“There have been downsides to the rise of Apple. It has coincided with the terminal phase of deindustrialization. And we can’t kid ourselves any longer – its value lies in design not in grunt,” Haydn Shaughnessy writes for Forbes. “In contrast it is fair to say also that just as mortgages destroyed the wealth of some families, Apple created wealth for many others. A thousand dollars in Apple in 2007 could have risen to over $8,000 in 2012, a rise well above the drop in real estate values.”
“More than that though, Apple played to a view of the global economy that fits very well with how the American intelligentsia and business elite see it. That says: what really counts is our native genius,” Shaughnessy writes. “Other countries can discipline their workers to turn out parts in new megafactories but only Americans have this innate genius for product, technology and business.”
“And Apple also created its own free market. All those Apps, Jobs would tell supporters and critics, were created by the little guy. Here was a microcosm of free market America, except that Apps were made everywhere, in Apple’s developer ecosystem,” Shaughnessy writes. “So this smartphone created wealth and sustained the way the country perceived itself – successful, transformative, spirited, and entrepreneurial, even if critically injured. Alongside it, Android, reflected an even more American techno-centric view of the world: open source and even more opportunistic, beginning, as legend has it, in Apple’s own boardroom”
“It used to be autos that sustained economies and led recoveries. But look back over the past five years and a company called Apple saved America, with Google picking up from behind,” Shaughnessy writes. “By taking over the global smartphone industry, though Apple, has created two other phenomena that will sink Apple in turn, if it does not adapt quickly.”
Much more about the challenges Apple faces today in the full article, “Why China and Korea’s Priorities May Decide The Smartphone Wars,” here.