As we went to press with this story, Apple had just reported its first quarter results and Nokia was about to. For both arch-rivals, the quarter will not be indicative of longer term trends. For Apple, there has been disruption to its supply chain, while Nokia's future will be hard to judge until it launches its new WP7 devices …
Saw the vaguely controversial 'click bait' headline. Clicked through. Saw the byline. Won't be reading it as it'll be your typical Wireless Watch article that'll be wring on basically every point. Please, El Reg, stop publishing the drivel from this 'consultancy'.
perhaps the headline SHOULD read "Behind Wireless Watch's analysis of Apple's record sales are signs of desperation"...
"... wring on basically every point."
Shodn't thit by wring an bosicilly ovary pant?
Maybe Apple should consider that when they buy a screen and board from Samsung and put it in a device that isn't much more than a screen and board, it will look an awful lot like the Samsung products it is made of.
Re: "Maybe Apple should consider..." : Yes that's intelligent
Well done. You have just designed and planned the production of the iPad. There isn't really any more to it than that is there? Clearly any two bit Chinese clone merchant is in with a shot of rivalling Apple's success because all it is, is a board and a screen that can be purchased wholesale from Samsung. I don't understand why anyone would want to describe you with the label "loser" when your insight is so profound and you clearly superlative powers of analysis. Honestly, it's enough to make you wonder how the iPad can be the most successful consumer product launch in history isn't it?
The next fight will be in the cloud
Once we get the servers back up after yet another outage
It's always interesting to look at the source of these articles.
These people seem to have a big hate on Apple by the looks of the source link. I quote from the tablets article on their website:
"Already we’ve seen a less than stellar quarter for iPad sales, only 28% up on its first quarter of sales at 4.2m units. This was due to new product launches from Samsung and Dell and pre-launch publicity for RIM, along with a host of low end copy-cat designs. There are more tablets on the way."
I always wonder about the motives of people that make declarations like that. In their own article they talk about rival launches being the cause of (and lets put this in perspective here) a smaller increase. Also they compare financial results to the festive quarter, which makes little sense at all for any company.
Are they short on AAPL, or have some financial interest in seeing Android succeed? Or perhaps they know a controversial stance on a popular product will get them noticed a bit more. Either way, I don't trust them.
"Are they short on AAPL, or have some financial interest in seeing Android succeed?"
The second option, I think. You should see just how much money Google is throwing at ads for all its free stuff, I suspect creative adjustment of Internet searches and and astro turfing cannot be excluded. Getting favourable press isn't exactly hard when you have money - remember all those glowing reviews of Windows Vista, which turned out to be a complete turd? Astonishingly few mea culpas afterwards..
I think the aim is reach. Google is getting more and more problems with its privacy violations, so it is desperate to put other backdoors in place to keep the data coming. Android replaces the WiFi scanning, Chrome looks over your shoulder when surfing without ad blockers getting in the way of revenue - it's quite a big picture. And more and more questions arise about what Google actually means when it terms something "open", because it doesn't appear it means Open Source.
The problem with becoming a monopoly is that you have two choices: become even better or spend your time watching over your shoulder and built walls to consolidate your position. I fear Google has moved to the second option. This may seem right for shareholders, but it signals to me that they consider themselves no longer to be innovators. Shame.
Interesting but is it real analysis?
Yes, Apple are at or near the top of the curve. But this article is filled with wishful thinking rather than hard analysis. The below expected results this quarter for iPad sales are in no way a reflection dissappointing performance in the market. Nor do they reflect an over-estimation of the value or attractiveness of the post PC tablet Market. They reflect only supply chain logistical constraints and (at worst) planning failures and it is churlish to attempt to present the iPad as anything other than the runaway success it is. So using that to support the picture of Apple desperate and rounding the apex of the curve is wishfull thinking on the authors part rather than a reflection of a true weakness. Yes resorting to patents can be viewed as desperation, and certainly that has been the case for other companies in the past, but without independent indicators of desperation, that too reveals a picture the author would like to see rather than what he knows to be the case. It can also just be Apple leveraging money invested in filing IPR.
