Apple is winning the sales battle and losing the war. The strange trend started in 2010 and looks to be the big change in 2011. Why is Apple on the way down and everyone else, except Microsoft, on the way up with Google leading?
Apple is lead by Steve Jobs. We do not know who came up with the various ideas and projects that made Apple rich. We know that Apple can only handle one project at a time and it is important that the leader, Steve, picks the right project. He was leading Apple when Apple realised there was too much competition in the computer market for a company as greedy as Apple and they made the switch to the entertainment industry with the iPod.
Steve Jobs is now on sick leave.
They are still in the entertainment industry with the iPhone and iPad. During 2010 Apple dumped their server lineup leaving only some desktop and notebooks in their computer range. There is no advertising for any of the remaining desktop stuff. Their future computers will be pushed aside by giant iPads.
The Apple focus on entertainment is demonstrated by their iPhone versions 1 through 3 focusing entirely on music downloads. The iPhone version 4 finally caught up with the competition in the telephone area but is still way behind in the hand held computing area. The Apple focus on only selling one product leaves Apple vulnerable to attack and in 2010 both current versions of the Apple iThing, the iPhone and the iPad, were beaten on features, media attention, and new sales by competitors.
The Apple iPhone is struggling to keep up. No one competitor is beating Apple but there are lots of competitors producing better telephones, similar telephones with better cameras, better Web access, better everything. Outside of a few fashion victims, the Apple iPhone sells to first time buyers based on word of mouth from other first time buyers. When people go back to buy another telephone, they look for the features important to them. If the camera is important, they choose another brand. If the Web is important, they choose Android instead of Apple. If good reception outside the city is important, they choose anything but Apple.
The new Kindle kills the iPad for reading books. The iPad was a sales disaster compared to the iPhone largely because nobody could think of a use for the iPad. The iPad is too big to use as an iPod replacement and too small for decent video. Lots of people have used tablet computers long before the iPad arrived and know all the problems. Apple did nothing to make the iPad usable. Like the iPod, you have to buy a lot of bulky accessories to make the iPad as usable as the many competitors. The media attempts at creating fake news stories to advertise the iPad launch were pathetic.
Every time you look at an iPad or iPhone for a specific use, someone else has a better device for that use. The overall market is growing faster than Apple sales and Apple stays number one for only two reasons, the massive money they spend on advertising, and there are so many competitors, each with so many models, that none of the competitors reaches number one for any one model.
The Google Android version of Linux makes it easy for all the competitors to present a united product range that already collectively beats the Apple range. Google Android Linux already beats Apple OSX Unix in a number of areas and is developing faster than Apple can improve the handheld device version of their OSX branded Unix. Intel and Nokia are focused on Linux. Samsung is focused on Adroid. Nobody is working on Unix. At the start of 2010 Novell was split between Unix and Linux. Before the end of 2010, Novel was sold and split up. Apple is the last remaining company spending money on Unix and may have to dump Unix a few years down the track, the same as they dumped all their previous operating systems.
If you want a comparison to Apple in the entertainment industry, go back to the introduction of sound to movies. There were two competing sound systems. Some studios put big money into one system but the other system won the war. Apple can only keep shareholders rich by minimising costs and the jump from Unix to Linux is an obvious future cost saving.
Apple products are sold as fashion accessories instead of something useful. The media loves the fashion industry because the fashion industry has to spend so much money advertising in the media. The media loves Apple to the extend of inventing
news items about Apple products. Now Google and Android are filling up articles in the most influential media. The big glossy advertising is still all Apple. The product placements in movies and videos is still working. It is the articles with written words that talk about Android and Adroid based products.
One thing that will kill the iPad is the awkward look people have when using an iPad. You can look cool reading things on an iPad. You cannot look cool typing on an iPad. Sitting out at the airport the other day, well sitting in several airports because it was one of those types of trips, there was at least one young lady in each airport lounge, in fashion clothes and high heels, trying to reply to a message on an iPad. You know what they look like the first time they try to walk in high heels, all wobbly and awkward. It is the same with an iPad. You have to use one hand to hold the iPad up in the air for everyone else to see how cool you are then try to use the other hand to type.
In one lounge there was a person with a Kindle, me with a netbook, and a iPadder. The iPadder should be called an iPaddler because they often look like they are learning to row. The Kindle user had a really easily time searching for a book and then reading the book. I had a really easy time on my netbook writing an article while using several applications to confirm the contents. The iPaddler appeared to take a really long time to compose a short reply to an email. Lots of time was spent undoing actions that did the wrong thing. The iPaddler clearly needed a stand for the iPad to the iPaddler could use both hands. The iPaddler clearly needed a keyboard so the iPaddler could type at full speed.
