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 …

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  1. James O'Brien
    FAIL

    Huh?

    whose “... legal/bureaucratic approach will prove to be a mismatch for an organization that feeds off the gift of grace.”

    Dont you mean "an organization that feeds off the gift of iDiots?"

    Yes I know Ill get down voted for this but common people, surely you can see that Apple is (has become?) becoming worse than Microsoft in the late 90's to early 2000's. They need to get off their high horse and stop telling people whats good for them and instead let the consumer make the decision for themselves.

    1. Chris 3

      Re: Huh?

      "They need to get off their high horse and stop telling people whats good for them and instead let the consumer make the decision for themselves."

      Which of course is exactly what consumers continue to do, judging by Apple's Q2 figures. Now you can dub these consumers iDiots if you want, but that says more about you than them.

    2. jai

      Re: Huh?

      seems James O'Brien is more than willing to ride that same high horse and tell us what's good for us, instead of letting us make up our own minds, so why should Apple be any different?

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Huh?

      I'm not going to downvote you, but statements like 'They need to get off their high horse...' make no sense- it would appear that Apple don't need to do anything; they are already doing very nicely. They do let the consumer make their own decision: Whether to buy Apple, or buy Acer, Asus, HTC, Samsung, Sony, Lenevo...

      Talk about consumer choice... I believe that MS Office on OSX still has menus.

      Oh, and 'idiot' is term for someone with a specific level of intelligence, not for someone who has less knowledge of, or interest in, computers than you or I might have.

      1. Asgard
        Windows

        Re: Huh?

        @Dave 126: "it would appear that Apple don't need to do anything; they are already doing very nicely."

        That is fundamentally wrong. Apple do need to do something, but they can't because they are tied to their premium priced product strategy. The Smart Phone market is currently a premium early adopter market. (To put that into perspective, there's over 5.7 Billion active mobile phones in the world now and yet only around 10% of them are currently any kind of Smart Phone, let alone high end high priced Smart Phones).

        The Smart Phone prices are currently high but they are falling and when they fall high premium priced products will look ever more out of place over time. Apple's target market has always been early adopters (and frankly part of their core market are all too often smug bastards who want to wave their new shiny shiny in everyones faces to say hey look at me, I have it and you don't type of people). They are happy to pay a premium to have the latest new shiny shiny and gloat factor but markets never stay like that. Over time, like all markets, the Smart Phone market will become every more commoditized and as it does, we will get into an ever deepening price race to the bottom and that is a race Apple cannot win.

        So Apple are currently making huge profits (at the moment) but that won't continue as competitor Smart Phones inevitably loose their premium prices.

        At which point, it'll be very interesting to watch what happens to Apple's over inflated share price valuation. Over the next few years wait and watch what happens as Apples sales begin to plateau out and it will happen. So like I said at the beginning, Apple do need to do something, but they can't because they are tied to their premium priced product strategy.

        So currently Apple are riding high at the moment, but that cannot last.

        1. Ted Treen
          Thumb Down

          Re: Huh?

          @Asgard

          It never ceases to amaze me - the number of people whose incisive insight is so vastly superior to that of those who run these companies. Are these commenters very high-up in the IT world, and therefore have knowledge AND experience to validate their claims?

          There is an awful lot of cars in the world right now. Only a very small percentage of them are Ferraris, BMWs, Jaguars. Don't see those companies wearing sackcloth & ashes and wailing "We're all doomed".

          It's telling that the commenter states "...smug bastards who want to wave their new shiny shiny in everyones faces to say hey look at me, I have it and you don't type of people.."

          Would that be as opposed to smug bastards who want to forcibly grab my attention and say "Hey! Look at me. I'm far too cool and intelligent to fall for any marketing crap - I'm one of the élite über-techies who's way too superior for all that"?

          1. Audrey S. Thackeray

            @T Treen

            "It never ceases to amaze me - the number of people whose incisive insight is so vastly superior to that of those who run these companies."

            Saying Apple need to do something is not the same as saying Apple's executives don't realise this and will not do anything. I'm sure the situation outlined is one they have considered.

            "There is an awful lot of cars in the world right now. Only a very small percentage of them are Ferraris, BMWs, Jaguars. Don't see those companies wearing sackcloth & ashes and wailing "We're all doomed".

            Ferarri don't make commodity items - in computing terms they are more Cray than Apple. They certainly don't even try and deliver the sort of growth that has fuelled Apple's recent rise.

            Jaguar didn't make Ford any money - I don't know how it is doing for Tata. One of its approaches in recent years has been to make cheaper models just as BMW makes hatchbacks now.

            Then there's Rolls Royce . . .

            Apple are a long way from being in trouble but it would be naive in the extreme to think that they have nothing to worry about and never will.

          2. Asgard
            FAIL

            Re: Huh?

            @Ted Treen your comments are full of intentional Logical Fallacies seeking to deceive because you don't want to hear the truth and you don't want others to believe it either. So if you have shares in Apple, I suggest you hold onto them and ignore what I said (and even buy some more), because everyone who isn't blinded by deceitful people like you and Apple's reality distortion field (i.e. the majority of the human race) can see they will have the last laugh against people like you.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Asgard

              Please, darling, don't forget to take your medication. And play nice with the other kids!

              -- Mom

            2. Nick Collingridge
              FAIL

              Re: Huh?

