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On the iPhone and Apple's Meteoric Rise To the Top

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the seems-to-have-worked-out-well-for-them dept.

Iphone 317

zacharye writes "Friday marks five years since the world first got its hands on a smartphone that would turn the industry on its head. In five short years, Apple went from the ground floor to being the most profitable company in the smartphone business by a staggering margin. Apple and Samsung — two companies that weren't even on the smartphone industry's map a few years ago — are now the only two major global vendors making money, and the split was estimated at 80/20 in Apple's favor last quarter. That's 80% of smartphone industry profits in less than five years with just five different smartphone models under its belt during that span."

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317 comments

Sports Announcer Voice. (5, Funny)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about 2 years ago | (#40498263)

Alright gentlemen we have a fine flame war in store for you tonight.

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (5, Funny)

TankSpanker04 (1266400) | about 2 years ago | (#40498331)

I'll start: Steve Jobs is God

Your move.

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498363)

Linus Torvald is the one true god, hethen.

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498523)

Enjoy your beige khaki pants.

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#40498577)

I'll start: Steve Jobs is God

Then God is dead?

Your side is obvious (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40498801)

Only Apple Haters care about Steve Jobs.

The rest of us just like functional devices.

The rest of us realize Jobs didn't really matter, except that he had a talent for creating teams with amazing people.

Not to belittle that talent, but since his team is the reason Apple succeeds Apple will do fine without him.

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40499059)

I'll start: Steve Jobs is God

Your move.

I'll raise you one:

"God is dead" - Friedrich Nietzsche

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (1)

Naatach (574111) | about 2 years ago | (#40498369)

I'll bring the marshmallows. Who's got the weenies?

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40498395)

Who's got the weenies?

All the Apple Fanbois, they are the weenies.

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498425)

Who's got the weenies?

All the Apple Fanbois, they are the weenies.

Look at the spirit in this article's competitors! Already came out swinging right out of the gate! We're in for a great show tonight, ladies and gentlemen!

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40498455)

Two cellphone manufacturers enter!

One cellphone leaves!

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (3, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 2 years ago | (#40498765)

Two cellphone manufacturers enter!

RIM takes one on the chin, and is down for the count!

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40498939)

More like "RIM takes on on the chin, and is down for the count, and doctors are confirming, RIM is dead. Oh the humanity! Will anyone buy RIM's boxing shorts?"

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (4, Interesting)

narcc (412956) | about 2 years ago | (#40499061)

RIM is in MUCH better shape than Apple was at their low. They have a brilliant new OS, solid top-of-the-line hardware, and are still the only viable option where mobile security is important.

Sony has posted how many quarterly losses lately?

The last quarter was their first loss since the idiotic "RIM is dead" meme started (oddly enough, when they were still the #1 smartphone vendor). Their user-base is still growing rapidly. RIM is about as far from dead as you can get.

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40499181)

LOLWUT?

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 2 years ago | (#40498515)

Wonder if they could set the "Slashdot green" to get "hotter" as the discussion goes on?

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (1, Redundant)

schlachter (862210) | about 2 years ago | (#40498553)

Anyone can rise to the top with the right product at the right time. Staying on top is much harder. It will be interesting to see how Apple innovates from here...and how long they can hold on to their position.

Re:Sports Announcer Voice. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498775)

I'll start.

Since when do /.'rs know what a sports announcer sounds like?

Android flames best.. the batteries come out (1, Funny)

swschrad (312009) | about 2 years ago | (#40498327)

Apple fanbois like me can't get the batteries out to make them sail across the backyard from the bonfire pit.

Re:Android flames best.. the batteries come out (1)

present_arms (848116) | about 2 years ago | (#40498367)

Yes you can, only difference is that there is an ipad attached to the battery :)

Re:Android flames best.. the batteries come out (1)

Metabolife (961249) | about 2 years ago | (#40498865)

On a serious note: It's actually pretty easy to pop off the back and change out the battery. Just a thin piece a plastic and a pentalobe screw driver you can get for a couple bucks.

Re:Android flames best.. the batteries come out (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 years ago | (#40499103)

And if you want Apple to do it for you it's a $79 cost, which includes the new battery.

