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Harvard professor Clayton Christensen has more than 500 billion reasons to think he's wrong to suggest Apple is in for rough sailing, but he's not backing down. The father of disruption theory - a theory that Apple's former chief executive Steve Jobs claimed had a huge impact on his thinking - believes that Apple's end-to-end, …

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Gold badge

You can't predict the future and any empire will fail. Simple as.

Plus popularity brings with it familiarity and human beings get bored and want change. You change your hairstyle, clothes and home furnishings to get that new feel good factor.

It's why I'm probably at a stage where I may look at another phone. probably a Windows Phone as it has something different to iOS or Android. I toyed with the idea of Palm but knew they were doomed.

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Go

True enough.

The iPhone 3GS, released in 2009 runs the latest version of iOS.

All Windows Phones released in 2010 run the latest version of Windows Phone.

Not a *single* Android device released in 2009 runs ICS.

So based on that I'll have a go at a shorter term prediction - Apple will continue to grow. So will Windows Phone. And (shock) so will Android.

Apple and Windows Phone are in a better place for short term growth because they stay relevant and current. Android will only grow because it's cheap. But that "cheapness" is about to be threatened by Tango. Tango specifically has legs because of Zune. There is no Google alternative to it or iTunes.

The next couple of years are going to be interesting.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: True enough.

Zune? WTF is a 'Zune'??

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Re: True enough.

Not a *single* Android device released in 2009 runs ICS.

Don't spread ill informed crap. The original G1 handset, released in late 2008, can run ICS. As can many of the Android devices released subsequently in 2009.

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Holmes

Re: True enough.

"The next couple of years are going to be interesting."

Yup - seeing ms with their unloved, unwanted and largely unknown kit, quite correctly reflected in their <1.5% market share, get anywhere against Androids loved, wanted and most definitely known > 61% will be interesting indeed.

Source: http://goo.gl/Ucjz2

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Headmaster

Re: Zune? WTF is a 'Zune'??

Zune is a combined market-place and range of applications that ties into Windows Phone 7 and Windows. You can buy or subscribe to music on it, buy or rent movies, buy applications for Windows and Windows Phone 7, manage media libraries, images, podcasts, etc. It sells DRM-free music, offers movies in HD, and your account is device independent. I.e. listen to the music on any of your PCs, mobile devices, etc. It's quite nice.

Anyway, happy to have helped answer your question. ;)

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Facepalm

Re: True enough.

As far as the average consumer is concerned it certainly does not. People have hacked togetehr unofficial ports and maybe it runs well but good luck getting the average person to install it that way.

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FAIL

Re: True enough. @Cazzo Enorme

You chose your words wisely. *Can* run is appropriate. Unfortunately they *don't* run ICS. No operator does it, and HTC certainly doesn't.

You need to be a geek to do it. Don't spread ill informed crap.

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FAIL

Re: True enough. @Cazzo Enorme

"Don't spread ill informed crap."

Says the Zune fan.

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Re: True enough.

from the OEM/Google (ie supported and official) or as a Cyanogen etc hack?

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Re: True enough.

"There is no Google alternative to it or iTunes."

Except for Google Play. And if you're looking at Android alternatives then there's Amazon's offering and loads of content services installed as standard by individual OEMs. The problem Android has, despite being the biggest mobile OS out there, is lack of awareness. Once people learn that pre-2009 phones can just about run ICS and that you can get books, movies, music and more from many sources, there will be no stopping it.

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Thumb Down

Re: True enough.

"The iPhone 3GS, released in 2009 runs the latest version of iOS."

Runs, as in like a one legged dog? Agreed. My flatmate has a 3GS, but can't actually answer his phone; by the time the display shows an incoming call and becomes responsive, it's already gone to answerphone.

So it doesn't really work as a phone at all now, which sort of defeats the purpose.

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Meh

Re: WTF is a Zune?

Brown, I think...

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Anonymous Coward

@h4rm0ny - Re: Zune? WTF is a 'Zune'??

I would have thought you are working in Microsoft PR department if it weren't for the DRM-free slip up. You can't be working for Microsoft however, your marketing speak is quite accomplished.

Go on, lad, Microsoft need more like you.

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Devil

Re: True enough.

iTunes is over hyped proprietary nonsense. It's an 80s approach to something that can be made redundant by a website like Amazon or Netflix. As a media manager, it's also outdated since mobile devices now have the power to do that themselves.

