One item I would put on the list is that nobody can predict the future. Guess? Yes. Predict with accuracy? No. Those that do are just lucky. One member of the nattering nabobs of negativism and a minister of the technorati elite politburo said Apple would throw out Intel.
So much for that prediction. Yet, here we are moving rapidly into the 21st century and critics decry Apple’s iPhone strategy (sales might be down a whopping five percent from projections) and consider iPhone in the same league as the Polaroid instant camera, Sony’s iconic Walkman cassette recorder, the doomed Palm Pilot.
If the iPhone is doomed after barely a decade as an icon, then why hasn’t the Mac died? After all, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introduced the Mac back in 1984. We’re talking 35 years. The iPhone is only 12.
Why hasn’t the Mac died?
Does the Mac’s longevity tell us something about the iPhone’s fate?
iPhone isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Apple has nearly a billion iPhone customers. The iPhone line is broad and deep. Apple will sell north of 200-million new iPhones this year and perhaps 20-million Macs. The Mac accounts for about half the entire personal computer industry’s profits on barely double digit marketshare. iPhone’s status is even better with about half the smartphone industry’s revenue and nearly 75-percent of the profits (Samsung gets most of the rest, which says something about competitors, right?).
Why isn’t the Mac dead after 35 years on planet earth as the least significant PC in terms of marketshare?
What does the Mac’s lifespan tell us about the iPhone’s future?
In short, neither one are going anywhere soon. Both devices will continue to evolve with iterative and incremental improvements, with an occasional leap forward as new technologies are integrated into each system (think SSD and Retina displays for the Mac).
The Mac hasn’t died because customers need to do what the Mac does, and Apple keeps differentiation sufficient from the typical Windows PC that the Mac’s customer base now exceeds 100-million customers.
What does that say about iPhone?
Unless a competitor comes up with a better device– substantially better; as was iPhone and then Android OS which combined to destroy the then nascent smartphone industry– iPhone likely will have a long and prosperous life span, too.
When you read those arcane missives about how Apple is doomed, the iPhone will die, just remember that the Mac continues to prosper after 35 years with a far smaller customer base and marketshare.