The iMac, Ipod, and iPhone are easy to sell by paying actors to use them in movies. The iPad is really difficult and will take careful staging to advertise. You cannot show an iPaddler using a table for support because that hides the Apple logo. The iPadders will be shown reading messages but not replying to messages.
Most important feature
The most important feature on new mobile telephones (cell phones) is the camera. A lot of people are upgrading to better phones with better cameras because that saves carrying a separate camera. Those same people have one universal comment. The images from cameras are a real disappointment when shown on a full size screen. People buying smart phones for the second time demand a better camera. The iPhone lost the camera battle because the iPhone, all four revisions, were built cheap to be massively profitable.
The some of the competitors have better cameras in some models. The competition uses the same touch screens on some models. Samsung has AMOLED screens instead of cheap LCD. Lots of the competitors have Android. Somewhere there is a better camera/telephone combination for your use and second time buyers are buying the competition.
After the camera, the big disappointments are reception followed by Web site access. Apple artificially limit your access to Web sites by limiting the Web browsers and Web browser related software you can use. Android is Linux and lets you choose what you want to use. Adroid uses Chrome, a Web browser with a larger share of the market than Apple. Android is the number one choice for people using the Web.
That leaves reception as a big issue. Most first time buyers are talking into buying a mobile device locked into one network the way Apple locked iPhone users into one network. Apple no longer locks people into one network but the iPhone is hopeless outside the city. You can now choose your network but have to be close to a transmission tower to use it. The competition has lots of models designed for easy use outside of the city. iPhone lost this battle on day one.
The iPhone loses to other brands on the three features most important to second time buyers. These are the things that make people want to toss away their current telephone and buy a better one. Given the facts that the better one is almost always cheaper, has more features, and is often better on two or all three of the reasons for an upgrade, lots of people are upgrading. The effect of the upgrades on Apple sales figures are diluted by the spread over several brands and lots of models. Most of those better ones use Android. You see the shift away from Apple when you count all the Android telephones as one group.
That new factory
Samsung are big in the smartphone area. Samsung lead the AMOLED display market. Samsung smartphones are limited by their current production capacity. That is the one reason people switch from a Samsung Galaxy S to an iPhone. The shops run out of the Galaxy S, forcing you to buy something else. The Galaxy S is limited by the size of the Samsung AMOLED factory.
Samsung are building a new factory. The new factory will build so many AMOLED screens that Samsung and the other AMOLED oriented brands will be able to sell more Android based smartphones with AMOLED screens per month than Apple sell across the whole year. We might not see the Samsung shift until 2012, giving Apple some breathing space, but there are several other AMOLED and OLED manufacturers bringing new production facilities online in 2011 and in time for big Christmas sales at the end of 2011. You could see Christmas 2011 flooded with smartphone gifts and none of them branded Apple.
Android 2.3 is on the way and may take Android ahead of Apple in some new areas. Android 2.3 handles multiple cameras and Internet calls using SIP. Android 2.3 brings all the features of a netbook to a smartphone if a smartphone has the right hardware. The latest Android smartphones have better processors and memory than some early netbooks. Smartphones designed for Android 2.3 will beat the Apple Iphone 4 and force the release of an iPhone 5.
Android 2.3 includes the Ext4 file system, opening up the option to make smartphones work as netbooks. You could take a netbook disk and plug it into a smartphone equipped with the right slot. You could share files on the road using a USB connected disk from your notebook, desktop, or server. The idea makes more sense for presentations on a tablet with an SDHC or SDXC slot.
The old Android passed Apple iOS sales half way through 2010 and is not reported in the media because of the mass of Apple advertising money. Android 2.3 will be accompanies by a flood of announcements from big advertisers including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and LG. The media will have to report it.
Android 3 is designed for higher performance when running multiple applications and to use multiple core processors. You will need new hardware to run the combination of applications required to make use of either feature. You will also need cheaper network access to provide the data and more storage capacity to store the data. The feature will work on big tablet computers that will be netbooks without keyboards. To compete, Apple will have to take the keyboard off a Mac notebook.
2010 was when Android replaced Apple as number one. 2011 will be the year when the media admits Android is number one. 2012 will be the year when Samsung manufacturing capacity will let them outsell Apple.