Rob Enderle

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Rob Enderle

Rob Enderle (born July 27, 1954) is an American technology analyst who has worked for EMS, ROLM, IBM, Dataquest, GiGa, and Forrester, before founding The Enderle Group.


  • I asked the panel to list the companies that would certainly be around in the future — and those that wouldn't be. ... There was some disagreement about Oracle. Microsoft and Oracle said that Oracle would survive; Apache said it wouldn't. I also asked which companies would be dead. The panel agreed that it would be Apple, Sun and Novell.
  • [T]he next generation of the Xbox game machine ... may even take out Apple, forcing the company to exit the PC business.
  • 2006, at least after August['s Vista release], will be great time for buyers and sellers of PC hardware and that has to be a good thing for everyone — except Apple.
  • This will be a difficult year for Apple, and the iPhone could be more of a drag on earnings than a help. ... Apple is clearly not going away — but this year, compared to last, will be really nasty for the company.
  • [The iPhone]'s clearly going to start a wave towards a new technology — as I say, I'm not convinced that Apple's going to be able to ride this wave.
  • Apple has recently done more with the tablet format with the iPod Touch and iPhone then any other vendor but the jury is still largely out on this format with challenging devices from RIM, Palm, and Google often showcasing that keyboards are necessary.
  • Given Steve Jobs, for instance, is critical to Apple's success is there anything short of eating live babies on national TV that he should be fired for? Where would you draw that line or should he be held to the same rules and laws that the rest of us are held to?
  • [Steve Jobs] is not somebody [who] any one of us would want watching our kids, but, in terms of running the company, he's excellent.
  • The most recent annoying survey is the one that predicts Windows 8 Tablets will fail because there is no demand for the product. I'm sure a similar survey made a year before the iPhone or iPad would have likely concluded the same thing about those products.
  • [Tim Cook's] position at Apple was to do the things Steve didn't want to do and to never be a threat to Steve, which means he likely is everything Steve isn't — yet he is trying to fit into a spot custom designed for Steve. Talk about your round peg in a square hole.
  • I firmly believe that companies should be designed to be immortal. ... Dell's future is bright largely due to the power of a founder who can think strategically and doesn't milk his company for personal gain. In the current environment that is a unique and powerful advantage.
  • Apple no longer owns the tablet market, and will likely lose dominance this year or next. ... this level of sustained dominance doesn't appear to recur with the same vendor even if it launched the category.
  • Frankly, it has frustrated me for years to watch Apple's success — while traditional bumbling PC companies continue to ignore the obvious point that yes, design and presentation actually do matter.
  • [Apple] carries a valuation of an image that is over-inflated due largely to the powerful efforts of Steve Jobs who made the company appear magical. As we end the year, the valuation of the company appears to have massive downward pressure and this is largely because the architect of that massively powerful image has passed — and along with that passing Apple's apparent leadership.
  • Samsung did to Apple what Apple did to Microsoft, skewering its devoted users and reputation, only better. ... There is a way for Apple to fight back, but the company no longer has that skill, and apparently doesn't know where to get it, either.
  • [W]e're easily distracted with shiny things. Steve Jobs was an expert at showing us shiny things to get excited. ... Buying phones that favor entertainment would likely be career suicide ... Your job might actually depend on this phone, and no cool app, game or movie will mitigate that one Blackberry advantage.
  • I was recently at a meeting of analysts and vendors, and got into a conversation about Apple with one of the ex-Apple executives at the meeting. I got the sense that Tim Cook was hired because he was good at everything Jobs didn't like to do, and Phil Schiller was basically Jobs' internal fan club chairman. In other words, you really don't have a viable company without someone doing what Jobs did.
  • If [Apple's watch] bounces, folks will begin to lose faith. ... watch the iWatch execution. That'll tell you whether this is a rebirth or the beginning of the end.
  • With phones moving to technologies such as Apple Pay, an unwillingness to assure security could create a Target-like exposure that wipes Apple out of the market.
  • Microsoft fully understands it can't beat Apple, Amazon or Google by chasing them, but it can beat them if it both revisits its old embrace and extend strategy, and then pulls a Steve Jobs to change the market.
  • Apple's two most memorable accomplishments are the GUI, or graphical user interface, and the mouse, both of which it literally stole from Xerox PARC.
  • iPhone 7 — We will again watch people line up to buy an iconic product that is only marginally better than the paid-for product they already have. ... We'll smile, nod our heads, and ask Siri to remind us to check to see if our medical plan covers mental health.
  • I'm not exactly known as a huge fan of Apple. In fact, for nearly a decade and half I've refused to use their products and I'm supposedly banned for life from Apple's properties. It's definitely personal between me and that company ...
  • [Apple] needs the support of the U.S. government in the way that BlackBerry has the support of the Canadian government. If not, it needs to think about moving phone leadership and operations to a country that will supply it with that defensive support. If it doesn't do this soon, it will eventually have its phones compromised and that could be the end of much of Apple's iPhone business.
