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There is a myth, more of a meme actually, about the ‘inevitability’ of commoditization.
It is a view of the world that sees things linearly, in terms of singularities, and the so-called “one right path.” In this realm, where commoditization is God, horizontal orientation (versus vertical integration) rules the roost.
(For a historical perspective on tech industry architectural orientation, check out “Waves of Power” by David Moschella.) The following inconvenient facts must be an affront to the horizontal, commoditized, open, market share zealots.
Apple has launched three major new product lines since 2001: the i Pod (October, 2001); the i Phone (July, 2007); and the i Pad (April, 2010).
The company’s stock is up 3,000 percent since the launch of i Pod, 125 percent since the launch of i Phone, and 20 percent since the launch of i Pad.
In that same time period, the major devotees of the loosely coupled model — Microsoft, Google, Intel and Dell — have been, at best, outpaced by Apple 6X (in the case of Google dating back to the launch of i Pod) and at worst, either been wiped out (in the case of Dell) or treaded water (in the cases of Microsoft and Intel) in every comparison period.
Let me go a step further and make the forceful assertion that in the red hot mobile computing segment (inclusive of smart phones, media players and tablet devices), anything that Nokia, RIM/Blackberry and even Google Android are doing is simply orthogonal to Apple’s i OS-based device play (i Phone, i Pod touch, i Pad). That is why it’s laughable that the latest meme du jour, “The Apps Lifestyle” — and believe me, it is a lifestyle — is ridiculously framed as a trend of the multi-vendor “cell phones” segment. The clear-cut truth is that Apple’s i OS device platform is the staging ground of the Apps Lifestyle, something that ~90-percent of i OS device owners “get” to the point of it being intrinsic, assumed and embedded.