              @Asgard

              In what way is Apple irrevocably "tied to its premium business model". What a totally stupid thing to say. Have you never considered that they may be running their business incredibly astutely, by riding the curve of margin against volume? They are probably selling every phone/tablet they can make at the moment, and at the same time MAKING 75% OF THE PROFIT OF THE WHOLE PHONE INDUSTRY with the iPhone.

              Why would they change this? If they bring their prices down the demand will increase but how will they make them, and the only effect will be that they will make the same overall amount of profit but over many more units, which will depress their margin and increase their support costs.

              In addition, if I were Apple I would be trying to keep my market share at about 45% or so as this does not add up to a monopoly, which would trigger all sorts of problems. People, not to mention governments, don't like monopolies.

              One other interesting fact is that although in terms of units sold they may only be at 45%, just look at what percentage of mobile internet traffic these devices produce. This is clear indication that people who buy iPhones keep their devices for much longer than Android purchasers do, which is not surprising given that the Android device manufacturers are so focused on hardware capabilities (because this, along with price, is the only real way they can differentiate their products) that Android purchasers are as a result much more likely to upgrade to the next big thing than iPhone users. So Apple are almost certainly winning the war of phones in use, which is key to getting developers and networks to focus on their products - the long game.

              And finally just look at what a commanding position their strategy has created. How many more units would they sell if they reduced their prices (if they could make them, that is!). They would decimate Android sales if they sold them at the same price as comparable Android phones.

              So in conclusion you just don't understand business strategy - Apple are playing this in an incredibly canny fashion and that is why they will still be around in the future. I have severe doubts that other players such as HTC and Nokia will - or maybe you differ on that?

          3. TheOtherHobbes

            Re: Huh?

            One word: Elop.

            I could think of others, but if you really believe the business world is full of towering intellects who never do anything obviously stupid, I have a used Pippin to sell you.

          4. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Fanboy Ferrari Delusions

            Beyond the fact that no Apple product is really a Ferarri or BMW, you have the very real problem that these are ultimately computing platforms that depend on 3rd party support. The "compatibility" issues that plague computing devices can allow products to become entrenched even when they are completely unworthy.

            Many have said that the Mac vs PC thing is repeating itself again.

            Apple is living high off the hog for now. That will likely not last.

            Unfortunately, computing devices aren't nearly as interchangeable as cars.

            In truth, no Apple product is a Ferarri. Although your attempt to claim such just demonstrates the other poster's comments about annoying conspicous consumers.

        2. sleepy

          Re: Huh?

          @Asgard

          You don't understand. iPhones aren't bought by end-users in a "smartphone market". The users rent a mobile service. With iPhone, Apple largely defines that service, which end users like very much. Apple is not selling a gadget to the end user, or even to the carrier. Apple sells the end user to the carrier, and the carrier can afford Apple's price. Other handset makers just aren't in a position to control the user experience let alone do better than Apple; they don't control the OS, and they don't control the services. So they won't get either the margins or the loyalty.

          As regards Apple's "over inflated" share price, its price to earnings ratio is around 14, with earnings growing at 100% a year. Whereas Amazon's ratio is around 170, with earnings actually shrinking. Even if earnings growth stopped dead today, the P/E would be 10 within a year. The share price should actually be about 50% higher.

    4. hodma727

      Re: Huh?

      "They need to get off their high horse and stop telling people whats good for them and instead let the consumer make the decision for themselves."

      They have. That is why Apple is the most successful IT company on the planet. Chin up lad, I'm sure there will be some other successful company you can whine about ;-)

      1. g e

        Re: Huh?

        VHS / BETAMAX - one had the better marketing.

        That is all.

        1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

          Re: Huh?

          Little known fact: the Betamax technology was in use by pros right up until the rise of HDTV in recent years finally put paid to it. Ever heard of "DigiBeta"? Guess what its ancestor was. (They even used the same cassette form-factor.)

          Can't say the same for VHS, which only ever gained traction as a consumer toy and got its arse soundly spanked by DVD in pretty short order in the 1990s. The Beta pro range has only recently fallen out of favour, but it lasted right up to the end of standard definition broadcasting.

          As "failures" go, Betamax and its descendants did surprisingly well.

        2. Nev Silver badge

          Re: Huh?

          By "better marketing" do you mean pR0n industry adoption?

        3. genghis_uk
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Huh?

          Not quite true - Betamax was technically superior but VHS had more porn available...

    5. Sean Timarco Baggaley
      FAIL

      Re: Huh?

      'Dont you mean "an organization that feeds off the gift of iDiots?"'

      And you wonder why people can't stand Android and its users who endlessly try to justify their purchase by talking about how "open" it is? (As in "it opens all your data up to The Almighty Google"? Thanks, but I'll pass. As a 30-year veteran of the IT industry, I know a stupid idea when I see one, and buying into Google's anti-Apple rhetoric while giving them free reign over your personal data is as stupid as it gets. At least Apple have a privacy policy worth a damn.)

      Also, "common people"? At least this iDiot can fucking spell, you self-righteous, ignorant little prick.

      1. boltar Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Huh?

        "At least this iDiot can fucking spell, you self-righteous, ignorant little prick."

        Wow , looks like a apple fanboy threw his iPad out of the pram today.

    6. Inachu
      Devil

      Re: Huh?

      Create a Steve Jobs AI and put him in charge and watch the money keep rolling in!

  2. jake Silver badge

    I agree with the premise, but not the reasoning.

    In reality, Apple will fade once people realize that iFads are bloody expensive toys, not actually useful work platforms.

