Is Apple doomed to repeat Microsoft’s mistakes?

“Apple followed in Microsoft’s footsteps this week to usurp the Redmond giant’s top spot as the most valuable company in history,” Bianca Bosker reports for The Huffington Post. “Is Apple doomed to repeat Microsoft’s mistakes?”

“While experts remain optimistic about Apple’s future, they predict the strength of the Apple empire could be undermined by potentially unrealistic growth expectations, its to-be-determined success moving beyond devices for our pockets and purses and its skill leveraging 400 million iTunes accounts into a broader payments system,” Bosker reports. “They also note that in the tech industry, the number one rule is ‘always expect a new number one.'”

Bosker reports, “Apple’s dominance will likely be put to the test by a new class of devices that don’t necessarily rely on screens, but sync with the car, home or even the wearer’s body. Like many of its rivals, the Cupertino company has long had its eye on the living room, but beyond its Apple TV ‘hobby,’ Apple has yet to make a serious push to conquer the home. Living rooms, as well as kitchens, bedrooms and even heating systems, may be next crucial frontier for Silicon Valley firms.”

“Of course, with Apple, there’s always the question of whether it can live up to its promise of building ‘incredible products’ and avoid the innovator’s dilemma. Though experts say they have confidence that Apple has a rich pipeline that will deliver innovative goods over the next few years, many no doubt expressed similar optimism about Microsoft’s prospects in 1999,” Bosker reports. “‘They’re certainly going to be one of the most valuable companies for probably the next decade, and that’s if they just keep doing what they’re doing,’ said Carl Howe, an analyst with the Yankee Group. ‘If they have new products in the pipeline equivalent to the iPhone, they’re going to be here for the next hundred years.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for the heads up.]

84 Comments

  1. It is a failure of humanity.
    Over expansion and greed.
    Cutting corners and abandoning what once made it great.
    Apple Tim Cook and his action so far has shown what dismal start post Steve Jobs is.

    The impetus of sales is a poor judgement is a company can last long if it only see $$$ as the benchmark.

      1. Refusal to listen to customer needs, couched in terms like – “we can’t please everyone” – i.e. 5 years of refusal to offer matte screens. See petition http://macmatte.wordpress.com – this is utter arrogance. If it is true that pride comes before a fall, then it is a historical certainty that Apple will fall. It might take 10-15 years, but it is a historical certainty because the seeds of arrogance have been sown by Steve Jobs to create a culture where Apple thumbs its nose at customers, thinking Apple knows best. That sort of arrogance is fine when it has a great range of products – but that arrogance will come back to bite Apple when a great new technology comes along from a competitor – and Apple’s arrogance makes it miss the boat. We’ve seen SONY do that. Give it time. Give it time.

          1. Thank you. What an uninformed troll.

            Obviously not someone who is familiar with or actually uses Apple products, and only wants to appear as if he does in order to troll our forum.

            1. You must be a troll who hides by naming other genuine readers as being “trolls”. Look, if you have a Retina-screen computer — or if not, go to a store — and look at the screen, and notice that you can see the background reflection. Gosh, trolls calling others as trolls. That’s the latest tactic.

        1. Matt screens are crap. Period.
          However, a multicoat AR finish like high quality glasses would make a big difference to viewing comfort, so that is something Apple could look at.

        2. Apple has been doing such things for years, eg Jobs removing “essential” keys from Mac keyboards, killing the floppy drive, etc. This isn’t new behavior on their part, so this is not seeds that were sown. The plant was in full bloom years ago.

          When Apple loses dominance, it will have nothing to do with this.

          1. In all those cases you cited, those are technologies that become dated, whereas the need for matte screens is because a percentage of the population suffers from eye-strain due to screen reflections. That is a health issue, and has nothing to do with technologies becoming out-dated.

        3. @MM

          You’re the most persistant troll I’ve ever seen. You’ve literally been making these comments for years. And don’t even try to argue that you aren’t a troll, the fact that Apple added matte screen options and you didn’t even care proves that your agenda is to just bash Apple. Matte screens are only an excuse you latched on to.

          “Refusal to listen to customer needs, couched in terms like – “we can’t please everyone””

          Is exactly what Apple has been accused of doing around the clock for its entire existence. Your BS is nothing new.

          1. No matte or antiglare screens for 13″ screens, nor for iMacs and Cinema Displays. Even the late 2012 iMacs — even with 75% less reflectance — still show the background image clearly. And, yes, I have actually used these glossy iMacs. It’s sad that trolls try to hide themselves by calling others as trolls. Argue your case, and don’t revert to rudeness.

