All right, let's put a few cards on the table. You know, or should know, that the iPhone has been a far greater success than most analysts predicted. Even Apple's original estimate of garnering 1% of the market at the end of 2008 was extremely conservative.
Since then, many of those alleged tech analysts that I've complained about — because they are so damned ignorant — have continued to hope and pray for Apple to fail. Apple lost the operating system wars years ago, because of their walled garden, so they are destined to fall. If not now, eventually.
They said that when the iPod was unleashed, and the iTunes store followed. Apple was cheating the public by not allowing you to buy music elsewhere, forgetting to mention that you could easily add music files (and later movies) acquired from third-party resellers or ripped from a CD or DVD. All of that content can be synced to your iPod, iPhone, and now the iPad.
The "open" competitors, headed by partners in Microsoft's PlaysForSure scheme, couldn't make a dent in the market. The iPod prevailed — and continues to prevail, despite slipping sales — against all comers. Microsoft, as usual, attempted to ape Apple with the Zune music player and its own closed ecosystem, with no success.
Just this week, it was announced that Apple had, in less than six months, captured 95% of the tablet PC market with the iPad. This despite the fact that there have been tablets available for a decade; it's just that, aside from a few vertical markets, few cared.
Of course, the iPad's days must be numbered. After all, iPad killers are on the horizon. Forget about the fact that the first highly-touted entrant, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, costs more than the iPad with a smaller screen, unless you tie yourself to a two-year data contract with a wireless carrier. Worse, it's using an operating system, based on the Android OS, that's not even certified for use in anything but a smartphone. And don't get me started about the fact that netbook sales have tanked since the iPad went on sale.
Whether the iPad becomes another iPod isn't certain, though Apple seems so far ahead of potential competitors that they just might just pull it off.
When it comes to the iPhone, I recently read an article listing 10 steps Apple must follow to keep from being consigned to also-ran status because of the ascendancy of the Android OS. It doesn't matter that Apple has vaulted into the cherished position as one of the top five smartphone makers on the planet, ahead of RIM, or that Android's overall share ahead primarily in the U.S. because of the ubiquity of handsets from different makers, and the support from all the major wireless carriers.
The article is so lame that I will, once again, withhold the link. A fast Google search will reward (or curse you) with the offending article.
First among the ten steps Apple should take is to keep filing patent lawsuits, as if they haven't been doing that for years. Second is to "Maintain the design lead," forgetting that, once again, Apple is doing just that, and the same is true for demand number three, that they "Continue to innovate on software." Evidently the author forgot about iOS 4.0, and the imminent iOS 4.2, as examples of some really useful ideas, including, at long last, native printing without the need of a third-party app.
The fourth recommendation is to "Make the antenna issue a marketing ploy," forgetting that Apple has actually done just that, and has always touted the iPhone 4's controversial antenna, despite that infamous vulnerable spot, as better than the competition.
I'll avoid the admonition to "Apply marketing muscle to fight Google gains," since, once again, that's precisely what Apple is doing. Number six is labeled "Deliver something exciting to the next iPhone," which is, of course, what Apple has tried to do with every release.
By far the most foolish entry in this mostly-fulfilled wish list is to "Work with Verizon — now." How silly! This particular would-be tech writer seems to forget that Apple has a contract with AT&T of unknown duration. They can't just kiss that deal goodbye without facing legal consequences. Besides, there are already published reports from respectable sources that claim the Verizon iPhone has already been designed, and that you'll be able to buy one early next year.
The remaining suggestions take the word "lame" to new lows. You almost wonder if the author has been living in a cave for the past ten years and is totally ignorant of most of Apple's innovations, product initiatives, and ongoing development.
The fact that all of the suggestions intended to "stymie" the growth of Android have already occurred, or are ongoing, clearly demonstrates that we have yet another ignorant pundit looking for hits with flash and not an ounce of substance.
More to the point, I don't think anyone would disagree that Apple is fully aware of what has to be done to sell as many iPhones as they can build and then some, and how to innovate their way towards continued success.
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