One Bad Apple: Apple Squeezes Competitors

Apple is looking like what Microsoft was 10 years ago — a Bigfoot that squeezes smaller competitors.A former lieutenant of Steve Jobs’s once told me something surprising about his ex-boss. “Steve is a monopolist at heart,” he said. “He’s just like Bill Gates. He just hasn’t been as successful.” Well, Jobs is getting there. This summer, Apple’s market capitalization surged past Google’s, making it the financial king of Silicon Valley. True, Apple still holds only 11 percent of the U.S. consumer PC market, according to researcher NPD, but its influence is far greater than that market share suggests. The iconic iPod dominates its market, and the iTunes music store has sold more than 5 billion songs, making it the No. 1 music retailer in America, ahead of Wal-Mart, according to IDC. Apple’s iPhone is the No. 3 smart phone in the United States, according to NPD.Not long ago Apple was just a niche PC maker selling to diehard fans who were quick to forgive (or even celebrate) Apple’s quirks and foibles. But Apple is no longer an underdog. In fact, Apple has started looking like what Microsoft was 10 years ago — a company that so controls certain market segments that smaller competitors can survive only by living on its scraps or staying out of its way. (Apple declined to comment for this story.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.