Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is far from the only company achieving success within the smartphone market. While Cupertino, Tim Cook, Jony Ive and Co. may receive the most attention, thanks to its strong brand and innovative designs, there are others who are making big moves in hopes of dominating the market in the years to come.
However, it is not always easy to pinpoint which competitors are the biggest threat to Apple at this time. Is it Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and its Android operating system? Is it possible that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and CEO Steve Ballmer (image below) are finally getting things right?
Earlier this year, Bill Shope, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, asked Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook about the competitive landscape. Here is what he had to say:
“Bill, I think the smartphone market has always been competitive. Only the names have changed.”
This quote is accurate in many different ways.
Looking back 10 years, BlackBerry (now led by Thorsten Heins) was at the top of the market and it appeared that the company was going to continue down its path of success well into the future. Well, things didn’t pan out that way.
Now, there is an entirely new group of competitors, headed up by Samsung thanks to its dependence on the Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system.
Like many, Asymco has done its best to determine which companies are the biggest threat to Apple at this time.
In the smartphone market, it is hard to deny Samsung of this honor. The company has been a thorn in Apple’s side for the past couple of years, and the competition is just now getting interesting.
If you jump into other markets, however, such as tablets, you will begin to realize that others, including Amazon and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), are pushing hard.
When completing a competitive analysis of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), it is hard to pinpoint whom to compare the iPhone maker to.
You can make a case that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is the only company that matters. Of course, if you do that you are leaving out Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) among others.
Here is a brief takeaway from the Asymco piece, pulling together just how much of a challenge it is to determine how each company is competing with one another:
“Google shows steady but not spectacular growth in revenues with decreasing margins. Microsoft shows even more modest growth in revenues with flat earnings. Apple growth is moderating from near vertical while earnings pause. Samsung has great growth but there is a similar set of doubts about its sustainability.”
What this shows is that every company, regardless of the market, has its own set of battles.
Think of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as the present day New England Patriots (do Tim Cook and Bill Belichick share any similarities as leaders?) Even when the company is not on the top of its game, everybody else considers it number one.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have had its victories in the past, and are hoping to show the world that they are capable of being top dog.
Speaking of the NFL, this retro Apple commercial from the 1984 Super Bowl may be what you need to finish out the afternoon. Enjoy, and if you're watching, David Einhorn, sorry there's no Mets sports analogy.