Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Why I believe AAPL will crumble ...

Earlier this year, at the height of Apple fever, I made a bet that Apple will be in Chapter 11 by the end of 2017. I thought I'd explain my reasoning because it's not what most people would suspect.

First, the problem with Apple in my view was Jobs. Whilst Steve Jobs was outstanding at creative leadership, that is only part of the battle for creating a sustainable company. An exclusive focus on creative leadership always leads to failure as the genesis of new activities (i.e. innovation) might be high worth but it's unstable and uncertain.

The problem for Apple started in my view from a major strategic blunder - it didn't open source iOS, it didn't feel it needed to, it was building the entire stack. By not doing so it enabled Android to thrive. Apple gave oxygen to the formation of a competitive ecosystem of hardware providers to develop around Google's new weapon (and Google had every reason to do this because of the threat that IOS exposed to Google's value chain of data).

As that ecosystem develops, Apple will find itself in a stand alone innovation game against it. The pressure will build for ever more outstanding and exciting breakthroughs in technology which Apple has delivered with the iPad. Unfortunately, this pressure will continue and such breakthroughs by their very nature (chaotic) are uncertain and every company in this position before has failed.

Take Commodore and the Commodore64 which was vastly more influential than the iPad. The C64 transformed a world where computers were rooms owned by huge corporations into personal computers. In terms of consumerization, the C64 was dramatic.

Commodore and Apple both tried to lead this new world through constant innovation but were hammered by the more commodity based ecosystem approach of "IBM PC compatible". Commodore died and Apple barely survived but unfortunately it seems to have failed to learn that lesson.

So once again, we find ourselves in a world where Apple is pushed into the high risk stand alone innovation game against a growing, more commodity focused, ecosystem. That ecosystem will enable rapid innovation of higher order systems, it will outstrip Apple once again and I suspect that Cook (the new Apple CEO) knows this.

The only viable defence against such an ecosystem play is to build a bigger ecosystem (which is tough as a stand-alone) or to buy up the supply chain and use patents to slow your competitors. The latter Apple has done but such moves only slow the change, they don't stop it.

It can give you breathing space though to find that next breakthrough or to work out how to build a bigger ecosystem. However, the problem is often expectation i.e. your customer expect that breakthrough continuously.

I've not listened to Apple's latest press release but if its lacks any breakthroughs and dazzling tech (which I strongly suspect) then markets and fans will slowly turn against Cook and cry "bring Jobs back". Markets always do this, they always want more of the past.

Into this current fray, Amazon will certainly push with its normal approach of commoditising an industry and building an ecosystem around itself. If Google and the greater ecosystem around Android have been waiting for this moment, then they'll shortly strike at Apple - a flood of patent attacks.

Apple will start to turn inwards and the market pressure on Cook will intensify. They'll go from looking for that next breakthrough to needing it. Culture will start to change, it may start to buckle.

Apple's core business will be undermined by the commodity players whose technology will rapidly catch up and overtake, assuming Google can get them to work in a common interest. Soon Android devices will be everywhere. If Apple's patent and supply chain protection measures fail, if a concerted patent attack against Apple is successful then this will happen sooner.

At this point, with margins under pressure, markets under attack, the gloss peeling off the Apple logo and the culture starting to decline then the markets will go after Cook - "it was his fault" they'll say. Of course it wasn't Cook's fault, Jobs made the blunder with an excessive focus on creative leadership creating a high margin but unsustainable business.

Cook might pull out a miracle and maybe they've got some tech they've been keeping back in preparation to dazzle. Maybe he'll help Apple create that sustainable company which balances both innovation and commodity by dealing with the constant flow between them.

I doubt it, markets never think that hard nor give that much time. Cook is more likely to end up as the next Leo Apotheker ... and as for Apple well it didn't learn the lesson first time around, I don't suspect Google and Amazon will let it have a third go.

That's my view, that's my reasoning and that's why I made my prediction. Of course, the prediction assumed Jobs would still be the CEO and maybe Cook can change things by correcting those errors. Should be interesting to find out.

-- Update 13th February 2014

One of the key parts of the above scenario depended upon an aggressive share buyback in order to sustain market value / perception. I was expecting this to be around $100 billion. It turns out that buyback is much less than I anticipated (around $54 billion in the last two years) though Icahn was pushing for closer to $90 billion. This cutting back on the buyback is a fabulous move and gives AAPL a lot more breathing room. Cook is doing an excellent job.

-- Update 17th January 2015

Cook still continues to perform an outstanding job. There's the usual grumbles about the "lack of innovation" along with certain investors demanding a "larger cash buy back" but Cook has played a strong game, focusing more on the growth of the ecosystem, using supply chains effectively ... it's all good. Really impressive and adds many years to that company.

-- Update 30th April 2016

Cook has been truly remarkable. Apple is in a stable and strong position. Obviously some investors are unhappy about not getting big share buybacks or the lack of stellar growth but since they are just interested in a quick buck who cares. Well done Cook. Exceptional.

20 comments:

Ash Minhas said...

Well written and well thought out, I concur. The biggest mistake they make is thinking they can be the entire ecosystem as opposed to being facilitators ( haven't we been here before? )

I think their market share will continue to shrink in the mobile space and as the commodification continues to occur and we become less o/s centric the high prices of their products will be unjustifiable by consumers.

..the fall of AAPL's stock is inevitable

Steve Bryan said...

Total number of Commie 64's sold over 12 years of existence: 30 million. The iPad and iOS are a much larger phenomenon. When they reach a billion iOS devices sold (currently 250 million), will you still be so dismissive? Apple is the GE of the 21st century. People will have the opportunity to predict its demise for a long time (as they have since 1981).

Simon Raboczi said...

Perhaps the point is not for companies to last forever, but to go away once they've provided all the creative leadership they can?

swardley said...

+Ash Minhas : whilst I took a bet, the future by its very nature is uncertain. Cook might well be able to balance the company between innovation & commodity and create a structure which deals with the flow between the two. AAPL's fall is far from inevitable, however a focus purely on the creative leadership side has always created high margin and unstable companies.

+Steve Bryan : the influence of the C64 (and by example Spectrum and Micro in the UK) was that it ushered in a future generation of software engineers and turned computing into something that existed within the home. This isn't a numbers game but a reference to influence and how much perceptions were changed. I'm not dismissive of iOS, I'm merely pointing to the greater impact of the C64 in changing minds & perception and how companies that focus almost exclusively on the creative leadership side fail.

As for Apple being the GE of the 21st Century, I'd argue strongly that it is more likely that AMZN will be the GE of the 21st Century. AMZN have a far more stable long term structure being built on an approach of commoditisation and disruptive leadership.

+Simon Raboczi : Whilst most companies don't last a great deal of time, those that are built with a strong commodity focus tend to last the longest. All our long lived companies operate with a strong commodity component to their business, as whilst this might provide ultimately low margins it is stable and acts as a counter balance to the high margin but unstable innovative pursuits.

It's not a question of once they run out of creative leadership, it's a question of how balanced a company is. If you focus on the high margin but unstable then eventually you will run out of luck.

rhyshopejones said...

Whilst I don't believe AAPLs current share price valuation is in any way sustainable its core business could very well be.

Two talking points to consider:

Firstly if you follow Warren Buffet's view on identifying what marks out leading businesses (Im paraphrasing) there are some key requirements:
1) they must have a unique brand image
2) they must be able control their own pricing (ie they arent bound by inflation or competitive pressure on price)
3) they must have sustainable and increasing year on year return on capital (ie the ability to make better ROI by investing inward than externally)

I dont think we can tell on point 3 but if anything thats the weakness can they maintain the product success through decades and through mutiple changes of management?

If you take an example from another industry Gillette is an example of leading business despite selling a commodity product because it has the brand and the ability to set its own pricing. Yes there are lots of competitors, many better and cheaper but Gillette still is the most profitable in that business.

The same applies to Apple - it can charge higher prices because of its brand and you cant buy and apple compatible product from anyone else so the commodisation argument that they will be swallowed by commodity android isnt a given.


Google in this space is in a worse position because Android doesnt contribute to reinforcing the brand and it makes no money from it directly. Google's play is get more people on the internet looking at adverts (in which it does meet the criteria above). In applications it does not.

The fact that there will be many other phones and PCs and tablets doesnt mean that Apple is under any increased price pressure. It just has to maintain its brand image. Ergo if it can mainatin its brand position through successive product cycles and management teams it will survive very handsomely.


