Editorial: As Apple plays the telephone game, analysts hear something else entirely

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 1
When Apple entered the smartphone market in 2007, it didn't do so to lose money making most of the world's smartphones as a public service. All these years later, a shocking number of analysts and reporters still seem to be confused about this.

Steve Jobs iPhone 2007

Jobs depiction of potential iPhone market share

In introducing the original iPhone at the beginning of 2007, Steve Jobs noted that the market for mobile phones was "just about a billion last year," and that "we're going to go for it and see if we can get 1 percent market share, 10 million units in 2008, and go from there."

Note that Jobs didn't aim to get a 1% share of "smartphones," but rather all mobile phones. At the time, these were mostly basic Nokia models that did little more than make calls. Jobs ambitiously intended to sell 10 million iPhones in its first full year, but it's curious why he described this as such a small fragment of the mobile market rather than being a pretty significant slice of comparable smartphones priced anywhere close to the original $499 price of iPhone. Apple had just sold around 40 million iPods in 2006, but iPods were far cheaper on average than the new iPhone.

Jobs was defining first-year success in two ways: both with a milestone number of 10 million units, and as a very tiny slice of the very large, total addressable market for global mobile phones. Ten million iPhones at $499 more or more would generate over $5 billion in its first-year revenues at a substantial profit margin. It didn't matter that this number was "only" 1% of all the phones sold in the world. That should tell you something about market share numbers today.

At the same time, Jobs was also making it clear how much growth potential Apple had in mobile phones: 10 million units would be only a tiny fragment of the overall mobile market. And at the same time, he was also making it clear that Apple didn't need to dominate share numbers for "all phones sold" to create a massive and very successful business for iPhone.

Now more than a decade later, Apple is selling around 30-40 million iPhones just in its relatively slow Q3. Market research companies like IDC have reported over the last couple years that Apple has captured somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of all smartphone units shipped per quarter. These numbers swing around so wildly that they are nearly meaningless.

IDC's number factory of billowing noxious smoke

What are iPhones being compared to by IDC? Not "all mobile phones" sold, as Jobs did back in 2007. IDC compares its estimates of how many smartphones each major vendor dumps into the global market per quarter. Yet these statistics are so meaningless that they provide no real insight into what is actually happening.

And quite clearly, IDC's guestimate numbers are often embarrassingly incorrect -- stupefyingly wrong figures that get crammed into precisely calculated percentages of "change" and "market share" that mean really absolutely nothing. IDC's chart below doesn't provide any clarity into the individual or relative performance of the world's top smartphone makers over the past couple years. You'd need to read the caption to know that these rollercoaster lines depict nearly random fractions of an industry that declined overall by 5.6 percent across the period of the chart.


IDC market share numbers are largely low signal noise


They are not informative figures. They are distractions from reality. What did it mean when IDC said Apple sold the greatest segment of smartphone market share (19.6%) during the last quarter of 2017, beating out Samsung and nearly doubling the volumes sold by Huawei, but then six months later was in third place with a sales unit figure close to half that of Samsung?

Does it mean Apple is suddenly in trouble? No, it doesn't say anything about Apple's performance as a company, or the relative ability of Apple to compete or innovate or attract buyers compared to Samsung and Huawei. Apple's highly cyclical sales of high-end iPhones were being compared against much more consistent volumes of low-end Androids being sold to completely different audiences. It's like comparing holiday spirits sales to the price of tea in China.

Using its own numbers, IDC couldn't even predict a wining platform for smartphones. IDC concluded that Windows Mobile would quickly come out ahead, then predicted Windows would win in tablets. Its numbers, time and again, are just low-value noise that blind insight and confuse future trends, and not something that helps anyone understand what's going on in the industry.

IDC's smartphone numbers as absolutely brain-fogging as when IDC claimed Xiaomi was "about tied" with Apple in wearables because it was producing volumes of $12 bands that were being sold at clearance sales during the same quarter that Apple was selling $350 and up watches that built up an installed base capable of attracting mobile app developers and enterprise development.

