Steve Lohr posits that IBM is the model for companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google to follow:
In recent years Apple has been unmatched in applying its core
assets to new markets. Its hallmark skills are the intuitive
usability of its software and the inspired design of its hardware
— talents long appreciated by loyal Mac users. Yet in the PC
industry, Apple machines are still dwarfed by those running
Dwarfed in unit sale numbers, but number-one in profit share.
Apple looks to be riding a money train for some time. Its current
model is focused on selling its stylish devices; the company’s
online software and marketplace (for digital media and mobile
apps) are mainly servants of the hardware, pleasing consumers so
they are more apt to buy iPods, iPhones and iPads.
Yet Apple’s product designs, however impressive, will eventually
be mimicked and come under price pressure, just as the mainframe
did, predicts Michael A. Cusumano, professor at the Sloan School
of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In
time, he says, Apple may want to borrow a page from I.B.M. and
rely increasingly on software and services for its livelihood.
I wonder if the professor thinks companies like, say, Rolex and BMW ought to shift to “software and services” too? I don’t think this guy understands Apple at all.
★ Monday, 20 June 2011