Re:Android flames best.. the batteries come out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40499241)

You must be new here...

No surprise. (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40498349)

Steve Jobs and his team made a damn fine piece of technology: A screen large enough for web-surfing & an easy-to-use touch interface. Plus people were already thrilled with the best-selling iPod, so stepping up to an iPhone was a natural next step.

In other news: I was just reading this morning that phone sales are down for everyone (except Apple apparently). Overall retail sales in the EU have dropped 7%. Sounds like we're headed for great recession part 2. :-|

Parent: Closest thing to a real analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498503)

'nuff said.

'just an industy analyst,

Everything else I've seen here on Slashdot - two bit opinions based on nothing.

If I really knew the TRUTH, I wouldn't a dumb fuck analyst but a billionaire myself. But when I see a decent analysis, I know it.

Re:No surprise. (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40498705)

"Steve Jobs and his team made a damn fine piece of technology"
Copied. they Copied it from the LG Prada.

Re:No surprise. (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 years ago | (#40498761)

Hmmm. Let's test that statement. Can you tell me which part of the Prada they copied? Because frankly, those two phones had nothing to do with one another.

Re:No surprise. (4, Funny)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#40499101)

Enough alike that I doubt an IP lawyer could tell the difference from across a courtroom.

Re:No surprise. (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40498825)

Since the LG Prada was announced December 2006, and the iPhone was shown by Steve just three weeks later, it seems unlikely they copied. It was parallel development like how both Elisha Grey and Bell developed the phone in parallel.

Re:No surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498977)

The LG Prada was apparently shown off earlier as reportedly it won a prize for its design in September 2006. [applematters.com]

Re:No surprise. (2)

Americano (920576) | about 2 years ago | (#40499235)

And I bet Apple has functional test models that look pretty startlingly like the finished iPhone that predate September 2006. If there was any merit to the "they copied it" thing, LG would have already put Apple through the wringer in court, and they would have won.

Re:No surprise. (1)

oxdas (2447598) | about 2 years ago | (#40499069)

Where did you see the news? Goldman Sachs cut their growth targets for smartphones on Monday, but they still believe the market will grow 38% in 2012. They didn't have anything negative to say about either Apple or Samsung (unlike the downgrade they gave RIM).

Additionally, Samsung announced on Monday that the Galaxy SIII is their best selling smartphone ever and estimated sales of 10 million by the end of July (although they are having a components shortage right now due to demand).

I am guessing the news was including dumbphone sales.

I agree with you that the OS for the iPhone was a big innovation compared to the rest of the market. It really allowed them to build a strong app repository (something other companies had tried and failed).

Re:No surprise. (5, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#40499203)

People forget this now, but the iPhone did not support apps when it launched. Jobs didn't want third-party code on the iPhone, and tried to assuage the demand with web-based APIs for accessing phone hardware. App support was only added over a year later with iOS 2, coinciding with the launch of the iPhone 3G, as Apple and Jobs conceded to the inevitable.

Re:No surprise. (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40499221)

I was just reading this morning that phone sales are down for everyone (except Apple apparently).

What were you reading, a blog written by your sister? (IOW, link please.) For the rest of us, the situation seems to be developing as you would expect, contrary to widespread reality distortion from Apple. Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 26.0 percent market share. Google Android continued to grow its share in the U.S. smartphone market, accounting for 51 percent of smartphone subscribers, while Apple captured more than 30 percent. [comscore.com]

five models (5, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 2 years ago | (#40498383)

with just five different smartphone models under its belt during that span."

That's a significant part of the reason for it, right there.

Re:five models (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 years ago | (#40498435)

with just five different smartphone models under its belt during that span."

That's a significant part of the reason for it, right there.

I don't have one, so I really don't know. But aren't they five versions of the same model?

Re:five models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498505)

They're all iPhones, but there are different versions of each of the models, based on size only originally, but since then they've done variations for carrier (ie AT&T vs. Verizon/Sprint).

Re:five models (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 2 years ago | (#40498573)

They're referring to iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S. Those are their basic models, each with upgraded specs from the last. Each came in different capacities (i.e. 16gb and 32 gb), but there's only really 5 different models, with their respective size and carrier variations.

