A vueltas con la capacidad innovadora de Apple y sus posibilidades de permanencia continua en el estado de gracia que todavía parece mantener.

Un artículo en Seeking Alpha

On October 22, 2013, during Apple’s iPad Air launch, Tim Cook said something that I think he might regret saying:

Our competition is different. They’re confused. They chased after net books. Now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they will do next?

It reminded me of Steve Ballmer’s reaction to the iPhone launch at Apple’s 2007 MacWorld conference:

if Apple success is the result of relatively minor innovations then similarly minor innovations from competitors can bring apple down too.

One thing you can be sure of is that no company can remain at the top for long. BlackBerry was top in smartphones for a few years, Nokia in all phones a bit longer than that.

But that means there’s a long way below. One of the astonishing things about Apple is that individual product lines are now bigger than entire technology companies. These are companies that in some cases have been around for decades and are significant in their own right:

  • At $4 billion in sales the iPod is already bigger than Netflix and earns far more in profit.
  • The iPad may generate more revenue this year than the entirety of Google. Google for most of the last decade was thought of as the preeminent technology company.
  • The iPhone is bigger than Microsoft in both revenue and profits. Microsoft is the most important software company of all time and until very recently, considered the most important technology company of all time.
  • The Appstore/iTunes net revenue is equal to Facebook’s revenue.

This feast of superlatives is the reason why Apple bulls are so enthused about the company, but it’s the very dazzling achievements of Apple that should make them nervous: inevitably, competition will eat away at Apple’s profits.


Don’t overestimate Apple. Right now it’s hard to imagine it with half its revenue but that’s not just possible but highly likely, if history is any guide. Also, don’t underestimate the power of seemingly minor differences. Apple’s success has been built on them and will almost certainly be the victim of them in the future.