Another week, another Apple obit

21 March 2013 by Steve Blum
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Actually, I’m waiting for the new Star Wars movie.

Traffic in major U.S. cities is snarled as lines of hopeful buyers camp out in front of AT&T stores and spill into the street, awaiting tomorrow’s launch of the Blackberry Z10. Okay, I haven’t actually seen it, but based on CEO Thorsten Heins’ declaration of victory over Apple, it must be happening. What else could explain his exuberance? He doesn’t seem like the sort to dabble in hallucinogens.

He was building on last week’s lugubrious Apple speculation, following the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S-IV. He should have checked the Apple Death Knell Counter. It’s an old story.

Apple has never dominated a market sector for long, and doesn’t need to. Its smart phone and tablet market share will settle into a range where Apple can maximize the profits made possible by its ability to charge a premium for its design and integration. Apple has never tried to win over the long term on volume.

Whether it’s computers, tablets or phones, Apple’s biggest strength is also its biggest weakness: it makes both the operating system and the hardware, and you can’t get one without the other. Particularly since scraping bottom in 1997, Apple has figured out how to capitalize on that strength and minimize the weakness.

Blackberry has the same problem but hasn’t figured it out. Heins thinks Apple is over the hill? I wouldn’t be surprised if CEO Tim Cook had a picture of a Blackberry on his office wall with the caption “there but for the grace of Jobs go I”.

Take Heins’ comments, replace Apple with Blackberry and you get a picture that he would find uncomfortably close to reality.