Re:five models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498683)

Yes/no. You're getting quite semantic.

Re:five models (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#40498819)

Right; 100%. With an iPhone there is a dead simple choice; I'm rich / prioritize this - take the latest model, pay a reasonable amount. Poor / sensible - take the older one still on sale. All of them are still delivering a platform on which most of the features ("apps") will work except where tied to some very specific new feature (e.g. siri to voice recognition). If you want to see how much other phone companies don't get this, look only at the wannabe competitors who are releasing new phones unable to run skype where previous models have been able to. Even Android is barely succeeding at getting this even with Google continually and determinedly pushing it.

The real truth is that the brilliance of Apple was in sacrificing market share for the ability to make decisions independent of the mobile operators. This meant that there was only one company (Apple its self) putting it's own interests above the consumers and even that company is pretty much aware of the danger and so only does it "tastefully".

This is what Microsoft is fighting for with Skype - the ability to bypass the mobile operators and make them irrelevant. I don't think they will succeed, but once the mobile operators realise the risk I think it will make Apple and Google's bargaining power much larger.

Re:five models (3, Insightful)

swb (14022) | about 2 years ago | (#40498885)

That's a huge reason. The model simplicity (which is probably closer to 2 models when you factor in that the 3 models and 4 models share the basic case/form factor) is a huge win for consumers because it makes it easier for Apple to continue to support them with iOS updates AND for consumers to own them because they need to buy fewer accessories (my ProClip car holder still works with my 4s as it did with my 3gs).

It's also simpler for consumers to wrap their mind around -- I wouldn't know what fucking Android phone to buy if you put a gun to my head. There's too many and too many from even one maker, and they seem (at least from the marketing background noise) to come out with new ones continuously.

Re:five models (4, Interesting)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 2 years ago | (#40499133)

They do have far too many models, and there's a new flagship every 4-6 months at most manufacturers. Those flagships are completely different on each carrier, too.

On one hand, it promotes competition - Android phone specs are improving at a far better rate than the iPhone line. On the other, it makes the marketplace a total clusterfuck, so consumers have no idea what they're getting.

One is an extreme singular focus, the other is an extremely competitive marketplace. If anything, this is a good case study of those extremes that can likely be applied to other industries as well. Too much high profile competition clouds the market, while too little ends up removing freedom in the name of centralization.

Re:five models (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#40499229)

The accessory market is the place that iPhones seriously kick Android's butt. Most accessories require that you pick which little piece of plastic you put in the cradle, and it is ready to go for any iPhone or iPod Touch. Android has the benefit of choice, but that choice makes accessories less prevelent. This could be fixed with NFC being used to initiate a bluetooth connection. Specify an inductive charger, and the different shapes for Android would become a moot point. Since that hasn't happened yet, Apple wins on the accessories front.

As for which phone to buy? That's easy. Go to your carrier and pick any phone that is priced from the middle up. It will be a great phone. If you want it to be as good or better than an Apple phone, just pick the device with the Nexus name on it.

Ah yes, 5 years ago... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498411)

That's when I bought my unlocked Nokia smartphone (E90), which did more than the iPhone (web, VOIP, GPS, video calling etc) and had a real keyboard to boot. Still works, too (it's on its second battery pack).

Re:Ah yes, 5 years ago... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498533)

Yeah, but you're E90 is a pain in the ass to use. I had my share of pre-iphone smartphones and frankly, they all were lacking.
Sure, you could surf the web.. But your web browser would be slow, crashy, and would only display a few handfuls of websites with any degree of useablity. It was more a novelty than anything useful.

Enter iphone. I picked it up, browsed to two web pages, and was instantly sold. Smooth scrolling, fast non-brainded rendering. Touch based input that actually worked. Tilting the screen to change orientation? Pinch zooming? It was like black magic. Everyone I showed it to was flored.

Sure these lists of features were available in other, obscure places before. But never had they been put together in a package that was worth using.

Re:Ah yes, 5 years ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498987)

Yeppers. Excellent hardware, even despite the idiosyncratic OS very worthy, and a superb e-book reader and emailer as well as providing a WONDERFUL audio quality.

