Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Apple Nearing Wal-Mart’s Market Cap | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

My comments:
I just wonder what Apple aspires to be in the future. They've made it clear that it is not a computer company. The smartphone business has served them well, but I can't see them being just a phone company either. At best the phones will have served as a foot in the door for media sales, but I can't imagine that being a stopping place. It's inconceivable that the world will settle on a single company from which to download music and video.

Apple's success prior to the iPhone was because they finally got it right, with a true multitasking operating system (never true before OS X) and they were going up against a company that has proved time and again that they can't produce products that are both useful and safe at the same time.

The iPhone was also a matter of providing something that was fairly easy to conceptualize, namely a phone that was not encumbered by the limitations typically imposed by the carriers (although it is encumbered by Apple for sure.)

Now the other phone companies get it. And Apple will be one of many, never a failure, but never the only game in town either.

Can Apple challenge Amazon (and Walmart) and become an above average retailer of "stuff"? Maybe, but somehow I just don't see that being in their DNA.

Like Gateway, who seemed to have no limits at one time, who opened an upscale computer and accessories store near me a number of years ago and then promptly fell flat on their face, I think Apple is in danger of running out of avenues for startling and apparently effortless success. They need to pick an area where they will have to work hard against true competition that doesn't just fold after the first round of betting. It will be interesting to watch.

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