Apple’s executives are just so stupid. No wonder the stock price is in the gutter. What company on planet earth is as easy to compete against as Apple? Everyone in tech beats Apple at their own game. Innovation.
Let’s take Samsung as the first example before getting over to Microsoft’s historic comeback against the little Cupertino nemesis that could. How did Samsung beat the iPhone? Bigger screens. Apple couldn’t come up with a bigger screen for years after Samsung and everyone else had bigger screens. Apple’s latest iPhone? A small screen.
Now, let’s see how Microsoft put a trump on Apple. Again.
Category Of The Day
Differentiation is a key component of product marketing. If the market leader is expensive, make a similar product that sells for less. If the market leader’s product is cheap and doesn’t work well, make a better product and price it slightly higher. Build a different mousetrap and some of them will come.
Microsoft got absolutely obliterated by Apple’s iPhone and iPad, and Google’s dominance in the smartphones with Android. The Windows and Office machine sat back and watched as Apple and Google did a complete blitzkrieg of the mobile industry. If you can’t beat ’em and you can’t join ’em– and Windows Phone did neither– then create a new category, crown yourself the king, and point out how the industry leader can’t compare in your new category.
That’s exactly what Microsoft did to Apple.
Tried, Not True
Apple’s categories are tried and true and dominate accordingly. Mac, iPhone, iPad in PCs, smartphone, and tablet. So, Microsoft’s board threw out the executives that put the company into a decade long slumber, and started over. No, not with any kind of new product that would compete against Mac, iPhone, or iPad. It’s too late to win in that direction (have you ever seen anyone use a Microsoft Windows Phone in the past few years?).
No, instead, Microsoft created a new product category. It’s the notebook-tablet hybrid, now called laplets. Yes, that’s an official term. Lap-lets.
A 2-in-1 PC is a category of portable computers, containing devices that combine elements of tablets and laptops. Different variants of the term exist, such as 2-in-1 tablet, 2-in-1 laptop, 2-in-1 detachable, laplet, or simply 2-in-1.
Microsoft tops Apple in the laplets product category and the race isn’t even close. Microsoft has won it already, hands down, as if there was no competition whatsoever (because, probably, there was no competition whatsoever). A laplet is a hybrid notebook-tablet; which actually is just a netbook from a few years ago, updated with a detachable keyboard (available for an extra charge) and a touchscreen. The touchscreen makes it a tablet and it’s oh so much better than an iPad because Windows 10 and Photoshop.
The detachable (or, attachable, depending upon where you started) keyboard makes it a notebook which is what we used to call laptops, but those on the PC side of the technology industry adapt to change slowly so it’s still a laptop but when combined with features characteristic of today’s Apple-class of tablet, somehow that makes it a laplet. Tablet-cum-laptop means laplet, and Apple has utterly, miserably failed to compete against Microsoft.
Apple got trumped by Microsoft. Again.
Microsoft apologist Andy Patrizio makes it official:
Microsoft’s smartphone business may be a flop, but the company is really taking it to Apple in the area of laplets, a new category somewhere between laptops and tablets. It’s for devices with a detachable screen to be used as a tablet, but with a bigger screen than your average tablet.
We’re comparing Apples to apples here, right? So it seems. Alright, a refresher. Microsoft couldn’t compete agains the iPad as a tablet, but it can compete against the iPad with a laplet, a 2-in-1 device which isn’t really a tablet, but makes Microsoft the big daddy in a new category.
While the Apple iPad is still the dominant tablet at 32.5 percent market share, Microsoft has come on very strong with the Surface Book, which is in second place at 25 percent, up 9 percentage points year over year.
Wait. That can’t be right. The Surface Book is a notebook, not a tablet, so how can it be in second place in a tablet comparison? See? That’s how Microsoft wins. It cheats.
Confused? Consider this:
The laplet category includes the Surface Book and the Surface Pro 4, which Microsoft released last October, while Apple released the 12.2″ iPad Pro in November. In the last quarter, laplets accounted for a whopping 33 percent of sales for the tablet category.
Now, let’s review. Apple is not in the laplet business, but Microsoft is, so Microsoft wins. Somehow laplets are a segment of the tablet category which the iPad dominates but the Mac isn’t allowed to compete in either because no touchscreen, yet that’s what Microsoft uses to compare to its laplets.
I hope the election in November fixes all this confusion.