Since launching the Apple II personal computer, Apple has been viewed as a different kind of company. Though all of its products haven't been runaway best sellers, many have attracted a lot of attention. Beginning with the original iMac in 1998, its products often became hits. It revolutionized portable music with the iPod and mobile computing with the iPhone and iPad. Has the company peaked though?
Brian Deagon of Investors Business Daily thinks Apple's best years are behind it. He said "the iPhone is boxy, flat, and feeling stale" and "smartphones and tablets will become commodity items and Apple will be eaten by the collective Android gang."
From a sales standpoint, Deagon may have a point. The iPhone is still the number one selling phone, but Android has far surpassed iOS as the largest platform. The Kindle Fire, which uses a heavily customized version of Android, is estimated to have cost Apple at least $1 billion in iPad sales during the holiday season.
This may represent a financial challenge to the company as it looks to create new markets or radically transform others, as it has done several times in the last decade. That might make Apple's stock uncool to investors, but that doesn't mean the company itself will lose any of its luster anytime soon.
Deagon cites the Samsung Galaxy smartphone as one example of something cooler than the iPhone. On paper, it may have better specs. It may have certain features the iPhone lacks, but that doesn't make it more cool. Ask any random person on the street if they would rather have an iPhone or the Galaxy, I'd be shocked if most knew what the latter even was.
Apple is more than a company. It is an image. People love Apple. They want others to know they use Apple devices. Some even do it to the point of being supremely annoying about it.
Nothing is guaranteed of course, but Apple was cool long before it was a market leader, and it will be capable of being the same even if it no longer leads the mobile race. What will cause it to lose its cool factor is mismanagement of the legend Steve Jobs created, not some technological wizardry from Samsung or anyone else. How many people would consider getting a Samsung tattoo on their body? Yeah, I thought so.