I have come to admire Apple’s cold steel discipline. Despite the heady stream of techno media pundits calling for Apple to launch a netbook, our intrepid Mac maker stands its ground, and grounds out revenue and profit growth in a down economy. When it comes to changing the world, it’s all about disruption. Compare how Apple disrupts to Microsoft or Google. Apple disrupts with profits.
Compare the disruption Apple has caused Microsoft as the Windows giant loses market share for PCs and browsers. Better quality products and a faster, more secure, more standards compliant browser experience.
Compare the disruption Apple caused in the portable music player industry. It was a fragmented mess. Apple comes along and launches an attractive, fast loading, quick sync player and music management software.
Then, Apple disrupts by taking the iPod and iTunes to Windows users, and further disrupts the market place with an online store that makes music purchases easy.
A similar story is echoed the past two years as Apple disrupted the cellphone industry with a product worthy of the 21st century—a smart phone that’s actually smart and easy to use.
More disruption? Yes. The App Store is the largest, most powerful barrier to entry, iTunes Store style, for competitors falling further behind the iPhone juggernaut every week. Motorola, Nokia, and friends must be praying that Apple doesn’t drop the iPhone price a few hundred bucks.
Yes, Apple is the disruptor.
On the other hand, Microsoft has show itself to be totally paranoid, afraid that a competitor might succeed in a distant yet internet-related industry, somewhere, anywhere.
Xbox 360? Microsoft has done nothing but lose money, and more recently market share to a nimble Nintendo Wii. Search? Microsoft’s highly promoted Bing doesn’t appear to be much competition for Google’s search juggernaut.
ComScore’s most recent data show a measly increase of half a percent for Bing, despite Microsoft spending tens of millions of dollars promoting the new search engine. Oh, that half percent increase? It came from Yahoo!, not Google.
Google, on the other hand, seems to have stolen Microsoft’s death spiral play book. There’s Google Android, the free operating system for cellphone makers. There’s Google Chrome, yet another free browser. There’s Google Chrome OS, another version of Linux.
Why are Google and Microsoft so paranoid, and so bent on entering market after market where there’s no money?
Meanwhile, Apple, Inc. spawns one cash cow after another. Record sales and profits for the Mac. Continued sales and profits for the iPod line, reinvigorated by the iPod touch.
Wait. There’s more. The iTunes Store sells 70-percent of all online music, and more TV shows and movies than anyone else. Then, there’s the iPhone. Then there’s the App Store. Talk about disrupting a market or two.
Apple manages to do all that and make money at the same time. Microsoft makes money on Windows and Office. Google makes money on search advertising. That’s it, folks.
Apple’s cold steel discipline has resulted in hard cash; nearly $30-billion in the bank, and growing profits and market share on all fronts.
Netbook vs. Search Engine
Why do techno media pundits and tech stock analysts say Apple needs to have a money losing netbook product? Do they call for Apple to develop a search engine?
Could Apple do a better search engine than Google or Microsoft? Perhaps. But why bother? Search engine results generally suck no matter the brand name. Bing is pretty, but the search results look the same.
Apple will not build an Apple-branded search engine because the company is not driven by paranoia. Greed and arrogance, maybe. But not stupidity and paranoia. Apple has become a master at leveraging one line to create or enhance another.
The Mac begot iTunes which begot the iPod which begot an iPod market for Windows PCs which begot the iTunes Store. The iPod begot the iPhone which begot the App Store.
For Microsoft, Windows begot Office, both of which begot large monetary losses on other unrelated ventures; Xbox, Bing, et al. Google’s search engine begot advertising which begot 127 beta products which spend money, not make money.
See the difference? Where’s Apple’s search engine? They’ll launch it right after a $300 Mac netbook.