting started.


App Store

2008: Before iPhone even went on sale, the same ABI group that had previously insisted Zunes were 'potentially capable of selling' next announced that Apple's new iPhone "wasn't a smartphone" because it didn't run third party apps like "real platforms" such as Windows Mobile, Palm, BlackBerry, Symbian, Flash Lite and Java ME.

ABI analyst Philip Solis explained, "We must conclude at this point that, based on our current definition, the iPhone is not a smartphone, but rather a high-end feature phone."

In the spring of 2008, Apple launched the App Store, and developers jumped to join. By mid-2009, iPhone had outsold Windows Mobile globally. Nothing since has caught up to the profitable success of the iOS App Store. Mobile software markets for those other "real platforms" died off really quickly.

While pundits desperately tried to vilify Apple's App Store as a terrible Walled Garden where developers were forced to sign their apps and pay $99 (!) a year and contribute 30 percent of their revenues to support the store's infrastructure, the reality was that mobile developers had been paying tens of thousands of dollars for rights to make basic mobile apps for platforms like Symbian, while most other platforms offered zero effective security at all, enabling malware authors to colonize a festering "toxic hellstew" of mobile sewage. This is so obvious that in hindsight it's crazy why so many people lied about what was going on.

IM

2009: Blackberry was supposed to keep Apple out of government and corporate enterprise due to the "Crackberry" allure of its centralized Blackberry Enterprise Server messaging platform. Meanwhile, Apple didn't even support MMS photo messaging with other smartphones!

In iOS 3, Apple replaced iPhone's basic Text app with Messages, enabling MMS picture messaging as well as basic SMS. iOS 5 bridged Mac and iPad instant messaging with SMS and encrypted all communications, effectively making IM free and erasing much of the value of services like BES. Coincidentally, BES also suffered a series of service embarrassing blackouts. A leader dropped the ball just as Apple was poised to run with it.

Today, iMessage has become one of the largest messaging platforms. It distinguishes Apple users with blue bubbles, highlighting that conversations are encrypted (and SMS chats with Android users are not).

Last year, Apple introduced an apps platform for iOS 10 that integrates iMessage with utilities, games, message effects and Stickers, borrowing from other popular standalone chat platforms. This year, it may integrate Siri into iMessage for assisted chat. Blackberry barely even exists. So much for being behind.

Notifications

2010: Apple was woefully behind webOS (remember that?) in the emerging arena of Notifications. Android was also floating support for local app and remote push notifications organized in a single log of events. iOS didn't have any of that.

Apple introduced Mobile Me with the unreliable sloppiness of a Google beta launch, earning much finger wagging. It then hired away key webOS developer Rich Dellinger to create Notification Center and built a robust, secure Push Notifications System integrated with Mobile Me (renamed iCloud) to build a powerful messaging and rich app notification system.

In iOS 10, notifications can even serve as payloads for video clips, such as when a HomeKit camera alerts you that you have a delivery person at the door.


Apple's not behind in Notifications anymore


Google also comes up with new ideas for Android, but these frequently wither on the vine because it takes a year for even a tenth of the installed base to get moved to a major new release, and multiple years for an Android version to represent the majority of devices. This problem began in 2010 but has only gotten worse every year since, despite ineffectual attempts at addressing this huge delay in deployment.

NFC vs BT

2011: Google floated another feature Apple lacked for several years: Near Field Communications, or NFC, used in Google Wallet contactless payments. Google was supposed to rule in this arena, but Wallet failed to ever gain much traction, despite efforts to build out NFC payment infrastructure. Apple didn't have NFC because it was so behind.

What Apple did instead was rapidly introduce Bluetooth 4 (starting with iPhone 4s) and build out a platform of near-proximity wireless integration between iOS devices, Macs and Apple Watch that was later branded as Continuity. Prior to launching Apple Pay, the company also lined up the dots for Touch ID, building security right into the design of its products.

Apple didn't introduce Apple Pay until 2014, at least three years behind Wallet. However, the effort Apple put into building foundational support, and its prescience in supporting the much faster Bluetooth 4 rather than NFC for nearby connectivity, launched Apple far ahead of Google in both support for modern Bluetooth and in NFC payments, despite (or perhaps, because of) not being first to rush a loose payment concept to market.

That same year Apple also launched Siri, while the heads of Google and Microsoft both publicly scoffed at the idea of voice assistants on a mobile device. That changed as Siri clearly helped to sell new iPhones. Since then, a narrative that Apple isn't advancing Siri fast enough has emerged, implying Apple is again behind and, of course, won't be able to catch up.

For everyone thinking Apple isn't getting usage data to make Siri smarter, Siri is by far the most used voice assistant than any out there.

