back to article Apple's HTML5 bet against Android extermination

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

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  1. Giles Jones Gold badge

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

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

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

    1. Spearchucker Jones
      Go

      True enough.

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

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

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

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

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

      The next couple of years are going to be interesting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: True enough.

        Zune? WTF is a 'Zune'??

        1. h4rm0ny
          Headmaster

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

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

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

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

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

            Go on, lad, Microsoft need more like you.

        2. hplasm Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: WTF is a Zune?

          Brown, I think...

      2. Cazzo Enorme

        Re: True enough.

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

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

        1. toadwarrior
          Facepalm

          Re: True enough.

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

        2. Spearchucker Jones
          FAIL

          Re: True enough. @Cazzo Enorme

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

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            Re: True enough. @Cazzo Enorme

            "Don't spread ill informed crap."

            Says the Zune fan.

        3. OffBeatMammal

          Re: True enough.

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

      3. Bob Vistakin
        Holmes

        Re: True enough.

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

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

        Source: http://goo.gl/Ucjz2

      4. Craigness

        Re: True enough.

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

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

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: True enough.

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

          The role of iTunes as a gatekeeper is simply unnecessary.

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

      5. tgm
        Thumb Down

        Re: True enough.

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

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

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

        1. Penguintopia

          Re: True enough.

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: True enough.

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

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

        2. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Re: True enough.

          Absolute ballbags.

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

      6. johnny19
        FAIL

        Re: True enough.

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

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

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

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

    2. LarsG

      I have

      Retired my HTC sensation and await my new iPhone.

      Why?

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

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

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

      1. DryBones
        Pint

        Re: I have

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

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

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

        Sent from my Galaxy Nexus.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      lmao

      windows phone! thanks, i needed that.

  2. craigj

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

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

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

  3. Arctic fox
    Megaphone

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

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

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

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

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

      1. tom dial Silver badge
        Linux

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

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

    2. tirk

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

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

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

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

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

      1. Arctic fox

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

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

    3. TheOtherHobbes

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

      That's not a gorilla.

      It's a fossilised woolly mammoth.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

    1. Spearchucker Jones
      WTF?

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

      Adroid 55%

      iOS 45%

      W8 ~1% or better?

      = ~101% or more market size.

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

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

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

      1. Blank Reg

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

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

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

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

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC 09:47

      Agreed... but...

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

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

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

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

    5. Tim 8

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

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

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

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

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

      1. John Sanders
        Linux

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

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

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

        There are many good apps on both platforms.

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

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

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

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

      1. M Gale

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

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

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

  5. jai

    Two seperate races being run here

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

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

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

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Two seperate races being run here

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

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: Two seperate races being run here

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

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

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

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

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

        1. TheOtherHobbes

          Actually the whole point

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2. Asgard

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

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

  6. Big_Ted
    FAIL

    An even bigger threat to Apple is China

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An even bigger threat to Apple is China

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

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

    2. qwarty

      Re: An even bigger threat to Apple is China

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

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An even bigger threat to Apple is China

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

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

  7. JDX Gold badge

    Meaningless prediction

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

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

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There can only be one...?

    "The transition to open architecture didn't kill Apple's computer business, it relegated them to a minor player"

    This viewpoint reinforces the notion that one approach must 'win' in the market and everyone else 'lose'. This is Microsoft's philosophy - for it to win, every competitor had to be crushed. It worked in the OS and Office software markets, which are now quite moribund (the only option apparent to the vast majority is MS Windows and MS Office).

    Apple only returned from the brink when it stopped playing this game. The problem is, you can only 'win' if you try to please everyone, and Apple can't do it. So it no longer tries to. Apple makes what it can do best and ignores the rest. This is a perfectly good strategy, and Apple turns a good profit doing it too. Of course Apple will never 'win' - it isn't even playing the game. The fact that Apple 'won' with the iPod is purely incidental - it doesn't need to 'win' to be successful (and shouldn't attempt to either).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There can only be one...?

      Fair enough but right now the market valuation of Apple is based on the prediction it will 'win in the market'. The Albatross in the room for Apple is this high market cap and the potential PR problem if it can't be sustained.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There can only be one...?

        @AC: "the market valuation of Apple is based on the prediction it will 'win in the market'."

        There are no statistics that have ever shown that Apple is going to 'win' the marketshare war. For the large part, Apple is a minority player - 5-10% of desktop/laptops, 15-20% of smartphones, etc. In some cases, like the iPhone, they have have gone slightly backward.

