Based on the headlines alone you would think Apple has become beleaguered again, and some new product from Microsoft or Google will cause our favorite Mac maker to begin bankruptcy proceedings. Why all the negativity surrounding Apple, America’s high tech punching bag?
The Sport Of The Lazy
Insightful, critical analysis takes time and effort. Many of today’s technology writers have little interest in putting out the effort to analyze, so they criticize with simple arguments, usually devoid of facts.
For example, there’s the time honored Windows vs. Mac argument which is often applied to Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
After all, Google’s Android has 80-percent of the marketshare, so it’s Windows vs. Mac déjà vu all over again, right?
The problem here is that the facts don’t support the argument. At one time the Mac’s marketshare vs. Windows hit the low single digits. Now the Mac owns marketshare in the low double digits, but owns half the industry’s profits.
The Mac prospers while many Windows PC makers do not. Why? That’s a question not answered by Apple’s critics other than to say, ‘It’s just gimmicky marketing.’
Apple critics are quick to point out that Apple’s demise is near because the company cannot sustain the industry leading profit margins indefinitely.
Really? That reminds of the story of two campers who were attacked by a bear. One camper stopped to put on his tennis shoes. His companion said, ‘You won’t be able to outrun that bear in those shoes.’ To which his friend said, ‘I don’t have to outrun the bear. I only need to outrun you.’
Marketshare vs. Revenue & Profit Share
It should be obvious that Apple doesn’t care much about marketshare so long as the company maintains the lion’s share of revenue and profits. Can you name a company with competing products that has greater revenue and profits? Not even Samsung comes close.
Other critics seem to overlook basic facts about Apple’s stature within the technology industry. Today, the best Windows PCs look like Macs. Android itself looks like an iPhone. Tablet manufacturers go out of the way to build products that look and feel like an iPad.
But Apple is much more than a simple hardware company, another fact overlooked by critics. All of Apple’s major products are highly profitable and continue to grow in the face of enormous competition. Mac. iPhone, iPad. iPod. iTunes Store. iTunes App Store. Mac App Store.
I count seven revenue and profit streams for Apple. How does that compare to Microsoft where most revenue and profit comes from declining sales of Windows and Office? How does that compare to Google where nearly all revenue and profits come from search engine advertising? How does that compare to Amazon which has growing revenue but cannot figure out how to turn a profit?
Even technology giant Samsung has trouble keeping up with Apple’s revenue and profit growth.
Numbers. Don’t. Lie.
That brings me to numbers. Cold, hard, facts as displayed in numbers, devoid of emotion, fear, anger, or a poison pen. Numbers. Apple divulges numbers every quarter. For example, there’s the simple number of Macs, iPhones, iPods, and iPads sold in a quarter (sold, not shipped). Often Apple reveals the number of app downloads, and the amount of money paid to app developers, as well as the number of songs, TV and movies downloaded.
What other company delivers those kinds of numbers?
The silence is deafening, yet it’s Apple that is always beleaguered while Google and Amazon, the one-trick pony duo of technology nonsense– the former that steals or buys technology and calls it innovation, and the latter that uses Jedi mind tricks to convince investors and Wall Street that the absence of profits is really a good thing– bask in the momentary glory and honor befitting David Copperfield’s magic tricks. Always entertaining, but they’re still just illusions.