To hear the company’s many critics tell it, Apple is doomed any minute now, about to be overrun by the likes of Amazon, Google, Samsung, and a hoard of Chinese knockoffs.
In reality, Apple’s many competitors are trying not to make the same huge public mistake made by company co-founder Steve Jobs.
That Was Them, This Is Us Now
Allow me to use Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos as a wide-ranging example of how Apple’s competitors work diligently to ensure they don’t make the same mistake made by Steve Jobs (and carried on by his successor, CEO Tim Cook).
For whatever the reason, Bezo’s Amazon is the darling of Wall Street despite the fact the company has yet to return a profit on the investment.
And, for the most part, Amazon sells products from other companies, and even sells the 3rd party made Kindle and Kindle Fire HD at about the manufacturing cost in the hopes of making a profit on media sales to owners of those devices.
The company is recognized as a leader in online sales, despite the fact that it has enormous competition, and doesn’t even have revenue that matches Microsoft, Costco, Walmart, or Apple, let alone any semblance of profits.
Like Steve Jobs, Amazon honcho Bezos is quirky, but accessible, and contrasts with Jobs and Cook, in that he is very public about Amazon’s strategy. Wall Street loves Bezos and Amazon because it’s obvious the company works diligently to keep profits low, plowing what meager money it does make back into the company.
Steve Jobs Big Mistake
Apple’s competitors, as exemplified by Bezos and Amazon are intent on not making the big mistake made by Steve Jobs.
Profits. Jobs was not afraid to make a hefty profit on every product rolled out the door. That tradition has been Apple’s means to survival and prosperity in recent years, and extended by CEO Tim Cook.
It must be a big mistake to build a company based on profits. Look how hard Microsoft, Google, Amazon, BlackBerry, HTC, HP, Dell, and others who compete with Apple in the marketplace– PC or mobile devices– have eschewed profits, instead going for marketshare wherever possible.
This lack of profits is deliberate. Apple makes more in profit in one quarter than Amazon has made in total since the company was founded. Profit is Steve Jobs’ biggest, most public mistake, and the competition knows it, and is doing everything possible to avoid it.
Amazon is known as the leader in cloud services (though it has yet to make a profit on the investment), while Apple’s iCloud is widely criticized as being an anemic add-on, a wannabe product, despite the fact that iCloud has more users than any other cloud service.
Interestingly, only one company has copied Apple’s product marketing and business strategy. Samsung. Like Apple, Samsung’s mobile device business is highly profitable. It’s just a matter of time before Samsung recognizes the error Steve Jobs made by making Apple profitable, and begins to copy Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Motorola, HTC, BlackBerry, and Nokia’s lead in becoming unprofitable in the mobile industry.
Copying Apple’s products and business strategy is clearly a mistake of epic proportions for Samsung, and is avoided like the plague by Apple’s competitors. Amazon’s Bezos knows that Steve Jobs was wrong. Profits are for losers.