  • [Hedge fund investment] is likely behind the very different behavior you are seeing in companies like HP and Apple this decade. A severe lack of new products or compelling offerings, but a lot of increases in dividends, stock buybacks, layoffs, plant closings, executive departures and divestitures. These firms aren't investing in the future they are constantly trying to assure their stock is propped up and the value increases.
  • BlackBerry isn't getting out of the hardware business. It stands alone as the only smartphone company exclusively focused on business, security and traditional communication. Until someone else steps up to meet this need, there continues to be a market for its hardware ...
  • At scale, [Microsoft] is likely the only company offering a cloud solution that is truly robust enough to be trusted in what has become an incredibly unsafe world.
  • [Google's] coming blend of Android and Chrome, coupled with Apple's move to emulate Surface, could result in a devastating outcome for Apple. ... I'm reading rumors that Apple is creating an Amazon Echo clone and I think it will be the world's next Zune. Ironically, this would likely make Ballmer really happy because the ghost of Sun Tzu will stop slapping him around and start focusing on Tim Cook.
  • [W]hen Apple wanted the name "iPhone" and it was owned by Cisco, Steve Jobs just took it, and his legal team executed so he could keep it. It turned out that doing this was surprisingly inexpensive. And, as the Apple Watch showcased, the Apple Phone likely would not have sold anywhere near as well as the iPhone.
  • Apple's a company whose valuation is based on the fact that they've got recurring, blockbuster products, that the, the lack of those, of late, is just killin' 'em.
  • Chen is not only ahead of Steve Jobs in terms of turnaround speed, he has done something that both HP and Sun failed at: turned a hardware company into a software and services company, arguably something Jobs couldn't have done. ... Jobs smartly decided to kill the process at Apple to transition that company to software and services. Jobs didn't understand how to do that and would have likely failed because he was just a hardware guy.
  • Often, firms that were successful start to fail after a successful CEO departs, largely because they spent little time mentoring the successor in making successful decisions. ... I think we are seeing this play out at Apple at the moment ...
  • [I]t seems pretty clear why this class of product [Apple Watch] is languishing. ... But, with products like the LG Watch Sport the market may finally be coming around to a winner.
  • [Tablets] have not risen to expectations. Apple, the lead market maker in the category, has recently flipped from an emerging market strategy to a cash cow strategy with its latest reduced-price iPad offering, suggesting it now believes that tablets are on life support.
  • The cause of [Apple v. Qualcomm] appears to be an effort by Apple to pressure Qualcomm into providing a unique discount, largely because Apple has run into an innovation wall, is under increased competition from firms like Samsung, and has moved to a massive cost reduction strategy. (I've never known this to end well, as it causes suppliers to create unreliable components and outright fail.)
  • Often, those who come into power quickly end up misusing that power ... we should, but we don't put in place strong controls to prevent rather than punish this bad behavior. Even Steve Jobs was almost fired a second time from Apple and might have ended up in jail for abuse of power (in his case backdating his own options without board approval) and, without Jobs, Apple likely not only not been the most valuable company in the world, but it likely would have failed last decade.
  • Apple is becoming more and more like a typical tech firm — that is, long on technology and short on magic. ... Apple is drifting closer and closer to where it was back in the 1990s. It offers advancements that largely follow those made by others years earlier, product proliferation, a preference for more over simple elegance, and waning excitement.
  • FRAND licensing ... in theory, would prevent someone with competitive problems from raising prices on competitors to cripple them if they were successful. Interestingly, the only firm in recent memory that ever did this was Apple ...
  • What we now have is too much focus on short-term revenues and almost no focus on the long-term survival or success of the firm. This is why you don't see anything very innovative out of firms like Apple.
  • [T]he litigation between Qualcomm and Apple/Intel ... is weird. What makes it weird is that Intel appears to think that by helping Apple drive down Qualcomm prices, it will gain an advantage, but since its only value is as a lower cost, lower performing, alternative to Qualcomm's modems, the result would be more aggressively priced better alternatives to Intel's offerings from Qualcomm/Broadcom, wiping Intel out of the market. On paper, this is a lose/lose for Intel and even for Apple. The lower prices would flow to Apple competitors as well, lowering the price of competing phones. So, Apple would not get a lasting benefit either.
  • Intel has a long an ugly history of behaving unethically, mostly against competitors like AMD and more recently Qualcomm (its partner in this, Apple, was just highlighted as being basically anti-innovation).
  • Steve Jobs set Carly Fiorina up over a decade ago. He used compliments and empty promises to make sure HP never brought to market an iPod competitor and, while it isn't certain that HP would have been successful, had it been, Apple likely wouldn't be around today, and Fiorina lost her job partially as a result of that scam.
  • Apple's last true hit product was the iPad, which goes back to when Steve Jobs was still alive and connected to the company. The company's rumored move to automobiles probably won't go as well as even its execution on the Apple Watch and Home Pod. I mean, if you can't be successful in a market you know, why would you think you'll be successful in a market you don't know? Apple will likely be looking for a new CEO before year end.

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