Apple picks a fight it can't win
Why Safari for Windows will leave Apple bruised and bloodied
Computerworld - Apple rarely competes directly -- with anyone.
Instead of slugging it out with other hardware and software companies on a level playing field, Apple historically creates its own playing field from scratch, then dominates it utterly.
While nearly the whole industry participated in what used to be called the "IBM-compatible" market, with clone hardware running DOS, OS/2, Windows and, later, Linux, Apple refused to play. Instead, the company always built its own computers that ran its own operating system.
Those funny "PC vs. Mac" ads create the false impression of direct, one-on-one, mano-a-mano competition between PCs and Macs, but it's a marketing sleight of hand. While a Mac is a unified, tightly controlled hardware-and-software product from Apple, a PC contains an unpredictable mixture of hardware components integrated by any number of companies, lorded over (usually) by a Microsoft operating system.
If PCs were made by Microsoft, and Microsoft didn't allow anyone else to make PCs, then you could make an apples-to-apples comparison, as it were, between PCs vs. Macs. But they're not, so you can't.
While Dell competes directly with Hewlett Packard and hundreds of other companies in the PC space, Apple does not compete directly with anyone in the Mac market.
Don't get me wrong; this isn't a bad thing. There are advantages and disadvantages to Apple's approach, and the success of Apple brings welcome choice to the market.
Likewise with the iPod. The portable media player market is the House That Apple Built. The company owns the iTunes platform and largely controls digital music distribution. Steve Jobs is the most powerful man in Hollywood, and he doesn't even live there. Apple doesn't compete directly with anyone in the media player market because, like the Macintosh market, Apple created the media file management platform (iTunes), the content marketplace (digital file distribution through iTunes) and standards, and doesn't let anyone else play.
With the iPhone, Apple is once again refusing to compete directly in the cell phone market. While some handset makers compete directly with each other in the Windows Mobile, Symbian and other "open" platform markets, companies like Research In Motion, Palm and, soon, Apple all play in their own respective, self-created sandboxes. Controlling your own platform has proved for RIM and Palm to be the way to go, and will also be successful for Apple.
Apple is once again creating its own category -- call it the Mac OS-based cell phone category -- and I'm sure Apple will win 100% market share.
I can think of only one example in which Apple competes directly with other companies on a level, open playing field: the software media player market.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts