How long can Apple stay on top?

It's the biggest company now, but consumers are fickle, management makes mistakes and competitors don't sit still. Here's a look at the 7 companies who've been No. 1 in the past 20 years.

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51Comments
Nov 9, 2012 9:38PM
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I really don't think it's Android vs. Apple vs. Microsoft with one clear winner.  I do believe that eventually the product(s) which offer the most variety of features and software, the most compatibility with more types of peripherals and the greatest amount of freedom to choose where you buy your apps, music, books and movies will come out ahead.  (Betamax vs VHS, SEGA vs. Nintendo, PC vs. Mac, Windows vs. OSX, etc.)  That's not saying the best-designed, best-built product will win, just the most versatile one.
Maybe it's Apple vs. Apple being its own worst enemy.  Because Apple is the only company that won't even let you change your battery yourself.  The smarter the public gets, the less they want to be spoon-fed and treated like morons.  Remember when AOL was number one back in the day when most of the general public didn't know how to use a modem?  So it will be with Apple.

Nov 8, 2012 9:44AM
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android will be the end of apple, and rightly so. Built on open source, free, bullet proof code it is the system that will rule the computer industry ad infinitum. Microsoft at least has seen the light with windows 8, apple still has its head up its corporate butt with its cliquey overpriced products. Ipad mini is a joke, you can buy two or three great android pads for the price of 1 of those jokes.
Nov 8, 2012 9:21AM
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As long as Apple continues to export manufacturing to Communist China , not only screwing the displaced American worker but now screwing the Chinese indentured servant making a dollar an hour, Apple will succeed.
Nov 8, 2012 7:35AM
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The history of electronic devices is that they garner tremendous profits and margins when they first come out but over time they become commodities and drop tremendously in price and profit margins fall precipitously also.  Look at the price of computers and big screen TVs when they first came out and today they practically give them away in comparison.  IBM got out of laptop computers and HP and Dell are now on the ropes.  Best Buy which gorged on big screen TVs and computers for many years is also looking bankruptcy in the face as their products sell for so little now.
The same thing will happen to Apple's electronic products.  Apple also does not have a wide enough array of products to warrant it's market valuation.  It is only a matter of time before they fall.  There is only one company in the Dow today that was in it at the beginning.  That is GE because they had a wide enough array of products to buffer them against bankruptcy or
irrelevance of their products over time.


Nov 8, 2012 2:01AM
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It is not possible for a tech company that only serves the retail consumer side to remain on top. The competion in that arena is getting more cutthroat every day and when you factor in the device contraction (who even talks about the iPod anymore) eventually AAPL will have to price point down and lower their margins. I also believe that the iPad Mini will end up as a anchor to their sales because it is not price competive in its segment and is also canbalistic to its larger sibling.
Nov 8, 2012 7:39AM
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The better header-- How Far Can Apple Drop?

 

You have a tech company who's genius passed away and left an administrative worm to bumble it into decay. Too expensive, too proprietary, too complex with mind-zapping features. You can't eat an i-Pad and most users are facing instability ahead because their jobs are in unsustainable areas. When you consider how much big-finance money is stuffed under the peel, you realize that any sudden jerk will pull it loose and send it dropping. Without indigenous tangible assets... the bottom is zero.

Nov 12, 2012 9:33AM
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Apple has 5% of the computer market share.  When their tiny percentage was the case 15 years ago one could argue that it's just a matter of time until the majority figure out the machines are better.  That may have actually been true when they used Motorola chips and were genuinely different than PCs.  At this point we have all been exposed to the Apple/Mac platform.  I believe that most smart people have realized that the only advantage of an Apple or Mac product is its looks (besides the ipad 3 for its display -- which I own).  PCs perform as well or better with graphics and are less expensive.  Now the question is when will the 5% realize that all that glitters is not gold?
Nov 12, 2012 6:17AM
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I heard one analyst said, nowaday Apple is just like JDS Uniphase at its glorious day. 

