back to article 'Apple will coast, and then decelerate' says Forrester CEO

George Colony, the CEO of analyst firm Forrester says Apple's best days are behind it and suggests the company is headed for the kind of slump that befell Sony and Disney when their visionary leaders departed. In a blog post Colony uses a taxonomy from Max Weber's 1947 book The Theory of Social and Economic Organization which …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Thumb Down

See my comment from above

Me and my other half prefer working on a 4 year old Core2 Duo (admitedly top of the line when it was brought) running windows 7 than our 8 month old MacBook Pro i5 Sandy Bridge with double the memory as well. Let alone the Sony i7 Sandy Bridge that we have as our DTR laptop. In fact it lies in the study unloved and unused most of the time.

People like Macs compared to the (cehap) tat you can easily buy from shops with Windows on it. Not for similar computers!

I thought I'd try it out when I needed a new machine last year. We won't be trying another. I hear similar stories from others who use good quality windows machines and then try Macs. Only cheap windows to Mac seems to return the 'Wow!' response.

4
0
Thumb Up

Re: See my comment from above

OK, OK - as it's causing you so much disappointment, I'll do you a favour and take your MBP off your hands and won't charge you a penny.

1
0

Again you miss the point - it's about the hardware and software - OS X seems faster and more reliable than Windows ever did (on similar hardware) because it can be tuned and the developers know exactly what they are working on.

This is beyond delusional... I wonder how linux manage to work on virtually any hardware.

0
0
Happy

Re: See my comment from above

:) TBH I wouldn't feel right selling it to you for that price. I think I'd be ripping you off!

0
0
Silver badge
Linux

Fanboy silliness.

No you are just a clueless n00b that wouldn't know his machine were having any sort of difficulty unless it completely failed to boot.

Macs are just PCs. Typically, they are trailing edge PCs with no good means for upgrade or maintenance. They use the same random spare parts as any other PC. Some models of Dell and whatnot are actually very good for Hackintoshes because of this.

"tuned"

That's funny because the first generation of Mac I purchased had insufficient memory to deal well with the version of MacOS that shipped with it and graphics apps threw up warnings about Quartz clearly indicating that the video chip was not up to snuff.

"tuned" indeed...

The missus ditched the Mac I gave her because of how Apple likes to do things that seem gratuitiously different. That and lack of support for legacy Win32 software. Fancies her iPad though.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

With Apple there is SO much more they can do - the iPods are still the best MP3 / media players, iPhone selling very well (and remember still less than 10% of phone shipments so it's not as if they are at 90%), iPads selling very well and the market is growing rapidly as well.

I have a netbook I used at home for web / email / media etc. - not used it in 6 months (or more) now as the iPad basically does it all - better. I would far rather have a 2nd hand iPad (or even a new one now they are just over £300) than a netbook.

Wait for all the new products Apple will bring out - most likely will be a subscription media service and an Apple 'TV" (not just the set top box) plus of course newer versions of their iMac, Macbook, iPhone and iPad.

The iPad is already selling extremely well but recon it is still only in the early part of it's growth - schools are starting to order them (from nursery up) and they are making big inroads into corporates - but still early days and loads of potential.

1
6
Stop

iPods are still the best MP3 / media players

They're really not. Cowon, Sony and even the unlamented Zune blew every iPod away in terms of audio quality. Zune HD beat it for ease of use. Everything - hell, even punchcards would be better than iTunes, probably the most ghastly piece of consumer software since AOL were sending free coasters to everyone.

I can't comment on the rest of your examples because I have not owned the Apple versions and thus cannot compare but holding up the iPod as some kind of gold standard is outrageously, monstrously wrong. By any decent comparative measure, it's much the same quality as an Asda branded generic mp3 player, except that those have better headphones.

6
1

I forgot to mention.....

In case you're planning to reference the Nano or the Shuffle, the prosecution presents Exhibit #A, the Sansa Clip. In terms of audio quality, usability, capacity and convenience, it makes the Apple products look like a stereogram in a sideboard.

0
1

Ultimatly true but premature

This story is correct but probably written about 7 years too early. There is no question more and more macs are finding their way into business. It amazing how many corporates are switching to Macs for client machines.

iPads are still growing in business, Rim is on the back foot, Nokia is loosing market share and so on. Apple still has lots of potential for growth, remember Microsoft still has 90% of the computer market split across various vendors so it is difficult to believe that Apple market share has reached its zenith.

