10 Products Apple Doesnt Want Consumers to Know About
10 Products Apple Doesnt Want Consumers to Know About
by Don Reisinger
HTC Droid Incredible
The Motorola Droid was one of the first Android-based devices to give Apple some pause, but HTC's Droid Incredible is arguably the device that could wreak the most havoc on Apple's bottom line. The device, which is available to Verizon Wireless customers, was sold out upon its launch.Aside from running Google's mobile operating system, the device boasts some of the finest features of any smartphone on the market, including a whopping 8-megapixel camera. It's the phone that Google has been waiting for. And it's the device that Apple has wished never was released.
Google Nexus One
Google's Nexus One hasn't been the success that it was expected to be.But that hasn't stopped it from being a troublesome issue for Apple. If nothing else, the Nexus One is proof that Google plans to take the mobile market seriously. That's important to remember. The Nexus One is just the first of what could be many devices that Google sponsors. And the search giant will improve upon the lessons it learned from the Nexus One. The Nexus One might not scare Apple. But the follow-up to that device could cause Steve Jobs to think twice about his own mobile strategies.
Chrome OS might not seem like the obvious candidate for Apple to fear, but it certainly is troublesome. The Web-based operating system could drastically change the software market. By offering a Web-based OS, Google is trying to change the way people interact with computers. If it's successful, it could be extremely troublesome for Apple's Mac business. After all, the company has focused the majority of its time recently on delivering iPhones and iPads, and not enough time on its PC models. All the while, Google has silently been working on a new operating system designed specifically to take down Apple and Microsoft.Steve Jobs and company can't be happy about that.
Apple should be extremely concerned by Pandora. For one, the online music site is wildly popular, and thanks to its iPhone app, it has attracted many more users than ever. But it goes beyond that. Apple recently acquired Lala, an online music-streaming site that competes with Pandora. As of June 1, Apple has shut Lala down and has yet to say what it has planned for the site. If anything is certain, it's that Apple's chances of making Lala a key component in its operation going forward directly relate to its ability to beat Pandora. That could be an extremely difficult task.
Any Boutique PC
With so little market share and such a premium on its hardware, it's not without reason to say that Apple is a boutique vendor. Its core differentiating factor is its operating system, but it sells folks on the design of its hardware. The last thing the company wants is for consumers to start turning to boutique PC vendors, such as Velocity Micro or WidowPC. They offer similarly well-designed computers at a price that's typically in line with Apple's offerings. Admittedly, they run Windows, which might be a problem for some consumers, but for the majority who want a nicely designed PC, a boutique vendor isn't a bad alternative to anything Apple offers. And Apple knows it.
Windows 7 is the operating system that its predecessor should have been.It's also an operating system that Apple could learn a thing or two from. Windows 7 has fired a few salvos toward Cupertino. It not only improves upon security, but it also sets a new standard in software design. Now the onus is on Apple to improve Mac OS X to best Windows 7.And that likely won't be an easy task.
Although the Dell Streak will probably fail to capture the affection of consumers, it's one of many devices that will be entering the tablet market to compete with the iPad. That's an important milestone. So far, Apple has enjoyed its position as the top player in the tablet space.Consumers have nothing to compare the device to, and Apple has no reason to improve its tablet because of it. But all that will change soon. And as Dell's Streak and many other devices hit store shelves, Apple will need to worry about its own tablet.
The Google TV might not seem like a real competitor to Apple. After all, the software is designed to bring the Web to televisions, as well as help consumers record live television. But it's a real threat to Apple.The company might still say that the Apple TV is a hobby product, but it's becoming clear that Apple wants to work its way into the living room. If the Google TV starts running on any number of set-top boxes and wins consumers support, Apple might have missed its opportunity to become a major player in the living room.
Nintendo has said time and again that it doesn't view Apple as a real competitor, but it's entirely wrong. And Apple knows it. The Apple App Store currently houses thousands of video games designed for both the iPad and the iPhone. Some of those titles are simple, while others deliver the same quality of gameplay that can be found on any other mobile gaming device on the market. At the same time, Apple knows that the DS and Nintendo itself are titans in the gaming business. And the more consumers play DS games, the less likely they are to try out titles on the iPhone.
Amazon MP3 Store
Amazon's MP3 Store arguably provides the biggest threat to iTunes.Although it still can't match the size and popularity of iTunes, a recent report from market-research firm NPD found that it's growing at a rapid rate. The more Amazon grows, the less power Apple wields over labels that currently play by its rules simply because they don't want to lose revenue by ditching iTunes. Apple also loses appeal with consumers, which could have a negative impact on its hardware. iTunes is a key component in Apple's overarching strategy. If it loses its dominant position, it could cause some trouble for Apple.