Why pay money to see a loser, the leader and visionary is gone the fall of apple has begun
Sorry for the rant, but as someone who follows technology closer than most, I'm annoyed that it's suddenly become trendy to hate on Apple. Maybe this is karma, since Cupertino has had the "cool" advantage for quite some time. But even if you take a pretty harsh look at Apple, the facts simply don't support descriptions such as "user."
Apple's profits in the most recent quarter were higher than those of Microsoft and Google combined.
The company's stock has taken a beating, but this is driven more by hedge fund managers and the market's generally knee-jerk, reactionary attitude to tech stocks. Don't forget: Wall Street has been routinely stupid when it comes to Apple--e.g. massively and undeniably undervaluing the stock during the recession, despite Cupertino's outstanding results during the same period.
Yes, the company has failed to release a new, groundbreaking product in a while. Yes, Android has gained market share. Yes, there is more competition now from Windows 8, and with the launch of Intel's Haswell and Bay Trail processors, that competition will only grow fiercer, especially in the vital mini-tablet market, which the iPad Mini currently owns.
But no one innovates non-stop, and we have to at least see how Tim Cook handles the company's next big product launch before we declare his tenure a failure.
Look at the competition. Android has basically caught up to iOS in terms of functionality but it hasn't meaningfully surpassed it. Yes, yes, Android fans, I know your preferred platform can do things that iOS can't-- but a lot of this so-called differentiation doesn't matter outside of niche use cases, and Apple's security model is substantially superior. There's a reason that 90% of smartphones in the enterprise are still iPhones.
Apple's been in a period of R&D and quiet acquisitions. If WWDC brings something new on the software front (and that's the rumor), a lot of the naysayers could change their tune. And even if WWDC doesn't bring anything exciting, Apple still isn't sunk. A WWDC flop would mean Cupertino is in for a summer of Wall Street skepticism--but even in this scenario, the Fall will be the true "make or break" moment for Cook's leadership. That's when new products are going to show up. Will they be iterative--e.g. a new iPad Mini with Retina Display? Or will they knock something out of the park--e.g. launch a killer TV or wearable tech product, or a version of Siri that takes voice recognition tech to the next level. Will they finally remember the Mac Pro? Will iOS and OS X continue to merge in useful ways? None of these questions is insignificant to Apple's future.
Android has just leveled the playing field for current
tech, but if Apple gets TV, wearable technology, or any of the next-gen stuff right, it could open up new, multi-billion dollar revenue streams on top of the PC, mobile, and software businesses that Apple already owns. And you can bet that any of these next-gen platforms will loop into iOS. Ecosystems are the drivers of the new device landscape, not hardware-- and it's waaaaaay premature to say Apple has lost its footing in this race.
Here's some more evidence: Android's market share is primarily due to low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, a tactic Apple hasn't yet tried, and which it is soon expected to embrace. The rest of Android's success has a lot to do with Samsung, and if you haven't noticed that Samsung layers a lot
of proprietary software on top of Google's open-source foundation, take a minute to think about that. Does Samsung have the makings of its own OS? I think so. And Facebook's Android-flavored "Home" product seems like the beginning of an OS too. If any of these Android-friendly companies fragment off of the main Android ecosystem (something Google is discouraging with its recent app update revisions), Android won't be in hot shape.
Could Apple be on the way down? Sure. Would I pay half a million dollars for lunch with Tim Cook? No. For work, I talk to C-level executives from competing companies all the time, and they never get baited into saying anything interesting.
But still-- the Apple backlash that's emerged over the last few months is befuddling. Should the company do something to freshen up iOS? Probably. But saying that the products are a little stagnant is a far cry from writing off the company's leadership and prospects. Maybe Apple is headed the way of Dell, HP and Microsoft-- the first two of which were once tech ultra-players who have since fallen on hard times, and the third of which is somewhat unfairly maligned (still enormously profitable) but poised to lose the de facto monopoly it's enjoyed for the last decade.
But iOS still has a lot of potential, as I described above, and Macs have weathered the downturn in PC sales far better than any Windows machines. That alone puts Apple in decent shape, and with at least two potentially huge revenue streams allegedly in the wings, it's hard to claim the company has reached moribund status.