    1. ratfox Silver badge
      Facepalm

      My gods

      How could have I failed to realize that iPods and iPhones and iPads, which make the vast majority of Apple's income, and are consumer devices, are actually not fit to be your work platform? Surely Apple will go bankrupt any time now.

      I hope Nokia manages soon to create a Windows 8 workstation and avoid that fate.

    2. andreas koch
      Unhappy

      Re: I agree with the premise, but not the reasoning.

      It might already be too late.

      Pushed by the top level who want to look fashionable, some business processes get forcibly rewritten to NEED an iPad. Where, in former times, a simple, £5.99, tally counter was enough for a traffic survey, it now is done with a tablet, THE tablet.

      Because the beancounter doesn't want to talk about an Android ICS ("What does ICS stand for? Ice cream wtf? This is a serious business, not a playground. And as we're at it: don't buy anything that sounds like a character out of the teletubbies or comes with a Pangolin in the name, either, or you've had it!" ) tablet, they want an iPAD. These people don't vacuum clean, they hoover (even if it's a Dyson).

      Because: It's a safe decision to pick a big, popular brand. If it works well, then it was well decided. If it goes bellyup, then the 'overpaid IT guys' couldn't make it work even though they were given the very best materials. No mud on the boss.

      I am afraid that we will see more and more 'forced' tablet applications due to this. And that will skew the whole IT setup. I recently spoke to a 'freelance photographer' (he's not famous, guess why...), who needs to replace his 'Photoshop on Windows' workstation with a Mac, because he bought an iPad, "...and it will be much better if it is all >properly< set up."

      I hope I'm wrong.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I agree with the premise, but not the reasoning.

        In terms of name conventions Ice Cream Sandwich is just as silly as Lion, Tiger, Mountain Lion, Snow Leopard, etc...

        1. andreas koch
          Pint

          Re: I agree with the premise, but not the reasoning.

          You would find that your boss will think different (although I do agree with you personally). ICS is probably not the best example anyway, I was more thinking about the Linux (specially Ubuntu) release names. You could probably sell 'Canonical Linux 10.10' to your CEO, but 'Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat'? He'll think you watched too much Cbeebies...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: a simple, £5.99, tally counter was enough for a traffic survey

        And people used to do the accounts in a ledger with a quill pen. Computers - hah!

        1. turnip handler
          Joke

          Re: a simple, £5.99, tally counter was enough for a traffic survey

          Judging by the vastly over complicated spreadsheets that no one in the finance department knows how to change, which are then printed out anyway, they would be better off with quill's.

          At least then they might be busy for the whole month rather than just for the two week 'month end'.

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I agree with the premise, but not the reasoning.

      "Apple will fade once people realize that iFads are bloody expensive toys, not actually useful work platforms"

      ...because there is NO money in toys. Nope, none whatsoever. Do you want to tell Disney and Mattel, or shall I?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I agree with the premise, but not the reasoning.

      I shall throw them away RIGHT NOW. Thanks for showing us the light! Please don't forget to tell us which other suggestions you have to improve our lives, oh illuminated master.

    5. Mike Moyle Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: I agree with the premise, but not the reasoning.

      "In reality, Apple will fade once people realize that iFads are bloody expensive toys, not actually useful work platforms."

      Curious... I've been doing useful and reasonably well-remunerated work on them for over 20 years.

      Have you considered the possibility that your conception of "useful work" is in error?

      1. Figgus

        @Mike Moyle

        You've been doing work on iPhones/iPads for over 20 years?

        I have a question: where did you park your time machine?

  3. veti Silver badge
    Devil

    I'll miss it

    Apple is already feeling the effect of losing its legendary Reality Distortion Field Generator. Since Jobs died, I estimate it's seen at least a 200% increase in unfriendly headlines. Look at all the sarky talk about "the new iPad"'s lack of a proper name, for instance - that would never have happened if Jobs were still around to put his spin on it.

    Personally I don't get the Apple hate. Nobody is forced to buy an iThing, and the Things themselves, with the exception of the venerable iMac, are not sold as general-purpose computing devices. To complain about your iPad being locked down is like complaining that you can't compile C++ on your stereo.

    And Apple still gets a lot of credit from me for fighting the good fight against DRM. Five years ago, it was the only major commercial company willing to stand up in public and say "DRM is stupid because it pisses off your customers". I noticed, because I was putting together a submission to Parliament on the subject at the time, and it was great to have one household-brand name to reference in support of my case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll miss it

      "To complain about your iPad being locked down is like complaining that you can't compile C++ on your stereo"

      Err, the people complaining _are_ the ones who have got their stereo compiling c++! Same people that have installed Linux on their toaster.

      1. Tom 79
        Thumb Down

        Re: I'll miss it

        >Err, the people complaining _are_ the ones who have got their stereo compiling c++! Same people that have installed Linux on their toaster.

        I'm more apt to believe they're just noobs who invested their time learning some web language like PHP and are afraid it will become less relevant as more people are using mobile apps rather than web sites. Because learning something new is hard.

        Or they hate apple because the TechJournos told them to and they're lemmings with no sense of wind direction.

        ProTip: Tech Journos usually can't predict shit, that's why they're tech journos.

      2. Ty Cobb
        Joke

        Re: I'll miss it

        The real geeks here have Linux installed on a dead badger

      3. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: I'll miss it

        No one ever tries to pretend that the toaster can replace your PC.

        Apple and the fanboys love to advocate that kind of thing.