Meteoric? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498413)

Wouldn't that mean it came hurling down to earth and usually burned to nothing in the atmosphere?

Stop Saying "Meteoric"!! (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#40498431)

"Meteoric" brings to mind "meteor" which is something that falls down very fast and tends to burn up in the sky. (Yeah, I get that "meteor" as in "meteorology" and the notion that meteors are "fast"... it's the other properties of the word that I find horribly misplaced.)

Sorry, but it seems "meteoric rise" has been used a lot lately and it's almost as if people are being tested to see how stupid they are.

Re:Stop Saying "Meteoric"!! (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 2 years ago | (#40498559)

It's been used for quite some time. Language doesn't have to be completely literal. Chill out because the term isn't going away.

Re:Stop Saying "Meteoric"!! (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#40498569)

It's not 'stupid' as such, it's short-sighted. At some point a lot of people are going to realize that they themselves want to have the final work on what runs on their phone. Both Windows and OSX are headed the opposite way though, and will probably also be locked down before people realize they've lost control. Yeah, sure they'll have developer licences, but it really goes beyond that. Many people fought long and hard to keep computing open, and a lot of ground is being lost.

Re:Stop Saying "Meteoric"!! (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#40498631)

I just realized that you meant being tested regarding the word 'meteoric'. I pass on that one, but fail overall. I thought you were saying iPhone users were stupid.

Re:Stop Saying "Meteoric"!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498763)

You keep holding out hope.

What is it you can do with your phone that I can't with my iphone?

Re:Stop Saying "Meteoric"!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498617)

Studies show there has been a meteoric rise in stupid news articles.

Re:Stop Saying "Meteoric"!! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40498739)

Brilliant and quick.
Really, you should do less looking at others and calling them stupid, and more looking into the mirror.

Re:Stop Saying "Meteoric"!! (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#40498773)

Sorry, but it seems "meteoric rise" has been used a lot lately and it's almost as if people are being tested to see how stupid they are.

Actually, it's a test of how quickly some people jump to erroneous conclusions without bothering to check if there is a reasonable explanation they simply don't know about. We could call it the "true knowledge test for males between the ages of 15 and 30".

The phrase "meteoric rise" has been in use at least since 1865 [worldwidewords.org] - and, given the context, it makes perfect sense.

Re:Stop Saying "Meteoric"!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498831)

I keep reading it as mediocre.

Re:Stop Saying "Meteoric"!! (2)

Moridineas (213502) | about 2 years ago | (#40498869)

The word meteor comes to us from ancient Greek, with some kind of meaning of lifting up. Obviously the original etymological meaning is irrelevant to users of the modern phrase, but it's perhaps ironic that the meaning fits.

The phrase "meteoric rise" has been used at least since the 1860s in print, and probably earlier than that in speech. Today we may know that meteors are drifting chunks of rock that burn up in the atmosphere or crash to the ground, but what about 200 years ago? What did (at least most) people know about meteors? They knew what they saw. Remember that night skies looked very different 200 years ago. Meteors were flashes of light that appeared out of nowhere, raced across the sky, and were gone. Inexplicable.

Thus the phrase "meteoric rise" traditionally (I would say "always" but I think you might argue this point? it certainly in common usage implies all these things) had insinuations of the rise being ephemeral. A "meteoric rise" is unexpected, fast, and ephemeral. Two out of three ain't bad for describing the iPhone; we'll have to see about the ephemeral part!

So no, your assumption is basically completely wrong. What did you mean by "it's almost as if people are being tested to see how stupid they are"? I'm really not sure what you're saying,

Will it continue? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498491)

I wonder if this will continue for Apple.

iOS 6 is a yawner. Yes, what we need -- more facebook integration. Already, there is a backlash against FB. The latest Android announcement had some cool items in it including another method of protecting against piracy that does not depend on if a device is not rooted.

The Retina Display Macbook Pro has a cool screen, but cannot be repaired or upgraded.

Mountain Lion?

Jobs's RDF is gone.

What Apple needs to do is start figuring out how to get themselves enterprise-friendly without losing their consumer market. Enterprises buy stuff in such large chunks that a few good contracts are a lot better than lines around the building of hipsters.