The other "indication Apple are struggling" the author uses is Apple's current "failure" to deliver a cloud music play. But this analysis lacks wisdom or insight, as there are compelling strategic partnership reasons why Apple would want to be second to the party. In summary, their form on strategic partnership indicates that while they push out technologies that unlock the market, they never rub their content partners faces in it. So they contractually ensured unlimited data (probably at the cost of a exclusivity deal with AT&T) because they saw the strategic value of ensuring the iPhone was used without data constraint. But they then didn't do Internet Tethering or allow Skype calls until after their competitors (even though they could have allowed both from the outset) because they saw the value of keeping their carrier partners (globally and not just in the US) on board. Similarly they have very strong reasons for being second to the Cloud Music Streaming party to avoid annoying their iTunes partners. Amazon is currently drawing very strong legal fire from the record labels, while Apple can now fairly say to their partners, we need to also move into music streaming to compete. Apple purchased a functioning music streaming service some time ago, so there is circumstantial evidence adding to the strategic form-book, supporting the position that the delay is a matter of policy.
The author indicates Apple are "desperate" on the basis their competitors are planning to launch new cloud based services now and implies Apple are failing to reply. Yet Apple (unlike their competitors) have consistently shown discipline in avoiding either revealing or "bigging-up" future product launches and the strategy works very well for them. It's highly unlikely, with their cash pile and history of delivery, that they have anything but a very rich and queued up pipeline of new launches.
Also the criticism of Apple as a "one trick peony" couldn't be further from the truth. Compare with their arch-rival Google and there you really do see - on the key criterion of revenue generation - a one trick peony. Everything, including their reported revenues for Android and YouTube (which are still proportionately very low) stems from their core advertising business. And no doubt much of the revenues that should really be attributed to search advertising are re-classified as YouTube and Android advertising success (e.g. when the ads in-situ in YouTube and Android are hit one step on from a Google search). I don't want this response to sound like a slanging match placing Apple over Google but it is important to reflect the mis-analysis inherent in the use of the "One trick peony" label. Google are making a strategic play, but they don't yet have real diversified revenue streams. Apple have multiple distinct product lines (iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPods and Mac Computers, Software) albeit united by a single ecosystem (which is a strength) and all contribute to earning real share of revenue (and notice I didn't need to resort to including iTunes or App Store).
I do agree with the author that Apple are at or near the top of the curve. However not for the reasons the author has given. I believe it for the simple reason it is difficult to see how they can continue to have an uninterrupted line of successful products that keep them as far ahead of the competition as they have been over the past three years. So my reasoning is based on respect and the slight cynicism we all as human beings have. I respect the success Apple have had. I wonder how it can continue, but equally I don't rule out further successes being launched this year or next (the Apple product secrecy point remember). I suspect the Author actually agrees with me too but rather than finding solid indicators Apple have reached the Apex of the curve, he/she has sought to write a post seeking tap in to our natural cynicism and play on the incredulity we most of us have, pretty much in equal measure. It makes for a good headline but doesn't make for insightful analysis. But then TheRegister majors in cynicism and there's always a place for that.
I enjoyed this post more than the article.
...that you didn't include the 'brick-&-mortar' Apple Stores.
It had more rationally thought-out arguments, too.
Fanboy writes long post
Re: Fanboy writes long post
Indeed. I cannot quite understand the emphasis on 'one trick peonies', and rather prefer one trick primroses myself, though I can understand that Apple's smoke and mirrors marketing of a very small product range does rather restrict both them and their future, and I know that successful companies diversify. Will they disconfirm the so called 'laws' of economics? Will they hover above the ground in the way that flying yogics do not? I somehow doubt it. Every successful company has its' turn in the doghouse.