-- Ben Bajarin (@BenBajarin)


Today, even though the media is infatuated with Amazon's Alexa--and its innovative new "landline telephone paired with a stationary television"--Apple continues to dominate the global market for voice assistance in terms of millions of users, device penetration, international language support, and in use on mobile devices people actually carry around and use.

Plus-sized Phones

2012 Samsung had just debuted its "phablet" Galaxy Note, sporting a big screen larger than 5 inches and a tablet-like stylus. Apple's iPhone had been a much smaller 3.5 inches since birth, and by the end of 2012 the biggest phone Apple could offer was 4 inches--albeit just as narrow with a taller profile to make it easier to hold with one hand. Samsung was already selling a "regular sized" Galaxy SIII flagship that was 4.3 inches, significantly larger and wider than iPhone 5/5s/5c. Apple was so behind!Samsung's Note convergence play combined Apple's two massively profitable markets into one moderately-successful one, and this was hailed as genius

For the next two full years, Apple had nothing like Samsung's increasingly popular "phablet," which was like a tablet and a phone in one box. Apple was forced to sell its customers two boxes: a small iPhone and an iPad. Apple also took efforts to clearly distinguish its small iOS phone platform from its larger tablet size, resulting in two markets for apps: one for iPhone and the other optimized for iPad. Samsung's Note convergence play combined Apple's two massively profitable markets into one moderately-successful one, and this was hailed as genius.

Samsung's phones just kept getting bigger, both in the Note-phablet category (growing by a quarter inch each year!) and its standard Galaxy S line (which even more rapidly grew into phablet proportions itself). Apple was stuck selling scores of millions of small iPhones (far greater than Samsung's Note and S lines combined) and tens of millions of iPads (while Samsung was struggling to give away its tablets with the purchase of almost anything).

All this time, Apple "fell behind" Samsung, perpetually losing out in metrics such as market share, units shipped and numbers of enthusiastic think-pieces about how Samsung was dominating a market in virtually every respect apart from profitability, where it was distantly behind. This is like watching a team lose a ballgame, but be congratulated on their hard work: their ball-time possession statistics, their score attempts and the fact that they decorated the stadium and made the uniforms for both teams. Wait, which team lost again? It's hard to say really. Points scored isn't the only way of measuring success in pro sports, is it?

Apple did eventually deliver larger iPhones with the 6 and 6 Plus in 2014, about three years after Samsung debuted the Note. As soon as it did, sales of Galaxy phablets flatlined, never again growing past the Galaxy S4 peak even though Samsung's screen sizes kept climbing. Profits fell from "less than Apple" to "devastated."

Meanwhile, Apple's larger iPhones hit a new sales platform twice as high as its previous 4 inch iPhone 5 models, and it has maintained this for the last three years while incrementally increasing Average Selling Prices and selling increasingly more apps, Music and other Services to its vast installed base of luxury phone buyers.

Somehow, despite Samsung's reported, ostensible "recovery" and its resumption of "size innovations" (including a new phone with a screen that's larger, but just as narrow with a taller profile to make it easier to hold with one hand--what a great idea!), Apple continues to perform better financially while Samsung Mobile profits have declined each year.

Modern UI

2013 Prior to launching iPhone 6, Apple's iOS 6 was being framed as looking old and boring, particularly in comparison to Android, but there was also a handful of pundits holding up Windows Phone and describing how innovative it was to replace developer branded app icons with animated boxes of brightly colored squares in Live Tiles. Innovation literally means "new," so a scoring system counting the number of arbitrary changes introduced should win this smartphone game, right?

In addition to looking old, iOS 6 had also kicked out Google Maps, replacing it with native Apple Maps data that was distantly behind Google in search as well as correctly labeled points of interest. On top, Apple was also struggling to get developers to adopt its iCloud service for backup and sync, but early implementation flaws were frustrating app developers to the point of making it unusable. Apple's concept of a cloud didn't even expose a file system! Apple was so behind in looks, maps and in cloud that it seemed it could never catch up to Google. Android was winning.

However, that year in iOS 7 Apple introduced a clean new "deference" interface that radically updated the look and feel of not just the new iPhone 5s, but iPhones dating back to the three year old iPhone 4. What Apple at the time called "the fastest software upgrade in history" gave the modern-looking iOS 7 a massive installed base, causing developers to rush to update their own apps to look fresh and modern, too.

Meanwhile, any new ideas in Android Land or at Microsoft could only hope to dribble out on sales of new phones, because why would anyone waste their time fixing software on phones that had already been sold? After dumping legacy Windows Mobile phones, Microsoft actually did begin copying Apple's aggressive software updates, but by then its installed base of WP7 phones was so small that it didn't really matter.