Like them of hate them Apple have changed the game with so many innovative products and forcing change. Apple dropped ps/2 and din (in favour of USB) and floppy drives about 4-5 years before PC users, and the list goes on and on. Their biggest success was the switch to OSX which brought to the user the most stable desktop operating system a crown it still wears today 10 years after the launch of OSX.

2
2
Silver badge
Linux

Re: Ultimatly true but premature

All of these "innovations" were available to PC users no sooner than they were to Mac users.

The key difference has always been that you don't get stuff crammed down your throat with no recourse. You don't find suddenly that all of your SCSI devices are doorstops and that you need to replace any of your ADB devices.

Apple simply gives you no choice.

You can put what you want on a PC. I could still use a PS2 port if I wanted to. Got USB3 too.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

The issue with analysts and Apple is they can't really believe that they KEEP doing so well - they 'guess' at sales figures and inevitably get it wrong - what surprised me is that people actually listen to them at all.

People assume being the biggest company that they will fail - when you look at the stock price is is only something like 12-16x earnings (and that is excluding the fact that they have about 20% of their market cap in pure cash). Compare them to people like Amazon who trade at more like 100x earnings.

I recon Apple could easily grow at the same rate for the next few years as they expand their products as well as people upgrade as well as they sell subscription services / media / apps.

0
0

sometimes there is not enogh vomit in the world. gift of fucking grace my fucking arse.

0
0
Trollface

Erudite & well expressed. Good man!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

God forbid Apple should just fade away like Disney

Whatever happened to them? Oh, yeah, they faded away to become the largest media and entertainment conglomerate in the world.

Yes, Apple will stop being the biggest company, but for anyone who fondly imagines Microsoft will reclaim their leadership, forget it. Apple's lead in consumerised computing technology will pass to a company who makes products even more simple and user-friendly (or closed and idiot-proof, if you prefer). Get used to it coz that's the way it's going.

1
0

Re: God forbid Apple should just fade away like Disney

But Fats, in the process they lost their soul.... Their movie division fell into a pit until briefly reignited by Eisner (Which he then proceeded to mess up again) , and then by Pixar/Iger.

Would walt have wanted the ABC/ESPN stuff? Not sure but I can say for sure he wouldnt have wanted the Euro/Tokyo/HongKong/Shanghai Disneylands as he hated sequels and only built Magic Kingdom at Disneyworld under protest.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I read what analyst said - it was:

"My read on the quarter is that if you took out China, the company probably would have missed in terms of shipments,"

What a load of baloney - you may as well have said if Apple shut half it's stores they may have missed their predictions. The reality is I assume Apple predicted a certain amount of growth as they knew China etc. was coming online.

I hope these guys don't get paid too much. I actually believe people are being paid to talk down Apple - try looking at the fundamentals - even if they did coast and just sold the same this year as next the stock price would be cheap.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"Yes, Apple will stop being the biggest company, but for anyone who fondly imagines Microsoft will reclaim their leadership, forget it."

If it were allowed to Apple could buy Microsoft quite easily - it has half the money in CASH and I'm pretty sure they would have no problem borrowing the other half. Apple are comfortably bigger than Microsoft, Cisco and Intel combined.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Apple could afford to buy Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, NVidia etc. All the companies that make the essential parts that drive the digital revolution. Yet if Apple itself were dragged into a black hole tomorrow, it wouldn't matter at all to the future of tech.

Frightening isn't it.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

"Apple are comfortably bigger than Microsoft, Cisco and Intel combined."

In some very important senses that's true and hugely impressive.

And yet in the company I work for Cisco and Microsoft (and Facebook, and even RIM as things stand) are more significant.

We do have Apple products but they are not involved in any of the key functions and I would imagine this is quite a common situation.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

And - don't forget we are supposed to be in a global recession or at least crappy growth - so if their results can be up nearly 100% - what happens when things pick up?

0
0
Stop

Sounds like a normal business pattern?

Making an observation that companies peak and trough sounds incredibly obvious. It happens to all companies and Apple will be no different. All companies are just one dud product away from decline and the more iconic the product the easier this can happen. Apple is also at risk of indifference, the cliche about "familiarity breeding contempt" seems very true in this case. They'll ultimately be hit with inertia - they'll saturate their own market and there'll be so many i-thingys in circulation the market peaks. Putting out more devices with small iterative changes is also I think a pretty dangerous ploy.