One tricky peony
Is that a bit like a one trick rose?
Re: One tricky peony
"Is that a bit like a one trick rose?"
One is not sure old bean, but one is going out to ride one's peony this afternoon, what, what. ;-)
I was a bit bemused by this article. One of the things Apple has demonstrated is that in PC, in music player, in mobile and in tablet that it can produce a product that people will want and which will make a profit. Usually its a premium product, but its a product that people will buy. Apple is rarely the first into the market (in all the items I've quoted there have been existing or previous products) but it tends to do something and do it well.
So when the authors say that Apple could be a 'one trick' on mobile .. are they talking about the same company? Apple isn't the first into the cloud? They weren't the first to create a tablet either .. or the smartphone .. or the music player. Not being first is not necessarily a problem for the company. It has a chance to study the market and then 'if' it is true to form provide something that does things sufficiently differently to make a product people will want and buy.
Apple can't out compete MS-DOS
> One of the things Apple has demonstrated is that in PC, in music player, in mobile and in tablet that it can produce a product that people will want
...except this is not entirely true.
Most notable in your list of "successes" is the "PC".
This was something where Apple failed to compete against MS-DOS of all things.
Now their "mobile" success is being threatened by Android.
If Apple really can compete based on merits then why does it have to engage in dubious legal nonsense and dirty tricks. Why does Apple need to take the Tivo approach to competitors?
"...why does it have to engage in dubious legal nonsense and dirty tricks"
If Samsung were confident that their products are better than Apple's, then why did they so flagrantly rip Apple off? Forget the rounded corner bollocks, the look and the feel of the Galaxy S devices is done deliberately to mimic the iPhone. HTC's Sense and the vanilla Android UI don't borrow too heavily form the iPhone, so why does Samsung's mimic Apple's so heavily?
Apple isn't using "dubious legal nonsense and dirty tricks." Apple has filed lawsuits to protect its IP. Whether the courts agree remains to be seen, but such is the state of our current patent systems – they simply weren't designed for software and technology advances. If you have ever read a patent, it states in somewhat general terms what the innovation is designed to do. Often that doesn't seem terribly different from what other patents do, and the subtle difference can have wide-reaching effects.
And therein lies the problem. Almost all of these patent disputes involve patents which describe "a method of delivering text messages to mobile devices", or "a method of managing power systems", etc. The devil is in the details, but most of these patents are so broad that it is almost impossible not to violate someone else's patent when building a mobile phone, computer, developing software, etc.
Apple is also legally bound to protect its IP, otherwise it becomes public use and Apple won't have a leg to stand on. Apple has a duty to its shareholders to protect its IP, so it really has to file these suits.
Apple is also legally bound to protect its IP
That's true of trademarks but not of other forms of IP.
Most companies with a large patent wallet prefer NOT to go to court because the court can invalidate the patents in question and they become useless. They are much more valuable out of court, ironically.
I wish I was as "desperate" as Apple :-)
This is one of the worst link-bait article if I ever saw one.
Nice one El Reg it keep up with this sort of brilliant analysis. I'm not even going to bother driving a huge piston through it.
...for putting the "Wireless Watch" tag on these. It's saved the trouble of reading past the headline.
The media and plagiarism
I'm constantly surprised at the media's willingness to embrace plagiarism outside of its own domain. After all, writing is "just" a collection of ordinary words that people use every day. Why should a particular work be protected, such that anything sufficiently close to it is deemed to be unlawful?
But writers (in particular) understand that, although they use the same language as everyone else, they have poured effort and creativity into that particular work. When another write reproduces that work (albeit with trivial modifications), they recognise that the plagiarist is benefiting from another's efforts. It is much easier to reproduce a work than it is to create it from scratch.
But recognising plagiarism is a difficult - often subjective - judgment to make. For example, J. K. Rowling was recently accused of basing one of the Harry Potter books on the work of another author. While it's true that both works contained common elements of 'wizards', 'witches', and 'magic', the case was dismissed because her work clearly told its own story.