It's not informative how many low end knockoffs Androids ship

For iPhone-- as was the case with Macs, iPods, and iPads-- what's important is whether Apple can continue to find a sufficiently large audience of buyers willing to pay enough to drive the continued development of new features, new operating system advancement, and the development of new software content and related ecosystems.

In the 1990s, there was a period where it wasn't clear whether Apple could continue to sell enough Macs to maintain all of those things. Yet over the last two decades, Apple has been able to increase its Mac shipments to support the continued development of competitive Mac notebooks; it has remained competitive in macOS development, and it has attracted new software development to the Mac.

That success helped to launch generations of iPod and the iTunes Music store. Macs and iPods enabled the launch of iPhone and the App Store, and that in turn enabled the launch of iPad and tablet-optimized App Store titles. That success has set up Apple to launch Apple Watch and then AirPods. Apple is now cross-pollinating with initiatives including Sidecar for using iPad along with new Macs, developments like SwiftUI for reusing code across Apple's platforms, and Project Catalyst for migrating iPad apps to a native form optimized for the macOS Catalina desktop.

These developments have been steadily progressing across two decades now, with mobile and tablet devices erupting mostly over the last ten years. No figures about the high volumes of Nokia, Blackberry, Motorola, Xaiomi, Samsung, or Huawei devices have ever had any real impact on Apple's ability to execute in building out new form factors, new development platforms, and new accessory and app ecosystems. What really mattered was the critical mass of sales driving Apple's development engines.

Apple is a high volume innovator in and beyond phones. Google and Microsoft are not.

The comparative percentage of the $700+ iPhones Apple sells at the same time that Android producers are cranking out sub-$300 phones for developing markets is not material. What is material is the scale that Apple is operating at, and how that changes what the company can accomplish as a high volume innovator.

This important reality was highlighted in Apple's last earnings call, where Tim Cook noted that "Apple is alone in offering this kind of value and ecosystem to its customers. And these devices and their platforms are unmatched in their ease-of-use, their seamlessness and their privacy and security."

Specifically, Cook had been discussing Apple's expansion into wearables that required approval from government regulators. Like mobile phones in 2007 or tablets in 2010, this is a new business for Apple that requires developing new capabilities. The only thing more interesting than Apple's ability to successfully march into this field is the fact that nobody else is really trying to do this.

"In the June quarter," Cook noted, "we expanded the availability of the [Apple Watch] ECG app and a regular rhythm notifications to five additional European countries and added Canada and Singapore just last week, making them available in 31 countries and regions around the world, with more to come later this year. We're very proud of the muscle we've built in bringing regulated products like these to market. This is an important competency that creates exciting opportunities for us moving forward."

In particular, Apple is "alone in offering this kind of value and ecosystem" in comparison to the world's two other major platform vendors: Google and Microsoft. While media sycophants love to give Google the adoration of a beauty pageant queen for having given away its knockoff of iOS for free to China, Google has squandered its last decade of copycat work. Its efforts to sell tablets went nowhere, the Android Wear initiative is an absolute joke, its me-too effort at copying AirPods was pointless, and it has nothing comparable to Apple Watch helping it to gain important competencies in the approval of future health-related wearables.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai can't sell Pixel, let alone Apple's "value and ecosystem"


What Google does have is a major investment in Pixel silicon related to camera imaging, a huge expenditure it has not recouped in its flaccid attempts to collect anything more than the applause of shills for its terrible-selling Pixel phones. Pixel is such an absolute shit-show that across three years, it has only sold about as many units as iPhone did it its first year. Yet rather than being incredibly profitable and paving the way for future advances in smartphones, Pixel has done nothing but burn Google's extra cash to ashes.

Google's Pixel also tried to launch web-based notebooks, netbooks, and tablets, all of which were total failures. And across all of its years, Google has learned very little about building sales partnerships, erecting successful retail ventures, or creating ecosystems supporting original software and accessories-- despite vacuous promises that there was someday going to be a way to unlock the IA, ML, and advanced imaging potential of Pixel silicon.