Alongside its fresh new iOS 7 platform look, Apple also pushed out an internally developed 64-bit A7 chip with a Secure Enclave supporting Touch ID fingerprint recognition for easy unlocking, to guarantee the use of a passcode, enabling full device encryption and securing the device for Activation Lock to foil thieves. With iPhone 5s, Apple outlined the future of security and authentication, changing our ideas of what privacy could be while frustrating the FBI, Russian spies and phone thieves. Since then, every other phone maker has worked to copy Apple's security model. With iPhone 5s, Apple outlined the future of security and authentication, changing our ideas of what privacy could be while frustrating the FBI, Russian spies and phone thieves

Google had been mostly working on fresh looks in Android, so it was suddenly caught blindsided by iOS in areas including support for 64-bit processors, hardware security, fingerprint support, encryption, and other things that don't matter to techie writers who preferred what Android looked like compared to iOS 6.

When Samsung and HTC attempted to catch up to Apple in fingerprint sensors on their new phones in 2014, Google hadn't added fingerprint support in Android so hardware makers slopped together their own, using laughably insecure implementations that copied users' fingerprint data unencrypted into the phones' readily accessible file system.

Even two years later, no Android phones were fast enough to perform full disk encryption in software (as Google didn't support hardware encryption), so users rarely turned encryption on. Good thing, because FDE security on Android was also broken.

Qualcomm first denigrated Apple's 64-bit A7 as a "marketing gimmick," then belatedly scrambled to catch up with its own slower chips that didn't work well and overheated, handing Android makers a defective high-end CPU just as Apple shifted into high gear in performance and efficiency metrics. The other thing Apple was ahead in was profits. It was earning more than the rest of the smartphone industry combined. Not bad, for being so far behind.

Despite initial flaws, Apple Maps rapidly began displacing Google Maps on iOS. It also enabled Apple to launch CarPlay (centered around Maps navigation) a year ahead of Google's own automotive support for Android. Suddenly Google's solid 7 year lead in mapping didn't seem to be helping the company at all. Apple's being behind again looks like an advantage more than a detriment. It is as if Apple gives everyone else an opportunity to fail to set a baseline for it to exceed.

Wearables

2014 Just before being blindsided by iPhone 6, Samsung rushed to introduce proof that it was the True Innovator, ahead of Apple in a key new segment: wearables. It had launched its first modern smartwatch at the end of 2013, with such great ideas as a less than half-VGA resolution video camera.

Google rushed out Android Wear in 2014, citing support from over a dozen industry players including its own newly jettisoned hardware subsidiary Motorola. Pebble had introduced a crowdfunded smartwatch starting in 2012, and FitBit, Asus, Sony, Qualcomm and LG were also building smartwatches, with more planned from luxury watch makers. It was like the smartphone market in 2006: how could Apple possibly expect to "just walk in" after falling so far behind?

At the end of 2014 it walked Apple Watch in alongside its most anticipated new iPhone ever--with premium, expensive versions that climbed up toward $15,000 for a solid gold Edition. Rather than sporting a pixelated camera, Apple focused on notifications (remember when Apple was behind in notifications?), messaging (remember when?) and fitness. Apple Watch sales eviscerated Samsung and gutted not only the smartwatch industry at large but also froze growth in high-end watch sales as well.




Again a pattern emerges that "being years behind" appears to be a competitive advantage for Apple. Meanwhile, all this time Apple was consistently increasing cash flow, building global production infrastructure and investing in the next areas it was "behind in."

Detachables

2015 While Android's various first-mover advantages evaporated, Microsoft began to gain attention for Surface Pro, which supposedly invented pairing a hardware keyboard with a tablet. Microsoft was slipping behind Apple so rapidly in mobile devices that it needed to demonstrate that it was the True Innovator in releasing a new Surface Book and another Surface Pro, both of which were neither tablets nor notebooks but rather a new made-up category of Detachables, evading direct comparisons with Apple's far-behind MacBooks and iPads, neither of which Detached.

How could Apple ever catch up in Detachables? Apple was stuck earning about $12 billion per quarter from iPads and Macs, while Microsoft was leading Detachables with about $815 million per quarter of Detachables. If you don't like the rules of the game, introduce your own playing field and play with yourself. You get all the points!

Having built Detachables since introducing Surface RT back in 2012, it seemed there was no way Apple could just walk in and take Detachables the way it had taken MP3 players, phones, apps, messaging, maps, encryption, mobile Application Processors and watches.

That fall Apple introduced iPad Pro, which immediately outsold all Surface sales, meaning it now also dominated Detachables because iPad Pro is indeed sold with a keyboard that can be removed.




It's like when you're winning playing a game by yourself and somebody walks in and plays you and beats you soundly. But Microsoft can't really even get mad about it because that's just how karma works.

iPad Pro is also sold without a keyboard, because it's an iPad and "Detachables" isn't actually a real word nor a significant or credible market segment. It's an invention to flatter Microsoft. It didn't appreciably help.

Since 2015, Surface sales haven't grown. Apple's iPad unit sales haven't either, but they have shifted from low-end sales to higher ASPs, thanks to Pro sales. Microsoft is still earning around $815 million per quarter from Surface while Apple just earned $9.7 billion in Q2 from its non-iPhone computers. Apple's computer sales are also bucking the failing trend among PC makers.



But rather than being coddled into its own Surface Success Fantasy by industry research outfits inventing a new "category of computing" playing field where players can be successful just by participating, Apple's computer sales (and in particular its iPad sales) are frequently compared against the most successful tech business ever: Apple's iPhone. Compared to iPhone, everything else Apple does is behind!

That's how Apple Watch decisively won in watches, but ended up denigrated as a failure because as we all know, Apple isn't competing against other smartwatches, it's trying to beat the iPhone.

The tech media laughs at Apple for tying its shoes because it can't outrun the bear. But it's not trying to outrun the bear. It owns the bear. It's trying to outrun everyone else still putting their shoes on as iPhone bear runs around eating everyone.

It's popular to say that Apple is "behind" in smartwatches because it isn't offering 4G mobile connectivity that could replace your phone with a watch--as some other smartwatches attempt to do. The same people who are advising that Apple cannibalize its iPhone sales to less expensive Watches also seem to think that its a bad thing that Apple isn't still selling more iPads instead of higher-ASP, big screen iPhones. It's almost as if the only way Apple can be successful is if it makes less money.

Wearables, part 2

2016 Samsung rang in the year with a Galaxy Gear-like spectacular, albeit one that played down smartwatches to instead focus on how ahead-of-Apple it was in smartphone Virtual Reality. The new Gear VR headset was a collaboration with Facebook's Oculus, and served as a key strategy for upselling Samsung phone buyers to its premium Galaxy S6 and S7 models. Apple offered nothing like this! Another important way Samsung was ahead last spring: water resistance.

Samsung was clearly ahead of Apple in delivering those features, just as it was previously ahead in selling smartphones, in phone cameras, in NFC, in phablets and in smartwatches. It isn't ahead in those areas anymore, however. And by the end of 2016, Samsung phones had failed two major water resistance tests and Apple had introduced its own water resistant iPhone 7.

Originally intended to make a big VR splash--and distract some holiday season attention away from iPhone 7--Samsung's VR-phablet Note 7 instead imploded as bad QA resulted in battery failures causing fires and an embarrassing recall. Samsung had to cancel the entire production for an incredible $5 billion loss and Oculus remotely disabled their Gear VR headsets so that nobody could even try to use them.

Rather than cementing Samsung's "aheadedness," VR turned out to be the biggest loser of 2016. Instead, the most popular and critically acclaimed new wearable turned out to be Apple's AirPods, an effort to deliver perfected wireless sound with a voice based, audio Augmented Reality. In a sort of double sting, AirPods also work with Apple Watch, giving Apple two major wins in wearables compared to two painful bellyflops from Samsung.

Where is Apple behind in 2017?

Microsoft just finished Build, and Google is set to outline what it's been working on at its IO conference in the second half of next week. After that we get two weeks to contemplate what Apple will be showing off at WWDC in the first week of June. We'll be looking for areas where Apple may be behind its rivals.

It's getting harder to find them.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 96
    cutykamucutykamu Posts: 223member
    wow, nice article... 
    its easy to forget what apple has done till now and what they have plans for the future as the media keeps showing apple is going down almost every day... 

    enjoyed reading this article.. thanks.