        Now if I have a video appliance of some sort, I expect it to play my home movies or shows I've recorded off of cable. That's a fundemental use case relevant failure. It's hardly comparable to running gcc on my VCR.

        Fanboys seek to lower expectations and berate and misrepresent anyone who isn't drinking the kool-aid.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I'll miss it

      "DRM is stupid because it pisses off your customers"

      I miss that kind of statement. The sort of statement that is obviously true, but can be too easily lost between the gaps of analysis reports and user-group research.

      Other Jobs ideas along the same lines

      "16:9 is stupid"

      "Not having menus in your Office suite is stupid"

      "Flash (on a mobile device) is stupid"

      I agree with these statements. I don't have an iDevice -or DevicePro- because I like my USB gadgets to be Mass Storage and cheap, and the software I use is Win only.

    3. Ted Treen
      Devil

      Re: I'll miss it

      @veti

      "Personally I don't get the Apple hate"

      At one time, Apple was very much the underdog, loved by some and appreciated by a few more. Most of the PC world, then having fun with bright green command lines on a black screen, were even unaware of Apple and if they vaguely remembered the name, didn't know anything about them.

      Now for a variety of reasons (I'm not going to get into any spats about these) Apple is the Wunderkind of the mainstream media, and few companies have a higher public profile.

      It does seem to be that one of the less pleasant aspects of human nature is the desire to see an underdog really built up, then to take a perverse pleasure in knocking them down again.

      Then there is the willy-waving (generally by those with metaphorical shortcomings in the appendage department) who cannot see ANYTHING becoming popular, without showering it with contemptuous disdain proclaiming that "If it's popular, it must be because it appeals to sheep and I hate it 'cos I'm too cool & special for all that".

      Then again, like with cars, there are those who will knock any car which is different to the one they've bought, as they have to justify what they are tied into, and in denial that they might have made the wrong choice.

      The again there's also simple jealousy & sour grapes...

      No doubt I'll be buried with down votes for sussing out some commentaries whose denial runs deeper than I thought.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Might be right

    People have been predicting the death of Apple for as long as I can remember. It hasn't happened yet. I'm sure there was a site called 'apple deathwatch' or something like that. Last quarters results seems like holding it off a little longer.

    Things cycle. In turn we've seen Sony/Erricson, Motorola and Nokia at the top of the heap (if you're as old as i am. At one point Sony could do no wrong.

    Ford Sierras used to be popular, but BMW sell more 3 Series.

    Get off on shouting I hate apple loudest as much as you like, one day the decline will probably happen. In the meantime enjoy the fact that you have someone to vent your spleen against, while you wait for your next target to come along.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Might be right

      You might be amused by this collection of Apple Death Knells.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Might be right

        I do believe that's exactly what I was thinking of. Thank you

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Might be right

      Hehe, the late-nineties Wired article was a classic of this sub-genre: It was titled "Ten things Apple must do to survive" or something similar. It gave Apple such pearls of wisdom as 'license your operating system". IIRC, Apple under the return of Jobs didn't follow a single suggestion!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Might be right

        Remember the mid 90s computer shopper.

        It had a Mac section (IIRC it had something to do with El Reg's own BOFH...) that started to become a little surreal as it looked like the writing was on the wall for Apple...

    3. Tom 79

      Re: Might be right

      The thing about predicting death, is eventually, you'll be right.

  5. geejayoh
    Trollface

    Assuming that...

    Apple have actually innovated. Style over substance any one?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Sean Timarco Baggaley
      FAIL

      Re: Assuming that...

      No. It should be "style AND substance".

      As Apple have proved, it is not necessary to have to choose one [i]or[/i] the other, nor should it be. You can clearly, demonstrably, have both. At the same time. In the same product.

      Apple have been proving this very point since the late 1990s. They've barely had a dud quarter since 1998; even their Mac sales have been kicking the arses of giants like Dell and HP, quarter on quarter.

      If, after well over a decade, you still don't understand why Apple's kit sells, you are not only missing the point, you are part of the problem.

      As for "innovation": Where the hell were Nokia, Motorola and HTC when Apple released the original iPhone? Did they not have any similar products of their own in the works? No? Why the hell not?

      And where were they all when Apple released the iPad and proved, yet again, that it's the whole user experience, not merely the hardware, that had been the problem with the form-factor up to that point? (To all those who claim that it's just "a big iPod touch": has the penny dropped yet? No, I thought not.)

      Technology that nobody can work out how to use is a pointless waste of time, money and resources. If you genuinely want to help save the planet, stop making nasty unusable shit that nobody wants.

      1. Audrey S. Thackeray

        Re: Assuming that...

        "If, after well over a decade, you still don't understand why Apple's kit sells, you are not only missing the point, you are part of the problem."

        What problem?

        "If you genuinely want to help save the planet"

        ?! I really think you're on a different topic from the rest of us.

  6. Phormic

    Does this guy know anything about Cook?

    I wonder if George caught the earnings call yesterday where Cook announced that he eschews a legal approach to competition as his preferred option.

    Cook is the principle reason that Apple is a moneymaking machine today. There is nobody in the industry better at production control and supply chain management. Apple's gross margins are now running at 47.4%, which is without precedent and doesn't happen by accident. Jobs was a product guy. Cook turned those products into colossal mountains of money.

    I also wonder if Colony realises that this supposedly grey bureaucrat (as he paints it) has pretty much run the company for quite a few years now, not just now but also previously as Jobs's illness advanced. It's sad, but Jobs planned for a future where he wasn't around and Tim Cook and Jonny Ive, were specifically groomed by Jobs to take over the reigns.

    If Cook can hold onto Ive, there's no reason why Apple's success can't continue for a little longer yet.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Does this guy know anything about Cook?

      Cook is the principle reason that Apple is a moneymaking machine today. There is nobody in the industry better at production control and supply chain management...Jobs was a product guy..

      Much as I agree that the comments should be treated sceptically I think you inadvertently make the same point: Jobs was responsible for dreaming up new, desirable products and Cook and others for their execution. Of course, that is exactly the kind of dramatic oversimplification that the media loves to speculate upon. Despite his many qualities Steve Jobs was part of a team of dedicated and competent people who were all needed to make the products a success.

      Nokia used to be king of the supply chain and look at it now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pirate

        Re: Does this guy know anything about Cook?

        Sans Job's meglomaniacal obsessive stranglehold on diversification, I believe Apple is transitioning to a new frontier in black box monopoly.

    2. Dan 10

      Re: Does this guy know anything about Cook?

      think you're right, it probably comes down to Cook acknowledging his own limits and making damn sure he holds onto Ive.

  7. John Hawkins

    Jobs could see over the horizon; Cook is a bean counter.

    The two of them made (part of) a good team. Apple are likely to morph into a normal IT company with normal growth rates, but I don't see them fading away.

    1. Barry O'Connell

      "likely to morph into a normal IT company"

      Probably the most sensible comment on here. Their current position is on top (whether people think they deserve it or not doesn't matter). History should make it obvious that few stay on top for very long. Hard to see how they could head to absolute oblivion anytime soon. Though even that is uncertain (for all firms).

  8. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Apple's Success

    Apple isn't successful because it is Apple. There aren't that many more macs around than before (or so it seems, at any rate).

    I do, however, see iPads, iPhones (and formerly iPods) everywhere.

    It seems to me that Apple succeeded wildly in these markets because they made elegant products that perform simply and well. They aren't especially cheap, but Apple has clearly demonstrated that price-sensitivity is not an overriding factor for such items.

    Conversely, Nokia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the mobile phone market precisely because their products became mediocre in the extreme. They were not at all user-friendly or elegant.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Apple's Success

      Exactly. There are a fair few people who aren't short of a bob or two, and will happily pay a premium to do away with all the rough edges, half-arsed feature implementations and confusing inconsistent interfaces. Some people want a complicated SLR with lots of manual control, many others just want a camera that takes good pictures and you don't have to fumble with a lens cap.

      What do rough edges do to the user? Well, we've all seen that video of a man smashing his PC in a cubicle out of sheer frustration!

      Baby-boomers form a large part of this market, and they aren't all skint.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Apple's Success

        > pay a premium to do away with all the rough edges, half-arsed feature implementations and confusing inconsistent interfaces.

        Apple's advantage here is grossly over hyped.

    2. Ted Treen
      Angel

      Re: Apple's Success

      @deadlockvictim:- "...There aren't that many more macs around than before (or so it seems, at any rate)..."

      Probably not in the room(s) where you live & work.

      Many homes have eschewed Windows machines for iMacs - iMac sales show this.

      Many executives now use a MacBook - look in any First Class lounge, Starbucks etc. Again, reported MacBook sales would indicate this.

      MacPro machines DO sell well: sure it might be a lower percentage of a greatly increased sales volume, but they're still selling - even if overdue for an upgrade to new Xeons.

      The fact that ever-increasing sums are spent on iPhones and iPads appears to overshadow Mac sales shouldn't detract from the fact that Macs are selling increasingly well. There will inevitably be an increase due to the halo effect of iDevice sales, but these can often lag a year or so behind, but they will happen.

      Apple have just made sure they have a few more baskets into which they can put their eggs.

      1. Audrey S. Thackeray

        Re: Apple's Success

        "Many executives now use a MacBook - look in ... Starbucks"

        Our executives have a yacht. Just saying.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Apple's Success

        No.

        Apple has simply ceased to be a computer company.

        They are a consumer electronics company. They're like the 80s division of Sony responsible for the Walkman.

        What computers they do still sell are PCs pretending to be appliances. Although they are only PCs when it suits Apple marketing. Otherwise they're not PCs. Fanboys go happily go along with all of this.

        Their actual PC numbers are miniscule both compared to Apple's own numbers as well as the rest of the PC industry.

    3. Andrew James

      Re: Apple's Success

      Lets not forget that a decade of ipods being adopted left right and centre has left a legacy of almost anything electronic coming equiped with an ipod dock... which the ipad and iphone can connect to.

      So you like your ipod touch and think, yeah why not, i'll get an iphone when i upgrade... you can get one free on a £35 per month contract, which many people pay anyway for the amount of minutes/texts/data that is included at that price point. Your shiney new phone will dock with your existing equipment... which is nice. You like the interface of your phone and you are in the market for a tablet, perhaps for yourself or your kids or a family member as a gift ... you go with what you know, and you buy an iPad. Sooner or later you come to need a new computer ... you've had good experience with Apple products so far, so why not, its a bit more expensive, but you trust it to be as good as your ipod, iphone, ipad...

      Yes. The price points might come down. And eventually there might be some cheaper options from Apple. But in the last decade they've leveraged themselves a brilliant position in the market by becoming almost the "standard" in the way Photoshop, Hoover, Coke, Cellotape, etc have done.