3
0
Thumb Up

legal/bureaucratic sounds perfect

Patent trolling is solidly based in the legal/bureaucratic paradigm.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

"Putting out more devices with small iterative changes is also I think a pretty dangerous ploy."

Yet pretty much every other manufacturer does just that - for how many years have phones just been the previous version with a better screen / camera / smaller / longer battery life / whatever.

It's a phone - what can you actually do apart from better battery, better camera, better screen...? They can add features to the OS (of course) but a 3GS / 4 / 4S all run the latest iOS with the older models perhaps missing a few features but essentially the same.

People claim sales of new iPhones are to people upgrading - of course there will be but in my experience people actually keep their iPhones much longer than they keep Android or simpler phones. The same is true with the iPad - I know a lot of people who have bought the iPad 2 (after the new iPad was released) as it is still such a good tablet and now £70 cheaper.

0
0

"It's a phone - what can you actually do apart from better battery, better camera, better screen...?"

Samsung have returned to pen input (with a reasonable degree of success IMO), Motorola have toughened devices and Sony have incorporated high level gaming features - there are some differences but I do agree they are slight and the innovation is as likely to come from the apps developers as the phone manufacturers.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Most iDevices last a lot longer - my wife uses a Macbook Pro that must be 4 years old now - still works perfectly and is certainly in a better state than most Windows laptops I have seen that are that old. My dad has my 4+ year old 3GS when I bought a 4S recently - worked absolutely fine and I expect will give him a good few years of service.

So perhaps we should look at cost/time when making comparisons as recon you might find iDevices are not so expensive.

From a corporate point of view - we find OS X and Apple desktops / laptops are also cheaper and easier to maintain - for companies it is the cost of support that is the true cost. Apple have mainly been a consumer focussed company before and now are starting to make good progress into businesses as well.

1
2
Anonymous Coward

I've been testing Win8 on a 2004 PC (previously XP). In the Mac world, after the switch to Intel in 2006, support for the earlier PowerPC models was dropped in Snow Leopard (2009). Longevity has never been a hallmark of OS X.

Just a guess on age but your dad would almost certainly benefit from a larger screen than the 3GS 3.5", often see older people struggling to read their small mobile screens. Hopefully iPhone 5 will correct this problem so older apple enthusiasts are not forced to go Android or WP.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Four whole years?

Is it steam powered?

Honestly, bragging about your 4 year old Macbook really isn't that impressive. But I think that comment speaks to the Apple way of doing things. We must have the latest/shiniest product at any cost, and anyone that has something as antiquated as an iPhone 3GS must be ridiculed unrelentingly.

0
0
FAIL

How Old?

-> My dad has my 4+ year old 3GS when I bought a 4S recently

Seeing as the 3GS was released in June 2009 (ie less than 3 years ago) just how did you manage to have one that was 4+ years old ?

If you keep adding 33% to the longevity of apple devices no wonder you are finding iDevices not so expensive over time.

->my wife uses a Macbook Pro that must be 4 years old now

My wife is using a Dell XPS laptop that is over 4 years old and that is in a better state than a lot of NEW windows laptops I have seen.......

2
0

Ever increasing company valuation and opportunities for speculators, Apple has been making serious money for people in recent years and Wall Street keeps on predicting further massive increases in market cap. IMO this is Apples biggest problem being set on a track where a period of modest growth and innovation would count as failure and precipitate a major fall in stock value and confidence.

Instance. One genius of the iPhone business model is deals made in the Jobs era with the telecom companies - dramatically more profitable to Apple than for those who deliver the service. Not long term sustainable as smartphones move from high end to ubiquitous and the pace of change in hardware slows. Apple will need to adapt to change. No reason to think they won't execute well and stand up to competion from Android etc. but the maths changes.

A specific - the one size fits all iPhone was good in its time but is now inappropriate as the market matures. The science of human vision makes a 3.5" handheld screen far smaller than ideal for most people over 40. Users are starting to get this despite the hype. Were Jobs here today he'd be dealing with this and we'll never know whether he'd make a good or a bad call. The only thing we can be certain of is if Apple get this wrong, people like Colony will blame this on Cook, Ives etc. and through the lens of nostalgia assume SJ would have got it right were he here today.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"create breakthrough products" and not invented them! Even then, Foxconn "create" them.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

> "create breakthrough products" and not invented them! Even then, Foxconn "create" them.

