Fortune: Once there were four, but now Apple is the lone horseman of technology

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!“It used to be one of the favorite thought exercises in the technology realm — putting together a list of the Four Horsemen of Technology, the four most important public companies of their time,” Duff McDonald writes for Fortune.

“Then the tech and credit bubbles burst, and people stopped making their lists,” McDonald writes. “When I called Pip Coburn, CEO of Coburn Ventures, a technology advisory company, to talk about the four horsemen of today, his answer caught me off guard. ‘There’s only one horseman,’ he said. ‘It’s Apple. There’s nobody else.'”

McDonald writes, “On the face of it, he’s right. Apple is the most valuable technology company in existence with a market capitalization of $233 billion. It is also the only company that technology investors can agree on. ‘You have no idea how many conversations about investing I have that start in general and end up on Apple,’ says Coburn. ‘And then they just stay there.'”

Full article, most notable for saying Apple is the lone horseman than for which companies were and might be someday be horsemen, here.

21 Comments

  1. Umm … yeah. Apple fell off that list for a while – that while without Jobs – and when it came back, it was alone! There were a couple of times when an argument could be made for a second horseman. Briefly.
    I miss those “Good Old Days” … not that I want to dilute Apple’s goodness, but I miss the competition!

  2. Apple is without rival – Fact.

    Institutional investors, hedge funds and day traders are doing everything they can to drop Apple’s share price now, as much as possible before Apple announces blockbuster earning numbers in a few weeks (July 20th) so that they can get in and make fast profits at the expense of investors that have long term investments.

    Anyone reacting to any of the recent concocted FUD deserves inferior products and a future without a pot to piss in.

    Short Apple at your your own peril. Like all two time gamblers and loud mouths you’ll end up in the gutter. You can’t keep a good man (company, etc..) down.

    Apple investors – Write the SEC and demand an investigation of these repeated manipulative practices.

    A few FACTS to chew on:

    – iPads are still backordered after being on the market for months now and Apple still can’t meet crushing universal demand.

    – iPhone 4s are nowhere to be found and sold out everywhere in the world they are offered.

    – iPhone 4’s product launch is the biggest and most successful product launch ever in retail history

    – Apple, the company with the best inventory management record in the world, says that demand for iPhone4 and iPad has exceeded it’s highest expectations

    – Macs are selling in record mumbers

    – There isn’t anything on the market nor is there likely top be a worthy competitor to either iPad or iPhone, for years to come because Apple holds exclusive Multi Touch patents

    – Apple has performed outstandingly throughout a world finical crisis and had record earnings quarter after quarter with no sign of letting up anytime soon

    – Apple’s new product pipeline is no where near exhausted and behold some BIG future surprises

    – Apple Customer Satisfaction for both support and products is the highest of any company in the world

    – Christmas retail, again this year will be entirely Apple’s

  3. Over a year ago, it was Blackberry, Google, Amazon and Apple. Blackberry is actually doing well in sales and profits, but the stock isn’t, as the future is looking cloudy as the product map isn’t going anywhere. Google has been going down ever since their China problems. Amazon has always been overpriced with PEs in the 60 range, and now that the bloom is off the Kindle, their stock has been going down. Apple has been on a bit of a bender this past week, no thanks to the market.

  4. DLM, i agree about competition; it’s a good thing.

    Unfortunately, all of Apple’s ‘competition’ have only themselves to blame for the current situation they’re in. Since Jobs’ return to Apple in 1997, Apple has been very, very good at setting up product road-maps and sticking to thier game-plan of producing best-in-class products for whatever market they decide to enter. Other companies either won’t, or can’t do the same.

    This has resulted in every other ‘competitor’ getting caught with their pants down and invariably having to try and play catch-up to Jobs & Co. To consumers, this type of reactionary behavior makes a tech company look weak, non-innovative, and inevitably foolish producers of second-rate products.

    Since the iPod was released, the typical consumer has become much more sophisticated regarding their consumer electronics and are less and less inclined to buy a cheap piece of crap that’s ‘almost as good’ as an Apple product. Apple has set the bar too high for mediocre products to sell well.

    To summarize: Tech companies that don’t pursue *excellence* in their products will continue to go down the crapper because of their own laziness / ineptitude. In a free-market capitalist system, failure should always be allowed to occur because it winnows out the chaff; the unwanted bits. Case in point: Microsoft Kin. Nobody wanted that crap, so MS had to nuke it.

    MaWo: ‘trying’. As in: “Are they really?”

  5. Google is very much relevant. Lest we forget it was Google and Apple working TOGETHER that has helped dethrone Microsoft for tech dominance. The Windows Monopoly is broken. Office documents still reek havoc when opened in competing products but it to shall soon fall. Due to the XBox, Kinect, Windows Server, and its Office monopoly, Microsoft is still a distant 3rd. IBM and Oracle are very strong in enterprise settings but only get honorable mentions. Some names to forget are: Dell and Cisco…

  6. MDN, I have never complained about ads on your site. Not once. (At least that I can remember.) But I’m going to now.

    This new fade-over advertiser of yours, where your page loads and then an ad fades in, obscuring the entire browser window, is the most annoying form of advertising since the original pop-up. If you have to do something like this, can’t you just load the ad screen first, instead of loading your page then fading away as I start to read it?

    I’m a Mac guy through and through, but I’m stuck with IE7 at work, so I can’t block this.

    ——RM

  7. Byte Magazine said it best back in 1994:
    “Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to describe the history of the computer industry for the past decade as a massive effort to keep up with Apple”. That sentiment is even more true today than when was originally written.

  8. It is true that Apple has the lowest cost supply chain in the world for it’s markets, but it could also be it’sachilles heel going forward. Globalization by Apple & it’s suppliers only works with cheap labor an cheap energy- no management style can overcome that- and wages in China and energy prices worldwide are trending steadily up,
    There is a tipping point where air shipment of components from countries with cheap labor and lax environmental laws becomes unviable. Do I know that level- no, but I have a hunch that we are inexorably marching toward it. Then it will all be about being local and Apple has no place in Northa America to make it’s hardware and no ready source of scale for the components- leaving them with the option of higher prices.much higher.

  9. Reality check on your reality check. Apple has outsold all competitors bar none. The iPhone launch is the biggest in history.
    There is no other company that has done what Apple has and continues to do today. Apple has showed that innovation, patience, R&D;, and building the whole widget hardware and software makes there products the best in the world because they make everything work together. Apple is number one in service too. And from the MDN poll it looks like the death grip antenna issue has been over hyped completely. Mac sales are there highest in history and people are fed up with Microsoft’s OS security issues with spyware, malware and viruses.

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