Apple under Attack from All Angles
Rita is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Imagine Gulliver being pulled down by an army of Lilliputians and being tied down because the Lilliputians are afraid of Gulliver and want to make sure they are not harmed by the giant. That’s exactly what I feel is going on between Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and its competitors. Here, obviously Apple is Gulliver and peers such as Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and many others are the Lilliputians. But, the problem with this story is, the Lilliputians are not at all little. In fact they are as mighty as Apple and they are attacking Apple from all sides. The question is, how long can Apple stay strong?
In my latest blog I talked about Mozilla’s efforts to enter the smartphones space with its Firefox OS offering. Now, it seems Mozilla will have company and Apple will have two more competitors to deal with. First, Amazon, the online retail giant, has decided to make its presence felt in the smartphones segment after its debut in the tablet segment with the Kindle Fire. Second, the smartphone OS MeeGo is back from the relics and there are possibilities that handsets powered by the platform will soon again be available in the market.
Amazon’s new venture
The Kindle Fire, which was positioned as a low-end tablet meant for consumers who wished to have a good user experience, was an instant hit and maybe Amazon will see the same response for its smartphone too. But, in order to compete with the iPhone, Galaxy Nexus or any other device with similar spec, the Amazon phone has to have certain basic standards and can not exactly be a low-end device. The company is planning to bring out a device manufactured by Foxconn, which also manufactures devices for Apple and Microsoft. So, now at the least we can surely expect a decent enough device from Amazon.
Blast from the past
Now let’s come to the second attack that Apple will have to counter. MeeGo, the smartphone OS that Nokia had developed in collaboration with Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) in 2010, is again back after the very embarrassing first round. The Nokia N9 was the first device sporting a MeeGo OS and also would have stayed as the last device had a group of former Nokia employees not created Jolla Ltd., a company that aims to bring out handsets again powered by MeeGo. The company feels the users have seen enough of Android and iOS and its time they tried out something new and different.
Nokia had started work on MeeGo expecting it to be the next generation mobile OS. But sadly, the company lost faith in the OS and finally opted to move on with Microsoft’s Windows Mobile OS. However, it seems the team that was responsible for the development of the platform still have their faith intact in the concept. That is why this time Jolla is moving ahead with MeeGo development, and not Nokia. Now, in the turn of events if MeeGo is able to impress the users and ends up gulping a big portion of the smartphone OS market, Nokia will be left filled only with regrets.
Update: Lawsuit with Samsung
After discussing the series of attacks on Apple, let’s turn to the attacks by Apple. Like we all know, recently Apple got injunctions on sale of Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus approved. Now, there seems to be an improvement in the situation, but for Samsung and not for Apple. Though Apple was successful in getting the injunctions approved for the Galaxy Tab in the U.S., Netherlands and Germany, it failed to get the same from a high court of England and Wales. According to the court, Samsung’s Tablet was not cool enough to be mistaken for the iPad. This ruling must have been a breath of fresh air for Samsung, but nevertheless, it must have been very embarrassing too. Even though Apple lost here, it surely got a huge ego boost out of it.
New things with new possibilities are happening in the tech world. Jolla has picked up what Nokia had rejected and the world’s largest online book seller is up against the world’s largest online search provider and the world’s most admired smartphone maker. No one knows how these events will shape up the future of the smartphones market. But, for sure, these events are surely going to create ripples if not waves.
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