IHS has constructed a report that shines light on Apple in a remarkably favourable way: it claims that Apple is solidifying its hegemony over the chip market, that it is a crucial company to the industry in the long term. Apple will “dramatically” outperform Samsung, soon, allowing it to be the world’s top OEM semiconductor buyer. But, according to a top chip analyst, this is hokum.
The IHS report claims that Apple is making gains in other regions of the world, too, translating into competitive advantages for manufacturing. Myson Robles-Bruce, senior analyst for semiconductor spending and design at IHS, went so far to say behind the scenes, Cupertino is engaging in another kind of conquest, the “dominance of the electronics supply chain”. Robles-Bruce went on to say that its “dominant position provides critical benefits,” allowing one to “dictate semiconductor pricing, control product roadmaps and obtain guaranteed supply and deliver”.
“For Apple, these benefits translate into competitive advantages, letting it offer more advanced products at lower prices, faster and more reliably than the competition,” Robles-Bruce finished.
But Future Horizons’ principal analyst, Malcolm Penn, thinks this is garbage.
“Apple is doing incredibly well at the moment but by god it is so fragile,” Penn said. “It is a two product company, and the two are really the same damn thing”. One, Penn said, has a phone chip and one without – essentially, according to Penn, Apple has build fashion items that are just likely to be out of fashion as they came into fashion.
“You have to take your hat off to them,” Penn advised TechEye. “But it’s probably exceeded even their wildest expectations as to where it might end up”.
Samsung, too, is a tremendously important and powerful company. It has clients in every sector and practically every industry – the company even makes boats. To look purely at consumer technology as the most important game changer the world has ever seen is short sighted and ridiculous. Heck, Samsung has Apple as a customer.
“When you look at the tablet market, that is the most fashionable item you can imagine,” Penn said. “Customers don’t want a Samsung tablet, or an HD tablet, just an Apple tablet, which means they’re buying Apple – the brand charisma that goes with having a pair of Nike trainers or whatever”.
What is Plan B for Apple when its fashion accessories fall out of grace? It doesn’t really matter, because each way, Samsung is poised to win. Apple, Penn said, is very limited with the chips it buys. Samsung could keep a customer, or it could dominate with its own technology.
Analysts have fawned over Apple from the day Steve Jobs showed off the iPod. The company carefully cultivates influential friends in the press, and offers them exclusive ins on their new toys. This can lead to marketing dressed as journalism.
As far as the products go, Walt Mossberg compared the New iPad to like putting on a pair of glasses for the first time – a ridiculous notion for a piece of consumer technology. But if innovation so far goes to faster chips and an excellent display, then, well, all this talk of innovation really is just going to be the sound of a bubble bursting.