The second talking point is eco-system. I dont think open sourcing OS X would have been beneficial for Apple - it may have increased their share of devices but it would be negative for their income. They have already built a moat around their hardware products via the ecosystem of applications. No-one buys an iPad because of a single application but the fact they have built a very large eco-system means that people will buy iPads. Come for the brand image, stay for the added features - now mostly provided by the ecosystem. This means their pace of internal change can actually reduce without marked impact. Notice also apple is contstantly trying to extend the ecosystem outside of apps - e.g. the airplay devices.

So my assertion is that apple are positioned to be a leader in a commoditised market and they suffer less by greater commoditisation than any other maker (e.g. nokia, samsung). Google will also succeed in getting more adverts and will continue to commoditise every maker except apple - its strategy actually helps apple by making it not profitable for new entrants to compete with them. Hence the value moves to apps which compete with each other and not with google or apple.

stu said...

This is a rather contorted line of argument.

- "Commodities" are much rarer in practice than you seem to claim. Differentiation seems to be very difficult to kill in customer's minds. Everywhere you see commodity, I see differentiation.

- Milking old product lines is not a source of stability, it is a luxury waiting to be made irrelevant, as Microsoft is dealing with now.

- Most of the high margin businesses Apple innovates in eventually turn into steady, predictable businesses. They shrink slowly. The iPod remains at 70% market share even though you might see the music player market as "commodity". The Mac continues to grow its market share. Why can this not be the case with the iPhone and iPad? Even in the long game, after the market shares have settled, why wouldn't Apple be able to continue to milk the Mac & iOS, when Microsoft has done it with Windows for the past 10+ years? Are iOS margins going to collapse that dramatically? I have not seen the rationale for this. Will 90% of the market will switch to the Android ecosystem because it's.... "better"? Did the Linux ecosystem ever produce a "better" experience than Windows? Have open source ecosystems hurt Oracle? SAP?

- "Bring Jobs Back"? The market is only now asking Microsoft to "Bring Gates Back"… and the board is doing nothing of the sort. Comparing Tim Cook - a man who has perhaps the best supply chain chops in the business, and made Apple more efficient than the former leader Dell - to Leo Apotheker… is utterly absurd.

- One might suggest that the Android ecosystem is "First of a kind", meaning it's an open source ecosystem at the beginning of a new market of smart devices and tablets and thus can't be judged relative to former open source ecosystems. I would say the same about Apple's ability to innovate in the consumer technology space.

- On patent attacks, is it not a factor that that the patent attacks you claim will occur against Apple are (in many cases) 3rd party purchased patents vs. Apple's patents that it invented itself? Have you looked into the substance of the patent claims? This is far from clear. Microsoft has extracted a subsidy topping $1b annually from most of the other device makers as it has its own patents. Apple has a strong potential to do the same.

- The C64, while I loved mine through the early 90s, has been long eclipsed in influence on computing. You are narrowing your focus to "new software engineers", but I really think that's a small fraction of those who purchased a C64. It is the interaction with a computer that sets the influence -- i..e what you can do with it, and the C64's impact has long been eclipsed by the Macintosh (GUI / WIMP) and iPad/iPhone (touch interfaces) in the eyes of both engineers and general consume populace.

This is obvious to most watching the impact on the industry -- *everything* Android device makers are doing was started by Apple to begin with. They are crafting the next generation of computing in front of our eyes. Of course lower cost players will have a role, but it seems a stretch to suggest they will force Apple's collapse out of margin pressure.

- I think your view on Jobs being focused on "Creative Leadership" is mistaken, based on wishful thinking taken from strands of old media reports. Jobs more likely (based on more recent articles from Fortune and other sources) has been focused on building an innovation-led organization, with broad-based leadership and culture that permeates the entire company, along with education curricula for the "Apple way" long after he's gone. This is similar to GE's focus on its managers.

Simon, I normally respect your views, but on this particular topic your hopes & dreams of a open source dominated future do you a disservice in objectively looking at the actual performance trajectory of these organizations.

swardley said...

+rhyshopejones

I'd agree with your assessment on point 3) that there is a weakness and Gillette provides an example of a company that manages to maintain a significant brand in a commodity market. McDonalds would equally be another example.

Also, I'd agree that being overtaken by the Android ecosystem isn't a given and that Apple may be able to maintain high prices by brand as with BMW.

However, the point of the entire post is a discussion of the reasoning. Since the future in uncertain - the bet itself is rather irrelevant.