When I look at Samsung's recent efforts, I see plagiarism. Images of its phones can easily be mistaken for an iPhone (before taking a closer look). It tells the same story as an iPhone in its form, detailing, and user interface. I don't see a single scrap of inspiration, innovation, or creativity. Yes, all these phones contain common elements (just as books contain common words and expressions). But Samsung is is riding on the work of others and Apple is well within its rights to call them to account. But I'm disappointed the media is so keen to criticise Apple when all forms of media are amongst the most proactive in preventing copying of its own work through legal action.
And now we have this dreadful piece that suggests that not only does Apple have no right to protect its design/R&D, the efforts are actually an act of desperation. Would you be so happy if another news outlet started cloning all your news articles (or other works) under its own branding? I doubt it.
Life Imitates Art - All IP Slapfights to Date:
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Scene 5: 'Burn the witch!'
Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem.
Pie Iesu domine,...
...dona eis requiem.
Pie Iesu domine,...
...dona eis requiem.
A witch! A witch!
A witch! A witch!
Pie Iesu domine...
CROWD: A witch! A witch! A witch! A witch! We've found a witch! A witch! A witch! A witch! A witch! We've got a witch! A witch! A witch! Burn her! Burn her!
Burn her! We've found a witch! We've found a witch! A witch! A witch! A witch!
VILLAGER #1: We have found a witch. May we burn her?
CROWD: Burn her! Burn! Burn her! Burn her!
BEDEVERE: How do you know she is a witch?
VILLAGER #2: She looks like one.
CROWD: Right! Yeah! Yeah!
BEDEVERE: Bring her forward.
WITCH: I'm not a witch. I'm not a witch.
BEDEVERE: Uh, but you are dressed as one.
WITCH: They dressed me up like this.
CROWD: Augh, we didn't! We didn't...
WITCH: And this isn't my nose. It's a false one.
VILLAGER #1: Well, we did do the nose.
BEDEVERE: The nose?
VILLAGER #1: And the hat, but she is a witch!
VILLAGER #2: Yeah!
CROWD: We burn her! Right! Yeaaah! Yeaah!
BEDEVERE: Did you dress her up like this?
VILLAGER #1: No!
VILLAGER #2 and 3: No. No.
VILLAGER #2: No.
VILLAGER #1: No.
VILLAGERS #2 and #3: No.
VILLAGER #1: Yes.
VILLAGER #2: Yes.
VILLAGER #1: Yes. Yeah, a bit.
VILLAGER #3: A bit.
VILLAGERS #1 and #2: A bit.
VILLAGER #3: A bit.
VILLAGER #1: She has got a wart.
BEDEVERE: What makes you think she is a witch?
VILLAGER #3: Well, she turned me into a newt.
BEDEVERE: A newt?
VILLAGER #3: I got better.
VILLAGER #2: Burn her anyway!
VILLAGER #1: Burn!
CROWD: Burn her! Burn! Burn her!...
BEDEVERE: Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.
VILLAGER #1: Are there?
VILLAGER #2: Ah?
VILLAGER #1: What are they?
CROWD: Tell us! Tell us!...
VILLAGER #2: Do they hurt?
BEDEVERE: Tell me. What do you do with witches?
VILLAGER #2: Burn!
VILLAGER #1: Burn!
CROWD: Burn! Burn them up! Burn!...
BEDEVERE: And what do you burn apart from witches?
VILLAGER #1: More witches!
VILLAGER #3: Shh!
VILLAGER #2: Wood!
BEDEVERE: So, why do witches burn?
VILLAGER #3: B--... 'cause they're made of... wood?
BEDEVERE: Good! Heh heh.
CROWD: Oh, yeah. Oh.
BEDEVERE: So, how do we tell whether she is made of wood?
