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Is Apple Really Failing - The Truth is More Boring Than The iPhone

Excerpt from a Cult Of Mac recent article (emphasis are mine):

1. Apple’s fortunes are and have for a long time been boom-and-bust based on shipments. Apple ships a new iPhone. They dominate the market for a few months. Sales level off again, then the air gets sucked out of the room when everybody starts anticipating the next iPhone model. Right now we’re in the post-iPhone 5, pre-iPhone 5S doldrums.

2. Android phones have suddenly gotten super cheap. There is a class of people numbering in the hundreds of millions or possibly even a billion or two who never had a smart phone because of the high cost. Suddenly, Android handset makers are churning out very low-cost smart phones. So millions of people are moving from feature phones to smart phones, and they’re not buying the relatively pricey iPhone. So the market share numbers have shifted strongly away from iOS and toward Android.

3. Android phones have suddenly gotten super big. When the iPhone first shipped, it seemed like a normal-size phone. With the phablet revolution and the rise in very large displays on phones, Apple has become one of the tiniest phones out there. Big phones are popular, and Apple is currently missing out on this big-phone craze.

4. Apple’s conservative, iterative approach to iPhone development isn’t exciting. People get their information about phones from bloggers and journalists — people who writing about stuff when there’s something new to write about. Apple’s approach to phones is to have a single vision for the phone, then iteratively work toward that vision. The Android market is characterized by a lot more variety and experimentation. The iPhone, on the other hand, isn’t changing in ways perceptible to users — or bloggers and journalists.

5. In the tablet market, we’re moving from a historically unique situation that existed for the first two years of the iPad’s existence: No competition, to speak of. It took an eternity in Internet years for competitors to come out with tablets that anybody wanted. Now, finally and inevitably, they have. The iPad’s perceived troubles represent a return to normality.

6. The press and Wall Street are also cyclically oriented. There was a period of time, building up to 2010 and 2011 where Apple was a perfect, unstoppable juggernaut that dazzled everyone with its mastery of design, supply chain control, message discipline and more. The stock price soared past $700, and everyone perceived that Apple was the only company capable of this kind of total mastery. Of course, Apple’s success during this time was exaggerated, and so is the current “bust,” if you want to call it that.

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