    magman1979calimejsricequality72521StrangeDaysgeorgie01lkruppDon.Anderseniqatedowatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 96
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    TL DR, who are you trying to convince here? Basically the article states that the last time Apple pushed out some significant innovation was in 2014. It's nearly mid 2017 now and still no sign of updated desktops. Apple is turning into a services company, but their margins strategy is still one for a hardware company with 100% control over the manufacturing. They're having a really hard time signing contracts with content producers or even just working outside the US. All fanboyism aside, this is going to bite them in the butt rather sooner than later.
    edited May 2017 singularitywilliamhSpamSandwichbrucemc
  • Reply 3 of 96
    cutykamucutykamu Posts: 223member
    g-news said:
    TL DR, who are you trying to convince here? Basically the article states that the last time Apple pushed out some significant innovation was in 2014. It's nearly mid 2017 now and still no sign of updated desktops. Apple is turning into a services company, but their margins strategy is still one for a hardware company with 100% control over the manufacturing. They're having a really hard time signing contracts with content producers or even just working outside the US. All fanboyism aside, this is going to bite them in the butt rather sooner than later.
    lol, this article exactly stated that whenever other companies said "apple is doomed" they were in trouble within few years... 
    now you are saying it that "this is going to bite them in the butt"...  :p
    mwhiteRayz2016baconstangSpamSandwichmejsricequality72521StrangeDaysgeorgie01levipscooter63
  • Reply 4 of 96
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,949member
    Can't wait for WWDC. There's so many possibilities Apple could bring out plus ones we haven't even thought about.

    As to Google IO, their two big announcements are actual fixes to long-standing problems in Android. One being a switch to iOS style multitasking (restricting background Apps) and the other is Treble (a way to reduce fragmentation and make updating devices easier).

    Oh, and the new messaging system they're going to show off. 
    calinetmagelordjohnwhorfinwatto_cobrapalomine
  • Reply 5 of 96
    rotateleftbyterotateleftbyte Posts: 1,006member
    Can't wait for WWDC. There's so many possibilities Apple could bring out plus ones we haven't even thought about.
    But will they do anything? That is the question that so many are asking.
    Yes there are possibilities but... Apple is being seen as an ultra conservative 'follower' rather than a leader.
    more of a 'Dedicated follower of Fashion' than a '21st Centrury Schitzoid Man'.

    Will the WWDC this year be a damp squib or a brand new rocketship heading for the stars?
    Will TC give us glimpse of this fantastic pipeline he talks about?
    Only time (and plentiful rumours) will tell.

  • Reply 6 of 96
    saltyzipsaltyzip Posts: 193member
    The issue long-term for Apple is will people pay a premium for a phone in years to come when a £200 phone will do everything they need and more?

    IBM used to sell expensive PCs with massive cost to profit ratio, but once competition had caught up and started to out innovate them, their profits started to fall down a cliff. Blackberry suffered the same fate. What's different this time is Apple has monopoly on its app store, and this is why Apple will turn into a services company. However regulators may see this as anti competitive and allow likes of e.g Amazon to setup its own Apple app store. Wouldn't that be good for consumers!
  • Reply 7 of 96
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,555member
    saltyzip said:
    The issue long-term for Apple is will people pay a premium for a phone in years to come when a £200 phone will do everything they need and more?

    IBM used to sell expensive PCs with massive cost to profit ratio, but once competition had caught up and started to out innovate them, their profits started to fall down a cliff. Blackberry suffered the same fate. What's different this time is Apple has monopoly on its app store, and this is why Apple will turn into a services company. However regulators may see this as anti competitive and allow likes of e.g Amazon to setup its own Apple app store. Wouldn't that be good for consumers!

    Apple cannot have a monopoly on its own App Store, in much the same way that Toyota cannot have a monopoly for selling Toyota cars. 

    The market is for app stores, not the App Store. Apple does not have the biggest app store, and even if it did, there is nothing illegal in having a monopoly, so regulators have no case. 

    Hope that makes things a little clearer for you. 

    baconstangicarasadamcmejsricStrangeDayspscooter63netmagerajeshkhaterwatto_cobramdriftmeyer
  • Reply 8 of 96
    irelandireland Posts: 17,522member
    So cars. Was funny seeing Cook's positively giddy reaction to the car question when interviewed by ridiculous Jim Cramer recently. It's obvious Apple are building a car. Poker face, I think not.
    palomine
  • Reply 9 of 96
    icarasicaras Posts: 21member
    saltyzip said:
    ...this is why Apple will turn into a services company. 
    Thanks for the laugh.
    StrangeDayspscooter63netmageDon.Andersenjony0lordjohnwhorfinwatto_cobrapatchythepirate
  • Reply 10 of 96
    saltyzipsaltyzip Posts: 193member
    icaras said:
    saltyzip said:
    ...this is why Apple will turn into a services company. 
    Thanks for the laugh.
    Educate yourself  http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/31/tim-cook-on-apple-earnings-call-double-services-revenue-by-2020.html

    Future is cloud services, that's where the money is, not in hardware, any Tom dick and harry can make a phone. That's why the pc market is suffering and will continue to do so as margins are minimal.
  • Reply 11 of 96
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    g-news said:
    TL DR, who are you trying to convince here? Basically the article states that the last time Apple pushed out some significant innovation was in 2014. It's nearly mid 2017 now and still no sign of updated desktops. Apple is turning into a services company, but their margins strategy is still one for a hardware company with 100% control over the manufacturing. They're having a really hard time signing contracts with content producers or even just working outside the US. All fanboyism aside, this is going to bite them in the butt rather sooner than later.
    I hate how only Apple is held to the innovation standard.

    samsung, Microsoft, LG, everyone can copy and follow for decades but Apple must innovate yearly or they're failing.

