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Another new product from Apple and another product destined to make them, by anyone's standards, a truly vast income. But, just like the iPhone 4s launched only a few months ago, the 'new iPad' really is evolution rather than revolution. Both of the new products do exactly the same as their predecessor, just 'a little bit better' - there's very little in the way of ground breaking technology. Maybe we're expecting too much, or maybe, just maybe, we're starting to see the mighty Apple getting a little bit stale.
I have a feeling that, for once, Apple don't have an answer for the 'what's the next big thing' question. Historically, they've been the masters of taking an idea from small time to big time - they didn't invent the mp3 player, but they truly revolutionised it; same for the smart phone and the tablet. But of late, they seem to be increasingly comfortable to tweak the existing line-up and keep the billions rolling in. There's no doubt that we're reaching the top of the development curve in terms of hand-held devices - there is a point where it's physically impossible to cram any more in, but there's still room for innovation and development, something are Apple renowned for, but seemingly less inclined to do these days.
The key for Apple is the brand that they've built - it is truly immense. No other company on the planet has the pull of Apple - no other company could launch a 'tweaked' version of an existing product and have people queuing for three days to get their hands on it - especially when most of them already own the previous model. Combine this with a very clever business model that sees the buyer tied into the paid-for Apple eco-system via iTunes and it's really hard to see where it can go wrong - the whole 'buzz' around Apple seems to be as strong as it was five years ago.
Strangely, Apple started out as an 'anti-establishment' computer builder, the hippy version of IBM. Although they still claim to have the same ethos, they clearly don't - they're out there to make as much money as they possibly can. The products are eye-wateringly expensive and the apps can only be bought through the marketplace that they control (and take a hefty cut from). And now there are new contenders to the crown - Google are making big waves and are poised to become a hardware manufacturer with their purchase of Motorola Mobility - they're arguably going to offer a more complete package and might, just might, overturn the mighty Apply in the hand held technology arena. A more 'open' eco-system where you're not tied to Google after your hardware purchase, an advertising business model rather than paid for software. It's a very different approach, but one that is beginning to work already.
One thing is for certain, it's going to be a mighty battle and is proof that, in business, you can't sit back and rest on a business model that's under threat.
Welcome, dear reader, to our blog. Home of some general ramblings about business and the world in which it exists. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, but always worth a read (probably).
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