  2. Big deal, whatever goes up has to come down some time and don’t see that happening any time soon, And if apple does fall to greats depths that might be because some other company is making better products. The consumers benefit both ways.
    Cheers.

    1. “..in the tech industry, the number one rule is ‘always expect a new number one.”

      Really?? How many number one’s have there been over the last 20 years? MS, Dell & Apple–and even Dell/MS are in separate categories ie software/hardware.

  3. ““Apple followed in Microsoft’s footsteps this week to usurp the Redmond giant’s top spot as the most valuable company in history,””

    What the fsck, aside from having a massive market cap, has Apple done that in anyway shape or form resembles Microsoft’s trajectory?

    For fscks sake these people make me mental.

    1. Exactly..this clown draws a comparison at one common point between to two companies’ rise. Ignoring that the central reasons for these two companies’ success are RADICALLY different & are sustained by two entirely different fundamental philosophies.

      That in itself snuffs his premise..

    2. “many no doubt expressed similar optimism about Microsoft’s prospects in 1999,” Bosker reports.”

      Microsoft didn’t have a stream of innovative goods in their pipeline; they had a market position. Windows, Office, and Server. That’s it. They locked in customers and milked them for what they could. ($300 for a desktop OS? Really!?) I saw this up close when, working IT for a big Federal agency, the powers that be refused to sanction use of Firefox because “we’ve standardized on Explorer”. End of story. Fortunately, it wasn’t.

      1. Article has a faulty & vague premise.

        MS concentrated on protecting legacy products to all else.

        Apple concentrated and concentrates on giving customers new functionality in new hardware.

  4. unlikely. apple can’t be last for that long to enjoy heydays. nowadays, there are so many competitors which try to take over the position everyday. unfortunately, most profit apple has made so far is mostly in the US. worldwide sale is still very tiny portion. how can you explain only 4-5% apple mac market share around the world even apple became the most valuable company? it’s very absurd. android is the future unfortunately. for the future, closed platform won’t survive no longer. those iOS is only run on idevice. not other. obviously Apple feel fear if they will do. the last thing people misunderstand is that apple is not the most valuable company in the world. there is petrochina. it actually has value 722billion dollars. you have no idea, fanboy. just shut your mouth up.

    1. are you writing satire?

      petrochina is mostly owned by the State of China. only a small portion is on the open market.
      there are many STATE OWNED corporations larger than apple.

      what we are talking about is a PUBLIC company moron.
      comparing practically a government dept with apple. Imagine if the U.S government was to consolidate Exxon , Haliburton, Husky oil etc…

      as for android. Apple iPhone already takes 80% of the world’s profits, pitiful android shares the 20% with Symbian, Blackberries, win Phones and millions of dumb phones. LOL…

    2. Android in nothing more than what Symbian once was, the “go to” operating system for mobile phone OEMs. It will be replaced by something else in the future, when and if something better comes along. Consumers aren’t clamoring for Android phones, they’re just buying cheap cell phones.

      No one asks for an Android phone, they ask for a cell phone and get handed an Android phone.

      No one asks for an iOS device, they ask for an iPhone or iPad or “iTouch” (as some people call it) or AppleTV. That is called product branding and why Apple is way ahead in consumer mind-share.

    3. Look at Edward, here is another Troll, lost, confused and very angry.

      Edward had a very difficult time forming a sentence, what is really interesting is the jabs that just didn’t make it to completion.

      Another Troll bytes the Dust….

    4. % market share is totally irrelevant to success.

      Trust me I run my own business. It’s all about profit margins.

      Apple make more money with low market share because of the profit margin on each product sold.

      What would you prefer? A company with 90% market share that sells producs with a profit margin of 15% or a company with 10% market share that sells products with a profit margin of 60-70%?

      Just look at apples share price – that reflects exactly what business model works!

    5. Apple makes 75% of the profit in mobile. They have margins like a software company. They have 117 billion in the bank

      And you have some idiotic comment about the market share of the Mac.

      Go away, idiot.

    6. Edward, your syntax is opelessly screwed up, try to write in clear English, then your meaning will be much clearer, instead of the garbled nonsense it is now.
      One point, Apple are making huge profits outside of the US, but they keep the money out there to avoid punitive taxation.
      Do you really imagine that despite selling vast numbers of devices across Europe and Asia, Apple are making less money out there?

