Apple‘s dominance in global IT industry
Since the launch of the iPhone on Jan. 29, 2007, Apple has dominated not only the smartphone market, but also that of personal media players and tablet computers.
By using the world dominate, I don’t just refer to the significant market share claimed by Apple, but also to the fact that it has rebranded the entire platform and taken it to new heights. We can see this in our daily lives, when instead of saying MP3s and tablets, we are accustomed to saying iPods and iPads.
If you were listening to music, no one would ask you if you were listening to a Zune. Even the numbers show this, with Apple owning a whopping 61 percent of the market share of mobile and tablet operating systems.
Once the tragic news that Steve Jobs died on Oct. 5 last year spread around the world, many people hypothesized that his death spelt the end of Apple’s dominance, especially since Jobs was lauded for his pure dedication and passion for technology.
People believed that he was the only one who could have led Apple toward the right future. However, the last few months have shown us that this is clearly not the case. The company’s share price reached its all-time high of $621.45 on March 28, and had a market capitalization of $568 billion on March 30. That’s an astonishing growth of 53 percent from Jan. 1.
What’s more, Apple has announced that it has sold 33.37 million iPhones in the first quarter, and sold 3 million new iPads (iPad 3rd-generation) in just three days since their launch on March 16. Another shocking piece of news is that Apple has more money than the United States. Latest figures from the U.S. Treasury Department show that the nation has an operating cash balance of $73.8 billion while Apple’s most recent financial results put its reserves at $76.2 billion. In no way is it an exaggeration to say that Apple now has more money than the largest economy in the world.
These numbers and statistics make it seem as if Apple is going to dominate the world with its gadgets.
Rest assured, there are competitors fiercely working to take down Apple and claim dominance over the mobile technology industry.
Companies like Samsung and Asus have already released the so-called iPad-killers, namely the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and Transformer Prime. Furthermore, many Android fans will say that Android’s tablet market share of 40 percent is more than enough to overpower Apple’s iDevices in the very near future.
However, what we should realize is that there are literally thousands of Android phones and tablets available on the market. While 40 percent of the market share for Androids are divided over a myriad of companies, for each of its industries, Apple only has one product. The iPad is managing to stand on its own against thousands of products, identical to the aforementioned two Android systems.
The two current leaders of the Android tablets, the Galaxy Tab 2 and Transformer Prime, are of course, amazing devices, but they are missing few key factors which causes them great detriment. While they come with quad-core CPUs and GPUs, 10-hour battery lives, amazing displays, and other bells and whistles, it means nothing if they don’t have the apps or ecosystem to take advantage of.
Furthermore, there are just too many Android devices to choose from. When you are forced to choose one of the 7, 7.7, 8.9, and 10.1 inch models of fundamentally the same tablet running the exact same OS, it’s safe to say that it bewilders and confuses the average customer. Competitors have to realize how the perceptions of the consumer influence the sales of the tablet.
If the average Joe can’t see how this tablet would be useful in day to day life, then there is no chance that he will buy this tablet, regardless of the amazing specifications that it may have. Companies nowadays are trying to throw every type of device into the market to see which one sells and appeals over the others, but by the time they figure out what works and what doesn’t, it’s too late.
In contrast to many Android devices available out in the market, Apple pushes for simplicity. The iPad is its only tablet, the iPhone represents its only smartphone, and the iPod represents its only MP3 player. Nothing more, nothing less.
Moreover, Apple successfully embraced the fact that in this day and age, the average consumer will own at least more than one portable device, by building one perfect ecosystem for its iDevices through iCloud and iTunes.
iCloud lets users sync documents, bookmarks, photos, and even music over the cloud wirelessly across each and every iDevice without any hassle whatsoever, whereas iTunes provides a total of 700,000 apps (500,000 iPhone apps and 200,000 iPad apps) available for download, simply by tapping a screen.
These three key devices, the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod, with their seamless integration and an ecosystem with an abundance of apps and music to choose from, are what makes Apple so influential and dominant in the mobile technology industry.
Lee is attending Sungnam High School.