Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the pioneer of the tablet computer, and thus has been the name more recognizable in the marketplace, despite other competitors joining the free-market battle in recent years. But many times, as with certain market spaces that are created by a company, there could be a “jump the shark” moment where the company that is first may not be be the best. How does one judge the best when it comes to tablets? That might depend on the consume, but at least one writer seems to think that if “best” is determined by the amount of market share, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be fighting a losing battle against several competitors for one reason.
While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to be content to be the one-for-all tablet, other companies have found segments within the marketplace to which their devices appeal, and that mastery of a segment may likely draw away market share for the jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none iPad and iPad Mini, which just launched this week.
In this post, writer Panos Mourdoukoutas makes the case that for all of the pioneering that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has done in inventing and developing the table computer, the market has, as many others have, segmented into more specific niche markets – markets for which the iPad may not be the best device. After Hewlett Packard Company (NASDAQ:HPQ) and Research in Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) tried to compete directly with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and failed, companies like Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and more recently Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have since entered the market without actually taking on the iPad directly.
They each look to fit a different niche by doing specific things better than what the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad does. For example, the Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle is intended for those who are most interested in reading e-books and shopping, while the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface tablet is more for those who like to use Office products and surf the Internet while also providing a “bridge” between laptops and tablets. The Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus 7 tablet is smaller than the iPad and has the price point meant to make the tablet computer affordable for more people on a budget.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in a fight to keep its spot at the top of the tablet market, but it now has plenty of competitors – which may be why the company brought out the iPad Mini, even if its price point is higher than some of the competitors who have already established a foothold in their respective niche markets. Will the Apple logo be enough to help Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) secure more market share with the Mini (and a rumored new iPad), or is the marketplace more about value? What do you think investors like billionaire fund manger Julian Robertson of Tiger Management will do or think about Apple’s work in this market?