Apple’s biggest problem is one it can never solve

“As Apple is yet again named the world’s most admired company, I wonder just how much a lack of great competition has contributed to Cupertino’s dominance,” Chris Matyszczyk writes for CNET. “Once, it was fanciful to think that Microsoft would be the company that would beat Apple. It had might. It had dominant, if ugly, software. But Redmond looked at the iPhone and laughed… [it’s] still ringing in Microsoft’s ears.”

“What about Google? The supernerds believed that their Android operating system would be all that was needed. They could get other companies to do the hard work of hardware,” Matyszczyk writes. “Yet that didn’t work perfectly. Software updates were slow. The variety of phone manufacturers around the world didn’t all do things the same way. And here we are, Google is now trying to launch phones again.”

“How many times have we heard of iPhone killers that killed themselves trying?” Matyszczyk writes. “Competition makes you better. It’s a problem if you don’t have it. Nothing feels urgent… The company allows itself to coast in certain areas, while it pursues business dominance or merely creative whimsy — hey, Jony Ive designed a Christmas tree.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in 2006:

Yes, competition is good, but only when it’s good competition. Otherwise, it just ends up wasting time and money for consumers who make the wrong choice.

Apple will be just fine. We know for a fact that they are hearing the criticism from certain quarters and we expect the company to unveil some very inspirational products this year.


  1. We root for Apple because they have done so much good for so many decades to help those who use computers and their accessories.

    That doesn’t mean they can be “on top” of every product all the time or make all decisions right all the time, nor can they pre-guess consumer demands right all the time.

    There are far more variables in business than Chris at CNET thinks about.

    I think Apple is doing a good job, but it is NOT doing all jobs that it could. That would fracture their efforts to be great at the few things they do. No company can “DO IT AL.”

      1. True, Josh. But expectations and criticism are easy…way too easy for some people. Delivering the actual product in volume – that’s the trick, isn’t it? Apple has stumbled a bit over the last few years, but I refuse to buy into the doom and gloom.

    1. respectfully disagree.
      Apple is goofing up and goofing up big ….and in most cases totally needlessly and through sheer stupidity.
      The problem with Apple is their overinflated, complacent , egocentric Attitude. (example … Ives gold leafed book… an ‘ohhh how much i love my self ‘ tribute by him to himself.. a tasteless, , graceless, tactless , arrogant/inelegant statement at best ) ….

      Success➡️Arrogance➡️Complacency/feeling of invincibility➡️ Shit hitting the fan massively.

      Wake up Tim and Team….. or there are tons of Super Aggressive, Smart, Hungry entities out there ready to eat your breakfast, lunch, dinner……… and drink your water too.

  2. Apple and their rivals are playing to entirely different rules. Ironically, Apple’s rivals appear to be chasing profits at the expense of quality, but Apple’s quality products may not sell in such great numbers as their rivals, but they are able to attract premium prices and therefore healthy profits.

    Those of us who remember all those iPod killers were not at all surprised to see all the iPhone killers suffer a similar fate. We keep seeing history repeating itself, but some people never learn the lesson.

    We’ve been told for many years that without effective competition Apple will flounder, but Apple doesn’t rely on competition from outside, they are motivated by wanting to create the best that they possibly can. Rival companies do not think that way, so their competition isn’t pushing Apple to aim for higher standards.

    1. Agreed that part of the reason Apple can charge premium prices for quality is due to what was the large lead Apple products had in quality. These days however that gap is much smaller making the premium seem ‘greedy’. When “Made in Japan” was ‘poor quality’ Ford and other American companies did well. When the quality gap closed those same companies were caught flat-footed. Hopefully Apple keeps that lesson in mind.

  3. Apple needs to stop the practice of picking winners and losers in their product lines when the only measuring stick is fat cat profits.

    I thought liberal companies eschewed and condemned this business practice for decades since the protests in the 1960s?

    Obviously, not at Apple present day … 🤔

    1. lost me AFTER the first sentence,

      allow me to finish it for you…

      they need to dominate EVERY product category they (still) have by keeping them of high quality, powerful and updated – on a very regular basis – even if it is not a super-powerful income generator.

      keep the apple ecosystem intact and the money will keep rolling in like a flood tide.

      get back to the future apple !

      1. Let me guess, GoeB…you felt ignored as a child and learned to love any attention at all, no matter how negative.

        The media, as a whole, does a pretty darn good job. The fact that you and your ilk feel compelled to discount the vast majority of the media as “lame stream” just shows your weakness. We know who invented Faux News as a method of making money and manipulating the electorate. Your time of reckoning will come. The Trump Administration is headed for the cliff.

  4. This is a myopic article. Apple competes with itself and doesn’t release half assed products or concept ideas. It releases complete products aimed at being compelling to pick up, incorporate into daily routines and feel good to use. They do this by controlling hardware, software and ecosystem. Tech and financial journalists know how to make the product better, but their ideas reveal why they write about, but do not run the world’s biggest market cap company. Vision needs time and practice to become a salable product that people actually want to use because it makes their lives better and gives pleasure when used. The Macintosh of today looks nothing like the original black and white 128 K Macintosh. The 10th anniversary iPhone is light years ahead of the first 2 G iPhone with no memories and Web Aps. Once Apple finishes and releases a product, it’s job is to keep evolving that product to make it better and more desireable. 78 billion people voted with their wallets last quarter. Samsung will outsell them again soon, but it is only by 4:1 giveaways and throwing in every loose definition of feature phone with some “smartphone” ability that they accomplish this. Meanwhile, Apple still releases polished products that people love and expands an ecosystem that no one else can touch. When the competition expands, they do it using iPhones, Macs, iPads, Apple Watches, Apple TV. Meanwhile, Apple keeps expanding these lines, with the tech journalists following iPbone like its the whole company and decrying the “failing” iPad sales, missing the reason for flagging sales, a lasting and durable product.

    1. Nonetheless, Apple is now a one product company. To help with maintaining control over that one product area, they tossing a few discernible features into the iPhone 8. Meanwhile the product that most of the people who create the chatter about Apple care about, the Mac, is dropping dramatically in perceived value.

      You will hear Apple referred to constantly now as a “Boutique” company. I.e. a company who makes products for a few people with fashion as the primary goal.

      I.e. Apple doesn’t make computers for professions that require heavy amounts processing power, GPU or malleability. It’s for word processing, social media, etc.

  5. C|NET is the Kelly Conway of Tech News regarding anything Apple. They are heavily sponsored by anti Apple competitors & they will give glowing reviews of new products at Apple keynote presentations. Then the C|NOT “techperts” write their critical non supporting reviews on their page to keep their advertisers happy + get large click bait from Cult of Apple supports. Lame.

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