The role of iTunes as a gatekeeper is simply unnecessary.

My phone is now more powerful than the first machines that ran iTunes.

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FAIL

Re: True enough.

"Android will only grow because it's cheap. But that "cheapness" is about to be threatened by Tango. Tango specifically has legs because of Zune. There is no Google alternative to it or iTunes."

Except Android isn't cheap, there are budget devices, and there are very high end devices, with lots of devices in the middle. A wide variety of choice and a wide variety of prices.

Most of the high end Android devices are far more powerful and feature rich than the equivalent Apple ones. Yet they cost the same, because Apple place such a huge markup on hardware. You'd be a fool to buy into the ' Ohh Apple devices are of better quality' these days. They are simply overpriced.

Also Zune? iTunes? Google Music/Play is way better, upload 20k of your own mp3's for free, and have them available in the cloud, to play from anywhere you can run a browser (or App). No crappy proprietary software, just a Google sign in and a web browser. That's the future, right there.

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I have

Retired my HTC sensation and await my new iPhone.

Why?

The ICS update has crippled the phone, it is buggy, slow, has spelling mistakes in the menu, battery life has dropped and writing messaging and emails takes on a life of its own.

The iPhone will work, it will sync with my iPad, contacts are safely stored in the cloud and it backs it self up input free.

It works out of the box and my service provider is supplying a sim free of charge. For once it will be blissful to know that using it will be effortless.

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Anonymous Coward

lmao

windows phone! thanks, i needed that.

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Pint

Re: I have

Errr, no. HTC's and your carrier's's handling of the ICS update crippled the phone. They put in kruft it does not need, and do not focus on making sure their drivers are up to snuff, so cannot run the ota updates. Result, fission mailed. 4.0.4 is the current revision, did they make 4.0b?

Check out Google's latest Nexus for how it should be done. Cloud sync (in Android well before iOS) works fine. And hey, when I move to a different phone, my stuff shows up as soon as I register it. Swype isn't at full release, but the beta works and looks great.

Please don't blame Android for problems caused by ham handed integrators.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus.

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Re: True enough.

Funny, my daughter's 3GS is fully upgraded and runs just fine. No problem with phone calls, texting or the apps she uses. Same was true for my boys' phones before they very recently went with upgrades. What's your flatmate done to his iPhone to mess it up?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: True enough.

What's your flatmate done to his iPhone to mess it up?

Typical Jobsian attitude: 'You must be using it wrong'.

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FAIL

Re: True enough.

Absolute ballbags.

Both the missus and my 3GSs are running the latest iOS with no problems or slowdowns at all. Stop spreading FUD.

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"Apple has won precisely by betting against the openness of the web with a closed ecosystem"

No they didn't, their entire philosophy for the iPhone when it launched was that apps would be web based, using safari.

They bowed down to pressure from developers to allow 3rd party native apps.

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Megaphone

As far as the tablet market is concerned, what about the gorilla in the room?

How can one speculate about what will happen in the coming 2 - 3 years or so as far as any "disruptive" effect is concerned without expressing some opinion concerning the effect that MS' entry into the tablet market may or may not have (either way). Whether one is inclined to argue that Win 8 (which ever flavour one is talking about) will be a total dog or that it will do very well is entirely irrelevant. Giving the impression that the coming couple of years or so can be evaluated as purely a struggle between iOS and Android without taking Redmond into account is an implicit assumption that Win8 is going to bomb so badly in tablet space that it can be safely ignored. Now that's fair enough if you believe that to be the case - but then say so explicitly and say why. Pretending that the issue does not exist is IMHO not an option in a discussion of this kind.

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Trollface

Re: As far as the tablet market is concerned, what about the gorilla in the room?

I can't see myself upgrading to Win8 on the PC but I think it looks interesting as a tablet option.

Of course you should be prepared to be inundated with people that have never tried it on a tablet but will be insisting that it will be terrible because it is on PC. Ironically that's generally the same breed that argue about how different Tablets & PCs are so Metro should be optional.

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Re: As far as the tablet market is concerned, what about the gorilla in the room?

Here are a few reasons why Win8 may be less than a stellar sucess on tablets.

MS traditionally sell through inertia/corporates ("I've never heard of Linux"/"It's what we use at work") on Desktop/Laptops. Now Win8 doesn't look to be a roaring success on devices like these, that aren't touchscreen. Indeed, many corporates may be very slow to move from Win7 to Win8, and may miss it entirely, so people won't see Win8 at work. What's more they are much more likely to know of alternative OSs on tablets, and to see them as more consumer oriented ("sexy") than anyrthing MS produces.