First, redo the Mac Pro. Make a chassis that works like a tower, but can have a rack drawer attached so it can be slammed into a standard enclosure. Offer not just 8Gbs FC cards, but NICs with enough packet offloading power so FCoE is workable.

Second, make something like BES but for managing iPhones. Yes, Exchange can do a lot, but having a dedicated policy management server that can handle data transmissions, perhaps even backups of phone devices would bring a lot of revenue.

Third, the ARM processor supports worlds. In this day of BYOD, offer iPhones and iPads with a "work" partition and a "home" partition. That way, the employee only needs to type in the long password when accessing the "work" side, and the Exchange erase only blows that out. It also allows for apps to only see a subset of data, so the FB app isn't able to access work contacts.

Fourth, make an antipiracy mechanism similar to Google's LVL or new encryption mechanism in Jelly Bean. That way, apps don't have to rely on the fact a device is not jailbroken. As an added bonus, more money can be spent on features, not anti-jailbreak BS.

Fifth, make a business friendly Mac desktop that can push the Dells and Compaqs out of the offices. Take an iMac, toss the camera and mic, and sell that as a business PC with service plans to follow. Lots of cash there to be made, as most companies would switch to Macs if they could, only for the artistic value of the machines.

Re:Will it continue? (-1)

LandGator (625199) | about 2 years ago | (#40498633)

Kindly mod up as INSIGHTFUL

Re:Will it continue? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498855)

Oh yeah mod that thing up.

Some bozo on Slashdot is laying out a plan for what the most successful technology on the planet needs to do to stay competitive. This, the home of "ESR surprised by wealth", broadcasts the message of some self absorbed nerd who thinks anyone cares about the repairability of their laptop, and it is considered Insightful.

Broadcasts it Apple who is certainly not combing the pages of this site for guidance. To a company that is envied by every other company on the planet. The brightest minds in business are right now wondering "how in the absolute hell do they do what they do?" How is it that they generate so much buzz over their products that they get free front page mention from the most read outlets all over the world? How can they make such enormous margins? Why are their retail stores slam full of people from open to close? How are their customer satisfaction ratings so incredible?

Well stop wondering business world, here is some anonymous idiot handing you the keys to success right here.

Re:Will it continue? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40498849)

Apple is actually alienating some of its most influential users, the ones with the big fancy machines that other Apple owners fap to. Macbook Pro is decidedly un-pro what with all the stuff you can't replace or upgrade. Mac Pro is not as expandable or upgradable as a real PC. Neither one is "professional". You can expect them to make the mac pro worse, not better.

Re:Will it continue? (3, Informative)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 2 years ago | (#40499123)

Mac Pro is not as expandable or upgradable as a real PC.

Wait, what? Have you ever used a Mac Pro?

By "not as expandable or upgradeable" do you mean, "just as expandable and upgradable and a lot less bloody knuckling"?

Re:Will it continue? (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 2 years ago | (#40498929)

This is such a glorious example of how Slashdot readers just don't get it sometimes. Let's see:

Yes, what we need -- more facebook integration.

Yes. There are literally 100's of millions of Facebook users and I suspect they will happily take more Facebook integration with their phone. Just because you (or many Slashdotters) hate Facebook doesn't mean that the vast (VAST) majority of people out there also hate it.

What Apple needs to do is start figuring out how to get themselves enterprise-friendly without losing their consumer market. Enterprises buy stuff in such large chunks that a few good contracts are a lot better than lines around the building of hipsters.

Absolutely right. Except the iPhone is, by a wide margin, the most successful smartphone on the market making Apple the most successful company in the world while RIM, with it's focus on enterprise, is nearly dead. So maybe not so right after all.

Seriously, Slashdotters have such a strong sense of "I know how to do it right and they clearly don't so let me spell it out for you..." Um, Apple is _THE_ most successful company on the planet, by a wide margin. They have figured out how to do it. Perhaps your roadmap to success isn't quite as good as you think it is given that your roadmap to success sounds a HELL of a lot like "focus on enterprise like RIM". You know, RIM, the company that is desperately cutting overhead in an effort to save their company from utter ruin because that's where they're headed.