VILLAGER #1: Build a bridge out of her.
BEDEVERE: Ah, but can you not also make bridges out of stone?
VILLAGER #1: Oh, yeah.
RANDOM: Oh, yeah. True. Uhh...
BEDEVERE: Does wood sink in water?
VILLAGER #1: No. No.
VILLAGER #2: No, it floats! It floats!
VILLAGER #1: Throw her into the pond!
CROWD: The pond! Throw her into the pond!
BEDEVERE: What also floats in water?
VILLAGER #1: Bread!
VILLAGER #2: Apples!
VILLAGER #3: Uh, very small rocks!
VILLAGER #2: Uh, gra-- gravy!
VILLAGER #1: Cherries!
VILLAGER #2: Mud!
VILLAGER #3: Uh, churches! Churches!
VILLAGER #2: Lead! Lead!
ARTHUR: A duck!
BEDEVERE: Exactly. So, logically...
VILLAGER #1: If... she... weighs... the same as a duck,... she's made of wood.
BEDEVERE: And therefore?
VILLAGER #2: A witch!
VILLAGER #1: A witch!
CROWD: A witch! A witch!...
VILLAGER #4: Here is a duck. Use this duck.
[quack quack quack]
BEDEVERE: Very good. We shall use my largest scales.
CROWD: Ohh! Ohh! Burn the witch! Burn the witch! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Ahh! Ahh...
BEDEVERE: Right. Remove the supports!
CROWD: A witch! A witch! A witch!
WITCH: It's a fair cop.
VILLAGER #3: Burn her!
CROWD: Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn! Burn!...
BEDEVERE: Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?
ARTHUR: I am Arthur, King of the Britons
I changed the names to protect the innocent company(ies).
Fascinating article with well balanced analysis and great insights into the current state of the mobile market.
I particularly appreciated the discussion on the importance of patents vs. IPR.
More of this please!
To add my two bits, I tend to think that patents become more important when markets mature, simply because there's less innovation happening so most players focus on locking down the value of the prevailing ideas.
I think we have a huge way to go in how mobile technology is deployed but I believe this will increasingly be in the application rather than hardware space, making the patents for wireless technology understandably valuable.
On the other hand, Apple is well positioned to take on the application space but their strategy after iTunes, has been geared more towards refining and locking down the user experience than innovating (the article's last paragraph sums this up well). Pity since iTunes proved they could change the world.
I have a hard time seeing Samsung challenge them in applications, and even Google is not that strong (they seem too unfocused, just throwing services out hoping something catches on).
But companies like Amazon excel at customer interaction and service design, and I suspect Infinite Loop is taking their challenge very seriously.
Self-serving rubbish to provide a cuddle blanket for this company's clients - while they try and work out how the fuck to compete. The law-suits are a side show. An automatic function at any tech company. It slows down the competition for a while and tests the legal boundaries of your IP. Little effect on sales. The only sign of weakness at Apple would be complacency in product development and that simply isn't happening.
Actually, it is Android that has peaked
"Apple itself is hovering precariously at the top of the curve"
Actually, it is Google that is now "hovering precariously at the top of the curve" as Android sales growth in percentage terms is plateauing (thanks to bigmig for the analysis):
May-June 2010: +60% per month
June-August 2010: +12% per month
August-December 2010: +11% per month
December-April 2011: +4% per month
Part of the plateau is because total sales have grown larger. However, even in unit terms the growth rate has slowed considerably:
May-June 2010: +60,000 daily units per month
June-August 2010: +20,000 daily units per month
August-December 2010: +25,000 daily units per month
December-April 2011: +12,500 daily units per month
In contrast, Apple sold 18.7 million iPhones in Q1 2011, up 15% from the previous quarter which is impressive considering the post Christmas quarter has in the past been flat at best for iPhone sales.
Wow, Apple sold 18.7 million iphones, whereas android only sold... 12,500 daily units... per month... or 4% over the last quarter... which works out to, carry the one... well, either way, 18.7 million is a much bigger number than whatever the total number of android devices sold was (which bigmig apparently kept secret)
Math lose actually.
That Android figure is made up of a lot of companies... Some giving their phones away... Takes the count way up but remember, it is not the best Android phones which are leading the count. If it were then you'd be seeing 18.7 million figures for whatever the Droid of the month is. You don't.
Apple basically have 2 phones. The iphone 4 and the iPhone 3gs. One company shipping 18.7 million phones and the greater part of the profit in the smartphone market is NOT to be sniffed at.
A curious take on the situation.
The article seems to take a very odd position on the reasons behind the patent activity, and Apple's various actions. And yet the article contains the critical point, but ignores it.
"Ownership of patents is vital to being a real power player in wireless, where licensing of IPR still relies primarily on bilateral tit-for-tat agreements rather than pools or the "reasonable and non-discriminatory" principles of other standards. "
Apple are not part of the club, and have been banging on the door for ages demanding entry into the cross licensing club. All of the current spat can be trivially explained as an ongoing part of this. It is very unlikely that Apple is trying to gain market advantage through patent actions. Indeed the manifest lack of gaining any by stopping imports might be a clue. What they are trying to do is demonstrate that their exiting patent portfolio is big and important enough to be invited in. They are making life difficult enough for the other layers that we will probably eventually see a sudden dropping of all actions involving Apple, and an announcement of mutually satisfactory cross licensing.
Apple's lack of ability to sync iPads via a cloud or other Internet service is hardly a technological limitation that they need to catch up from. IOS is built from the same code base as OSX. Any features that the iPad lacks are lacking due to an explicit decision by Apple to remove them, not through lagging development. It isn't that Apple are behind on the cloud, it is that Apple don't want the users to have the capability. Yet. Apple will have their own timetable and own reasons. The pace with which they unveil new features is the clue as to how pressured they feel by the competition. That will be interesting.
Apple's competitors wish they could be that "desperate" ;-)
The writer of this article is either ignorant of the facts (and reality in general) or he/she/it is just trolling for hits and will do anything ridiculous to accomplish that.
Starting with the article title "Apple's record sales are signs of desperation"... What!?!
Record sales increases (while all other competitors are losing sales) is a sign of desperation? If that's desperation, Apple and its investors must be hoping it can be more "desperate" in the future.
"And the iPad... is not yet proving that the category itself is a winner". You can't be serious. Is this meant as a joke? News flash: April Fool's Day was 3 weeks ago.
You base your premise on this nugget of ___ : "The iPad sold 4.69m tablets, fewer than the 6.1m predicted by analysts or the 7.3m of the holiday quarter."
Hello!?! The quarter reported on ended March 26, 2011. The iPad 2 which purchasers were holding onto their money for, only went on sale in the US on March 11th (the first shipment sold out nation-wide in 24 hours!), and it only went on sale in select other countries on March 25th (the day before the quarter ended).
Most intelligent people realized that the numbers would be low for this quarter even before the iPad 2 went on sale, but apparently you did not understand this.
The iPad 2 sold over a million units in its first day on sale (in the US only). By comparison, the original version of the iPad, crossed the one-million mark 28 days after its launch.
With the iPad 2 selling 28-times faster than the original iPad (which was the fastest selling consumer device of all time) this, to you, bizarrely is an indication that the iPad "is not yet proving that the category itself is a winner". ???
Next you write that Apple is displaying it's "vulnerability' by suing companies that steal its intellectual property. That is insane! Any company will rightly sue another company that steals rather than licenses its patented IP.
You try to support this ridiculous notion by using FUD to understate the situation, by saying Apple "allege copying of the colors and rectangular shape of the Apple products." Either you again do not have any understanding of why Apple is suing Samsung, or you are intentionally trying to mislead your readers.