        No, the reason Apple is highly valued is:

        1) It's very profitable

        2) It has a *huge* amount of money in the bank

        Investors are looking for a return on the money they put in - it's that simple. They don't care if Apple has less than a single percent of the market if they continue to post healthy profits. All Apple has to do is keep its target market happy. This isn't easy, of course, but it's quite achievable. And nothing like the impossible goal of 'winning' the marketshare war.

    2. AdamChew

      Re: There can only be one...?

      Your comment made a lot of sense.

      The best of class beats just good enough anytime.

      You are right that Apple do not care about marketshare and they are more interested with providing people with the beat products money can buy. Neither are they worried about what people like Christensen thinks because they don't add two cents to the bottom line but the fear being created and made use of by analysts is more damaging.

    3. M Gale

      Re: There can only be one...?

      The reason Apple still exist is because Microsoft gave them a rather large chunk of cash in return for shares. Whenever Apple make money now, Microsoft make money. Kinda makes me wonder why Ballmer is bothering with mobile at all.

  9. Rupert Stubbs

    Amazon /= Android

    Amazon's Fire uses a forked version of Android, as the author bloody well should know. So the idea that Android's openness is unifying is downright wrong - it's actually potentially its Achilles Heel (from Google's point of view).

    Never, ever forget that Google is not a benevolent servant of mankind, but an advertising company, selling data about everyone who uses it. They are not "open" about that data, which is why even their faithful partners Samsung keep alternative OSs going...

  10. LPF
    Thumb Up

    As posters have pointed out...

    Its not the share, its the profit!

    Yes Toyota may sell more cars than Ferrari, but for Farrari their small volumes are at high procs, that allows them to do RnD and make a profit.

    Leave the mass market to thos that want it, as long as the company survives and thrives, who gives a damn.

    In comparing Android v Apple, you are comparing multipe competitors against one company, I think you will find that Apple is the biggest singl smart phone vendor and the most profitable at the smae time|!, and unlike the andriod base who can switch from maker to maker when the contracts end, Apples customers stay with them.

    1. Daniel 1

      Re: As posters have pointed out...

      Actually, I think it's the fact that Ferrari are largely owned by Fiat, is what pays the RnD bill.

      Beware car analogies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As posters have pointed out...

        Fiat took 50% stake in 1969, own more like 3/4 now

  11. Mikey 1
    WTF?

    I don't understand

    Your reference on the iPhone losing its 'pole position' goes on to suggest that more are using their phones as smartphones than Android users, Ok actually that supports your html5 contention.

    Two of you references are to your own articles, humbly noted.

    Your point on cost cutting is a little disingenuous. Yes, they are making use of confirmed and established manufacturing processes and continue to sell the model from last year as well as the year before, enabling these models to be sold more cheaply. Both of which can make use of the current generation of software, entirely at the discretion of the end user, not the carrier they purchased it from.

    From the Christensen article you start with, I quite like Horace's response to his comparison to Sony, Apple is not afraid to deprecate, or move on. A stalled desktop refresh and taking in its stride the falling music player sales suggests they already have.

    I would like to offer that the current closed architecture follows on from that. And the encouragement and support of HTML5, and webkit just quietly, supports that. It's appropriate, for now.

    iOS itself and the iPhone displays this. Yes, 5 years ago the principle was web apps only. This didn't last, and the resulting growth from both sides, dev and os, is delightful.

    First and foremost, they are a hardware company. And where it's appropriate, quite open as with firewire. And willing to deprecate, as with removable media, cpu architecture, or firewire. The foundations of the os and the browser are open. Perhaps more of the software will become open also as it is seen fit to do so.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm as much for and against as you are, actually the only bit that really stuck in my craw was when you said "over the long haul openness generally wins."

    It's proving to be quite a long haul as the behaviour of all parties involved appears to confirm each is in it for their own.

    1. Keith Spencer
      Paris Hilton

      Re: I don't understand

      Nice one! You actually listened the 5by5 podcast which it seems many people here did not. The big point is that after Horace rebutted Cristensen's concerns, Clayton actually said that he agreed with Horace. The entire premise was that Apple is unusual in that it is happy to disruptively innovate against itself which is why it is totally unconcerned by iPad sales cannibalizing Mac sales. If they can keep that up it will be hard for them to be disrupted against. And there's no getting away fromt he fact that Apple views the customer as the people using the phone whereas for Android handset the phone maker views the teleco as the customer. Which explains why updates to old phones aren't rolled out unless you yourself are willing to jump through the hoops. If Clayton's "Jobs to Be Done" concept is right then that might actually cause Android a big problem... Paris cos she has yet to be disruptied

  12. myob
    Thumb Down

    Lost credibility here for me:

    From the article: "Still, one thing is a pretty safe bet: over the long haul, openness generally wins."