  9. toadwarrior

    The apple haters are always entertaining. They'll ignore any sort of logic to be able turn anything against apple.

    They call people apple fanboys when they dedicate as much, if not more, energy hating apple.

    Quite frankly they look sad but it feels good watching them waste their lives on on something so stupid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      W O W! re-read your comments and just think for a while of implications and how you come across.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Perhaps you should too Obviously!

    2. Barry O'Connell
      Facepalm

      There are fanboys though

      I am not an Apple hater (I love my iPhone and iPad and my better half loves the MacBook Air I bought them). I can both respect what Apple does well and be critical when they get things wrong. Like most companies. And most consumers.

      However, there are definitely some people who are shockingly defensive of Apple in a way I have not noticed for other companies. Fanboys is not an altogether incorrect description for some of these people. Their response is similar to that of a sports fan.

      That's not to say there are not haters out there, but there are haters of all companies and I don't think the Apple haters are any greater in number. Though the Micro$oft critics seem to be less vocal these days. (I am using the $ to indicate the type of MS critic I am talking about, I don't usually do so).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fashionable

    Apple products are currently fashionable (to those without any sense of fashion) .... but the problem with stuff that is fashionable is that it will inevitably go out of fashion.

    That will be the demise of Apple.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Fashionable

      What usually happens is someone else comes along with a "better" fashion and the old guard get knocked down a bit towards retirement.

      So the real question is not can he keep Apple going, but who can usurp them?

      I don't see MS doing that, though they are so entrenched in the desktop PC world they won't vanish in spite of turd-like OS/GUI choices, and Nokia, Sony, etc, seem beyond hope now.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Fashionable

      Fashion. Oh, so that's why Jony Ive's output resembles that of Dieter Rams work for Braun from the 1950s? They look like they do because of a deliberate lack of arbitrary features that is the basis for

      fashion. Jony Ive's stuff is fashionless, not (un)fashionable. Like a Technics 1210, A Maglite, or a well made pair of boots.

      1. Audrey S. Thackeray

        @Dave126

        "Jony Ive's stuff is fashionless, not (un)fashionable. Like a Technics 1210, A Maglite, or a well made pair of boots."

        The design may be but the desire to have one possibly isn't.

        There are more people wearing trainers and playing their music at the back of the bus on a phone than there are wearing properly tailored boots as they spin up some vinyl on a classic turntable. Even in Shoreditch.

        It's not impossible (though highly unlikely) that it could become a fashion faux pas to be seen with an Apple product and this would certainly harm their sales and their margins on those sales.

        Apple do make very good phones and tablets but the margins they command is not down to this quality but to the brand and to the efficiency of their supply.

        Ives continues the design, Cook continues the efficiency but Jobs is no longer around to maintain the brand.

        It can be done without him but to assume that it will is to underestimate his importance.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another Apple doomsday prediction?

    People have been saying Apple is on the way down for many, many years now. How did that quote from Michael Dell go? If I were Apple, I'd sell the assets and give the money back to the shareholders.

    People started panicing on Apple a week ago thinking guys like this might be right. The stock dropped 40 points. Apple released their financials yesterday, and the stock went up 50 points. Today.

    As a shareholder, I'm sure glad they didn't listen to Mr. Dell back then, and I'm hoping they pay the same level of attention to Mr. Colony, here.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apples strength lies in taking existing products, executing them slightly better than everyone else and charge a premium for the privilege.

    Calling them magival and revolutionary also seems to help.

    As long as they can keep doing that they're fine. Remember it's the general public that's responsible for their borrom line, not the so-called 'fanpersons'.

    Perception is everything. And Apple are bloody good at it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "….taking existing products, executing them slightly better than everyone else "

      iOS looks old, dated and clunky compared to winphone 7.5.

      WP requires far fewer interactions to achieve the same outcome, it’s clean and uncomplicated.

      BUT because its windows, consumer prejudice takes over and prevent them from being objective. They buy an iPhone because their mates have one, because its deemed a ‘premium’ device (hardly when they are FREE on contracts), it can only be seen as ‘buying’ status.

      iPhone design is now years old and never really looked good anyways. The buzz is over! iPhone is dead, we can see that with the PATHETIC attempt of the 4S, which was a 4 but with Siri.

      Don't forget, create a big enough buzz and consumers will buy anything, and Apple have their consumers number.

      ‘Appleites’ love to bang on about how sad Apple haters are (toady), but the reality is, I don’t hate Apple, I hate sheep. The mindless who grab onto a buzz and bang on and on about it virtues. THAT is sad!

      1. pixl97

        Apps

        I don't think Microsoft's problem is the current Win phone interface. It's everything else around it. http://penny-arcade.com/2012/04/06 succulency says what I mean. iTunes and the app store, no matter how bad they suck... suck less then the other choices out there.

        Also, people don't trust Microsoft... there are a myriad of reasons why, but the important one in the phone's/pads department is interface. Yes, Win7.5p is nice, but next year Win8p will look like something else, then the Win9p will look like something else then WinPhonX will look like something else. People don't trust Microsoft not to change the interface.

      2. Tom 79

        >‘Appleites’ love to bang on about how sad Apple haters are (toady), but the reality is, I don’t hate Apple, I hate sheep. The mindless who grab onto a buzz and bang on and on about it virtues. THAT is sad!

        You mean like you just did with WP7?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No. I'm not banging on and on about it virtues.

          I made 1 objective statement.