When it comes to Google, the question is what is Google's intention with Android? From my view it's simply a tactical weapon deployed in order to create a fragmented market of device manufacturers rather than have Google's core data stream threatened by dominance of one.

The issue for Apple here, is purely that it has focused on a game of creative leadership and by doing so has enabled Google to play the Android game. The development of this ecosystem will push Apple into a high risk stand alone innovation game against an ecosystem. You only need a couple of bad runs and your brand can start to diminish as the alternative ecosystem appears more innovative as these commodity components allow for higher rates of higher order system innovation. Of course, under Cook, Apple might adapt whereas Jobs seemed to be focused on that area.

Open sourcing iOS prior to Android would have probably deprived Google the option to deploy that weapon. Open source in my world should be mainly viewed as a tactical weapon both offensive and defensive. Whilst I agree that Apple has developed a large ecosystem of Apps, the issue for Apple is that Android may well build a larger and more consolidated ecosystem. In this world, ecosystems are the new battlefront and I take the view that this is a risk to Apple which was unnecessarily taken.

Apple may well position itself as a leader in a commoditised market. Having now seen the press announcement from Cook, I'm quite impressed - it shows signs of taking a more balanced approach.

But the bet was made when Jobs was CEO and it assumed that Jobs would be CEO.

swardley said...

+stu

Regarding my "hopes & dreams of a open source dominated future", let us be clear I have long viewed open source as a tactical weapon, nothing more. Yes, I received equal amounts of derision from both the open source and proprietary world but then both have a place and use. No different from all the various other battles I've faced - agile vs six sigma (bah humbug, both is the right answer, learn when to use each), sql vs nosql (bah humbug, both is the right answer, learn when to use each) … and on and on.

Regarding "Everywhere you see commodity, I see differentiation" - the beauty about commoditisation is that most activities once commoditised become an invisible component, hidden away under some higher order system. The iPhone is itself a mass of activities, some of which are commodity (phone etc), some of which are more innovation (app store etc). However, Apple has tend to lead by creative leadership (i.e. the new), the counter point being Amazon which tends to lead by commoditising that which exist.

Regarding "Milking old product lines is not a source of stability" - well the oldest and most stable companies in the world, from mining to beverage, do exactly that. Take Coke-Cola, it has been rather successful at milking an old product line for a very long time. Of course, what's key here is association i.e. branding but the activity itself is a long, long way from being an innovation.

Regarding "Most of the high margin businesses Apple innovates in eventually turn into steady, predictable businesses" - this is the normal process of evolution, from high uncertain, unstable innovation to more well defined, predictable commodity.

Regarding "you might see the music player market as commodity" - I do view it is becoming such and basically an invisible component inside other higher order systems such as smart phones etc. I note that the iPod which had started to become dominant by 2006 was already starting to decline by 2009. However, the interesting thing to note is how long it took for legitimate competitors to the iPod to appear vs the iPhone and iPad. The issue here is the time that Apple has before the Android ecosystem starts to compete is becoming shorter.

Regarding "why wouldn't Apple be able to continue to milk the Mac & iOS, when Microsoft has done it with Windows for the past 10+ years" - it might well be able to do this. The point of the post is a discussion of this whole issue of innovation vs commoditisation.

Regarding "Bring Jobs Back"? - yes, that's depressing. I actually think Cook might turn out to be the right person.

Regarding "Comparing Tim Cook … is utterly absurd". I actually disagree with you here because whilst Leo's strategy was fine, the markets rallied against him because they wanted more of the past. The same may happen with Cook.

Regarding "On patent attacks" … both patent and supply chain are used to defend against an ecosystem but one has a short time span and the other can turn negative quickly. It wouldn't surprise me if Apple is countered with patents.
Regarding "he C64, while I loved mine through the early 90s, has been long eclipsed in influence on computing" … the statement is one of influence. The C64 influenced the entire direction of the modern computing industry. The iPad will influence a subset of the future computing industry.

... more

swardley said...

+Stu

Regarding "*everything* Android device makers are doing was started by Apple to begin with" - that's what a commoditisation play does.

Regarding " I think your view on Jobs being focused on "Creative Leadership" is mistaken" - I base my views upon actions.

Regarding "Jobs more likely has been focused on building an innovation-led organisation" - ah, what do you think creative leadership is all about? You've in effect just said to me "Jobs being focused on creative leadership is wishful thinking and old reports because if you read modern reports (like Forbes) he's more likely to have been focused on creative leadership". Well, I agree with you. He was focused on creative leadership.