    1. And adjusted for inflation – what would Micro$oft be worth day?

      $.25 or less?

      BTW, what is Monkey Boy’s annual salary? I bet it is a bit more than $1.

      Yes, Apple has such a greedy legacy.

      The two companies are not even in the same game.

      I have yet to see anyone at Apple throw a chair!

      😉

    2. The problem with Microsoft’s market cap at the time was that their price vs. earnings ratio (P/E) was over 70… Apple is at 16. If the market over valued Apple in the same manner their market cap would be well over $3 trillion right now.

      The overall market is still conservative when it comes to Apple even though they’ve grown at an unheard of rate for a company their size.

    1. Right.
      Fox News journalists.
      Neo-Con-Job propaganda in action.

      I dare anyone to find extremists on either end of the brain dead 1-Dimensional political scale to be SANE.

      -> Send all of them off to the loony bin and leave the world to the 3-D people who can think for themselves. No more psychopaths in politics. No more puppets in office. No more vacuous motor-mouths in office. No more liars in office. No more party-line PoliTards in office. No more idjits or good-old-boys-and-girls in office. No more loons at all in office. Ship them off on Arc Ship B into the heart of the sun and have a real ‘party’ when we’re rid of them. 😆

      1. NYT journalists. Liberal-Con-Job propaganda in action.

        Sounds fair and balanced to me. 🙂

        Agree you keep an eye on all sides and think for yourself.

        1. Yup, plenty of Lib-Con-Job garbage around as well! I still have to wonder why the USA is oh-so-cozy with China when the fact is that China remains a Criminal Nation with designs on the USA and the rest of the world. Hoping for them to change and be actual capitalists is naive. Expecting China to remain a Criminal Nation is a very safe bet.

  5. I am very disappointed in Apple today. This is the first time I have been disappointed in Apple and I have been a loyal customer of Apple since 1984. I was there for the good times and the bad times. I was saddened when Steve Jobs died and a little concerned as well. I grow increasing concerned the direction Apple is headed. Short story…Last night I was flying from Calif back home to Portland. 5 minutes before the plane boarded I was checking my email and making sure I had enough power to finish listening to the biography of Steve Jobs (extremely IRONIC). My power was at 74%…all of a sudden my iPhone 4 got HOT and the screen went blank. I tried to restart…no good…I plugged it into power…I got the logo followed by BLANK again…when I got home I called Apple store made an appointment and traveled the 3 hours to the store. The Genius told me it was DEAD and he would be more than happy to sell me a new one.

    OK…I get it…I live in the real world, my phone was out of warranty….BUT and this is where I see a change at Apple….

    In the past…you were NEVER forced to replace an Apple product you always WANTED the shiny new features so you bought one and the old iPhones became kickass Touches. The shelf life ALWAYS outlast the will power to resist the shiny new features. I am disappointed with Apple today….if I had been struck by lightening, dropped the phone, or done any damage to it at all I would have happily handed over my hard earned money for a new one…but WHY would I replace the phone that apparently has a DESIGN FLAW for exactly the same thing back…are they kidding me!

    HINT to APPLE: You became the most profitable company in the WORLD because of people like me! I was there from the beginning we had some great times and some bad times but I always felt you were FAIR…until today! Things HAVE changed now that Steve Jobs is gone, the rumors seem to be true. I am sure they will continue to rake in mountains of cash…and I am sure I will continue to buy their products…but I am going to keep my mouth shut a little more and praise them a little less… I was one of those cult fanboys…I pushed this stuff until people bought it just to shut me up….pretty sad…..

    as a footnote…..I went home with my DEAD iPhone 4…(i can’t even sell it because I can’t even get the data erased) visited ATT and got the sim chip and took my DAY ONE, GEN ONE iPhone out of retirement and it is now my main phone, until I get over it….

    I know some of you will say….hey buddy, it is only a few bucks to replace it like $150 but that isn’t the point…

    1. Sounds like singular example of a failed device. It happens. It’s not a design flaw. It’s not designed to fail just after warranty ends. I still have each generation of iPhones since the first and they all still function fine. My desktop and laptop are both of 2008 vintage and also function perfectly.

      1. I want to add that I also have an Xbox 360 that had to be sent back for repairs twice and is once again dead. It has a known design flaw and, yet, once out of warranty you’re on your own.

        When Apple was made aware of the design flaw in the Radeon X1900 found on some Mac Pros, they replaced them for us even when they were long past warranty with a more current, better performing Nvidia 8800GT.

