Innovation Insufficiency

Is owning 95% of a market enough? Taking in a number of market share estimates, Apple iPads have about 5% of the potential U.S. market for pads/slates/tablets (or as the wags at The Register prefer to call them, Fondle Slabs).  This is based on current P.C. market penetrations (north of 76% of households) and the estimated U.S. deployment of iPads.  Thus, the green field of the slab market is currently wide open. Which explains why several million Android slabs were introduced at CES last week. Market mechanics are based on many things, with technical innovation being a misleading indicator.  Apple has always been an innovator, but innovation in and of itself is insufficient.  Apple invented the PDA market with the Newton, which sold four or five units.  Pure innovation, but not only was it ahead of the market, it was also poorly marketed.  Alternately the iPad was very innovative and … Continue reading

Paranoia Pays

Steve Jobs needs to call Andy Grove ASAP. Groves, one of Intel’s founders, was very clear on the concept of paranoia in the tech biz.  Perhaps being Hungarian and thus too well acquainted with Soviet oppression, Andy learned paranoia at a young age.  But he refined his paranoiac inclinations being in the technology business, a war zone where corporate death comes quickly and painfully.  Like a battlefield where every soldier is out for himself, nobody and no company are safe from competition. Not even Apple. Wildly popular and cult-like, the iPhone and iPad made indelible marks in the consumer electronics space.  Though pads and smartphones existed before Jobs took on the job, Apple refined the product category and advanced the expectations of the market.  Combined brilliance in product design and marketing led to worldwide buzz, techno lust and a stock price that makes members of the House of Saud blink … Continue reading