Microsoft similarly invested major efforts in launching new Surface RT netbooks running a touch-version of Windows to audiences who soundly rejected that concept. It then tried to salvage a decade of work in Windows Mobile phones, even stooping to pay developers to write apps for its mobile platform. It casually tossed out an exercise Band, and then designed a series of Surface computer form factors that don't matter in any commercial respect whatsoever, apart from titillating bloggers who seem to think the tech industry exists to entertain them, rather than being a commercial enterprise that needs to generate a return on investment.

Apple vs the Conglomerates

That naturally leaves Apple "pitted" against two vast, nationalist conglomerates that have sought to enter the advanced, premium smartphone market Apple created: South Korea's Samsung and China's Huawei. Yet despite copying Apple's hardware designs and software behaviors and images right down to the icons, both companies have failed to duplicate Apple's model of high-end products that sell in high volumes.

Huawei has maintained that it is not run by China's communist party and doesn't get subsidized by state aid. But its executives also claimed to have an operating system that it could drop in to replace Android, a claim it later walked back as a made-up story so casually that even its fan sites were left with their jaws on the floor.

Huawei so flagrantly and casually lies about materially important things that it's hard to take anything the company claims as being factual and genuinely honest.

Over the past year, Huawei was making significant progress in Europe. But having lost its ability to obtain a license for Google's Android, it's now in a precarious position to launch its next flagship phone this summer. And since being put on the US Entity List in May, Huawei's sales have ended their growth spurt.

In Q2, Huawei sales remained flat despite the imposition of the trading ban only occurring half-way through the quarter. Increased sales within China were not enough to mitigate losses outside. Further, the sales ban that affects Android, ARM and many other critical components was not applied to currently shipping phones. Huawei's next phone will be directly hit by the restrictions.

Huawei smartphones Q2 sales were traditionally much more stronger than on Q1 (32.5% more on average).

This year after Trump's veto it is 0%. That's quite the effect pic.twitter.com/x3dQlOePDA

-- Alex B (@somospostpc)


Samsung spent most of the last decade working to build its Galaxy S brand into an iPhone alternative, but after hitting its peak in 2014, Samsung has increasingly flopped around with an increasingly lower end target of competing against emerging Chinese producers to reach high volume sales of low to middling mobile devices. While Samsung essentially invented the ultra-expensive oversize phone, it rapidly lost that market to Apple.

Samsung's Galaxy S9 and S10 have been selling so poorly that the company has been forced to refocus its strategy around A-series affordable phones priced around $300. This quarter, Apple's critics were desperately trying to make hay about a 13% drop in iPhone revenues and a nearly 8.5% drop in profits over the year-ago quarter to reach $11.5 billion in operating income. Yet Samsung's equivalent Mobile segment, despite an 8% increase in revenues reported a precipitous 41.6% collapse in operating profits in sales of its phones, tablets, and PCs. And Samsung Mobile only collectively earned $1.3 billion, just 11.3% of the profits Apple generated in the quarter.

Samsung Q2 2019 earnings
Samsung June quarter earnings collapsed again and nobody cared


Samsung explained its performance by stating that "overall smartphone shipments increased thanks to strong sales in the mid-range-and-below segment, but flagship sales were slow amid waning launch effects of a new model and sluggish demand in the premium market," adding that "profitability declined due to intensifying competition in the low-end to mid-range market and an increase in expenses aimed at clearing the inventory of older models."

Samsung has already found it impossibly difficult to keep pace with Apple in high-end silicon, software, and in proprietary innovations such as Face ID and the TrueDepth camera. Now that it is focusing on low to middle tier phones, keeping up with Apple will be all that much harder. Yet market research data factories ignore all of this to present Samsung as "winning" solely base on the number of phones it ships in a quarter.