Regarding "your hopes & dreams of a open source dominated future do you a disservice" - I thank you for taking the time to write, I do appreciate that. Counter points are always good.

Dano said...

Hmmm...interesting essay and comments. I feel that what makes the decline of Apple unlikely in the near future is the way that their strategy has diverged from that of other large tech and software companies.

The return of Apple to prominence wasn't a result of competing with Microsoft on marketable software. Apple created a few completely separate platforms, namely, the Mac, iPod and now the iPhone/iPad. The smaller platforms serve the company well as they don't just drive users to use Apple laptop and desktop computers, they are actually a MORE profitable business in many ways and have managed to dominate the sphere that they occupy.

In essence, what they've done is to create and then dominate other parts of the tech/ consumer electronics world while becoming more profitable than any of the "computer companies". It doesn't hurt that the idevices have also become a gateway product for the Mac.

I think that it is also wise to consider that the area that the iPhone and iPad created and continue to dominate are becoming real alternatives to the traditional computer market...and that there are NO viable financial competitors in this space. Also, important to remember is that none of the tablets or Android phones make any money worth even mentioning next to the iPhone/ iPad.

The play isn't to compete with PCs or other similar devices, it is to define the future of portable computing and be the most profitable, most holistic player in this space.

@jearle said...

If what you're saying is true, that would mean IBM won the PC war. Where can I buy one of these IBMs now?

Oh, right.

swardley said...

@jearle : The "IBM Compatible PC" won that war, doesn't mean that IBM did. However, descendants of the IBM PC compatibles make up the majority of personal computers today.

In the same way Android winning the war doesn't depend upo $GooG being a manufacturer of Android devices.

Now as with all activities, some end up being commodities that are invisible components of higher order systems, some simply die off.

Mr Cambridge said...

I loved the article and am clearly a latecomer to this interesting debate.

It seems that the crux is missing here and it revolves around the current market capitalisation of Apple. The market cap is not based on current P&L statements but rather an expectation that future cashflows will be much greater than they are today. Currently Apple is valued more than any other company but does not generate the most profits and Apple is a long way down the P&L chart if we adopt a long term view.

As the blog author asserts, the innovation will slow and the iPhone 4s demonstrates this. In turn, this will dampen investors expectations and that will adversely affect the market capitalisation of the firm. Apple will then attempt to appease its investors and this is when large corporates become mindless cash cows.

So to conclude, Apple will not die anytime soon but will loose its innovative edge and become subservient to the markets. Take a look at Microsoft, Oracle, HP, IBM to see what a subservient, faceless, cash cow looks like... It certainly does not look like a young, entrepreneurial driven company.

stu said...

@Simon - thank you for your responses. I've long followed your views on innovation and commoditization, and while I think most of it is right, there are some conclusions that do not jell with my background and understanding of this process (though we've read many of the same primary sources - from Schumpeter, to Strassmann, to Stafford Beer), and I struggle to articulate the disconnect. Something about the dichotomy between what you term "creative leadership" and "disruptive leadership" and the relative instability of the former form of leadership in Apple. Let me modify my stance a bit and try to use your terminology as much as I can.

I think that Apple has demonstrated *both* sorts of leadership, with Jobs as the creative leader and Cook as the disruptive leader for the past decade. They have been unique in their ability to abandon the past and reliable revenue streams all while achieving relentless drive towards efficiency and componentization on the production side. Thus with Cook in charge, I don't think there's even a question in my mind that they will shift the company more into "disruptive leadership" mode, the open question to actually whether the other senior leaders (and the so-called Apple University) have retained enough "creative leadership" insights to drive further breakthroughs.

Companies like Coca Cola maintain their business out of the differentiation of their brand image and via trade secrets - even though the core business is a commodity. I basically am of the opinion that Apple will always be able to fall back to their brand image and ability to retain talent even if they do not have a breakthrough product for long periods. It was 17 years between the Mac and iPod, and Jobs managed to lean back on Apple's brand ("Think Different"), marketing, and remaining design talent (still loyal, even near death!) to patch up the company to profitability on relatively commoditized products between 1997 and 2001 with the iMac, iBook, Powerbook, and Mac OS 8/9. I do not believe they will fall into such dire straights under Tim Cook, and thus, even without another breakthrough product through 2017, there is, in my opinion, another 5 to 7 years of what you might term "product oriented" growth in touch computing before such devices are commoditized to a point that forces a margin collapse. But let's be clear, the margin pressure you're pointing to is only from software. Apple is likely to retain its "best in the business" margins on hardware. So, the question is, can Apple retain its margins given its higher software costs relative to the Android competition? How much higher will they actually be? I think the interplay of usability in hardware & software in these devices puts far more emphasis on the device manufacturers with their customizations (e.g. HTC Sense, Samsung Sense) than on the open core, so I am skeptical that they will be that far out of whack.