What's more, MS *never* *ever* gets anything radically new right with the first release. The thrid is normally the first acceptable one, and allowing WP7 to be the first in this particular sequence, that ties in with the weaker statistic that every other main OS release they produce tends to be sub-standard.

MS have a real fight on their hands to get into the tablet (and phone) OS market. They have deep pockets, and can play a long game, but they need to, unless they want to go the way of IBM and become a company that only deals with the corporate sector.

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@tirk You have actually tackled the issue (from your viewpoint) in your posting - fine.

My point is that the author has not and it is hardly an irrelevant issue.

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Linux

Re: As far as the tablet market is concerned, what about the gorilla in the room?

Based on what I see from the preview, I guess it will be better received on tablet. I won't have one, though, as I like to actually own my hardware. (Won't have an i* either, for the same reason).

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Re: As far as the tablet market is concerned, what about the gorilla in the room?

That's not a gorilla.

It's a fossilised woolly mammoth.

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Anonymous Coward

" While Apple is crushing competitors in the relatively new tablet market,"

Android 45% IOS 55% is NOT crushing.... Next year that will be the opposite story, Android 55% iOS 45%

When was it ever about marketshare anyway? I bought my Android tablet (Asus Transformer), because is was the best tablet, not because it was the most popular. It's USABLE, rather than a fashion accessory that's only really good at web browsing and carrying to your local wine bar.

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WTF?

Re: " While Apple is crushing competitors in the relatively new tablet market,"

Adroid 55%

iOS 45%

W8 ~1% or better?

= ~101% or more market size.

They should nominate you for a Pulitzer in rocket surgery or something.

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FAIL

Re: " While Apple is crushing competitors in the relatively new tablet market,"

The comment was Apple vs competitors, not IOS vs Android.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: " While Apple is crushing competitors in the relatively new tablet market,"

"Android 45% IOS 55% is NOT crushing.... Next year that will be the opposite story, Android 55% iOS 45%"

You talking by volume or revenue - volume I expect. Should you really include the huge number of Amazon Fire tablets when they are basically being sold at cost and many people would not even know (or care!) it was 'Android' based.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 09:47

Agreed... but...

Apple care more about profit than market share because that what makes their money.

Google on the other hand care far more about market share than Apple, because that's what makes their money and funding android supports their model.

So you're right Apple's market share will fall but I think they've learned enough from the last 20 years to realise that a critical mass is important. I'd imagine Apple will manage their market share to say 20-25% (the profitable bit) and leave droid hardware manufacturers to murder each other and commoditise the bottom and possibly bottom of the mid-market space.

Turnover is vanity. Profits are sanity. And from where I'm sitting Goodle and Apple are both very sane indeed.

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Re: " While Apple is crushing competitors in the relatively new tablet market,"

In most cases if someone has bought a Kindle Fire, or a Nook or Kobo or whatever non-fruity tablet then it's very likely that they will not be buying an ipad any time soon. So those sales really do matter to Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: " While Apple is crushing competitors in the relatively new tablet market,"

So what if people "know (or care!) if it's 'Android' based"? Does it make any difference to the fact that it's a sale of an Android based device? Or does this just speak to the typical iPhan's inferiority complex where their perceived personal worth is based on the name brand of the products they carry into Starbucks?

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Re: " While Apple is crushing competitors in the relatively new tablet market,"

Android tablets more USABLE? (emphasis yours) My experience couldn't be more counter to that.

I think Apple is evil and anticompetitive, and even wrote my congresspersons to ask that they be investigate on antitrust grounds based on their in-app purchase and subscription restrictions and tariffs. But I've bought two iPad2s for family and have a Xoom myself, and the iPad is far and away dramatically more usable.

I'm a software engineer, but I don't want to tinker with a tablet. So any android advantage there is not relevant to me, just the vast majority of other users. And yes, android can run flash, but I uninstalled it because the device is better without it. The browser already crashes way too much, and adding flash into it just meant I got to deal with animated advertisements.

