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.
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.
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?
[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.
[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.
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.
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.
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 ...
[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.
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 ...
[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.
[W]hen it came to the iWatch, also a name that Apple didn't own, Apple walked away from it and instead launched the Apple Watch. Certainly, no risk of litigation, but the product's sales are a fraction of what they otherwise might have been with the proper name and branding.
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.