So perhaps we primarily just disagree on the time scales. I think once the current leadership team leaves (10+ years), survival will depend on Apple's ability to educate and grow new talent from within - if Jobs laid the foundations of this, as we've been hearing a bit, then truly he has created a "built to last" organization.

swardley said...

+stu

So "creative leadership" is more a focus on the genesis of new activities whilst "disruptive leadership" is more a focus on commoditisation of pre-existing activities. I use the term "disruptive" as this approach becomes more clear when an industry shift from a peace time footing to a war footing, caused by for example the shift of activities from products to utility.

This shift requires a company to break the inertia barriers which seem to restrict evolution and inevitably it is a company who is not themselves constrained by the inertia barriers i.e. Amazon making the break through on IaaS precisely because it was not encumbered by a pre-existing business model.

Now any device that is a combination of activities, such as the iPhone, will have both innovative elements and more commodity. Equally any company will demonstrate elements of creative and disruptive leadership. It's rarely the case of just one or the other.

Now with the iPhone, the innovative elements (i.e. genesis of new activities) includes the app store and the HCI where the more commodity include the phone, GPS etc.

Regarding your statement "I think that Apple has demonstrated *both* sorts of leadership, with Jobs as the creative leader and Cook as the disruptive leader for the past decade. " ... well, I wouldn't disagree with this.

Cook has seemed to be the partner focused on commoditisation, supply chain mechanisms etc. However, I took the overall character of Apple (i.e. when the bet was made) from Jobs when he was CEO. Steve focused on the creative side.

My view is this focus was too strong and though it's an area which is high margin it is also uncertain and unsustainable. It was in my view an error to give Android room to exist and such a threat was unnecessary. Cook may well address this balance.

As you point out "Thus with Cook in charge, I don't think there's even a question in my mind that they will shift the company more into "disruptive leadership" mode" - I happen to hope the same.

Job's was outstanding on the creative leadership side but that's only part of building a sustainable company.

Re "I think once the current leadership team leaves (10+ years), survival will depend on Apple's ability to educate and grow new talent from within" ... I would agree, we're not a million miles away in viewpoint.

If you asked me whether I would have made the bet since Cook has been CEO, I would say probably not.

The whole purpose of the post, was to discuss the issue of balance. My view was Apple was unbalanced which is why I took the bet.

Henri Koppen said...

Can you browse on IOS? Yes. Can you share content with IOS? Yes.

Open source versus closed source is *not* the differentiator of success.

The only thing that matters is the functionality it delivers. Both open en closed source deliver it, so that will not make the of live or death of a product and it's company.

So, nice thinking, but I do not think Apple will crumble for their choice of openess.

Yorkie71 said...

An great article Simon. It will be interesting so see if your prediction comes true. It is hard to see how Apple can continue at this pace for much longer but we will see. I have never been an Apple user myself but have always admires the quality, usability and design of their products. Unfortunately their expense has put them out of my reach, but PCs have served me well over the year.

Your comparison with C64 made me feel very nostalgic. For me that was a great era in computing history. I was a ZX Spectrum person myself. I see that the C64 lives on too!

Lisa said...

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Julian Cochran said...

Chapter 11 from the present $130 billion cash holding?Their 2012 R&D was $3.3b. How can you model their cash being exhausted by 2017?

Gaurav Yadav said...

Feel good to see such civilized intelligent discussion. Want to write few things but feels exhausted to comment back & forth. Though I think you are wrong about open sourcing iOS. That would server no purpose for Apple ( for Google it makes sense, subsidizing android development through ad money ). Apple is never about marketshare ( Though they would like that ) They are about profit. Low profit on seasonings (iTunes, accessories, apps) but good profit on hardware. Google is about ads,ads,ads. In the end its about protecting their own turf. But come on, Apple will obviously not go bankrupt