Look, Apple isn't perfect and there are things that they can do better in various ways but I think they've proven, beyond any possible shadow of a doubt, that their approach works a hell of a lot better than your suggested approach. Focusing on consumers is a roadmap to success. Getting consumers behind your product gets your product into businesses. They've proven this. Why Slashdotters cannot see this is a mystery to me.

Re:Will it continue? (1)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | about 2 years ago | (#40498941)

First, redo the Mac Pro. Make a chassis that works like a tower, but can have a rack drawer attached so it can be slammed into a standard enclosure. Offer not just 8Gbs FC cards, but NICs with enough packet offloading power so FCoE is workable.
All apple needs to do is include 2 thunderbolt ports, each on separate busses. Who needs FC when you have thunderbolt? Add USB 3 and new graphics cards; that's all I could ask for as a pro right now. There are so many thunderbolt video and audio devices coming out, it's sickening it's not on the mac pro yet.

Re:Will it continue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498983)

What Apple needs to do is start figuring out how to get themselves enterprise-friendly without losing their consumer market.
 
RIM has already done that for them. You've been asleep.
 
  Fifth, make a business friendly Mac desktop that can push the Dells and Compaqs out of the offices.
 
It's called the MacMini. Again, you've been asleep.
 
  That way, apps don't have to rely on the fact a device is not jailbroken. As an added bonus, more money can be spent on features, not anti-jailbreak BS.
 
The idea is to keep them locked down. The real power of Steve Jobs is knowing when to say "No." If you want a tinkerer's gadget, go elsewhere. That's basically what Jobs was saying and the point so many people still miss because it's not screamed from the roof tops. SMH.

Re:Will it continue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40499009)

You are suggesting that Apple puts huge resources into an enterprise business, and then spell out how to do it. The part your missing is why. What is in it for Apple to work hard at doing something they aren't good at? They are good at making high end personal hardware with simplified control schemes, what part of that translates to being able to produce work-horse, cost effective products? Their other primary skill appears to be upselling the fashion conscious more hardware than than they use or could need for the life of the product. These two niche's have made Apple hugely profitable and will continue to, unless they screw it up blowing money and time on a market they have no business entering. I would think the people who run these companies would be smarter than that but Microsoft is trying to compete with the iPad at the same price point, so who knows.

Re:Will it continue? (1, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 2 years ago | (#40499067)

What Apple needs to do is start figuring out how to get themselves enterprise-friendly without losing their consumer market.

In engineering, EVERYTHING is about tradeoffs. You simply can't have a good enterprise experience AND a good consumer experience, so Apple (thankfully for me as a consumer) has leaned towards consumer. Sure there are some positive aspects of the consumer brand that could be incorporated into the enterprise environment, but for the most part, the two are mutually exclusive. This is why, in my opinion, Windows + x86 sucks as a consumer product. The money Microsoft makes from businesses is way more than their measly $300 here and there for Windows upgrades and Microsoft Office for the few dolts who haven't figured out you can be quite productive with a computer that uses neither.

A good example would be the continuum of security vs. usability. Somebody who thinks security is important, probably devalues usability, because you can't really have both.

Re:Will it continue? (1)

noh8rz4 (2667697) | about 2 years ago | (#40499209)

Mod down as lame and incorrect. Parent is suggesting that apple "take it to the next level" by abandoning the most successful business plan on earth and becoming the next HP. Success, for sure!

Whether you like Apple or not... (1)

Zrako (1306145) | about 2 years ago | (#40498509)

The sales and profit figures for Apple in the smart phone industry are pretty impressive. I'm surprised other companies haven't adopted a similar business model with a limited number of phones.

Re:Whether you like Apple or not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498769)

I'm surprised other companies haven't adopted a similar business model with a limited number of phones.

I think most of us can agree that the OS is more important than the hardware when choosing a smartphone. Without any other iOS phone manufacturers, Apple doesn't really have an incentive to produce more phones. Apple's phone will always be the best iOS phone. Android manufacturers do not have this luxery.

Daft Punk, Not Kanye (5, Informative)

skinlayers (621258) | about 2 years ago | (#40498513)

"Better, faster, stronger," Apple could have easily lifted those Kanye West lyrics for their press release announcing the coming of the iPhone 3GS in 2009.