    Qrotateleftbyte said:
    Can't wait for WWDC. There's so many possibilities Apple could bring out plus ones we haven't even thought about.
    But will they do anything? That is the question that so many are asking.
    Yes there are possibilities but... Apple is being seen as an ultra conservative 'follower' rather than a leader.
    more of a 'Dedicated follower of Fashion' than a '21st Centrury Schitzoid Man'.

    Will the WWDC this year be a damp squib or a brand new rocketship heading for the stars?
    Will TC give us glimpse of this fantastic pipeline he talks about?
    Only time (and plentiful rumours) will tell.


    Who is Apple "following" exactly?

    again, just because they aren't innovating yearly doesn't mean they're falling behind.
    equality72521StrangeDaysnetmagesuperklotonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 96
    ch1ptunech1ptune Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Great read. Thanks.

    Another area this article could have mentioned is wireless streaming of audio and video. In terms of innovation, I believe Apple was years ahead with the AirPort routers and AirPlay in general. I could be wrong, but back in 2004 when the first AirPort Express was released with wireless audio streaming support, I hadn't heard of a similar consumer product with the same functionality out there. It took Google more than a decade to follow suit with Chromecast Audio in 2015.
    rajeshkhaterwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 96
    Apple is but one company. How can one company be ahead in EVERY area? Is it really that important that a company be first in everything? A company doesn't necessarily make the most money from being first. These knuckleheads think that technology is some sort of a race and there's some huge reward for getting to the finish line before everyone else. Is there some terrible disgrace for being second or third in the industry? That's like giving no other companies credit for achieving anything. If some company has been working on bringing some product to the market for years, why should some other company just come along and beat them after only working on a similar product for six months? Why does everything have to be some fast-draw contest?

     Can't a company take the time to develop a product to meet their own expectations or create their own definition of a category? This goes for any company and not just Apple. Honestly, so what if Apple is behind in some product categories, what's the big deal. It's not as though Apple is desperate to make money. I really don't understand what is the matter with these people who are always so eager to point out Apple's so-called failings. There are plenty of companies that have more failings than Apple.
    edited May 2017 retrogustoStrangeDayspscooter63netmagesuperklotonwaverboy
  • Reply 14 of 96
    Is this just a reprint from an article one year ago? Or two years ago?
    singularitybrucemc
  • Reply 15 of 96
    saltyzipsaltyzip Posts: 193member
    Rayz2016 said:
    saltyzip said:
    The issue long-term for Apple is will people pay a premium for a phone in years to come when a £200 phone will do everything they need and more?

    IBM used to sell expensive PCs with massive cost to profit ratio, but once competition had caught up and started to out innovate them, their profits started to fall down a cliff. Blackberry suffered the same fate. What's different this time is Apple has monopoly on its app store, and this is why Apple will turn into a services company. However regulators may see this as anti competitive and allow likes of e.g Amazon to setup its own Apple app store. Wouldn't that be good for consumers!

    Apple cannot have a monopoly on its own App Store, in much the same way that Toyota cannot have a monopoly for selling Toyota cars. 

    The market is for app stores, not the App Store. Apple does not have the biggest app store, and even if it did, there is nothing illegal in having a monopoly, so regulators have no case. 

    Hope that makes things a little clearer for you. 



    Now if Walmart forced the consumer to only buy Cheerios from its stores, it has a Monopoly on that product.

    Monopoly means: "the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service"

    Apple has sole control over everything it sells to Apple devices. That can be seen as anti competitive when a company has too much power, like Apple, bad for consumers, and for companies like Spotify etc.

    No streaming service can compete with Apples, because Apple can price theirs better than everyone else who sells competing products, plus they take a cut of competing products revenue too as it has to be sold through app store, not fair.

    Hope that educates you.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 16 of 96
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,555member
    cutykamu said:
    g-news said:
    TL DR, who are you trying to convince here? Basically the article states that the last time Apple pushed out some significant innovation was in 2014. It's nearly mid 2017 now and still no sign of updated desktops. Apple is turning into a services company, but their margins strategy is still one for a hardware company with 100% control over the manufacturing. They're having a really hard time signing contracts with content producers or even just working outside the US. All fanboyism aside, this is going to bite them in the butt rather sooner than later.
    lol, this article exactly stated that whenever other companies said "apple is doomed" they were in trouble within few years... 
    now you are saying it that "this is going to bite them in the butt"...  :p

    Well, he did say that the article was too long for him to read.

