Remember Mac vs. Windows? There was a battle that started back in the mid-1980s which continues to this day, except the end result was concluded many years ago. Microsoft won. Apple lost. So it is with the iPhone. Apple is losing. Again.
Definition of Losing
With Microsoft once holding about 95-percent (or more) of the PC market, many tech pundits and former customers expected Apple to fade away and become a footnote to history.
A funny thing happened on the way to the future. Remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare?
Sure, Microsoft’s Windows– the hare— clobbered the Mac in the marketplace, but Apple– the tortoise— survived, acknowledged defeat, then prospered, and kept working toward the next great thing.
Meanwhile, the hare fell asleep around the turn of the century and completely missed what the tortoise accomplished over the next decade.
Remember the items on my disruption list? iPod, iTunes, iTunes Store, iPhone, iPhone App Store, iPad. After more than a decade, Apple, ever the tortoise, lapped the sleeping Microsoft hare time and again.
That was then and this is now. Apple is engaged in a similar battle with the iPhone and iPad against all those cheap Android-based smartphones and tablets.
And, just as it did with Microsoft, Apple is losing. Wait. The numbers don’t add up. Maybe we need to look at the definition of losing.
lose |lo͞oz| verb
1 be deprived of or cease to have or retain (something):
2 become unable to find (something or someone):
3 fail to win (a game or contest): (as adj. losing)
4 earn less (money) than one is spending or has spent:
None of the traditional definitions for losing seems to apply to Apple today, which has far more resources than competitors Microsoft and Google combined.
That Can’t Be Right
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wait a minute, Kate. Isn’t Android about 80-percent of the smartphone market, while Apple’s iPhone has dropped to around 15-percent?‘
Uh, yes, that’s probably about right. So, Apple is losing again, just like Mac vs. Windows. Except the Mac didn’t really lose. Apple’s Mac line accounts for about half of the PC industry’s profits. So does the iPhone.
So, yes, history does repeat itself. Mac vs. Windows didn’t result in the demise of Apple or the Mac, which, even in the post-PC era, continues to be the most prosperous and desirous of personal computers.
What of the iPhone? Android’s dominant worldwide marketshare of smartphones is approaching numbers once only enjoyed by Microsoft’s Windows, as it dominated the Mac in the marketplace.
Yes, it’s deja vu all over again. With one difference. Microsoft made boatloads of money in the last century and continues to profit today, even after massive losses in the tablet and smartphone arena.
Google Ain’t Microsoft
What of Google? Sorry, Charley. No tuna for you. Google has lost billions on the Android project, and all of Google’s partners, from Motorola to HTC to Nokia, continue to bleed red ink. Except Samsung, which is so in love with Android that it cannot wait to dump Google’s illegitimate child for the open source Tizen, part of Samsung’s New Plan To Defeat Apple.
The nascent mobile marketplace has been flooded by cheaply made, inexpensive Android-based smartphones and tablets yet profits remain elusive for manufacturers, and it is profit which fuels development of the future.
Just as the Mac lost to Microsoft’s Windows, Apple’s iPhone is losing to Google’s Android. And, again, Apple is laughing all the way to the bank.