Who Can Stop Apple?

Apple Watch Comes in Three VarietiesApple Watch

Has Apple become an unstoppable, unrivalled money-minting juggernaut?

Already a powerful force in smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, apps and music downloads, the digital media goliath today extended its appeal with customers by introducing two new iPhone models with bigger displays, an Apple Pay mobile payment service and the Apple Watch.

Although Android devices account for nearly 85% of all smartphones shipments worldwide, Apple takes home the bulk of the booty in the segment.

iPhone also has the cachet for being the most desired smartphone among consumers, particularly with Americans.

Popular as some rivals like Samsung Galaxy or LG G3 are in certain geographies, they’re far behind the iPhone in the smartphone beauty contest.

New iPhones

One of the highlights of Apple’s media event in Cupertino today featuring CEO Tim Cook and his top aides was the launch of two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch display.

Apple's New iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Smartphones

Both phones run on Apple’s new A8 processor.

Except for the larger screens and better resolutions, I did not find anything unique about the new iPhones. Several of Apple’s rivals including Samsung, Lenovo and LG already offer 5.5-inch or larger display smartphones. Apple is late to the game!

Apple’s new mobile payment service Apple Pay works with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch.

If history offers us any clues, the new iPhones will quickly gain favor with Americans and to a lesser extent around the world.

Don’t be surprised to see the lemmings line up at BestBuy, AT&T or the Apple stores starting tonight or tomorrow!

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus start shipping on September 19. You can pre-order them starting September 12.

Specs for iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6

Apple Watch

The other highlight of today’s announcement was the much hyped iWatch, now officially known as Apple Watch.

Besides showing the time (in several different customizable ways), users can send and receive messages, answer calls to their iPhone and become ‘healthier’ by using the integrated health and fitness apps.

Some of the watch’s features are integrated with the iPhone. No surprise there.

The watch will come in three editions (including an 18-carat gold case version) and should ship in early 2015.

Apple Watch prices start at a not-cheap $349.

If the Apple Watch clicks with consumers, it will be a huge recurring revenue stream for Apple running into the billions.

So far, the smartwatch as a category has failed to take off despite strong efforts from Samsung, Sony, Pebble, Nike, Mota and others.

Apple Juggernaut

Now for the big question – Who can stop Apple?

Posting massive profits every quarter, Apple’s digital media train rolls on like an unstoppable juggernaut.

For Apple’s smartphone rivals like Samsung, Google, LG, Lenovo, HTC and Microsoft, the big question is not just how to respond to the challenge from the new iPhones (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus), Apple watch or ApplePay.

The new smartphones and the Apple Watch are, of course, a hurdle to be tackled but the bigger challenge for all Apple rivals – Can the Apple juggernaut be stopped at all?

Not in the near term. For the foreseeable future, Apple will continue to be the hugely profitable King of Mobile Devices.

Plus, price cuts on the older iPhone 5S (now $99) and iPhone 5C (free with contract) devices will make it harder for rivals like Samsung, LG, Google and Microsoft in the huge U.S. market where mobile phones are subsidized by carriers in exchange for two-year service contracts.

It’s not going to be easy to stop the Apple juggernaut unless the company stumbles over serious quality issues with the new smartphones, the smartwatch or the payment service. Or rivals leapfrog with extraordinary innovations.

Neither event seems like a possibility.

If history is any guide on the decent quality of Apple products and services, the company is unlikely to fall any time soon.

On the innovation side too, I don’t see anything to get excited about from iPhone rivals.

Bottom line – The outlook for Apple rivals is grim. If they slash prices, their losses will balloon or margins will plummet. If they don’t cut prices, the no-brainer choice for customers is the iPhone.

There’s rarely been a disquieting moment like this in the history of consumer electronic devices.

2 Responses to "Who Can Stop Apple?"

  1. krishnab26   September 10, 2014 at 12:39 am

    SI, there is a small correction needed on the ” specs for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus ” table.

    Apple pay is available on iPhone 5s.

    It is available on all iPhone 5 series.

    It is not available on older versions like 4S,4 etc.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    My understanding is that Apple Pay will not be available to the iPhone 5 series unless you have the Apple Watch.

    Whereas with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay will work straight from the phone itself.

    Apple’s press release also seems to support my point:

    Apple Pay will also work with the newly announced Apple Watch, extending Apple Pay to over 200 million owners of iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s worldwide.

    The 5 series don’t have a built-in NFC chip unlike the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

    In any case, I will check the presentation again in a few hours and make a correction.

    Thanks, sweetie! 🙂

  2. Nuttesh   September 11, 2014 at 1:42 am

    There is nothing like SI summing up on a product 😀 !

    I feel the new iphones aren’t a great upgrade for existing iphoners.

    But the Apple watch is, or at least seems that way!

    Looking forward to see a bunch of those in apple stores next year!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    6 and 6 Plus are NOT a big deal if you have a iPhone 5S.

    I’m not 100% sure if the Apple Watch will click.

    A demo is one thing but having it on your wrist and getting it to work 100% of the time is another.

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