    And I think that really highlights the problem with the poor Apple analysis we see everywhere: very few journalists and arm-chair forum pundits lack the patience (or perhaps the capacity) to put together a proper analysis of just about any company, let alone one like Apple which has been doomed to failure for about as long as I can remember.

    DED has pretty much hit the nail on the head, and as you said, this fella just proved his point.



    StrangeDayspscooter63netmagecutykamusuperklotonwatto_cobrabrucemcbadmonk
  • Reply 17 of 96
    RTCRTC Posts: 14member
    Touch ID...MacBook Retina 12...the powerhouse iPad Pro 12.9...Apple Watch 2 (one of the rare products you can take out for a swim)...AirPods...iMac with 5k display...yeah, Apple sucks. LOL
    Also, their services are booming...

    I am a gadget lover and I buy other products as well, also have the Samsung Galaxy S8+, which is a very good looking smartphone and the new formfactor fits quite well in my palm, also reception in some "difficult" areas is better than on my iPhone 7 Plus. However, Android still sucks (S8+ still runs with Android 7.0..., there is no update to the latest Android version), the fingerprint sensor on the back is most annoying and the iris scanner barely works with glasses and/or contacts and even without, it is slow and you often need to move around the phone to get an unlock. This was always the problem with Samsung: They make good hardware but sometimes they rush things and the software adaptation often sucks. 

    The only thing I would love to see from Apple is buying Sonos and implementing Siri with their system. This would be amazing. I have the Amazon Echo and it works well but the sound isn't that great, especially when it comes to music. I know that Apple could go with a Beats product to offer a similar system but the mesh system from Sonos works amazingly well (mine is at least five years old and it still is up-to-date because Sonos hasn't changed much and regular software updates are coming).

    Apple has cranked up their R&D budget over the past couple of years and they have enough money to buy huge quantities of hardware components at very low bulk prices, so there is a bright future ahead of them if they know what customers want.

    People either love or hate Apple, for whatever reasons but they dominate the "high end" market regarding smartphones, laptops and tablets, maybe even desktops and it won't change any time soon. Warren Buffet and his people clearly understood that.
    StrangeDayswlymsuperklotonwatto_cobrabrucemc
  • Reply 18 of 96
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,555member
    saltyzip said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    saltyzip said:
    The issue long-term for Apple is will people pay a premium for a phone in years to come when a £200 phone will do everything they need and more?

    IBM used to sell expensive PCs with massive cost to profit ratio, but once competition had caught up and started to out innovate them, their profits started to fall down a cliff. Blackberry suffered the same fate. What's different this time is Apple has monopoly on its app store, and this is why Apple will turn into a services company. However regulators may see this as anti competitive and allow likes of e.g Amazon to setup its own Apple app store. Wouldn't that be good for consumers!

    Apple cannot have a monopoly on its own App Store, in much the same way that Toyota cannot have a monopoly for selling Toyota cars. 

    The market is for app stores, not the App Store. Apple does not have the biggest app store, and even if it did, there is nothing illegal in having a monopoly, so regulators have no case. 

    Hope that makes things a little clearer for you. 



    Now if Walmart forced the consumer to only buy Cheerios from its stores, it has a Monopoly on that product.

    Monopoly means: "the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service"

    Apple has sole control over everything it sells to Apple devices. That can be seen as anti competitive when a company has too much power, like Apple, bad for consumers, and for companies like Spotify etc.

    No streaming service can compete with Apples, because Apple can price theirs better than everyone else who sells competing products, plus they take a cut of competing products revenue too as it has to be sold through app store, not fair.

    Hope that educates you.

    Not really, because you don't seem to know the difference between what is 'fair' and what is the 'law'. And none of your arguments are actually points of law; they're just your personal wish list.

    For an example to actually work, it has to make sense. Walmart cannot actually force people to buy Cheerios from its store, so your example is pretty much moot.

    However, the makers of Cheerios are free to sell their exclusively through Walmart if they want to. That would be a mistake, but if Walmart offered them an exclusivity deal  then they are free to take it.

    Developers on the Apple app store are subject to terms and conditions; it is their choice whether they accept them or not. If they don't accept them then they can't play, but there is nothing to stop them playing on other app stores.

    But … but there is only one app store for the iPhone!

    Unfortunately, no matter how much you want it to be, the iPhone is not a market. It is a product, and there is nothing illegal or unusual about having add-ons for your own product and stopping other folk from making add-ons unless they pay you to take part. Printer manufacturers have been doing it your years, and so have those folk who make posh coffee machines. 