Either they don't really know what's going on, or they don't want you to.
fotoformatlolliverwatto_cobra
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    2770 Lorca2770 Lorca Posts: 13unconfirmed, member
    Daniel, como siempre: Bravisimo!! E non sono dalla Italia. Spanish, and, as always, Daniel, nailing it. :)
    correctionsmacpluspluslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 27
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,173member
    The big story isn't even the hardware. It's the ridiculously amazing platforms, developer tools, API, frameworks, and ecosystem that Apple has built, and which continues to improve everyday. They are so far ahead of anything else on this front, that they are in a league of their own. Nobody else even comes close. This is what solidifies Apple's bright future. Apple has FIVE best of class operating systems for all their product categories. MacOS iOS iPadOS TVOS WatchOS Bonus: Carplay What the fuck does Samsung have, a skinned version of Android? Microsoft has absolutely nothing in the mobile space, and the best they could do was add a touch layer to Windows and call that some massive advantage Google? Sure, they have Android. But chromeOS is low end trash, WearOS is a massive failure, and they barely have any compelling hardware. Again, Apple has both the overall best, and most popular hardware on the planet, as well as the best software on the planet running it all and comprising world class platforms that integrate insanely well with each other. This is what all these quarterly sales reports miss.
    correctionstmayjeffharrisStrangeDayscornchipmacpluspluspscooter63lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 27
    FolioFolio Posts: 591member
    All good. My one critique is: shouldn't you break down market share geographically? Of course most readers here know Apple killing it in US and Japan. Not Europe or China. And insignificant in India, Brasil, etc. Does Huawei woes (and Apple's expanding offerings in services, ecosystem) mean potential leaps serving more rising middle class? But I guess that's a whole set of articles. ;-)
    correctionsjeffharriswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 27
    The true test for me of the success of ANY product is how many I see of them—without even looking for them—"out in the wild".

    What I see rather often are: Apple iPhones, MacBooks, Watches; Tesla Sedan S, X, 3; Honda Accord, Civic

     I own Apple and Honda products. I aspire to owning a Tesla.

    That's good enough for me. The rest is fake news, media hype, and just gossip.
    CuJoYYCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 27
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,147member

    Apple is a high volume innovator in and beyond phones. Google and Microsoft are not.

    Huh?? This statement makes no sense. And comparing these three companies is stupid anyway. Apple primarily sells consumer hardware and services that can be used with that hardware. Google and Microsoft’s primary business models are not that at all. 
    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingamdesignraaploutsider
  • Reply 6 of 27
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,894member
    The true test for me of the success of ANY product is how many I see of them—without even looking for them—"out in the wild".

    What I see rather often are: Apple iPhones, MacBooks, Watches; Tesla Sedan S, X, 3; Honda Accord, Civic

     I own Apple and Honda products. I aspire to owning a Tesla.

    That's good enough for me. The rest is fake news, media hype, and just gossip.
    That's why all you see "out in the wild" are those products.  

    FWIW I've still not ever seen an Apple Watch in the wild either...

    almost certainly because I don't care about watches all that much anyway, and have zero interest in smartwatches. Therefor I'm not attuned to them and don't even notice. That does not mean they aren't all around me. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 27
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 682member

    Apple is a high volume innovator in and beyond phones. Google and Microsoft are not.

    Huh?? This statement makes no sense. And comparing these three companies is stupid anyway. Apple primarily sells consumer hardware and services that can be used with that hardware. Google and Microsoft’s primary business models are not that at all. 
    I took that to be the point of the article. So many of the online bloggers, columnists, and influencers keep trying to equate these three, but Apple is just not the same . Even governments at several levels are looking into antitrust and monopoly abuses of the big tech giants and they tend to lump Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple in together, but Apple is not like the rest. As the song from Sesame Street said “One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong...”. The author was going on at great length to point out that Apple had a different business model and should not be compared with the others.
    StrangeDayscornchiplolliverAirunJaewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    gatorguy said:
     

    FWIW I've still not ever seen an Apple Watch in the wild either...

    almost certainly because I don't care about watches all that much anyway, and have zero interest in smartwatches. Therefor I'm not attuned to them and don't even notice. That does not mean they aren't all around me. 
    Same here. I stopped wearing things on my wrist oh, around 1978. Mechanical watches and me don't work. After a month they simply stop and that applied even to an Omega. Digital watches didn't appeal at all.
    When needed, I use a half-hunter that dates from before 1900. Solid hallmarked Gold Case. I bought it at an antiques auction in 2003 for £140
    gatorguy
  • Reply 9 of 27
    Huawei and Samsung are the two in a death spiral with one another. You really need to look at the selling price of mobile phones to properly understand marke share. Look at sales of phones 0$ (service giveaways) - $300. $300-$600 and above $600.

