26 March 2014

Core of the Apple

In a piece about Facebook's Oculus buy, one Richard Beales states, for the first time I can recall seeing from a mainstream pundit, Apple's situation. I'll take credit for pointing this out some time ago:
... what Apple's iPhone did for smartphones: combine available technologies into a package that's both user-friendly and a revelation for those that try it.

Recall, Apple had cornered the supply of capacitive screens?
Apple has access to new component technology months or years before its rivals. This allows it to release groundbreaking products that are actually impossible to duplicate. Remember how for up to a year or so after the introduction of the iPhone, none of the would-be iPhone clones could even get a capacitive touchscreen to work as well as the iPhone's? It wasn't just the software - Apple simply has access to new components earlier, before anyone else in the world can gain access to it in mass quantities to make a consumer device. One extraordinary example of this is the aluminum machining technology used to make Apple's laptops - this remains a trade secret that Apple continues to have exclusive access to and allows them to make laptops with (for now) unsurpassed strength and lightness.

Apple, in order to start a growth spurt while iPhone goes into global replacement mode (and while carriers, at one and the same time, move to no contract, no phone, plans) has to A) figure out which of the existing platforms it can bling up and B) corner the bling-ish hardware for said device. One has to wonder whether it was really Steve who divined the various products?

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