Why Apple is winning
Apple is on a tear: shares up over $100 in a month, big product launches looming and a massive untapped market of tablet and computer buyers. Here's why it won't slow down anytime soon.
Call this column "confessions of a reformed Apple hater." I've spent the better part of my career insisting that Apple products were not for me--this after my first job in tech was reviewing them for the now-defunct Mac Home Journal. The company was too controlling, the prices too high, the forced upgrade march too abusive, the closed system too limiting.
Now, just a week ago, I traded in my fourth Android phone (a Samsung Galaxy Nexus) for an iPhone 4S, which just about completes the cycle of Apple in my life. I bought a MacBook Air to replace a balky HP laptop running Windows Vista. I own an iPad because, well, what other tablet would I own? I have an iPod Touch almost solely to power a Bose sound system (and because I wanted to Facetime with my son back before I had the iPhone). And the other day, when my mom was complaining about startup times, printing, and wireless networking, the words, "you should get a Mac" were out of my mouth before I could stop them.
Apple is winning. It's doing much more than winning me over, but I think my experiences point, in part, to why Apple is currently and will keep winning well into the near future.
Look at the numbers alone. Apple stock is up almost $100 in just the past month, reaching an all-time high of $509 this week. As Dan Frommer points out at ReadWriteWeb, the company has been riding a decade-long growth period, increasing revenue every year at an ever-increasing pace.
The company is making that money on products that are the vast minorities in their market-share categories: Mac sales hit an all-time high of 5 million, which still rates at maybe 6 percent of estimated global market share. The iPhone clocks in at 23.8 percent of the global smart phone market, according to Gartner. The iPad is the obvious exception here: it is its market, and when you add its sales to global PC sales, it's a big part of the reason that Windows
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