Quora: Why Apple's Business Model is Better Than All Rivals

iphone 8 apple rumor screen patent
Another concept image for Apple's iPhone 8 supports the idea that the viewing area will be expanded. Creative Commons

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Answer from Glyn Williams, game industry veteran:

Apple is repeatedly misjudged in the market, because Apple is playing a different game to everyone else. This particular game is both profitable and is eating deeply into the territory which sustains its competitors.

Microsoft's dominant source of income is commercial licensing. But businesses are shifting from desktop devices to cheaper mobile devices which require dramatically less hardware, less maintenance and less user support.

The desktop paradigm which has sustained Microsoft for the last two decades is contracting—and that is hitting both its business and its Windows divisions. Microsoft knows this. Microsoft has attempted to diversify away from Windows / Office and towards new opportunities like Cloud and Mobile.

But mobile has been a wash for Microsoft. Their phone platform is all but dead. The cloud stuff is commendable, but it's not particularly unique.

Alphabet really is Google. And Google is vulnerable. Ninety-five percent of its income is based on the search/advertising product. All the other activities are commercially irrelevant. (Even Android).

The coming of intelligent agents could disrupt Google's sole product. Even if Google themselves are the disruptor, there is no guarantee that the next decade will have them in the same position.

Intelligent assistants (along with the semantic web) has the potential to disrupt Amazon, too. The convenience of Amazon derives from being an online Walmart. All products under the same digital roof. But assistants would nullify that advantage.

Looking at the Apple pie chart, it appears to be heavily dependent on the phone. But if we took the phone away entirely, the remaining company would have a diverse portfolio of sustainable products. And the remaining company would still be larger than Google or Microsoft. Also, it's reasonable to guess that the iPhone is not about to disappear.

It's worth observing that for the last two decades, Apple's insistence on making hardware (rather than being a pure software/services company) has been heavily critiqued by investors who see hardware as archaic, and the future to be pure digital—ll web and data.

So it's ironic that we are now observing both Microsoft, Google (and to a lesser extent Amazon) pivoting into manufacturing hardware—in an attempt to secure profitability.

It's as if Apple had it right all along.

Is Apple still an innovative, strong competitor or is it becoming a niche player compared to Android and Windows? originally appeared on Quora—the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

Quora: Why Apple's Business Model is Better Than All Rivals | Opinion