Would-be competitors worried Apple may ‘iPod’ the tablet market with iPad

“Right after Apple’s most recent earnings call, where they discussed huge revenue growth and demand for the iPhone and iPad, I started getting some calls from various vendors who were stunned by Apple’s numbers,” Tim Bajarin writes for PC Magazine. “They were especially impressed, as well as concerned, by Apple’s COO Tim Cook’s statement that Apple had the ‘mother of all backlogs’ when it came to meeting the demand for iPad 2.”

“Of course, the tablet market is hot right now, and Apple’s lead is quite troubling for the competitors,” Bajarin reports. “Many have told me that they fear Apple could ‘iPod’ the market, meaning that Apple could end up being the dominant player in tablets, as it has been in mobile MP3 players. And these concerned vendors often ask what it will take to challenge Apple and keep Apple from dominating the majority of the tablet market in the future.”

“In a recent column ‘How Apple Outsmarts its Competitors,’ I pointed out that while Apple’s competitors can match it feature-for-feature at the hardware level, Apple’s real magic is in the software and services it ties to its devices. But its advantage actually goes even deeper. Apple controls the hardware, software, services and ecosystem that it ultimately delivers to its customers,” Bajarin writes. “The vendors don’t like to hear this, but I tell them that owning the hardware, software, and services is key to competing against Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Clueless! “Apple could end up being the dominant player in tablets …”. Do they think that Apple hasn’t already dominated the tablet market? They need to stop drinking that Cool-Aid and just look around. Maybe watch what the talking heads are holding on TV. Stop by a university, church, airport, …

      1. What they are saying is that Apple is now enjoying the first mover’s advantage, and if nobody else steps up, they will convert that first mover’s advantage into a permanent dominant position.

        Nobody is implying that anyone else is dominating right now. The iPod example confirms that: iPod dominated practically from the first day, and never ceded the dominant position. At this point, iPad is on the exact same path.

        1. If they consider Apple to be the first mover they’re still wrong. Apple stepped into the floundering tablet business 10 years after Microsoft pioneered the concept and partnered with hardware vendors who produced flop after flop. In the case of the iPod there was more of an existing marketplace for MP3 players.

          1. Hallo! Hallo!
            Anybody home?
            Something not right here.
            Looks like the lights are on, but nobody’s home.
            Just dropped by to tell you the news.
            It’s 2011 buddy, you’re a decade out of synch.

  2. “Many have told me that they fear Apple could ‘iPod’ the market…”

    News to would-be tablet competitors – Apple already has iPodded you once again with the iPad. As usual, you are coming too late with too little.

  3. Go back in time, lookup Atari 2600, Commodore 64, I could go on and on. Those who control the whole package (and do a good job) win.

    Nuff said.

  4. “Of course, the tablet market is hot right now, and Apple’s lead is quite troubling for the competitors…”

    WRONG. The iPad market is hot. After years, the tablet market never took off.

    It’s time to stop putting the iPad in that category. Clearly, iPad stands alone.

  5. When they say ‘iPod’ the market they don’t mean just dominate it with marketshare. Windows doesn’t ‘iPod’ the OS market.

    The definition should be along the lines of: to enter a market with a device that is so advanced and so many generations ahead of what is currently available, that it effectively can be perceived as inventing it. The result being that it is futile to even compete in it.

    If Apple were around at the dawn of manned flight, they’d enter the aerospace market shortly after the Wright Brothers took flight with 747 passenger jets, an airline, and with airports already built.

    1. This is a very good analogy. I would also add that Apple’s “competitors” think, for some arcane reason, that Apple is building two winged paper planes and not the airplanes and airports they actually are. Can anyone explain why these other companies are so de-connected from reality?

    2. Very true. And I think it’s a lot more distinct in this situation, because ‘competitors’ had 10 years to dick around with tablets and they never got anywhere. Apple comes along with their first one (after spending that 10 years perfecting it rather than opening their prototyping process to guinea pig customers) and shuts the rest of the industry down. Suddenly these competitors, who should have had this vast decade of first-mover advantage, look like snot nosed upstarts.

      1. @ChrissyOne wrote: “Suddenly these competitors look like snot nosed upstarts.”

        Oh my, the imagery this conjures up. But very well put.

    3. I think the key to the verb “iPod” is not simply market share or brisk sales figures. It is a product that consumers passionately want to use. Windows did not “iPod” the OS market because its market share was due to lock-in and inertia, not to consumer desire.

  6. Also missing in this analysis is the tidal wave of law suits against Google’s OS from many companies from whom it stole the software, etc. When all the results of there different suits is felt there will be little left of this OS. To paraphrase MDN: Dead OS Walking!

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