You only need to look at the side-by-side comparison photos on the Web, to see that Samsung blatantly copied both the hardware design and the user interface design of the iPhone in the Samsung Galaxy phone.
Your article continues with other similar misleading information.
You might be hoping that your readers are buying all of this nonsense, but most people are more intelligent than that, and the result of your article is that you have lost any credibility as a writer.
>Apple and its investors must be hoping it can be more "desperate" in the future.
You've both hit the nail on the head and entirely missed the point. It isn't just about turning a healthy profit and maintaing a degree of growth amidst the onslaught from much larger companies and consortia. Apple needs to justify its market cap and nothing short of spectacular growth will do that.
"Apple needs to justify its market cap and nothing short of spectacular growth will do that."
Well Apple have had pretty spectacular growth for a while now and it doesn't appear to move the needle much. Pretty low P/E ratios and if you back the cash out, ridiculously low P/E ratios. Meanwhile we get Amazon and other trading well above their earnings - 73.5 or so as of this morning.
Apple doesn't have to justify it's market cap at all. That is what the market does. The market cap of the company is what the market thinks it is worth... and Apple are very underrated.
You can be a priest without believing in god / Moses' tablets of stone
But not an Apple investor without believing in the Jesus Phone / Tablet.
Because Apple don't pay dividends, the only way for investors to make money is if the share price rises. Of course they believe, they have to!
It's going to be fascinating to see how far the share price falls when Jobs dies / retires on medical advice.
Highly Speculative & Irrationally Pessimisic
For this author, and perhaps the Register, the present clear, sunny sky is proof of upcoming thunderous clouds and showers.
The well-written but hyperbolic and extraordinarily speculative passages in the article can be dismissed as typical fear-mongering from an admirer of the Don Quixote world view; There is no proof that Apple has misstepped.
the biggest pile of steaming doo-doo I've ever read on here. And that's saying something.
That IS saying something
Since here is where I read Lewis Page's daily insistences that he'd drink water directly from the Fukushima reactor, and he'd pay for the privilege, and you should too, because everything is under control.
Much ado about nothing
Apple has always been the most sued company in the world. It attracts lawsuits because it make so much money and has the most savings in the bank - 65 billion dollars and growing.
Lawsuits are nothing. Apple does a great job at winning lawsuits and minimizing its risks. Apple has a very deep patent portfolio. Apple also punishes those it sues.
Who's got the popcorn?
It is beautiful watching the fanbois frantically posting and upvoting their drivel! Don't even dare to suggest that their church might have peaked! Lol, I love the fanbois and their reality distortion field!
""" For Apple, there has been disruption to its supply chain""""
""" For Apple, there has been disruption to its supply chain""""????
so basically you just said Apple lied about it's supply chain???? because Apple themselves said that amazingly all of their suppliers were able to shift production if effected, and there was ZERO fall out to manufacturing during the first calendar quarter, and also they could tell that there was ZERO issue for the 2nd calendar quarter, but could not guess the 3rd and 4th due to it's possible that Japan could experience other problems...
did you just miss the conference call? or are you just a hack?????
The long game - a complex subject for a simpleton?
Why not do an article on how Apple are totally in control of the smartphone marketplace. They are by a very great distance the company making the most profits out of smartphones, and it has been achieved through smart (that's SMART) positioning and strategy. No-one else has the triple whammy they have of premium product, successful media store and successful app store.
Not to mention the many other synergies that they have created between their products. That's why the sum of their sales will always be greater than other players who are only present typically in one space.
As a result they control the market - all they would have to do is shift their pricing slightly and, while still being enormously more profitable than any other player, they could increase their market share dramatically at the expense of the other players who are already on wafer-thin margins due to the number of players that are all competing for a slice of the (effectively non-differentiatable) action.
