That’s a fact, right? End of story, right? The same wisdom says Apple did not learn from the bruising defeat at the hands of Microsoft and is hell bent to lose the same way to Google’s Android. I’m here to state that the common wisdom is 100-percent correct.
The Definition Of ‘Losing’
One of the benefits of having a few decades of experience in the technology industry is hindsight, which, as we all know, is perfect vision.
While it’s true that Apple lost the desktop and notebook OS battle to Microsoft it’s also true that we need to define ‘losing.’
You see, with Apple, losing just doesn’t mean what it used to mean.
Yes, Microsoft’s Windows still has between 80-percent and 90-percent of the traditional personal computer market, while Apple owns the lion’s share of the rest.
Yet, with a less than significant share of that market, Apple maintains more than 50-percent of the industry’s profits, more than the next four PC manufacturers combined, including HP, Dell, Lenovo et al.
That’s been the case for many years so how is it again that Apple lost? The Mac is a computer, while Windows is an operating system. Apple makes much more revenue and profit on each Mac sold than Microsoft does with each PC sold. Dominant marketshare was and is unimportant.
That was then and this is now. It’s the post-PC era today. Things are different. Or, are they?
Apple Loses Again
Apple lost the marketshare battle, but certainly not the war. The company redefined portable music players, redefined the retail music industry, modernized application distribution, re-invented the smartphone and made the tablet usable.
So, what of Apple’s industry changing iOS products– iPhone and iPad vs. the tens of millions of Android smartphones and tablets being sold each month?
Google’s Android dominates both markets with perhaps an 80-percent marketshare over iPhone, iPad, and smaller competitors (Microsoft, BlackBerry, et al). It’s déjà vu all over again, folks. Apple is losing. Again.
Just as it is with the Mac vs. Windows PCs, Apple’s iOS devices capture the lion’s share of the industry’s profits (some estimates range from 55-percent to 70-percent). It’s that pesky definition of ‘losing‘ that no one but Apple pays attention to.
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:
A battle does not necessarily a war make. Apple may have lost the marketshare battle to Microsoft’s Windows and then to Google’s Android, but the war is ongoing and Apple doesn’t look anything at all like a loser.