Apple Has Peaked Too Soon
It would be nice to be able to argue that this is all par for the course in 21st century business, but there is every chance that this reduces the situation to a far too simplistic level; stating that “Microsoft did it first" is similarly unhelpful. Anyone who truly loves Apple and their products and has been purchasing Macs over the past 20 years or so should be taking a good look at recent events and wondering what happened.
Because – and this is going to prove contentious – there is every chance that if Apple hasn’t already peaked, then the pinnacle of their remarkable turnaround since Steve Jobs returned in 1996 is very, very close.
A new iPhone device is expected in 2011, allowing Apple to further tighten their grip on the smartphone market, and push into new territories such as China. However this is where they face competition from Nokia in a land where the latter still hold a large share of the market. With Microsoft and Nokia likely targeting this market with the rumored stripped-down Tango release of Windows Phone, Apple will need to move quickly, something that seems unlikely without any Apple stores anywhere in China.
Meanwhile, reviews of Mac OS X Lion have been conspicuous in their lack of genuine praise. A bold move it might have been, but there are already stories of users reverting to Snow Leopard. This doesn’t bode well.
As for the litigious side of Apple’s business model, it doesn’t take more than 30 seconds on Google to discover that Samsung began selling a multimedia picture frame back in 2006, some months before the iPhone and years before the iPad. Its visual similarities to these devices are astounding! Throw in the fact that Apple's legal documentation features a manipulated image of the Samsung Galaxy Tab that appears to show it as having an iPad-copying 4:3 aspect ratio (it's actually 16:10, ideal for viewing widescreen movies) and no Samsung logo and it all seems very murky indeed...
Perhaps it’s finally time for Apple to begin consolidating, rather than expanding. While no one would deny them the opportunity to build a massive new self-sufficient headquarters that is likely to become one of the most remarkable architectural projects in the world, there is a feeling of the white elephant about it.
After all, once you have peaked, there is only one direction left to go…