Look at them all - Samsung, HTC, Acer, LG et all - all continuously pumping out multiple products that are only differentiated on hardware features when most people couldn't give a rat's arse about these aspects of the products. All of these different hardware products cost a fortune to develop but they can't get any great economies of scale because each individual product only commands a fraction of the market size that the iPhone has. What commercial sense does this make?
These companies are squeezed every which way - and the author of this article is naive enough to believe that it is Apple that is getting desperate. Give us a break! Grow up a bit (a lot) and go and do a degree course in marketing strategy before you foist such total and utter tripe on us again. Please - for all our sakes - unless maybe you just like giving people an easy laugh at your expense. It's all about the long game, and no-one in their right mind would suggest that Apple are being anything other than extremely canny in playing it.
"All of these different hardware products cost a fortune to develop but they can't get any great economies of scale because each individual product only commands a fraction of the market size that the iPhone has. What commercial sense does this make?"
So true. I mean, Apple assembles their phones from the same Samsung parts that Samsung puts in their Samsung phones, but the little bits of plastic that go around the phones cannot possibly be mass produced.
Another Commoditised Market
I'd be fascinated to hear why the author feels that Apple is more vulnerable than Android in the commoditisation of the smartphone market, especially when looking at another market that is well and truly commoditised – the PC market. That would be the same market where Apple just had a 47% leap in sales in the US and a 28% jump overall.
It must have been an incredible challenge to reach those conclusions written in that article despite all evidence pointing to the complete opposite. Kudos to the author for his dogged determination.
If you start from a tiny base, it's easy to get a high pecentage rise in sales
I have just sold my second PC, so my sales are 100% up.
Vanilla title for iPhan baiting.
iPhans here seem seem to think that not being "copied" is Apple's God-given right.
They also seem to be under the illusion that the concept of "Intellectual Property" is meaningful in the first place. But that's another discussion.
They miss the irony that with hard-core IP protection, Apple would have been in a troublesome situation back during the Apple-Microsoft "look-and-feel" spat due to its "reuse" of a few Xerox Park ideas. Luckily, IP fascism coupled to an entitlement mentality had not yet become the powerful force that it is today, and the full outbreak of "software patent" retardation had not yet been achieved, so Xerox was sent packing, Apple didn't win its case, the GUI idea was set free and we are all the better off for it.
So Apple is being "copied"? So big deal. This means that its product is well-established and that the time of premium pricing is coming to end. This means that it's time for the pony's next trick. With several deca-billion in the bank and sales going strong [as iPhans are not loth to emphasize again and again], Apple should be able to handle this and innovate its way forward. Or maybe not. Patent law being what it is, who knows what will come up.
Research is your friend
(1) Apple bought the technology from Xerox for $100Million of Apple stock - That is why Xerox failed to successfully sue Apple
(2) Apple and MS had a cross licensing contract that Apple interpreted as limiting MS to only using the Apple derived GUI stuff on one product (I believe it was one of the original OS2 offerings) - MS and the courts disagreed based on the simple fact of actually reading the contract which stated no such thing.
(3) It is Xerox PARC not Park - Paolo Alto Research Centre - P.A.R.C
(4) You can't copy things just because it is well established and at the end of it's premium pricing (whatever that means) - you try to release an album of Beatles covers without paying Paul McCartney and see how far you get - or write a new Harry Potter book and then try telling JK Rowling to fuck off and mind her own business.
A new Harry Potter book would be trouble but no one has passed off their non-Apple phone as an iPhone, they've just made a device which uses the well established features of the genre.
I don't see Rowling successfully suing someone who writes a book about a young boy in somewhat undesirable surroundings who, it turns out, is not only special but is in fact very important to some chain of events of major significance.
She'd certainly be a dreadful hypocrite if she did.
...complete waste of fucking money this whole patent battle is. How much cheaper would a HTC Desire or an iPhone or a Nokia Nxx be, if all this wasn't going on in the background?
I have to say though that I agree with the bulk of the writers above - this agency writing does nothing for The Register's reputation and should be dropped.