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vendredi 10 octobre 2014

Apple: "The end of the golden age"

Apple products * are not so differentiating, says Benedict Flamingo, director Fourpoints Investment Managers, for whom the Apple brand is under threat of commoditization.
The most popular TV series often reach their peak audience in the sixth season, few exceed eight seasons. The iPhone is in the sixth and the buzz is at its maximum. However, with hindsight, many questions arise.

First round, the smartphone market is becoming commonplace quickly. By dint of copying, devices and user interfaces have come to resemble: it is no longer a differentiator. As for the evolution towards ever larger screens, it very likely to stop there unless the size of the pockets will undergo a major genetic mutation.


This lack of differentiation is reflected in the figures for market share. Those of the iPhone declined since 2012 from 25% to 12% while Android reached 85%. The average price of a smartphone down too: it is $ 314 in 2014 and even less than $ 250 in emerging markets. At 657 dollars, the iPhone 6 is already twice as expensive.


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This price difference is it still justifiable, while the portfolio of applications is now provided in Android, a critical element as the value of a smartphone is defined by the wealth of applications? Worse, the "apps" are either Apple launched too fast or unfinished (Maps, iCloud) or substitutability (iTunes leaving room for subscription music streaming).

This is where Apple Watch intervenes. It only works with the iPhone and strengthens the Apple ecosystem. This is also the rub. Beyond the battery problem that requires reloading his watch every day, the touch interface of the smartphone proved awkward on a watch.

Apple has had to add two buttons to zoom, select an application ... A peak when one remembers that the stroke of genius of the iPhone was ... there was only one button. And if the ideal interface for such a watch was the voice? Only Siri is not yet accurate enough. The "killer application" that will make a purchase remains obvious to find.

That leaves Apple Pay, Apple's mobile payment system, another tool to strengthen its ecosystem. A bet that will take time to reveal itself as only a 6 iPhone owners can use and only a few percent of payment terminals are compatible, in the United States alone.

Eventually as the years go by, Apple is a business like any other. So, Apple, how many seasons?