The Size of Apple’s Moat

  • Posted: 03 July 2012 01:43 PM

    Some pundits proclaim that Apple’s technological lead will be overcome by competitor innovations.  But a look at the most recent innovations by Google and Microsoft demonstrate how difficult that will be.

    Take Surface (please!).  Everyone is making a big deal about the keyboard cover, but really, how long will it be until a nearly identical cover is available for the iPad, either from Apple or a third party?

    Take Google Glass (pretty please!)  To the extent there is any merit to this awkward piece of hardware, it’s the camera functions.  How long will it take for a third party to come up with an eyeglass camera peripheral for the iPad/iPhone?  (May happen even before Google Glass comes off the assembly line).

    Apple’s moat is an ever-widening chasm due to branding and consumer acceptance, superior distribution and supply chain, and a surprisingly large first mover advantage, among many other things.  This moat is not going to be breached by even a very cool new technology, unless it is something extraordinarily disruptive.

         
  • Posted: 03 July 2012 01:59 PM #1

    macorange - 03 July 2012 04:43 PM

    Take Surface (please!).  Everyone is making a big deal about the keyboard cover, but really, how long will it be until a nearly identical cover is available for the iPad, either from Apple or a third party?

    I don’t know. Surface is an Ultrabook with a touch screen and a trackpad and a keyboard. I don’t really see what it’s unique selling point is other than adding features to something that really shouldn’t need it. “But it’s a real computer” they shout, “you don’t get what a tablet is supposed to do” I retort.

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  • Posted: 03 July 2012 02:11 PM #2

    macorange - 03 July 2012 04:43 PM

    Everyone is making a big deal about the keyboard cover, but really, how long will it be until a nearly identical cover is available for the iPad, either from Apple or a third party?

    Not long.

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/tablet-accessories/keyboards/ultrathin-keyboard-cover

         
  • Posted: 03 July 2012 10:47 PM #3

    Jordan D - 03 July 2012 05:11 PM
    macorange - 03 July 2012 04:43 PM

    Everyone is making a big deal about the keyboard cover, but really, how long will it be until a nearly identical cover is available for the iPad, either from Apple or a third party?

    Not long.

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/tablet-accessories/keyboards/ultrathin-keyboard-cover

    I have that keyboard. Works well, but Microsoft’s new one is much thinner and lighter.

         
  • Posted: 04 July 2012 01:42 AM #4

    macorange - 04 July 2012 01:47 AM
    Jordan D - 03 July 2012 05:11 PM
    macorange - 03 July 2012 04:43 PM

    Everyone is making a big deal about the keyboard cover, but really, how long will it be until a nearly identical cover is available for the iPad, either from Apple or a third party?

    Not long.

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/tablet-accessories/keyboards/ultrathin-keyboard-cover

    I have that keyboard. Works well, but Microsoft’s new one is much thinner and lighter.

    True, but it isn’t clear whether or not it works yet.

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  • Posted: 04 July 2012 01:55 AM #5

    macorange - 03 July 2012 04:43 PM

    Apple’s moat is an ever-widening chasm due to branding and consumer acceptance, superior distribution and supply chain, and a surprisingly large first mover advantage, among many other things.  This moat is not going to be breached by even a very cool new technology, unless it is something extraordinarily disruptive.

    Apple (along with the attributes you describe) has added significantly to it’s moat as the leading purveyor of “cool new technology”.  Few give it the credit it deserves but there are many instances of it being the primary source of never seen tech in this arena.  Gorilla Glass was sitting on Cornings shelf gathering cobwebs until Steve came along.  The aluminum enclosures of the laptops and air are yet to be replicated.  The break away power cord.  Built in batteries.  Glass track pads.  Scroll wheels.  Anyone seen a laptop like the new Retina MacBook Pro?  You can probably tell it’s a bit of a button for me.  wink

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  • Posted: 06 July 2012 07:38 PM #6

    BillH - 04 July 2012 04:42 AM

    True, but it isn’t clear whether or not it works yet.

    That’s not true; it’s perfectly clear that it does not work yet.

         
  • Posted: 06 July 2012 07:44 PM #7

    Over 80% of customers with one iOS device will buy another one.

    Over 90 of households with 2 or more iOS devices will buy another one.

    Moat?

    Yep, full of gators

         
  • Posted: 06 July 2012 07:54 PM #8

    greedyn00b - 06 July 2012 10:38 PM
    BillH - 04 July 2012 04:42 AM

    True, but it isn’t clear whether or not it works yet.

    That’s not true; it’s perfectly clear that it does not work yet.

    Ha! I’m desperately trying to click the “thumbs up” button. Will have to settle for typing “+1” instead. Very funny.

         
  • Posted: 06 July 2012 09:59 PM #9

    Jordan D - 03 July 2012 05:11 PM
    macorange - 03 July 2012 04:43 PM

    Everyone is making a big deal about the keyboard cover, but really, how long will it be until a nearly identical cover is available for the iPad, either from Apple or a third party?

    Not long.

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/tablet-accessories/keyboards/ultrathin-keyboard-cover

    The most expensive iPad (US$829) plus Logitech’s Ultrathin keyboard/cover is ~US$928.00. How in the hell is MSFT going to compete against that combination with the “Surface”?  MSFT is not going to be able to compete on price alone. If they could all those Android attempts would be much more successful. Late to market, and without a significant price advantage, the “Surface” is compelled to be better. Does a Microsoft branded product make you think ‘better’?

    For a host of reasons, particularly the analogy of a horse designed by a committee, the “Surface” is DOA.

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