iBlink: Is Apple's dream run coming to an end?
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- 2 of 5Apple set the bar too high?Under Steve Jobs, Apple regularly brought out products that seemed unprecedented in terms of innovation. Be it the iPad, the iPod or the Mac range of computers, each Apple product set very, very high standards for buyers and reviewers alike.It was perhaps this that resulted in unrealistically high expectations from Apple. Each product launch was preceded by intense discussions over its size, features and specifications.And when it was finally launched, the results could obviously not match the expectations that often bordered on impossible.The result? Disappointment among fanboys and cheer among detractors.
- 3 of 5Rivals match- and even better- Apple products?But it weren't just the unrealistic hopes that Apple began to fail to meet. Offerings from rival players, particularly Samsung, began to close the gap in terms of looks, features, ease-of-use and specifications.Also, unlike Apple products that often came with what many called 'minor improvements' over their predecessors, each release under Samsung's Galaxy S series, impressive in its own right, sort of paled in comparison with its successor.Samsung's Galaxy S2 and S3 phones won popular support, posted record sales and swept awards, too.Long story short, Samsung seems to have won both the numbers and the quality game.
- 4 of 5Western markets tapped, new markets want value-for-money?Apple's core market remains the US, UK and other western countries, which have perhaps reached 'saturation point' in terms of smartphone penetration.The newer, untapped markets of India, China and Brazil have demand largely for devices that score high on the 'smart' meter but burn a relatively small hole in their pockets.A smartphone buyer from India also doesn't enjoy the benefits of subsidies offered by telecom service providers.Clearly, a Samsung or a Lumia priced in the mid-Rs 30,000 range appears more feasible to us than anything substantially higher than that.
- 5 of 5'Innovator' Apple now playing 'catch-up', ruins sentiments?Apple's decision to launch affordable versions of its flagship devices has made it appear vulnerable and defensive in the face of increasingly aggressive rival smartphone makers.Margins are most likely coming under pressure and profits might just come down, sending negative signals to investors and pulling share value down.