    That type of breakdown would be more telling.

    Apple is the ONLY tech company that kills old products that are successful to move forward with new products. This is a defining aspect on their part. They keep moving forward. Not always delivering exactly what people want (people want cheaper, more, easier, CHEAPER ETC), but Apple moves forward. Samsung is removing headphone jacks now. Android is finally delivering some sort of face ID, but I'm sure it will be a goofed up system made from commodity parts. And that's fine if that's how you want to secure your personal data. You can always pick an inferior system. Now to be proud of that and attend Android Daze (or whatever their ridiculous events are called) and be a fanboy of mediocrity - well that speaks about you to. Someone has to root for the 'less good' products. From what I've seen Samsung employees all kinds of 'marketing' people and 'sales' people who love their products. And are paid to say that. If you're not being paid to say nice things about Samsung phones why would you?
    tmaylolliver
  • Reply 10 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,244member

    Apple is a high volume innovator in and beyond phones. Google and Microsoft are not.

    Huh?? This statement makes no sense. And comparing these three companies is stupid anyway. Apple primarily sells consumer hardware and services that can be used with that hardware. Google and Microsoft’s primary business models are not that at all. 
    I think the point is Apple successfully operates as many different other companies have and do:

    - a PC company (an IBM, Dell, etc)
    - a music player company (Creative, Nomad)
    - a video camera company (Go Pro)
    - a point and shoot camera company (take your pic)
    - a cellphone maker
    - a watch maker 
    - a cloud storage company (Dropbox)
    - a set-top box (Roku)
    - a video streaming company?

    ...etc. Apple operates in spaces were usually a company specialized in, and Apple is doing all of them,  often dominating with leading or historic successes. This is certainly noteworthy, and a distinction. Their fiscal health is incredible. Which makes the DOOM narratives and reporting slants all the more idiotic. 

    Google sells ads successfully. 

    MS has a few more different businesses...Windows, Office, XBox. 

    edited August 1 macpluspluspscooter63lolliver
  • Reply 11 of 27
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 159member
    gatorguy said:
     

    FWIW I've still not ever seen an Apple Watch in the wild either...

    almost certainly because I don't care about watches all that much anyway, and have zero interest in smartwatches. Therefor I'm not attuned to them and don't even notice. That does not mean they aren't all around me. 
    Same here. I stopped wearing things on my wrist oh, around 1978. Mechanical watches and me don't work. After a month they simply stop and that applied even to an Omega. Digital watches didn't appeal at all.
    When needed, I use a half-hunter that dates from before 1900. Solid hallmarked Gold Case. I bought it at an antiques auction in 2003 for £140
    I see dozens a day. They are so obvious now that I can’t miss them. I see them on all age groups. Notably, I see a lot of bartenders and servers wearing them (I spend too much time in restaurants). The growth of the Apple Watch is very reminiscent of the growth of the iPod. It started out as a novelty and moved on to everyone who wanted a good music player had one. Price does not seem to be a factor. And I suspect that if Apple can untie the Apple watch from the iPhone, there will be even more “in the wild.”
    StrangeDayscornchippscooter63AppleExposed
  • Reply 12 of 27
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,637member
    gatorguy said:
    The true test for me of the success of ANY product is how many I see of them—without even looking for them—"out in the wild".

    What I see rather often are: Apple iPhones, MacBooks, Watches; Tesla Sedan S, X, 3; Honda Accord, Civic

     I own Apple and Honda products. I aspire to owning a Tesla.

    That's good enough for me. The rest is fake news, media hype, and just gossip.
    That's why all you see "out in the wild" are those products.  

    FWIW I've still not ever seen an Apple Watch in the wild either...

    almost certainly because I don't care about watches all that much anyway, and have zero interest in smartwatches. Therefor I'm not attuned to them and don't even notice. That does not mean they aren't all around me. 
    Yeah, you must not be paying too much attention. When the watch first came out, only saw them on people who you knew made good money, that is for obvious reason back then. 

    Today, I see them all over the place especially on people you would not expect to dish out $250 for a watch. Based on this it does not surprise me Apple reported 50% growth in this market. I have the very first one, worn it every day since I got it. I am now thinking about getting another one, only because Apple left the original one behind. I know better than to buy the first but I just happen to be in the market at the time so if got it. I would like to have some of the new features and I am not the only one deciding to buy again.
    StrangeDaysmacplusplusAppleExposedlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 27
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,894member
    maestro64 said:
    gatorguy said:
    The true test for me of the success of ANY product is how many I see of them—without even looking for them—"out in the wild".

    What I see rather often are: Apple iPhones, MacBooks, Watches; Tesla Sedan S, X, 3; Honda Accord, Civic

     I own Apple and Honda products. I aspire to owning a Tesla.

    That's good enough for me. The rest is fake news, media hype, and just gossip.
    That's why all you see "out in the wild" are those products.  

    FWIW I've still not ever seen an Apple Watch in the wild either...

    almost certainly because I don't care about watches all that much anyway, and have zero interest in smartwatches. Therefor I'm not attuned to them and don't even notice. That does not mean they aren't all around me. 
    Yeah, you must not be paying too much attention. 
    EXACTLY! You are one of the few that gets it. You notice what you care about. How many F-series pickups did you see today? How many Cardinals? How many Dell laptops? How many elm trees? Unless you have an interest in them you might not remember seeing any. 
    AppleExposed1STnTENDERBITSmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 27
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,147member
    DAalseth said:

    Apple is a high volume innovator in and beyond phones. Google and Microsoft are not.

    Huh?? This statement makes no sense. And comparing these three companies is stupid anyway. Apple primarily sells consumer hardware and services that can be used with that hardware. Google and Microsoft’s primary business models are not that at all. 
    I took that to be the point of the article. So many of the online bloggers, columnists, and influencers keep trying to equate these three, but Apple is just not the same . Even governments at several levels are looking into antitrust and monopoly abuses of the big tech giants and they tend to lump Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple in together, but Apple is not like the rest. As the song from Sesame Street said “One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong...”. The author was going on at great length to point out that Apple had a different business model and should not be compared with the others.
    I still don’t get the article other than Apple good make lots of money everyone else bad. 
    1STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 15 of 27

    Apple is a high volume innovator in and beyond phones. Google and Microsoft are not.

    Huh?? This statement makes no sense. And comparing these three companies is stupid anyway. Apple primarily sells consumer hardware and services that can be used with that hardware. Google and Microsoft’s primary business models are not that at all. 
    I think the point is Apple successfully operates as many different other companies have and do:

    - a PC company (an IBM, Dell, etc)
    - a music player company (Creative, Nomad)
    - a video camera company (Go Pro)
    - a point and shoot camera company (take your pic)
    - a cellphone maker
    - a watch maker 
    - a cloud storage company (Dropbox)
    - a set-top box (Roku)
    - a video streaming company?

    ...etc. Apple operates in spaces were usually a company specialized in, and Apple is doing all of them,  often dominating with leading or historic successes. This is certainly noteworthy, and a distinction. Their fiscal health is incredible. Which makes the DOOM narratives and reporting slants all the more idiotic. 

    Google sells ads successfully. 

    MS has a few more different businesses...Windows, Office, XBox. 

    This is the epitome of ignorance here. You can argue that they do all those things, but they perform at the level of basic functionality for many of those things. 1. As a PC company, they have had mild success. They are still not targeting enterprises as much as IBM/Dell, so I'm not sure what you're talking about here. 2. As a music player company, everyone's already moved past this. Where's HomePod in this? 3. As a video camera company, people don't really compare using iPhones with action cameras. What about RED cameras? 4. As a point and shoot camera company, Google's Pixel actually delivers comparable quality especially at night. Regardless, practically all phones are capable of this. 5. As a cell phone maker, their bread and butter is in the U.S. They still lose out globally (for now?) 6. As a watch maker, their phones have a limited lifespan. They are disrupting the low end watch industries. The mid/upper ends are unaffected. 7. As a cloud storage company, they have iCloud which is mediocre compared to Google, Dropbox, OneDrive, and a myriad of other agnostic platform companies. No one really considers iCloud a formidable competitor as they are scaled to consumers. 8. As a set top box, Apple TV has largely been a non competitor to the Rokus, Fire TVs, etc. Their market share is at the bottom. 9. As a video streaming company, that's to be determined. Of the 9 bullets you've mentioned, I'd say success really is in 4 of the 9. The other 5 they have been outperformed by their competitors in multitudes of angles. Luckily those competitors also allow you to use their products platforms agnostically.
    dasanman69chemengin1Sanctum1972muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 27
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,984member
    The true test for me of the success of ANY product is how many I see of them—without even looking for them—"out in the wild".

