Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not in any “battle” with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) or Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) – except for those self-created by the latter two, according to Rocco Pendola of The Street.com. There is no battle, because Pendola makes the charge that the latter companies are kidding themselves by trying to be competitors of the former’s ecosystem.
And that is pretty much the “nice” way of recapping this piece, where Pendola goes off in supporting Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its dominant ecosystem while criticizing hypocrisy by Microsoft or Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). Pendola spent three pages picking apart the idea that either Microsoft or Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) were viable competitors for Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), essentially taking Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to task for using the word “ecosystem” – and in Pendola’s opinion, using it wrong. And he also takes exception to the same claim by Google regarding its Android operating system, saying that it’s hard to have an ecosystem when different versions of Android are circulating and some are not compatible with each other.
Pendola wrote, “As great as Apple has been, you really have to chalk up some of its success to pathetic competition. Most of the ‘opposition’ doesn’t even deserve a mention. They’re akin to the high school football team that shows up to a game without enough players to field a team. They take the field and the referees just sigh and send everybody home.”
Ouch. He went on: “Apple fights this phantom battle with one hand tied behind its back. It does not farm its OS out to the world. Imagine if, tomorrow, Apple said to all hardware producers, you can have iOS. Android’s market share would plummet. And no tech geek can tell me otherwise.”
In other words, Pendola says that Apple Inc (AAPL) – and to another extent Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), which he mentions in passing – has a true ecosystem, and any company like Microsoft or Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) says they have an ecosystem to compete is not being genuine.
But then this leads to these questions – does Pendola just mention the quality of competition on the ecosystem? What about the quality of their respective operating systems and devices? Is the purity of the ecosystem the best judge of the quality of a company like Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)? If not, then how would these companies be judged, and how do Microsoft and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) stack up with other criteria? Let’s get your comments and enter the debate – do you judge the companies on their services, their products, their ecosystems or their stocks? What do you think about Pendola’s assessment?
Certainly investors in these companies – like billionaire fund managers Julian Robertson of Tiger Management and David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, among others – will have their own opinions, but they might only show them in their stock transactions, not necessarily their words.
Disclosure: No positions in Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), or Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).