  13. alain williams Silver badge

    Bet on Apple stock price

    So, has George Colony shorted Apple stock ? If not -then how sure is he of what he says ?

  14. Semaj

    Press

    The only reason that Apple are doing so well is that the entire mainstream media and graphic designers seem to love giving them free advertising.

    They always seem to use a Mac whenever they need a stock photo of someone using a computer and usually use an iPhone-like icon to denote a smart phone.

    Still - the press are notoriously fickle so when the wind changes (and it will) their bubble will burst.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Press

      Predicting the demise of something is quite easy. May be they fail in 5, 10, 15 years, may be 100. Then you'll be able to point to this post and claim you were right.

      Predicting the when and the why are difficult. Which is why your post really says nothing at all

  15. wowfood

    The only thing I have against apple is the price, (and that stupid mighty mouse cannot stand the thing). I'm all for varying platforms, and i have given the Mac OS a try. I just can't warrent paying £1000 for a laptop I can buy a similar spec version of for £440 and then install linux on.

    Same with the iPhone. Its a good phone, I've got a second hand one to develop on, but I can't warrent the price point ot if, especially with the rate at which newer models come out and make your version depricated.

    As for the company itself now, the best things work with the visionary and the guy who makes it work. This guy can make it work but he's no visionary. They'll go out and hire a load of enw "visionaries" to replace jobs but none of them will cut the mustard.

    Apple will continue to sell well though, hipsters have already gotten addicted to the market (where they get hte money to buy all the stuff I don't know) and so long as the iPhone is seen as popular by teens they'll continue to sell out in each iteration.

    iPads I'm still not sold on, I can see its benefits as a toy, I just can't put a serious use on them, possibly because of the kind of stuff I do on computers, I don't know. I just never found tablets to be anything more than a gimmick. If I ever did buy one it'd be a transformer prime.

    I would really like Apple to release a "Mac General" os. Perhaps a partially featured OS disk which is sold for more than the normal upgrades, whcih you could install on a normal PC no problem.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Not just hipsters...

      But baby-boomers too. They have money. There are lots of them. They have less patience for things that don't work, and no inclination to roll up their sleeves and learn about what is under the bonnet.

      It ain't hard to look at the demographics. We would all do well to do the same.

      As Spike Milligan said to a station port on seeing a sign 'The 12.36 to Paddington has been cancelled due to unprecedented demand':

      "The population has been getting bigger since 1846, what the fuck is unprecedented about it?"

      1. Tom 79

        Re: Not just hipsters...

        >But baby-boomers too. They have money. There are lots of them. They have less patience for things that don't work, and no inclination to roll up their sleeves and learn about what is under the bonnet.

        I'm a gen-Xer. I used to always build all my computers from parts. I'd (re)install Windows x every few months to make sure it was perfectly clean. I'm a coder professionally. I've been into computers since the Vic-20.

        Now, after I've built at least 50 computers and (re)installed Windows countless times? Piss on that, I have better things to do. How many computers do you have to build and reinstall before you realize it's just the same old shit.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Not just hipsters...

          Hi Tom 79,

          Sorry for my generalisations, I should have qualified those statements! I do indeed know 'Gen Xers' (a term maybe less common this side of the pond) who have worked with computers since the early seventies, and gen-xers who have in 5 years gone from PC illiterate to coding e-commerce sites.

          By the way, regarding: "(re)install Windows x every few months to make sure it was perfectly clean. " Have you considered making an image of your fresh system, and of fresh system + favourite apps and settings? Or should I take your comment to mean you are already using Time Machine?

          regards

    2. Stacy
      Thumb Down

      OSX

      Nah, after wanting to throw my MacBook Pro out of the window too many times in the last 7 months I've owned it I can't think of anything to like about it.

      Slower to boot than windows, slower to wake from sleep than windows, more updates!!! (WTF - I was not expecting that!) and more system crashes.

      Mac's are good because people who would not be prepared to pay 800 euro for a 17" windows laptop will pay 2500 euros for a 15" MacBook Pro. Because it's Apple. Then they act surprised that it's so much better than the awfulness they had before (which I advised against buying in the first place as I knew it was going to be awful and I was going to have to support it!)

      1. toadwarrior

        Re: OSX

        The only way it would boot slower is if you mucked about with it, not knowing what you're doing, and broke it.

        Both Linux and OS X easily boot faster than Windows could ever dream of.

        1. Stacy
          Thumb Down

          Re: OSX

          Lion straight from the App store to installed. No messing, no nothing.

          Windows straight from Sony / OEM Disc (depending on the machine), no messing, no nothing.

          The MacBook Pro takes a little over a minute to boot. The Windows 7 machines take a little under a minute to having El Reg in the browser.

          I wanted to like the Mac (You fdon't spend that kind of cash in the expectation that you are not going to like it now do you?), but after trying to like it for 9 months I've given up. It's a 1300 euro web browser (and even that isn't fun).

          The POS HP I have to use in the office *is* slow as hell. But then that goes back to my point about comparing crap computers or decent ones.

          Having not tried Linux I couldn't say...

        2. Tom 79

          Re: OSX

          >Slower to boot than windows, slower to wake from sleep than windows, more updates!!! (WTF - I was not expecting that!) and more system crashes.

          Ya, you don't own a mac, or you don't own one built in this century.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Stacy
            WTF?

            Re: OSX

            Not that you would ever believe someone who says something bad about Apple / good about Windows...