    Really? It seems to me that closed generally wins. It isn't like linux is the dominant OS. I can't think of a single field in which this is true. Of course, the wording of the sentence also has that little "generally" in it to rob it of any conviction, in case the bit about betting in the first half didn't clue you in..

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Lost credibility here for me:

      "Really? It seems to me that closed generally wins. It isn't like linux is the dominant OS. I can't think of a single field in which this is true."

      I'm not taking a position on the Closed vs. Open. I think "best" is the decider rather than open or closed. But I can give you a few fields where Open Source has "won". Web serving. Linux powers more of the web than any closed source O/S. I think you'd have to be a bit mad to run your website on IIS when you could have Apache on Linux for free. Similarly in scientific fields, Linux is popular in the labs (well, lots of them). I think the Open nature of much of this software is a significant factor, but I think the real decider is that it is best. Just like you have Libre Office which is free and open source, and yet most people use MS Office because they find it better. Open vs. Closed is clearly not the deciding issue. It's about what's best.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Lost credibility here for me:

      "It seems to me that closed generally wins. It isn't like linux is the dominant OS. I can't think of a single field in which this is true"

      Apache. PHP. Wordpress. MySQL... on the small-medium server side open is as dominant as Windwos is on the desktop.

      1. John Sanders
        Linux

        Re: Lost credibility here for me:

        And moving to the medium-high very quickly, in 5 years the development speed has been astounding.

    3. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Lost credibility here for me:

      You are trying to confuse "open" with "open source" here. They aren't quite the same thing.

      DOS and Android represent platforms that can be implemented by multiple vendors. So do DVD and BluRay. Either of those give rise to a more diverse market that is capable of addressing a wider range of user requirements including price and features.

      Apple is a one trick poiny. They are the proverbial Model-T. That Model-T might be great for one user but suck for the next. Apple has no interest to adapting to different types of customers and are in fact actively hostile to what you might describe as "heretics".

  13. Tom 7 Silver badge

    So its HTML5

    and will run on any HTML5 compatible device or its Apple only HTML5 in which case its not HTML5

  14. Volker Hett

    Two words - Windows 8

    Android tablets will be moot when Windows 8 is out, WoA for new applications and on X86 for legacy stuff.

    I'd be surprised if the whole crowd from Acer to Samsung haven't already built first samples and will flood the market this autumn.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think in 2 years we will be looking at Apple as market leader in tablets and Microsoft gaining mostly at the expense of Android.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux can be all the open you want - Microsoft still knock it into insignificance.

  17. David 138
    Meh

    Windows Phone is a great OS but lacks apps. Infact Windows phone is much nicer to use than any of its rivals. Android is suffering from large companies not producing Apps or delaying them despite the huge market. iPhone is an outdated OS in serious need of modernisation, but its apps are second to none.

    HTML 5 apps will allow cross compatibility if we are lucky making the app market irrelevant. Meaning Windows phone and android will push ahead of Apple in all aspects.

    Apples lack of innovation will be their downfall. Its currently supported by their closed garden, and ignorant customer base. If you exclude the app stores IOS is by a long way the worst OS. And in most cased running on the worst hardware.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "... and ignorant customer base."

      They stand in their walled garden - while you stand outside and watch... who is ignorant.

      Who is more ignorant - the fool or the fool that watches them - not suggesting Apple are 'fools' but there are certainly plenty of manufacturers following them!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >> Apples lack of innovation will be their downfall.

      Can you genuinely say that - Apple basically 'innovate' almost everything and Samsung et al seemingly copy it (near verbatim sometimes).

      iPod (innovation) >> Macbook Pro / unibody (innovation) >> iPhone (innovation) >> iPad (innovation)

      The fact is you can have a 3 year old iPhone 3GS and it still is a 'good' phone running the latest (and supported) software - you can't say that about almost all Android phones. I have a iPod - must be about 8 years old - still going strong and in use every day - I have had other MP3 players and they are either dead or sitting in a drawer.

      Their stuff is generally better made, mostly better and typically lasts longer - so cost/time could even be cheaper than similar alternatives.

      1. Steve Knox
        Trollface

        Apple? Innovate? Hah!

        iPod (innovation) >> Macbook Pro / unibody (innovation) >> iPhone (innovation) >> iPad (innovation)

        s/b

        iPod (copy of Rio, other existing MP3 players with a bit of flash added) >> Macbook Pro / unibody (standard laptop with a bit of flash added) >> iPhone (Blackberry with a bit of flash added) >> iPad (Tablet PC with a bit of flash added)

        The only thing Apple has ever done is put a shiny veneer on existing technology. Yes, there is some value in that, but that's NOT innovation.