And so far, the quality of apps on iOS is much better. I'm disappointed at those on android so far, as just about every one so far is comically bad, IMO. I want a tablet to run apps (including a browser), not to run an OS. And so far, the iPad is way better. I'm hoping Android closes the gap and puts pressure on apple, because competition improves the breed. And I want a non-itunes option, because I think Apple's exploitation of their dominance in tablets is no better than MS doing the same based on Windows.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: " While Apple is crushing competitors in the relatively new tablet market,"

Pray tell what is so great about the Asus Transformer, if it is so good why its marketshare in the pit?

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Re: " While Apple is crushing competitors in the relatively new tablet market,"

Real keyboard on a detachable dock, laptop-style mousepad for people who hate touch screens, 4.5 core Tegra 3, massive battery life, lovely screen, more points of multi-touch recognised than you have fingers, brushed aluminium case, USB port for mass storage and other devices, micro SD port, full size SD port, 32GB built-in storage, ICS for people who really want that sort of thing, a whole load of brilliant apps available and the computing power to make everything fly. It's the only fondle-toy I've seen yet that I would be comfortable typing more than 100 words on, and your choice of RDP or VNC clients from the app store (I go for Remote RDP, myself) means you have a desktop away from your desktop.

Just off the top of my head, like. As for why its marketshare is "in the pit", I dunno, is it? Just goes to show that following the crowd isn't always the best idea.

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Linux

Re: " While Apple is crushing competitors in the relatively new tablet market,"

Me has a xoom and me managed to crash it just a mere 2h after me started playing with it.

Me crashed an iPad3 three hours after me started playing with it, so it is only marginally better IMHO. The user interface is very polished in the iPAD good luck changing anything you do not like.

There are many good apps on both platforms.

Me likes being able to do with the xoom whatever surgery me fancies, me likes having SD cards and USB ports, me likes not having to buy a Mac to develop for the xoom. Me admits battery life on the xoom not as good as in the iPAD, but me runs heavy games in the xoom and only ran stupid apps in the iPAD.

Me thinks Android evolves as such a fast rate that even Linux distros will end including the Android framework for commercial application support and will be able to use .apk containers soon.

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jai
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Two seperate races being run here

All these articles constantly talking about which company will win or loose, but it seems to me, they're always mixing up the races that are being run. One is for market share, the other is for profit.

Market share doesn't pay the bills or keep employers in jobs when it's divided amongst multiple companies all flying the Android flag, and all trying to undercut each other's prices in an effort to increase their personal wedge of the market share pie.

The easiest way for Google to gain maximum market share and "win" will be to give the Android tablets away free. But I don't see any of the Android manufactures signing up for that plan any time soon.

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Re: Two seperate races being run here

The best example of 'market share not paying the bills' is Nokia, which had around 30%-40% smartphone market share in 2010, but made next to nothing out of it. Apple had lower market share but made billions. An analyst that only looks at one aspect of how well a company is doing is ignoring a lot of information.

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Re: Two seperate races being run here

Nokia bought marketshare in 2010 by offering carriers deeper and deeper discounts to stick with Symbian devices, as Symbian^3 got later and later, and then finally arrived half-finished. It was only the release of Symbian/Nokia Belle, in Summer 2011, that gave the platform a genuinely competitive user experience, but by then the damage had been done, and Nokia had already cut it loose (rightly, I think, although I'm not happy about it).

A better example of a pyhrric marketshare victory would be YouTube. It dwarfs its competitors in video [source: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/12/More_than_200_Billion_Online_Videos_Viewed_Globally_in_October ] but it makes not a red cent (net) for its parent company.

I think Apple's biggest risk isn't from Google, but rather from the sustainability of the market they've created. Right now, they are the linchpin in the current mobile-apps bubble economy: millions of dollars of VCs' money is flowing through startups, to app developers, and Apple - those startups launch on iOS first, use Apple hardware and software for development, and make Apple's iOS platform more attractive for end-users - people don't buy iPhones because they're the best experience (they're not, anymore), but because EVERY third-party app worth having is on iPhone. The problem is that these apps are cloud-based, requiring an online service, and a vanishingly small number of these services are viable. Sooner or later, the VCs will wake up to this. If (and when) this bubble bursts, Apple's $80+ billion cash reserve means they'll be fine, but they certainly won't have that $500 billion market-cap anymore.

Google run just as great a risk of being disrupted as Apple do, as they are still heavily reliant on a single commodity service. They have what they believe to be a monopoly on online advertising, and it's bankrolling everything else they do, from Android to GMail to YouTube. If another company were to take this revenue away from them (Facebook, maybe?), then they're in trouble, but again, like Apple, they've built up a nice pile of cash to cushion that fall.

