The very thought of Apple’s demise any time soon is mostly ludicrous, a storyline fit for those who troll tech sites with a visual phishing hook, line, and sinker. Apple differentiates both itself and the company’s products in unique ways.
Can You Hear Me Now?
What most tech media pundits fail to understand is a concept I’ll call product differentiation. Apple’s competitors differentiate their products from Apple’s products in many ways.
Here’s a good example. The original iPhone was a touch screen interface. That wasn’t new even in 2007, but Apple’s take on touch screen and apps was unique.
It didn’t take long for competitors to recognize that Apple’s version of the future was the iPhone.
Hence, Android OS, the new Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10, as well as Samsung’s attempts to copy Apple’s products at near the atomic and bit level.
The iPhone was that much different than previous smartphones, so how do competitors differentiate their new products? Larger screen. Longer battery life. The so-called openness of Android OS. Live tiles on the lock screen.
Unfortunately for the competition, Apple is not sitting still. Their entire product line is a moving target. Competitors are skating to where the puck is, not where it will be. While they’re skating toward the location of Apple’s puck, so to speak, Apple is moving on.
Let me start with the MacBook Air. Small. Light. Fast. Durable. And without the baggage from Windows. How do competitors strike back? Windows on an Ultrabook (many of which are almost indistinguishable from the MacBook line).
There’s not much differentiation going on, though. Price, perhaps. Windows itself. Apple is in no danger of losing the Mac line to a competitor. More differentiation? Touchscreens. Removable screen and keyboard. Is it a tablet or a notebook? Or, both?
It doesn’t matter, because hybrids and touchscreen PCs haven’t made much of a dent in the marketplace, while Apple’s aluminum clad Macs have.
The iPhone and iPads are moving pucks, too. Where are they going? Faster processors, longer battery life, better screens, all components easily available to Apple’s competitors. So, Apple focuses on higher screen resolution, ever faster graphics, and better power management. Combine that with Apple’s seamless ecosystem, and it’s difficult to argue the company is facing doom.
What of the future?
Tech pundits are predicting an Apple television, but the next revolution in TV isn’t HD. It’s ultra HD. As in 4k. Why would Apple skate to where the puck is? That’s not their style. The next location for the puck is higher screen resolution, graphic chips and CPUs to drive that resolution. That means higher resolution cameras, too. And an Apple TV which handles 4k– and all that requires greater graphic and CPU performance (which Apple likes to manage in house).
Apple has never marched to the beat of the PowerPoint bullet point crowd which typically stacks features in a long list that is easy to compare. Usability is more difficult to assess and create a subjective analysis, yet, that’s exactly what Apple knows the customer prefers, even if the customer doesn’t know what it is, and media pundits fail to understand or acknowledge.
As long as Apple continues to raise the bar, skate toward where the puck will be, the competition will continue to follow. How is it again that Apple is doomed?