*facepalm* Sorry, I know its a minor detail, but Daft Punk originally wrote "Better, faster, harder, stronger", and Kanye sampled it (with permission) for his song. They have a cameo in his video, which is an awesome tribute to Akira for those that haven't seen it.

*watches Daft Hands and Daft Bodies on youtube*

Re:Daft Punk, Not Kanye (1)

Zrako (1306145) | about 2 years ago | (#40498637)

"Better, faster, stronger," Apple could have easily lifted those Kanye West lyrics for their press release announcing the coming of the iPhone 3GS in 2009.

*facepalm* Sorry, I know its a minor detail, but Daft Punk originally wrote "Better, faster, harder, stronger", and Kanye sampled it (with permission) for his song. They have a cameo in his video, which is an awesome tribute to Akira for those that haven't seen it.

*watches Daft Hands and Daft Bodies on youtube*

Thank you. Daft Punk FTW

Re:Daft Punk, Not Kanye (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498993)

Attributing credit not to the creator but to the one that made it popular.
Seems fitting for an article about Apple/iPhone.

It's the software (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498555)

It's the software, Apple's is better. Hardware isn't so important.

Not so fast, bunky... (1)

LandGator (625199) | about 2 years ago | (#40498615)

Samsung may have been under _your_ radar but they made some darned nice PalmPhones, e.g., the SHG-i300.

It's not complicated (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498649)

It's funny how people fight over which smartphone is superior. If people from the past (even 10 years) could see people name-calling over who has what smartphone, they would think it absurd.

Let me make it simple for you. Me touch phone. It do stuff. Me make phone call. Me play game. Nice blinky lights.

It's no more complicated than that people.

Re:It's not complicated (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | about 2 years ago | (#40499021)

This is technology. There can only be one, and when there is, everything else must be branding as an x-killer.

5 years in Journalism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498793)

While Apple rose to the top of the smart phone market in 5 years, in those same years all the real journalist and writers have disappeared and now we just get shitty articles by want-to-be bloggers. Can we start a duplicate slashdot clone that filters based on if the article is actually interesting and informative rather than a flamebait? One interesting quote by a Nokia exec 5 years ago.

I'm butthurt... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40498853)

...and I post on Slashdot!

It is all marketing (5, Insightful)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 2 years ago | (#40498913)

I am a phone geek. The cell phone that I like the best. Actually the best cell phone ever made, in my opinion is the Nokia N9. Now dead, no longer made, it's corpse used to make shitty Lumia's. It could have been the 3rd leg in the cell phone triad.

But, it isn't about technology. The people that buy cell phones aren't the real customers, but the companies that suck user information and sell it.

The Nokia N9 is like the 2002 BMW E39 M5. the last of the great road cars where you could actually shift it, and trurning off the traction control really did just that.

So, long Nokia. The N9 could have been a stellar hit.

Re:It is all marketing (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 2 years ago | (#40499175)

Bad car analogy (but great car that BMW)...I've been driving for 26 years, and have never owned an automatic, to include my two current BMWs (1-series, 3-series wagon). Are you suggesting BMW no longer makes manual transmissions, or BMW no longer makes great cars?

easy to answer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40499065)

Steve Jobs sold his soul to become the biggest company ever to exist.... as well as giving a percentage of each of his users' souls... ... ... ...

Meteor is more like a whiffle ball (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#40499075)

Apple only has 30% of the Mobile OS market share [bgr.com] compared to Android at 51%. If you want to go off a different graph [droid-life.com] Apple is at 29% so it's still pretty close despite two separate studies.

Furthermore, the top mobile OEMs are Samsung and LG. Apple is bringing in a measly measly 14% [vimg.net]. Yes, Apple took no time at all in getting profitable in the last five years, but that's in stark contrast to global market dominance where things aren't so hot for Apple. I know it's hard to fathom but the rest of the world (not the US) doesn't seem to prefer the Apple glitz.

didnt even have devkit the first 9 months (3, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 years ago | (#40499153)

I remember hackers jail breaking the thing to expose the underlying Mac UNIX. Opening it up to 3rd party developers was an uncertain but profitable move.
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