Hardly do-or-die stuff, but there you go...

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Apple doesn't do cheap low end mass market. Their target market is always high priced early adopters. (Which is all too often usually smug bastards who want to wave their latest shiny shiny in your face to say hey look at me, they have it and you don't. Dyson are playing to the same market with their products. Some car companies do the same thing, but the problem Apple have is that their technology driven markets suffer obsolescence very quickly. People always need vacuum cleaners and cars, but phones and computers etc.. become old very quickly).

Therefore Apple do get good early growth figures in a new market, but over time, they cannot compete as price cuts reduce profit margins on newer phones and computers etc... Its at that point companies like Apple have to reinvent themselves and target new markets. e.g. from Macs to ipod, iphone, ipad.

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Actually the whole point

of the VC model is that not many startups *need* to be viable for the model to keep working.

Deep Pocket Investors [tm] can afford to drop a million here and a million there, as long as one project out of a large number pays back big numbers.

But apps aren't really the bedrock of Apple sales. They're just free advertising, and a clever (albeit possibly accidental) crowd-sourced cheap content model.

Most of the cash comes from cross-product sales. Buy an iPod, get an iPhone when you replace it. Buy an iPhone, get a MacBook. Buy anything, buy a ton of stuff on various app and music stores.

Don't buy a Kindle or Nook because you can get a Kindle or Nook app for free on the iPad.

It's the mutually supporting content, hardware and branding that makes Apple so successful, and so difficult to copy.

Getting good hardware (including a good OS) out there is nowhere near enough. Nor is putting up a content store for that hardware.

Amazon is the only serious competitor because it's the only company that offers its products as a *service* rather than as a technology.

The rest of the Android market is still being martyred by geekdom.

Ordinary punters buy it because its cheap and sometimes better than iOS in specifics. But it's nowhere close to being able to provide the same integrated experience of gadget buying, laptop buying, content buying, and consumer narcissism.

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FAIL

An even bigger threat to Apple is China

With Lenovo and Huawei getting into the phone and tablet markets in a big way in China we will soon see much cheaper but high spec kit being exported without the big profit margins from Apple etc.

China has learned a lot from making the stuff for the likes of Apple and will undercut them with ease.

This along with Android being 4 and soon 5 later this year will mean the 7 to 10 inch market will be a tough one for any others.

Add to this the extra backing they will get from the Chinese government and they can't fail to make it.

The only hope MS have is from the enterprise market making their system a defacto standard at work but they are going to be too late to the game with Apple and Android already maing inroads especially with BYOD.

I honestly can't see how anyone would buy a MS OS tablet over an ipad if the price is similar especially if they restrict the spec like they have to windows phone. I am not a fan of the Apple walled garden but would buy an ipad over windows 8 any day from what I have seen and read about it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An even bigger threat to Apple is China

China may make the hardware, but looking at software they have out on the market I think we'll agree it sucks, a lot, especially for our westernised standards.

Android doesn't help much with that since by the time manufacturers get the source code and ported it to their hardware a year has passed, so it's already out of date.

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Re: An even bigger threat to Apple is China

Agree with the Huawei etc. opportunity for undercut but surely the whole point from the Microsoft perspective is the Chinese vendors deliver Windows 8 or Windows RT rather than some little known (in the Western consumer markets) branded version of Android with a question mark over support.

Whether this is a viable competitor to iPad remains to be seen once we have software and hardware to evaluate, so far all we read is simply speculation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An even bigger threat to Apple is China

Chinese companies don't innovate - they will never provide the next big thing, just a cheaper and crappier copy of the last but one big thing. (I've worked with a couple and for one Chinese phone maker). This is no threat to Apple, who sell fashion items to early adopters 3 or 4 years before the Chinese companies copy them, and little threat to Google who are usually right on Apple's heels.

The only market area that IP-stealing crap-shifters like Huawei (did I mention I'd worked with them? probably best not to) might encroach on is the one usually occupied by Del Boy.

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JDX
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Meaningless prediction

Predicting Apple will not always be a leader without giving a timescale is just pointless. Nothing lasts forever... just look at Sony in the WalkMan years.

Android still lacks the brand recognition of Apple... you get an iPhone or you get something else (for the general population, not the tech-savvy minority I mean). We've been saying Apple's about to be toppled from the tablet market since the iPad1 and STILL nobody has gained traction.

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