It’s already understood that Apple has become a proven contender in the tech industry for quite some time now, more so with the release of the iPhone in the year 2007 and onward. Furthermore, last year, Apple’s iPad and second-generation MacBook Air took the competition to a whole new level. If you take a look at Apple’s product line now, many of their products seem to have set an industry standard when it comes to user experience and ease of use. According to Joanne Chien, a senior analyst at Digitimes Research
, this is called “Apple Shock” and this effect “has expanded along with the global economic downturn, sending waves across the PC industry causing a reconstruction in all areas from market scale, brand operation and supply chain structure.”
Chien continues to provide further details, stating that Apple Shock seems to have impacted the PC market and more specifically the market for notebook computers and the Wintel structure. The mobile computing device market has been trumped by shipments of the iPad and Macbook Air, which when combined, have ended up doing significantly better than all other brand vendors. It seems as if other vendors just haven’t been able to compete successfully against Apple’s products and every time they try to, they just seem to fall short.
Furthermore, the iPad has ended up becoming the number one item on the wish list of many when it comes to devices that provide basic usage, causing the notebook industry to accelerate into “the mature phase of the standard product life cycle.” If laptops just aren’t strong enough to handle more than what the iPad can offer, then customers tend to go for the iPad due to its increased portability, ease of use, media, and quicker loading speeds between apps that perform all these functions. With all this in mind, it is expected that global notebook shipments will be dropping further this year.
Last but not least, Apple Shock seems to affect the whole Wintel structure, as PC brands and the supply chains for PC companies are, according to Chien, “working aggressively” to compete against Apple. In this case, it seems as if Apple is a common enemy for all companies and in the midst of the competition, the PC companies are being forced to focus not only on hardware but also adding software to the mix, software which will hopefully make their product stand out and appeal to a variety of customers. Suppliers also seem to be moving from only providing product designs to being forced to add other services as well to help compete. With all this being said and done though, although some companies seem to be getting closer to a more refined product, none seem to be quite as developed as Apple still.
According to Chien, the industry will be experiencing a “period of reformation,” one which is expected to cause turmoil for many PC makers. I personally feel that although some companies are getting much closer, they will always be a few steps behind Apple, unless one of the competitors’ reveals something groundbreaking to their lineup.
Google’s Android system provides the hardware but the Android platform itself doesn’t seem as far developed as the iOS platform. The OS just isn’t as refined, it seems to lag a little, lacks ease of use when compared to the iOS platform, and the manufacturer additions generally tend to be horrible experience. Coupling all that with infrequent updates based on make and model (between Google software updates, then manufacturer updates, then carrier issues) it all seems to take too long. The other biggest contender seems to be Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, which although has made recent progression with Mango, is still lacking some important features, and has a horrendous app store comparatively (which is partly due to it being in an earlier stage of release compared to Android and iOS).
When it comes to the whole notebook industry, the Mac OS X products seem to be gaining popularity and integrate really well with its mobile computing devices (ie. iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch). Coupled with the products’ sleek and sophisticated designs, and again ease of use – leave the competition far behind. If the Mac OS X products get too expensive, the iPad seems to be sufficient for a low-end device used to perform basic functions, i.e. browsing the web, listening to music, watching videos, etc.
The “Apple Shock” definitely seems to be apparent in the tech industry. How do you feel about the whole issue? Share your thoughts and comments below!