There’s little doubt that Apple has come down hard on the side of hardware. OS X and iOS are free, as are most of the most used iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps– Mail, Safari, Calendar, Contacts, Photos, iTunes, and others. Has Apple simply gone back to the basics? What of Apple’s competitors?
How To Rule The World
Apple under the second coming of the Steve Jobs era was a much different Apple. Focused, yet expansive. Disciplined, but willing to bet the farm from time to time.
That era brought about Apple Stores, the iPod, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, OS X, iPhone and iPad, plus the app stores, Apple TV, iCloud, and a host of free software with every hardware purchase.
It’s difficult to deny that Apple’s methodology works well. For Apple. The company is laser focused on the famous ‘whole widget’ of hardware and software, something that helped Apple get started back in the day, and keeps the company wildly profitable today.
What of Google and Microsoft?
First, Google. The search engine company is not content to be the richest search engine company on planet earth, despite the fact that attempts to diversify into hardware and giving software away for free have largely failed. More than 90-percent of the company’s revenue and profits come from… drum roll, please… search engine advertising.
Second, Amazon. The online retail giant is not content to be the most popular online retail store in America. Attempts to diversify itself into hardware and content creation have raised the eyebrows and caution flags of those very companies Amazon needs to succeed. Succeed? Maybe one day Amazon will post noteworthy profits, but it won’t be this year. Or, next year. Or, perhaps any year until founder and CEO Jeff Bezos takes a lengthy leave of absence.
Third, Microsoft. The Windows and Office giant hasn’t been content to be the richest software company on planet earth, despite the fact that attempts to diversify into other business segments not related to the duopoly have largely failed. Most of Microsoft’s revenue and profits come from… drum roll, please… Windows and Office, despite ventures into search engines, cloud services, and even hardware.
One can argue that Apple never really left the basics, despite being lost in a wilderness of sorts for more than a dozen years. Under Steve Jobs second coming, Apple began to delight customers again with an array of products that work well together, while avoiding the trappings of the popular ‘rule the world’ mentality of competitors.
In the end, Apple rules the world anyway; with greater revenue, a higher stock price, and a lock on the profits of PC, smartphone, and tablet industry segments. Can you imagine Google, Amazon, or Microsoft going ‘back to the basics’ in an attempt to avoid the pitfalls of a desire to own every segment of 21st century technology?