Intersecting Minds: Education, Business and Technology at the North Carolina State Jenkins Graduate School of Management

Apple as Dinosaur? | October 7, 2009

There’s an interesting article up at BNet by Erik Sherman discussing the underlying roots of the competition between Apple and Google, and why the former should fear the latter. Sherman’s basic point is that Apple’s business model represents the old, “vendor-centric computing devices” that are centrally-owned and distributed. Meanwhile, Google’s business model represents the new, “breaking the bonds between machine, operating system, application, and data.”

This is a fascinating new paradigm through which we can view the competition between two technology giants. The future of computing is certainly driving towards a more open source model. As Sherman puts it:

If the underlying point of computing is to enable people to solve problems of various kinds more easily, then solutions want ever greater flexibility. This is a sort of organized entropy, a veritable force of history and economics, if not nature. Hardware turns into a commodity and the services and information companies can offer will become king.

That’s a strange concept to toss around when I walk into the library at CBS and see more than 50% of students sporting MacBook and MacBook pros. It’s rather hard to fathom Apple as heading the way of the dinosaur. But how long will it be until Google starts shoving Apple out of its core competencies: quality computing devices and one of the most impressive branding campaigns of all time?

Here are some questions I would have for Sherman though: When do people stop buying iPhones and laptops simply because they work great, and are “cool”? How far would the price of computing have to drop for you to pass up on the hardware and go straight for the information and communication? Won’t there always be a market for the gadget?



  1. Apple has already been through this cycle once. Recall the Mac, it was indisputably the best personal computer on the market. The soft ware was great etc. But Apple needed to maintain control of everything that went on it, ala the iPhone app store. Microsoft ate their lunch. This time around it looks like Google is going to eat Apple’s lunch.

    Comment by spex100 — October 31, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

    • huh?

      Comment by Whats that again — November 1, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

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