    However,

    if a company does manage to come up with a way to make an add-on without paying you, then they too are absolutely entitled to do so. This is why you can make alternative refills for your printer and HP cannot take you to court. Likewise, if you come up with an alternative app store then Apple cannot use the law to prevent you from doing it. But good luck keeping your store up and running after the next iOS software release.

    And not only is the iPhone a product, it is not even a product with the biggest market share.


    Monopoly means: "the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service"

    Yup, you've quoted it, but you still don't know what a monopoly is do you? Apple does not have exclusive control of supply of a commodity or service, because the iPhone is not an exclusive commodity; it is a product in a market of very similar commodities.  And even if it was, there is nothing illegal about having a monopoly.

    Apple has sole control over everything it sells to Apple devices. 

    You're pretending that Apple devices are a market by themselves because without that assertion, your argument falls at the first fence.  The fact is that Apple devices are products in a market of alternatives. You cannot say that there is no alternative to the iPhone, and you cannot say there is no alternative to the iPad. You cannot say there's not alternative to the Mac, and you cannot say there's no alternative to the AppleTV. And because these products are not monopolies, you cannot say that app store is a monopoly.

    That can be seen as anti competitive when a company has too much power, like Apple, bad for consumers, and for companies like Spotify etc.

    Ah, Spotify. So that's what this is about. Fair enough. :-D

    Right, because you want it to be anti-competitive doesn't actually make it so. What is anticompetitive is governments stepping in to protect less successful companies from more successful ones.   When Apple was on its last legs, did Steve Jobs ask the government to hold back the competition to give him time to get his house in order? No, he looked at the situation, realised the war was lost; he had to regroup and make his own battlefield.  What you're asking for his protectionism for Spotify's failing business model. What Spotify needs to do is go back to the drawing board and come with a strategy that can actually start turning a decent profit. What it doesn't need is for the courts to step in and protect it from big bad Apple so it can fail for longer.

    One other small thing.

    When Apple opened its online stores, the company I was working for was being charged 60% of its sales for each of three mobile app stores it was on. When Apple opened its app store, it caused a massive drop in charges across the board. Unfortunately, it also meant that the company's Palm and Windows Mobile apps died overnight, but that's another story :-/
     
    Heh, I'd love to see the courts tell Google that they had to funnel a percentage of requests to google.com to other search engines and give them the advertising revenue, because otherwise it's 'not fair'.

    edited May 2017 equality72521StrangeDayshaarpscooter63netmagerajeshkhaterwonkothesaneemig647RTCsuperkloton
  • Reply 19 of 96
    I enjoyed reading this article. Keep these up!
    StrangeDayswlymwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 96
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 413member
    saltyzip said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    saltyzip said:
    The issue long-term for Apple is will people pay a premium for a phone in years to come when a £200 phone will do everything they need and more?

    IBM used to sell expensive PCs with massive cost to profit ratio, but once competition had caught up and started to out innovate them, their profits started to fall down a cliff. Blackberry suffered the same fate. What's different this time is Apple has monopoly on its app store, and this is why Apple will turn into a services company. However regulators may see this as anti competitive and allow likes of e.g Amazon to setup its own Apple app store. Wouldn't that be good for consumers!

    Apple cannot have a monopoly on its own App Store, in much the same way that Toyota cannot have a monopoly for selling Toyota cars. 

    The market is for app stores, not the App Store. Apple does not have the biggest app store, and even if it did, there is nothing illegal in having a monopoly, so regulators have no case. 

    Hope that makes things a little clearer for you. 



    Now if Walmart forced the consumer to only buy Cheerios from its stores, it has a Monopoly on that product.

    Monopoly means: "the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service"

    Apple has sole control over everything it sells to Apple devices. That can be seen as anti competitive when a company has too much power, like Apple, bad for consumers, and for companies like Spotify etc.

    No streaming service can compete with Apples, because Apple can price theirs better than everyone else who sells competing products, plus they take a cut of competing products revenue too as it has to be sold through app store, not fair.

    Hope that educates you.
    Glad you used Wal-mart as a comparison. I always wondered this: So Walmart (or any other store/grocer) can sell Cherrios in its store and charge them for shelf space. Then, right along side Cherrios, they can sell their own Walmart-O's at a much lower price. Is this anti-competitive? Kind of feel App Store is the same. Apple charges you for shelf space in the App Store and right along side offers there own similar services to what you offer (Spotify, Apple Music). Seems there are very similar parrallels but I don't ever hear people or companies complaining about this. I could be way off though, not as smart as most here....
    StrangeDaysrajeshkhater
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