The Slow Decline of Apple?
If we can accept that Apple isn’t about to implode then we can look at the real risk to their lofty position. Perhaps over time the loss of Steve Jobs will begin to tell. Any company that isn’t led well is at risk, just look at RIM. They went from a similar dominant position in the smartphone market down to a dwindling share because they failed to innovate or keep up with their competitors.
The iPhone 4S is keeping pace with current Android smartphones but give it a few months and there will be smartphones on the market running Android, and probably WP7 too, that have significantly better specs. That in itself won’t be enough because there have been smartphones on the market for a while now that have much better specs than the iPhone 4 and it continued to sell extremely well, but it is bound to have some impact.
There are a lot of things that Apple does right but they don’t have a monopoly on innovation. As more and more new products hit the market offering us new options and technology, from NFC to 3D, there is a danger that one of them will take off and the iPhone could be left behind.
Of course, it is worth remembering that Apple could announce the iPhone 5 whenever they like. They are cash-rich, they have a loyal following and it seems unlikely they will rest on their laurels.
Their current success is not going to last forever – nothing lasts forever. But it looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
What do you think? Post a comment and tell us.