    What I see rather often are: Apple iPhones, MacBooks, Watches; Tesla Sedan S, X, 3; Honda Accord, Civic

     I own Apple and Honda products. I aspire to owning a Tesla.

    That's good enough for me. The rest is fake news, media hype, and just gossip.
    The problem with that is you see what you've trained yourself to see. Our brains sets up filters for things that are meaningless to us, this phenomenon is observed whenever we purchase something and we suddenly see it everywhere. It was always there we just ignored it. 
    cornchipgatorguy1STnTENDERBITSmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,244member
    DAalseth said:

    Apple is a high volume innovator in and beyond phones. Google and Microsoft are not.

    Huh?? This statement makes no sense. And comparing these three companies is stupid anyway. Apple primarily sells consumer hardware and services that can be used with that hardware. Google and Microsoft’s primary business models are not that at all. 
    I took that to be the point of the article. So many of the online bloggers, columnists, and influencers keep trying to equate these three, but Apple is just not the same . Even governments at several levels are looking into antitrust and monopoly abuses of the big tech giants and they tend to lump Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple in together, but Apple is not like the rest. As the song from Sesame Street said “One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong...”. The author was going on at great length to point out that Apple had a different business model and should not be compared with the others.
    I still don’t get the article other than Apple good make lots of money everyone else bad. 
    If you still don't get that DED's column routinely covers the lazy, poor, and inaccurate coverage by other media outlets, what can we say other than you're hung up on something? Shrug. That's the topic of many columns, and it's a good one. The other outlets paint a curiously negative picture of Apple. Whether it's ignorance or intentional is unknown. 

    But one thing we can count on -- you will quickly comment on it, to tell us how much you don't like it. "I hate these columns! When's the next one?"
    AppleExposedroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,244member

    Apple is a high volume innovator in and beyond phones. Google and Microsoft are not.

    Huh?? This statement makes no sense. And comparing these three companies is stupid anyway. Apple primarily sells consumer hardware and services that can be used with that hardware. Google and Microsoft’s primary business models are not that at all. 
    I think the point is Apple successfully operates as many different other companies have and do:

    - a PC company (an IBM, Dell, etc)
    - a music player company (Creative, Nomad)
    - a video camera company (Go Pro)
    - a point and shoot camera company (take your pic)
    - a cellphone maker
    - a watch maker 
    - a cloud storage company (Dropbox)
    - a set-top box (Roku)
    - a video streaming company?

    ...etc. Apple operates in spaces were usually a company specialized in, and Apple is doing all of them,  often dominating with leading or historic successes. This is certainly noteworthy, and a distinction. Their fiscal health is incredible. Which makes the DOOM narratives and reporting slants all the more idiotic. 

    Google sells ads successfully. 

    MS has a few more different businesses...Windows, Office, XBox. 

    This is the epitome of ignorance here. You can argue that they do all those things, but they perform at the level of basic functionality for many of those things. 1. As a PC company, they have had mild success. They are still not targeting enterprises as much as IBM/Dell, so I'm not sure what you're talking about here. 2. As a music player company, everyone's already moved past this. Where's HomePod in this? 3. As a video camera company, people don't really compare using iPhones with action cameras. What about RED cameras? 4. As a point and shoot camera company, Google's Pixel actually delivers comparable quality especially at night. Regardless, practically all phones are capable of this. 5. As a cell phone maker, their bread and butter is in the U.S. They still lose out globally (for now?) 6. As a watch maker, their phones have a limited lifespan. They are disrupting the low end watch industries. The mid/upper ends are unaffected. 7. As a cloud storage company, they have iCloud which is mediocre compared to Google, Dropbox, OneDrive, and a myriad of other agnostic platform companies. No one really considers iCloud a formidable competitor as they are scaled to consumers. 8. As a set top box, Apple TV has largely been a non competitor to the Rokus, Fire TVs, etc. Their market share is at the bottom. 9. As a video streaming company, that's to be determined. Of the 9 bullets you've mentioned, I'd say success really is in 4 of the 9. The other 5 they have been outperformed by their competitors in multitudes of angles. Luckily those competitors also allow you to use their products platforms agnostically.
    Oh, dear... And you want to sling arrows about ignorance?

