Apple – From Underdog to Overlord

With the market power that comes with success, can Apple keep its friends?

by Idris Mootee

Apple - From Underdog to OverlordWhen a company acquires significant market power and becomes super successful, it will have fewer friends. It is more so in software and hardware business as they try to push each other around to get certain standard or platform adopted. Apple used to have many friends and little enemies, Microsoft being the bug common enemy for them and alliances. But the wheel has turned; Apple is now a threat for many, from Adobe to Nokia.

The battle between Apple and Adobe Systems over Flash is a typical example. And Apple will act more like Sony from now on. They are launching a technology called Gianduia, introduced last summer at its World of WebObjects Developer Conference, “a client-side, standards-based framework for rich Internet apps.” The use of a standards-based technology makes sense for Apple, considering its position on Flash.

Apple has made it very clear that it opted to support HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS instead of Flash. Apple suggested that it is a bad thing to have a third-party layer of software come between the platform and the developer and will ultimately results in substandard apps. Now Adobe may be planning to complain to U.S. authorities about Apple’s behavior, which may lead to an antitrust investigation. Sounds familiar?

And Nokia is trying to fiercely fight back to win back the smartphone market loss to iPhone. They’ve just unveiled details of its first phone with new Symbian 3 software designed to challenge the iPhone and Blackberry at the high-end of the market. Called the N8, it’s Nokia’s first phone using a rewritten software platform designed to improve usability. The top model will have a 12-megapixel camera and 3.5-inch touch screen. Do I need a 12-megapixel came phone?

Nokia is eyeing the touch screen iPad market/tablet market. An IPad “killer” is scheduled to launch this year. It’s likely that we’ll be seeing the touch-based Meego platform powering the Nokia. And even with Google, tensions started to emerge in early 2007 when Google announced plans to develop Android for mobile phones. Apple had unveiled its iPhone in January of that year, and it was clear that the two companies would spar in the smartphone business.

Even Satoru Iwata (president of Nintendo) has dismissed that Sony as its competitor and labeled Apple as the “enemy of the future”. Yes, successful companies have few friends.

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Idris MooteeIdris Mootee is the CEO of idea couture, a strategic innovation and experience design firm. He is the author of four books, tens of published articles, and a frequent speaker at business conferences and executive retreats.

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Idris Mootee




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No Comments

  1. Tony Chadwick on May 12, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Hi. Agree as most IT people I know are scared of change and things they can’t control or don’t understand. Just read there hate mail.

    They’re the mob who don’t quite get that we’re moving to a new paradigm beyond just the product to something that encapsulates emotion and an integrated digital connectedness – Work and Life

    Perhaps that the reason there’s a greater mob of people who don’t hate Apple but actually love Apple because they capture ‘your heart’ with gorgeous design, elegant functionality and quality disruptive products that just make sense.

    There’s also a mob of people who love Apple because they continue to innovate and disrupt draconian thinking by changing things!

    So as long as Steve’s team keeps Thinking Different they’ll continue to be a ‘Lovemark’ with a loyal tribe of followers – the Apple mob which includes most of the worlds greatest thought leaders…just like your own Kevin Roberts.

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