            But, it's a mid 2011 Sandy Bridge MacBook Pro 13" i5 - installed with Snow Leopard and with the free upgrade voucher for the Apple Store for Lion (about a week or two after Lion was released). It was expanded from 4GB to 8GB and had a faster, bigger HDD fitted when I assumed the performance was from the slow, small HDD Apple fitted as standard. With the upgrades it was much faster, but still not a patch on the Windows machines I have.

            The screen, whilst a terrible resolution is at least better per colour reproduction than the 4 year old machine. But not as good as the Sony.

            Oh, and by faster wakiing up from sleep I mean usable. The screen comes on much faster with the Mac. Within a second or so. But you can't enter your password for another 10 seconds or so. The Windows machine is ready to go when the screen turns on. After about 2 or 3 seconds.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OSX

          Shit, but faster! Great!

          Or faster Shit.

          HA HA HA HA

        4. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: OSX

          I don't recall MacOS being terribly optimized in this way. While "startup time" seems to be a great fixation for Windows users and Microsoft.

          Sometime when I'm really bored I will have to horse race one of my Macs and my Win7 machine just for laughs.

      2. Chad H.

        Re: OSX

        Strange, my experiences with osx are the reverse. Faster to boot, faster to wake, has all my last opened windows ready.

        1. Stacy
          Thumb Up

          Re: OSX

          I'll go with the last window opened part - I do think that's quite cool.

          I have to ask though - did you do A/B tests or put the machines next to each other? And were they are the same quality - or an el cheapo Windows machine (and I include expensive HP machines there too!) vs the Apple? These things make a difference.

    3. toadwarrior

      Why do you have to buy each model? You can still even buy a 3GS, get iOS 5 and use most software and that's certainly a heck of a lot more than what I can do with my Tmobile G1 which has hardly recieved any updates and doesn't seem to have access to the market anymore.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "analyst"

    Well just over half that is correct.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Same with the iPhone. Its a good phone, I've got a second hand one to develop on, but I can't warrent the price point ot if, especially with the rate at which newer models come out and make your version deprecated."

    You miss the point - with the iPhone you do not need to upgrade as often - the 3GS is still supported (despite being 4+ years old) - I know 3 people with 3GSs (bought from new) and still very happy with them - paying for a SIM only contract and actually saving a lot of dosh.

    On the other hand friends / colleagues with Android seeming need to upgrade every 12-18 months as their phone is no longer supported by the phone company or manufacturer.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The only thing I have against apple is the price, (and that stupid mighty mouse cannot stand the thing)."

    Except let's look at a 16gb iPad 2 vs a 16Gb Motorola Xoom 2 - yes they are BOTH £329.

    Magic mouse - it's not a monopoly - use a Microsoft / Logitech / other one - I happen to love the Magic mouse - always found other mice uncomfortable to use but the Magic mouse is so 'light' to use it does not happen now.

    1. Nev Silver badge
      Unhappy

      "I know 3 people with 3GSs"

      Oh, the shame! they must get awful looks from all the '4/'4S owners!

      I've got a V1.0 iPod Touch and after paying for the firmware upgrades (twice)

      Apple then dropped support for it within 2 years.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The only reason that Apple are doing so well is that the entire mainstream media and graphic designers seem to love giving them free advertising."

    Really... the only reason? Advertising is one thing but if the product were crap people would not buy it - actually think Apple benefit hugely from word-of-mouth from 'happy' customers telling their friends / family and once you have used iOS / OS X - it makes the competition look pretty poor in comparison.

    Sure Android is getting better but there are so many different versions / customisations - it's not what 'most' people want. Sure for the 're-ROM your toaster' brigade you want Android and for people who want a cheap 'smart' phone as an upgrade to their candy-bar (Nokia) style phone - but I'm pretty sure if you gave a Galaxy SII and an iPhone 4S to people - let them try them both for a month - most people would keep the iPhone.

    Do Samsung offer a 30 day money back on their phones?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I would really like Apple to release a "Mac General" os. Perhaps a partially featured OS disk which is sold for more than the normal upgrades, whcih you could install on a normal PC no problem."

    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. I'm sure a lot of the problems with Windows are not Windows itself but the fact it has to run on a load of crappy hardware with iffy drivers etc.

    Windows 7 is generally much better than previous versions - but when you compare to Lion (and the soon to the released Mountain Lion) it's still a far better experience - not for all - but for most people.

    1. Stacy
      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.

      1. mad_dr
        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. Stacy
          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!

    2. stanimir

      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.

    3. JEDIDIAH
      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.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    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. dogged
      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.

      1. dogged

        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.

  22. Seven_Spades

    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.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      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.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  24. Stretch

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

    1. Ted Treen
      Trollface

      Erudite & well expressed. Good man!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    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. Chad H.

      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.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  29. Kevin7
    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.

  30. Thomas 18
    Thumb Up

    legal/bureaucratic sounds perfect

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

  31. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Audrey S. Thackeray

      "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.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    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. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    3. Noel Morgan
      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.......

  33. qwarty

    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.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

  35. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. qwarty

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

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    What is... not even life on earth.

  38. Daniel 1

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

    This explains much.

  39. localzuk

    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.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. localzuk

      No, but I'm somewhat of a realist.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. localzuk

      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.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Analysts: Don't You Just Love 'Em?

    Personally, no. Complete waste of space.

    Worse than consultants.

    1. Silverburn
      Happy

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

      And then patent lawyers.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Chad H.

      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".

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

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

  46. Anonymous Coward
    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.

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