johnny h wrote:Indeed. They take an established idea (mp3 player / store) centralise it and lock in the process from start to finish, and then market it to people who didn't know or care that the original idea already existed...
And they are successful not just because of marketing. They are successful because they do it far, far better than anyone else. Did not microsoft and sony spend money on marketing their mp3 players?
IIRC, Apple stole the march by buying up supplies of the large microdrives, which gave the early iPods a much larger storage capacity than competing products. Well done them, very canny business. They also made a user friendly interface. That didn't make the product better than others in all respects, but it gave them a huge market share, which in turn gave them a platform for music download domination. I remember several other devices being technologically superior - you could record to them and do many other wonderful things. As others have said, other products failed for a variety of reasons - overdoing it on the protection, lack of co-ordinated marketing push, incompatability with the iTunes store etc etc. Not saying Apple didn't do well, but it's down to others' failure as much as Apple's success.
Much of it is due to thinking about the end to end process. They do that very well (maybe they could tackle the taxation system ;) ). But they also lock the competition out, in a way that Microsoft tried to do and got its knuckles wrapped by US and EU courts for being anti-competitive. I imagine the same thing will happen as Apple grows - assuming of course that Google, HTC, Nokia, Microsoft etc don't eat heavily into Apple's market share in these 'new' markets.
johnny h wrote:
Agreed. This is not apple's problem at all. This is about international economics.
Nope. International economics isn't a law of physics! It's everyone's problem. Including Apple's. Including yours and mine.
3. Hardware design. Say what you like about Apple, their products do usually look better designed than the competition.
Always. Apple break new markets in a way nobody else at the moment seems to be able to do.
Erm.. that comment doesn't relate in any way to the text you quoted! You've already agreed that Apple shake up established markets, and now you're saying it's new markets they break into. I don't think I've seen *any* Apple product break into a *new* market... tablet PCs? Smartphones? MP3 players? Compressed audio downloads? etc etc. They were all established markets.