    1. Apple is the most successful PC company. They pioneered the modern computer, are the only player still standing after over 40 years, and earn a disproportionate piece of the profit. Targeting consumers vs enterprise is a feature, not a bug.

    2. You didn't refute that they took on, and owned, music players as a music player company.

    3. REDs are not consumer cameras like Go Pros are. Apple is a consumer video camera compamy, those don't exist anymore. 

    4. As for point and shoots, nobody cares about your specs. Pixels don't sell. iPhones sell. iPhones obliterated the old point and shoots and is the most popular point & shoot company. Thus, they are a point & shoot camera company.

    5. Trying to claim they don't dominate cell phones exposes your ignorance. Regardless, Apple is most definitely a cell phone company. 

    6. Apple Watch has already won as a watch company, it does more revenue than any other brand. You can whine about battery all you want, you can't change facts, Apple is now a watch company.

    7. iCloud Drive is a much better value proposition than Dropbox. Spend $1, $3, or $10 a month. DB is $12. Regardless, Apple is clearly a cloud company. 

    8. Worshipping at the Church of Market Share is ignorant. Apple makes more profit with ATV. They are clearly a set-top company.

    ...again, you've completely missed the point. You're trying to argue you preferences for which companies you like better, but you're ignoring the fact that Apple is in every single one of these sectors. Spaces that in the past (and sometimes still) the rivals do just one thing. Apple does them all. There is no RED cloud service company, nor is there a Dell video streaming service.

    Get it? That's the topic we're discussing. Apple does all of these things. That makes them different. That's what's notable about comparing them to one-trick companies.
    edited August 1 cornchipcorrectionspscooter63roundaboutnowRocwurstwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 27
    correctionscorrections Posts: 1,372member

    Apple is a high volume innovator in and beyond phones. Google and Microsoft are not.

    Huh?? This statement makes no sense. And comparing these three companies is stupid anyway. Apple primarily sells consumer hardware and services that can be used with that hardware. Google and Microsoft’s primary business models are not that at all. 
    Read the sentence under the subhead you quoted and it will describe what it saying in really easy to understand language for you. 

    It quotes Cook’s recent statements and compares Apple’s status with the other two major consumer platforms, which as you know have squandered the last ten years and have very little to show for it, resulting in their “primary business” being elsewhere. 

    Sometimes your comments are just embarrassing to read. Are you mocking yourself? 
    tmaymacpluspluspscooter63roundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 27

    Apple is a high volume innovator in and beyond phones. Google and Microsoft are not.

    I tend to agree. However, regarding data usage and number crunching, I think Google is an innovator, and that should be noted. Although I like navigating with Apple Maps (I seem to miss more turns when navigating with Google Maps than with Apple Maps, just because I find Apple Maps easier on the eyes), Apple does too little with the data that that should have by now: maps are still way less detailed than Google Maps, and Apple does not seem to advance in this area, which is in fact the Artificial Intelligence area. Interesting read on this: https://www.justinobeirne.com/google-maps-moat

    Same goes for Siri; also Ai. I think Ai is the next big thing, and I’m sure Apple will jump that wagon too (of course is already jumping it), but until now Google is way ahead of Apple in this area. 

    So business wise this article is spot on, but for the long run, Apple should realise it’s about time to do something with the enormous amount of data they must have gathered by now, to make Siri, Maps and other smart functions better. Even though it’s harder using that data, while keeping privacy standards high at the same time.
     
    edited August 1 watto_cobra
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