Yes, Apple has a growing list of competitors and, in the case of Samsung, Google, and Microsoft, a growing list of frenemies. With all those enemies vying to take a bite of Apple, how is it that Apple is no longer beleaguered?
The reality is this. Apple does not really have a head-to-head competitor because no technology gadget maker does what Apple does. Samsung is something of a frenemy because it sells the Galaxy smartphones that compete with iPhones, but the Korean conglomerate sells many products where Apple does not compete.
Windows and Android are operating systems, but don’t actually compete head-to-head with Mac or iPhone, both of which are hardware products. So, just how well is Apple doing when compared to the list of seemingly beleaguered competitors?
Combined, Apple and Samsung take home more than 85-percent of the entire smartphone industry’s revenue and profits. That means hundreds, if not a few thousand, smartphone competitors take home the crumbs. iPad owns both revenue and profit crowns among tablets. Even the beleaguered Mac does better in profits than any other PC manufacturer, despite growth in the notebook tablet hybrid arena.
Wait. Are not Google’s new Pixel 3 and Pixel XL 3 both iPhone killers? No. Google might have good camera software, but the company struggles to make hardware that competes with Apple or Samsung, and couldn’t must up 4-million Pixel 2 sales in the past year (less than what Apple and Samsung sell in a week). Google’s hardware is no threat to Apple.
This isn’t to say that some of Apple’s competitors are not doing well; it’s just that they’re not doing well where Apple does well. Hardware sales supported by a strong Services ecosystem. Microsoft makes money on Windows and Office, Surface PCs, and cloud services. There’s not a direct threat to Apple from Microsoft.
Google makes money on advertising sales and it appears as if hardware is little more than a hobby. There isn’t a direct threat there, either. What about Samsung? Remember, Samsung is a conglomerate. The only real head-to-head with Apple is Galaxy vs. iPhone, and Apple won that battle years ago. Samsung should be thankful for their display business. Apple’s iPhone X line buys displays from Samsung.
Even Amazon, which profits by selling Apple products online, hasn’t shown much competition. Amazon sells cheap products. Apple sells premium products. The two are not the same. While Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others are not exactly beleaguered companies, all have beleaguered competition relative to Apple.
Think about it this way. Google has a few dozen software titles for iPhone and iPad. Ditto for Microsoft. Samsung sells hardware components to Apple. Yet, which of those companies has the most valued customers, the most revenue and profits, and the most brand loyalty.
By comparison, the competition seems beleaguered.