I am a business person and I am never able to convince myself to purchase an Apple computer.  Businesses mostly use PC systems (Miscrosoft Server, Exchange, Sharepoint ...).  I figured that if I use Apple computer, I will have to pay double for the same hardware and need to pay extra money for parallel to slow my system down in order to run my PC softwares.  Sometimes, I have difficulty in understanding my friends using Apple for their businesses when the software are only avaliable in PC based.  Yesterday, one of my friends told me that he spent $XX,000 in Apple Laptops and ipads for his "cloud computing" but the softwares his use are only avaliable in PC.  He likes the hardware (i.e. the look) and I think his staff ask for Apple laptops.  I bet they will regret in 6 months. If I am not a business person, I may purchase an Apple computer for home use.  Beside,there are lots more PC support tech guys out there than Apple.  I believe PC users can have their computer questions and user problems deal with quicker and cheaper than Mac users

 

Nov 12, 2012 9:49AM
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Talk to those Apple users and they will gush on about how  Apple must be good because EVERYONE has one.  Then they will blabber on about how they had  version 1,2,3, 4 and are now standing in line for version 5.   What all these new versions offer is just more social gimmickry aimed at that middle school  " in crowd" mentality.  Do you really need to know what the weather is on Mars?    If you distill out all the silly stuff and get down to the basics, you would find that  version 1 still does the job fine.  Eventually this crowd will numb out to the whole hype or find another more enticing plaything and Apple will drop like a stone.  Apple's record of slave driving offshore manufacturing is a poor fit for those Starbucks drinking/ Apple loving types who mouth a lot of liberal do-gooderisms as long as it doesn't interfere with their playthings. 
       I remember the old Apple commercial where the guy throws the sledge hammer through the screen showing Big Brother to those gray masses of  zombies.  Ironically those gray masses are today's Apple buying drones and Big Brother was Steve Jobs.
Nov 10, 2012 12:59PM
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 Apple has a LOT of competition now for the same products. Before they did not.. End of story, they stagnate
Nov 12, 2012 12:58PM
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Apple will fall at some point they all do, look at history, may not be today maybe in years, at some point something will happen, I like some apple products, but I tend to lean towards thngs that meet my needs and give me the freedom to them, be it apple, andoid, windows, makes no difference to me..:)
Nov 12, 2012 1:06PM
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Apple is grossly over-valued and cannot remain the most valuable company much longer. The truth is they are merely a bit player in the IT world...more of a toy manufacturer than a serious competitor. Their products are overpriced and generally inferior to the competition. -- be it Microsoft, Samsung, Google, or any number of others. Sell now!

 

 

Nov 12, 2012 10:43AM
Nov 12, 2012 6:32AM
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I used to use iphone until I change the cell phone company. My cell phone company uses a newer telephone system and iphone cannot keep up with the network technology. Even iphone 5 cannot work on the system

Nov 12, 2012 1:57PM
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Apple is all about a cult-like marketing scheme. Once the Apple zombies wake up and realize that they are paying much more for products that don't work as well, the jig will be up and Apple's stock will crash.

Nov 12, 2012 3:09PM
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Apple is like an Air Jordan sneaker or a prom dress.  It is not technically worth what you pay for it, it is not better or worse than its competitors, but it fills a special spot for people who need help with their self esteem.  Sometimes you just want to be part of the cool group and buying apple lets you buy your way into the club.  Our society is still riding a cult of celebrity where a large portion of people want to be like their favorite kardashian, NBA player, or honey boo boo.  Apple knows how to market to these people.  Whether they stay on top will have to do with (1) can they keep their image up to par (2) can they take advantage of the next superficial need of the unthinking masses.  Big business at its best.

Nov 9, 2012 10:26PM
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Leroy76 take your meds- you're acting out again!
Nov 12, 2012 1:12PM
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It's funny how liberals and the liberal media rail against big corporations but their darling Apple can do no wrong. In the meantime chinese workers hurl themselves from the upper stories of the mega-sweatshops where your precious apple products are made......... However I think they have installed nets under windows to prevent this...so all good.
Nov 12, 2012 1:28PM
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Worldwide customers are smart enough to make their own choice, ultimate decision, and buy their products as long as you make them happy with innovate solution, great customer service, and wonderful experience.
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