These are not owned by Foxconn - Apple could use someone else to 'assemble' them.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

"Instance. One genius of the iPhone business model is deals made in the Jobs era with the telecom companies - dramatically more profitable to Apple than for those who deliver the service."

So you are suggesting the telcos wish the iPhone had never been invented rather than being able to upsell people onto 'data' tariffs - I think not.

0
0

Brilliant in its time, I was suggesting the model is not indefinitely sustainable.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"I was suggesting the model is not indefinitely sustainable."

What is... not even life on earth.

0
0

So, Forrester is run by a man called 'Colon'

This explains much.

0
0

I just don't see how Apple can sustain their current growth. Other manufacturers are catching up and nibbling away at Apple's marketshare. Eventually the tablet market will be saturated, and then that nibbling will affect Apple's income.

In order to survive further, they would need to provide a significant new product to the world - ie. create another new market, and I just can't see what that market could be in the next 5 years.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

iTV?

I personally think the most likely cause for rapid short or long of their stock will be their new TV device.

If it goes well, i.e. iPhone well, then there stock will shoot up. Additionally this effect would dramitically increase sales of their existing products.

However if it goes wrong, then it will be the first time that Apple gets major bad press, and this could potentially be catastrophic for the brands image overall, taking the halo effect with it.

Without Steve Jobs the iTV? will also be the first completly brand new product launched not by him, so it will interesting to see if the hype machine can manage this.

I just have a gut feeling the iTV? will be a bridge to far for Apple.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

"I just can't see what that market could be in the next 5 years."

... and guess what you are not CEO of Apple.

0
2

No, but I'm somewhat of a realist.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

"I just don't see how Apple can sustain their current growth."

Perhaps look at in terms like Apple has around 6-9% of the phone and PC markets - that leaves a LOT of room to grow. They ship the most tablets (by far) but it's a market predicted to grow very significantly over the next few years.

That is before you even consider what they could do with that $115Bn 'cash' and the new products / services they can launch. With that cash they could buy companies like Vodafone, Intel (almost) outright or half of Microsoft. They could buy Dell and HP and have only spent just over half then Nokia and RIM would only cost another 20Bn (although not saying they would want any of these).

The point is if they could sustain their current growth their shares would be massively undervalued - at the moment it would be a cheap(ish) valuation for a company that was not growing. Despite their recent (massive) share price rise they are running at a P/E of around 17 and that does not take account of the cash - take out the cash and it's even lower.

0
0

You're looking at it as if they can grow continuously, and they have no competition. They have many competitors, who as I said, are nibbling at their market share.

People are bowled over by Apple's offerings right now, but over time other companies will come along and wow them instead.

It could go either way to be fair, but without Jobs there, I would be fearful as an investor that the current performance is a leftover from his reign and when it comes to a new market, it is always a large risk to try that sort of thing.

1
1
Unhappy

Analysts: Don't You Just Love 'Em?

Personally, no. Complete waste of space.

Worse than consultants.

0
0
Happy

Re: Analysts: Don't You Just Love 'Em?

And then patent lawyers.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"You're looking at it as if they can grow continuously, and they have no competition. They have many competitors, who as I said, are nibbling at their market share."

Not at all but they have less than 10% of the phone market and less than 10% of the computer market = lots of rooms to grow. Add in new products (and services) and people upgrading etc. and there is still room to grow. No-one is saying they can keep up 100% each year but their current valuation is (IMHO) cheap - take out the cash from their market cap and even after their big rise over the last 6 months they trade at just 10-11x earnings.

For a company with static earnings growth that would be a reasonable valuation - for one currently growing at up to 100% a year and generating that much cash that is VERY cheap.

0
0

Wrong Market

You gotta remember Apple doesnt look at the market as a whole. They look at simply the top end, people who want quality and believe that Apple deliver it (whether or not they do is irrelevant, even if I believe they do).

Rolls Royce could build a cheap car to combat Hyundai, Tata, etc but they wont - it might grow their share, but would hurt the core brand. Like Apple, they don't do "Cheap".

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"It could go either way to be fair..."

Let me guess - with insight like that you are a analyst?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"This is beyond delusional... I wonder how linux manage to work on virtually any hardware."

If you had ready it I was not talking about Linux.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018