        Now, I supported an Andrew Orlowski piece yesterday, so if you want to make this my most downvoted comment ever, you'll have to bring quite a few sock puppets to bear.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Apple? Innovate? Hah!

          The market for tablets was near-zero before Apple - no-one is saying they invented it completely but perhaps REVOLUTIONISED is a better word - the tablet market as we know it now has been massively pushed forward by Apple.

          Same for iPods - there were MP3 players but who probably sold 80% of them. They made them mass market, nice and easy to use.

          Same for iPhones - you have to have a good imagination to claim an iPhone is a Blackberry with a bit of 'flash' - think you mean current Blackberries are trying to be like the iPhone.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Meh

          Re: Apple? Innovate? Hah!

          @Steve Knox - I downvoted you not because I'm a sock puppet but because your comment was facile and added nothing of value to the discussion.

          We need an icon of a school kid for when threads degenerate into did too, did not, nyah nyah land ..

          1. paulll Bronze badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Apple? Innovate? Hah!

            There, there, don't worry about what the mean man said. Just remember, you have an ipad and that makes you better than him.

            +1 Mr. Knox.

  18. nsld
    Alert

    Apple has done well in specific verticals

    but for the future they need to decide if they want to continue in specific verticals where competition is growing or move into and invest in other verticals as competition for the incumbents like Microsoft.

    They have a big pile of cash to invest but do they have the time and people to make a concerted effort to crack the corporate market.

    If they stay in the existing verticals can they continue to innovate or is each new iteration of device going to add less and less new features?

    If they choose to enter new verticals can they get the necessary traction to make a return on investment or will they burn huge amounts of cash for little gain?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Warren Buffett is no fool - he missed out on Apple but you can't catch them all - as he said I would not short them.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple will never support HTML5

    In fact, they will do everything they can to kill it, or subvert it into a proprietary Apple-only dialect of HTML5.

    Of course, there'll be a plausible excuse. They'll claim it's a resource hog, or it's buggy, or something to convince the faithful that Saint Steve is protecting them from the big bad internet.

    1. TheFifth
      Trollface

      Re: Apple will never support HTML5

      Obvious Troll is obvious...

      http://mobilehtml5.org/ It's close between Chrome on Ice Cream Sandwich and Safari on iOS, with Chrome just having the edge, but no one can suggest that Apple isn't right behind HTML5 on the mobile platform.

  21. Bob 18

    Android Open?

    We all know Android isn't really open like, say, Ubuntu. But in the 1990's, Windows was the "open" alternative to the Mac, and it was open enough to win handsomely. Moreover, Windows was, and has always been, more open than iOS today. Microsoft never tried to dictate which third-party programs you can and cannot run on your Windows box.

    I think Android's got a great long-term future, even if it is never more open than today.

  22. Sander van der Wal

    Wasn't it about Apple vs Samsung?

    Samsung is currently the only smartphone vendor making any kind of money, and they sell the most Android phones by far. If Samsung decides to dump Android for one of it's own OS'es (Tizen) Android is the OS going to be disrupted, not iOS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wasn't it about Apple vs Samsung?

      And - I bet Samsung are dead happy about Google buying Motorola - all too incestuous.

      Samsung need to watch out - HTC could come up with a better / cheaper handset and people would buy that instead - there is little loyalty with Android to any manufacturer and now Google own Motorola as well. The warning bells would be ringing for me!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WIndows destroyed Macs because MS did not hog the entire chain

    The first work PC I ever used was a MAC, which I am came to use alongside my Sun Work station to do documents. MS Windows product blew chunks, but it cost less and could be installed on other hardware.

    MS displaced Mac at my work and everyone elses. Even if the OS was better. You had to buy the machine to get the OS. Every IT person (and customer) thinks they can do better hardware. So most people just shrugged and bought MS. ANd eventually the OS blew fewer chunks and now its pretty good.

  24. john 112

    Oracle lawsuit

    Maybe Larry Ellison will have something to say about Google dominating the earth with technology he paid for.

  25. Dharmesh Mistry
    Thumb Up

    Well written piece of jounalism

    Very nice article ...........good read thank you !

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 optional upgrades

    The rumor mill states that symbian will come back .. as an "onlive" type of device(phone/)tablet. SO no fancy hardware needed on the phone-end, just at the backend. This is aimed at the Emerging markets but will of course create a backdraft in the develeoped nations. But that is where 4g superfast connex will be rolled out first, making the cheapie Dumb "smart" phone even more usable. Disruption? Talk about £30 to £60 phones that will always have the lastest OS, all that will tell them apart is the amount of storage onboard (1Gb lowend to 926Gb topend). Bye Bye Fat Profits of £100's pre device, Hello full/no control of media owners/renters

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