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Apple Hasn't Lost Its Edge

May 15, 2013 4:12 pm

Doomsdayers and Naysayers are out in full force.  Since the passing of Steve Jobs, it seems anyone with Chicken Little syndrome is pointing to Apple's impending doom.

What are some of these earmarks of the eventual Apple-pocalypse?
  • Many iPhone's are being carted around loaded with Google (and others) apps and software.  
  • The marketshare for iPhones is decreasing (amid incredibly more competition).
  • Competitor's R&D spending is considerably more than Apple's.


Once upon a time (2001), Apple created the iPod.   It was a revolutionary device for two reasons: 
  1. The hardware (the iPod) was unlike any MP3 device available
  2. iTunes was a breakthrough in managing and purchasing music. 
Now fast forward to the iPhone (2007) - what is so special about the iPhone? Sure the design is nice, but you can get a similar feel elsewhere. 

It's not the hardware.
It's the software, silly.

The iPod didn't give rise to Apple's dominance in the past decade--iTunes did. It was never about the hardware, but since the hardware was part of the user interface (UI), Apple, of course, made awesome hardware. In a world of MP3 players, Apple built a Porsche. But the secret was iTunes in how it managed your existing music library, and then became your preferred way to purchase your future music library. 

The iPhone was no different. It wasn't really about the phone or the monthly subscription - it was about iTunes and the App store. 

Anyone can make cool hardware, but without the supporting infrastructure, you're just another phone. An island.  Not a destination and not a home.  An iPhone with iTunes & the App Store is all of that. And more.

Apple's vision is that of creating a cohesive eco-system.  One with top-notch software experiences (iTunes, App Store) coupled with amazing hardware.


Still, there's a lot of work to be done. With Apple, a user's experience might be through a MacBook pro, an iPhone, an iPad, etc. Right now, the functionality is *about* the same across all three platforms, but not quite.

This coming WWDC in June, we predict Apple will make BIG strides to pull these hardware items closer together through iCloud.   Just wait.  Nobody is really picking up on this.

Google is a network company who lives in software. They understand that the Network Is The Computer (its a former Sun slogan).  However, Google sucks at hardware. And Glass is a perfect example of that.


Android phones continue to be churned out month after month while a new iOS phone makes an annual appearance. What's so wrong about using a device that is 1+ years old as long as it works well?  Are consumers really that fickle that they are looking to upgrade every few months?  We don't think so.

The stability of Apple devices transforms many people into believers. Rebooting an iPhone is a rare necessity. Also, a failing device seems to be a rarity as well. Other phones by other manufacturers have varying lifetimes.

Apple is a brand consumers trust. This trust was not earned on a whim. Rather, it was built through years of offering quality products coupled with ground-breaking user interfaces.

Google's business model is advertising. They're only too happy to offer their products (Maps, Now!, etc) on iPhones as a means to delivering impressions and generating revenue. As more people utilize Google software on their Apple phones, they need to realize Google will keep churning out applications for the advertising revenue potential they hold.

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