    2. Those days are gone – maybe too many were taking advantage. Apple stopped the policy of free replacements for out of warranty phones last year when they starting offering AppleCare+ policies on the iPhone. Instead they offer the option to replace with an identical model for a listed flat rate price.

      I recently had the same issue when the dock connector on my 1st gen iPad suddenly failed and I had to shell out $249 for a replacement (they gave me an identical model).

      see here:

    3. Jim what’s with the rant, what you said just doesn’t hold true, unless the genius found that you had abused your device or triggered one of the many water sensors it would have been replaced.

      The iPhone 4 replacement cost is not $150.00 its the cost of the 4S model, Apple has been giving out the 4S as replacement instead of the 4, and that is a generous offer by Apple if your phone is a two year old, out of warranty iphone 4.

      Now unless Apple was at fault it’s not considered a defect, the phone was released 2 years ago and worked for you all this time, now after a few years your crying defect … “Really”.

      What you posted has to many holes and it’s more of a Blame “Apple Hate, Tim Cook ruined my life Redirection.”

      Suggesting your a “Apple Loyalist” is Absurd and a dead giveaway of a motive that is questionable.

      It’s very obvious that the supposed iPhone 4 is way out of warranty “even if it has existed” what doesn’t make any sense is your rant, it just doesn’t hold any water, and what is most peculiar is the obvious trouble you went to to discredit Apple for a supposed product that you insist had a defect.

      Note: iPhone 4 have no defects that have been reported by the masses.
      June 24, 2010 was the release date of the iphone 4, it’s been more then two years since the release, you claim a defect and not user error, interesting.

      Your rant has many holes with no proof that this issue even happened, let alone the out of warranty rant doesn’t jive with the established norm, “1 year only unless you have Apple Care then it’s 3 years.”

      Most of all, Apple would have replaced the phone if they had been at fault with the materials or workmanship for up to one year.

      Allot of Apple purchasers are aware that it is very Smart to purchases “Apple Care” to receive up to 3 more years of Replacement service and warranty for any mobile device.
      It’s very seldom you will need to use it, but it’s worth the few extra dollars to have that peace of mind, and don’t forget about the drop warranty that covers walk in service to replace any mobile device that was a users fault a flat fee and you walk out with a new device no questions asked, it’s a very nice option to have.without Apple Care you het a basic One year and its your problem if you don’t have the extended Apple Care warranty.

      You had a supposed phone out of warranty, you didn’t purchase Apple Care and without any evidence you post a rant how you think Apple owes you a free device, This iPhone 4 has been out of warranty with no Apple Care, you yell defect.

      No Jim, that’s called entitlement.

      1. @not again

        proof… What do you need for proof? My phone was out of warranty. My phone was in perfect condition. I made an appointment and after the store employee tried everything “he” told me it was a motherboard issue and the two year old phone was dead. Me comments were : 1. Useful life of an Apple phone should be more than two years. 2. My experience over decades of Apple care is that in the past Apple would have instantly replace the phone at no or very little charge. This “seems” to have changed now. I didn’t not intend my post to be a rant, more one of disappointment. Have things changed, I have no idea. To me they have and I don’t seem to be the only one. This is the FIRST time Apple let me down.

    4. I smell TSA all over this one. From your story, it sounds like you already went through security. Is it possible one of those new x-ray 3D scanners cooked your phone? Do you fly often? Did anyone at the TSA touch your belongings? See if you can file a claim. (I’ll take my tinfoil hat off now)

    5. For fucks sake, you had a component failure. The ghost of Steve Jobs didn’t shut in your mouth while you were sleeping.

      You are going to build a weepy tale of doom and despair from a single device failure?

      Get a grip for Odin’s sake.

    6. “you were NEVER forced to replace an Apple product”

      WHAT!?

      Listen, not every unit that rolls off the assembly line is perfect. There’s always a small percentage that are defective. Remember how a few G5 Powermacs had leaky cooling systems? Remember how a few iMacs came with yellowed screens?

      It sucks if you were unlucky enough to get one of the few duds, but that doesn’t mean the sky is falling and that Apple has suddenly changed into an uncaring monster.

      Hell, their reliability has gone dramatically up since the days of overtight TiBook hinges and iBook GPUs breaking their solder.

