Apple vs. Qualcomm: Apple’s Dangerous Gambit

Apple and Qualcomm are at war, but Apple is dangerously close to looking like the bully who complains about his victim’s violence because the bully’s knuckles are bloody. “Look what that guy’s face did to my hand!” The base cause of the dispute is that Apple has been unable to increase revenues by growing volume and has had to resort to increasing prices instead—and their efforts to increase margins have largely resulted from pounding their suppliers to reduce costs. These suppliers mostly folded with Qualcomm being the most visible exception. So, while complaining that Qualcomm had too much power, Apple has effectively cut off a massive amount of Qualcomm’s revenue, showcasing what looks like an excessive amount of power by Apple instead. Fortunately, Qualcomm is more diverse in terms of revenue sources so they are surviving this impressively well but that also points to Apple’s lack of revenue diversity (only one of their diversity problems) as a problem. Add to this claims that Apple must use Qualcomm’s technology while Apple is allegedly designing out that same supposedly critical technology and Apple has the beginnings of what could be a significant credibility problem in the courts. But the real issue is that Apple is increasingly putting iPhone users in the cross hairs of their actions and that never ends well. Let me explain. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Apple Announcements: Good for Businesses?

Apple tends to lean heavily in towards the everyday consumer and not speak to the potential value to businesses. It feels a bit like they have so much trust in their fanbase that Apple automatically assumes that their technology will get pulled into businesses without having to address the business market. Some may call this approach arrogant and others would call this brilliant, but the fact remains that we have witnessed from day one of the Apple iPhone that appealing to consumers and application developers has created an automatic shoo-in into the business. ESG research consistently shows that end-users are creating a significant push for business to support Apple devices (personal and corporate owned). To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Killing The Magic In Apple

Last decade Apple was largely known for a cadence of hit products. You had the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad closing out the decade in 2010. Steve Jobs passed in 2011. From then on, we’ve had the Apple Watch and, most recently, the Apple HomePod. The Apple watch is nowhere near the hit the iPad was and realize that the iPad itself seemed to go into decline shortly after Steve Jobs passed. The HomePod is too early (surveys don’t look great for it at the moment but it is early) into the market but given it is running against the dominant Amazon Echo which does more for about half the price prognoses isn’t very good for this product which, like the watch, broke the model of creating something that Apple could make look like everyone needed one. At the core of this problem I think is a sharp pivot from a CEO who was a product guy and a CEO who is more of a process guy and a change in focus from product/customer, to Margin/Investor particularly large investors. Let me explain because Apple is hardly alone with this. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Apple and the Dangers of Lock-In

I’m wading through the Qualcomm answer to Apple’s lawsuit against it and when I hit page 46 (item 4 bullet 4) I had an “oh crap” moment. Qualcomm is alleging that Apple is intentionally crippling certain iPhones so that users can’t tell they are using inferior parts in some of them. It seems Apple has gone to a dual-supplier model in an apparent attempt to force Qualcomm to drop its prices, but the second supplier apparently builds a significantly inferior product—so inferior in fact that even after Apple cripples the Qualcomm-based iPhones they’re still significantly better. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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…Battle Royal for the Creative Desktop Future

Your PC is just about to become obsolete. Back in 2014, I wrote about a no-longer secret project at Dell to rethink the desktop and based on a recent post on Dell’s site that quietly went live it looks like this concept is getting much closer to reality. What is interesting is this product and the recently announced Microsoft Surface Studio are both targeting a group of users that Apple has a history of embracing and recently taken for granted. But, then again, users don’t like change and there could even be method to their madness. There are advantages and disadvantages for each approach. Let’s explore them. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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