“In all the markets in which Apple Inc. has had success, the consumer electronics company has been a pioneer,” Douglas A. McIntyre writes for 24/7 Wall St. “If it moves into the television industry, it will lack that critical advantage, which may be a barrier it cannot overcome.”
MacDailyNews Take: Without having seen it, how can anyone know whether it is pioneering or not? With history as our guide, one thing we will state unequivocally is that, if Apple does launch a product into a new market, they will believe it is a pioneering product that will shift the paradigm. See: Mac, iPod, iTunes, iTunes Store, iPhone, App Store, iPad, etc.
“A look at the history of Apple product launches makes the point that, even if Apple manufactures and markets the best products in a sector, it additionally has the ‘first mover’ advantage, to use an overused Harvard Business School term,” McIntyre writes. “The Mac was first sold in 1984 under the name Macintosh. That put its computer in the market at the beginning of the PC age.”
MacDailyNews Take: Nice try, but no. Apple’s Mac was not a first mover. Apple themselves already had a raging success, Apple II, on the market at the time. Steve Jobs’ and team’s Macintosh shifted the paradigm, it was not a “first mover.”
McIntyre writes, “The iPod, which was first released in 2001, was an early version of portable multimedia players.
MacDailyNews Take: Early version, yes, but iPod was not first. Apple entered a market that needed to be revolutionized. iPod shifted the paradigm, it was not a “first mover.”
McIntyre writes, “The iPhone, released in 2007, was among the first smartphones aimed at the consumer market.”
MacDailyNews Take: Again, McIntyre stretches too far to rewrite history in order to support his conceit. iPhone was not the first “smartphone” (it was, of course, the first “brilliantphone”) nor was it the first “smartphone” aimed at consumers. iPhone shifted the paradigm, it was not a “first mover.”
McIntyre writes, “And the iPad was one of the first tablet PCs.”
MacDailyNews Take: Sheesh. The first “tablet PC” was described by Alan Kay (Dynabook) in 1972. Apple themselves debuted the Newton MessagePad in 1993. Microsoft has been trying (and failing) to sell Tablet PCs to suckers since 2001. Apple’s Steve Jobs debuted iPad on January 27, 2010. iPad — as with the Mac, iPod, and iPhone before it — shifted the paradigm, it was not a “first mover.”
McIntyre writes, “The television obviously has been at the center of the living room for decades… Apple’s powerful brand may help the firm to elbow its way into the living room. However, Americans already have televisions with massive screens, sophisticated audio and boxes for satellites, cable TV and even the current version of Apple TV piled high next to those screens to allow for access to a nearly infinite body of programs. Apple will be late to the TV market. That creates a barrier the company is not used to and a situation in which it has to gain on the competition from behind.
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: People already had or had access to computers, portable music players, smartphones, and tablet PCs. It took Apple to revolutionize each and make consumers aspire to own them. McIntyre’s entire argument fails the test of logic and reality. Apple isn’t the first mover. In the markets in which it chooses to play, Apple is often the first one to get it right and quickly the one all others then attempt to copy.
Apple employees look at existing markets, services, and products and ask themselves, “How can we improve this, so that we would want to buy and use it?” Television is actually the perfect candidate for an Apple revolution. Stodgy and not very intuitive, the TV set calls out to Apple for help.
McIntyre’s claim that Apple will “be late to the TV market” is ridiculous, especially when he refutes it all by himself in the sentence before by mentioning “the current version of Apple TV.” If they’re already in the market, then they can’t be late, Dougie (pat on the head, run along now, boy; go have a lollipop, the adults are talking now).
The “barrier” that McIntyre tries and fails to construct is actually the condition that Apple actively seeks out and with which the Cupertino Colossus is intimately familiar. Their whole business is built upon it; it’s a foundation, not a barrier. We can almost hear Tim Cook thinking, “Hmm, mediocre products. Not very user-friendly. People don’t really know what they want or how to buy – another perfect market for us to transform!”
The Apple freight train has routinely driven through McIntyre’s ill-conceived “barrier” as if it didn’t exist, because it doesn’t.