The answer is simple. We can’t. Since the beginning of human history there have been winners and losers, victors and vanquished, agony and ecstasy. In general, American’s love a good rags to riches story and none are better than Apple Inc.
Along the way there are the inevitable list of winners and losers. Here’s my updated list.
Rags To Riches To Rags
First up is Apple, right now very much a winner in every category of consideration except Prognosticationland, which sits between Earth and The Twilight Zone.
Everything about Apple smacks of the quintessential rags to riches to rags to riches story we love best.
Today, Apple is incredibly wealthy, a definite winner– Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, App Stores, iTunes– with profits oozing from every corner. It didn’t use to be that way.
As Apple cranks out win after win on the technology playing field, there must be a corresponding number of losers. Here’s the short list:
Microsoft – The fall from grace by mighty Microsoft can be summed up in one number. 18,000. That’s the number of layoffs as the Windows and Office giant restructures to do battle.
Google – Wait. How is it possible that the world’s largest and most influential search engine company could be a loser? Doesn’t Android have 80-percent of the world’s smartphone marketshare?
Yes. But not much money to show for the tens of billions it spent to get that marketshare.
Samsung – Wait. How is it possible that the world’s largest smartphone and tablet maker could be a loser? Profits are down as Chinese knockoff products devour Samsung’s Galaxy line from the bottom. For better or worse, Samsung is tied to Android, just as HP, Dell, Lenovo, and other PC makers are tied to the teats of Microsoft’s Windows and Office.
Worse, Samsung makes (and made) many of the components in Apple’s iPhone and iPad, and much of that business is going away to other vendors who prefer not to compete head to head with Apple (and steal Apple designs).
PC Makers – In the post-PC era PC manufacturers are learning to diversify away from Microsoft. What that means is $199 Chromebooks. They may lose money on everything they sell, but PC makers hope to make it up on volume.
Allow me to skip Apple for the moment, because it’s a given that the world’s most profitable PC maker, smartphone maker, tablet maker, app store distributor, music store distributor, TV and movie store, and retail store owner is having trouble finding enough banks to store all the money.
IBM – Blue Blue doesn’t have any skin in the PC industry, let alone mobile devices to sell. What IBM has are corporate customers who have employees who love Apple products. The Apple-IBM deal will marry two former competitors into a powerhouse application and hardware partnership that puts Microsoft out the door, buries BlackBerry, and raises both the stakes and barrier to entry for Google, Samsung, et al.
Chipmakers – Apple’s devices usually have the high end CPUs, memory, and flash storage, so Apple remains their best customer.
Accessories – Apple doesn’t change the design of products every six months which gives accessory makers time to retool after they’ve made a profit for a few years. That routine looks like a weakness but look at the number of after market accessories for iPhone and iPad, then compare the results to any other maker.
Malls – Check out the crowds at the Microsoft Store at the nearest mall. Then look for the nearby Apple Store. Is it any wonder Microsoft laid off 18,000 employees?
Customers – Check the product and customer satisfaction ratings for Apple Inc. vs. the world. Pent up demand for the iPhone 6 line will make it the best-selling iPhone of all time. Even corporate employees will benefit from the Apple-IBM alliance as the BYOD halo effect brings more Macs to business.
That’s my basic list. What did I miss?