  6. maybe it is a singular failure but in the past..in my experience is Apple always did the right thing….in this case…Apple should have said…ok…$50 bucks and will get you a replacement. I walked out of the store, went home and fired up my Gen 1 iPhone…that alone says something. I was also in the store to buy my son an MacBook Air and look at another MacBook Air for my mom….of course I will still buy both…but with a slight hesitation. I should also mention that the Apple employees are now reimbursed for their parking (on month later) instead of a voucher….they didn’t seem to like that either….are they related to the passing of Steve Jobs…I don’t know…but it is worth keeping an eye on. I just don’t trust them as much as I used to and that is a BIG change for me.

    1. I’ve since switched to an iPhone 4S but when I had the iPhone 4, I would encounter problems similar to yours. It’s caused by a combination of older generation software (prior to iOS 5.1) and gimpy hardware (prior to October 2011).

      The software problem will cause random shutdowns in the middle of a call for instance or just after a call was completed. I spoke to the Apple technician who recommended periodic reboots by holding down the sleep/wake button and cycling the power off & on. This should flush out the memory cache. 

      As for the hardware problem, the sleep/wake button and home button would exhibit stickiness and refuse to accept clicks. I brought a malfunctioning iPhone 4 unit for exchange and was swapped out with a new unit, no questions asked. However, that was still within the warranty period, so I got lucky, so to speak.

      I do sympathise with your situation. Apple should have offered a replacement unit at below or minimum cost. $50 seems like a good number. That would have done them a world of good in terms of customer satisfaction.

      I agree that the new post Steve Jobs Apple is one that is more focused on the bottom line than customer delight. It’s a sad day indeed that the lessons of Steve Jobs, of emphasising customer delight over profitability, seems to have been forgotten by current management. 

      If cost cutting weren’t a priority why employ a known chainsaw expert like Browett if not to slash costs at the stores. This is the new Apple run by a bean counter. 

    2. I had a problem similar to yours with one of my iPads. For the first time in years I had a problem and so I called Apple’s phone support. The cheerful young man had me restart my iPad while connected to the power adapter. Problem solved.

      The problem, of course, is that with everything solid state now, you have no idea if it is truly dead, totally out of battery power or just unable to finish the startup sequence without a reset. Perhaps your genius was the thing that was broken?

    3. Jim,
      Just a thought. Have someone pull the iPhone 4 apart and see if its the battery… remember got HOT… If the battery died and that is all, its $75 to replace I believe. IF the inside is crushed due to expanding battery, you might still have a case with Apple. Just a thought.

    4. @Jim
      You CAN’T be serious! You’re — apparently — an executive whose pay-scale puts you on commuter flights and able to afford two (TWO) MacBook Airs for mom and the kid — evidently on a whim. The $100.00 marginal cost of a replacement iPhone (the difference between the $50 you were willing to pay and what you were asked to pay) works out to about $33.00 per hour of your time to drive to the Apple store. Notwithstanding the poor business judgement you display wasting your time and money driving 3 hours — surely you earn more than $33.00/hour and not including the gas — to chisel Apple, you then extrapolate a singular product failure into a design fault and diminished performance on Apple’s part? Sheesh! A young grad student acquaintance was recently pulled into a stream by her dog while out walking. Comprehending the essential utility of her iPhone she took her food budget for the month (about $200 CDN) and on the next convenient occasion stopped at the Apple Store, paid the replacement fee, restored her data, and then commented on how amazing it was to be up and running for so little.
      If I was your boss and you recounted that story to me thinking you were an injured party, I’d fire you. Oh, by the way, what company do you work for?

  7. This article is absolute nonsense. When Microsoft set the market cap record their PE ratio was 72. Microsoft makes much much more money now than they did in 1999. Their PE ratio now is about 15 approximately the same as Apples. So for Apple to go the same path as Microsoft what would their PE ratio have to go down to? About 3 and thats not including their cash hoard. Not gonna happen. If Apple was trading at the same multiple Microsoft was in 1999 it would be over $3000 a share.

    1. Just think of where Apple might be if it hadn’t been for the real estate crash in 2008 or the Madoff Ponzi scandal. Investors would have probably had plenty of money to pour into Apple without as much fear of loss as they do now. I slightly remember the dot-com era of 1999 and the strong stocks just went up non-stop on a daily basis. Times were good and investors were just throwing money into any company that had to do with tech and the internet.

      It’s a darn shame that Apple missed that dot-com rise and had to suffer the 2008 economy. Apple shareholders could have done a lot better but that’s how it goes. I think there’s a chance for Apple to reach $750 by next year, but that’s as high as I’m setting my dreams because I have little trust in the stock market knowing it could implode any day.

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