Apple vs. The Competition

How Did Apple Become Such a Juggernaut?

When Apple released the iMac in 1998, they intentionally set a stark contrast between their products and everything else on the market. Boxy, beige computers looked boring and dull next to the round, colorful, translucent iMacs. With the iMac, Apple also abandoned technology they believed would soon be obsolete – instead of floppy drives or SCSI ports, their computers only featured optical drives and USB.

This move was a hint of a larger trend for Apple, as they would spend the next decade and beyond following the same philosophy that made the iMac successful: rework existing technology by abandoning what may grow obsolete, simplify the interface and make a new product that focuses as much on software as it does hardware.

Tech enthusiasts will argue this to no end, but Apple has successfully made themselves the benchmark in mobile computing by continuing to follow this philosophy. Some readers may scoff at this, but if you take a look at the reviews for any tablet, smart phone, Ultrabook or even mp3 player, you’re almost certain to find a mention of how that device compares to an Apple product.

However, hardware and interface were not the only vehicles leading to Apple’s resurgence. With iTunes, Apple has become the premier content provider for portable devices, offering music, books, TV and Movies in both SD and HD and on a buy or rental basis. While Amazon and Google both offer online content, the selection on iTunes is unmatched, and the ability to play across multiple Apple devices through a cable or Apple TV is seldom replicated on a consistent basis. This has become Apple’s Trojan Horse – all of their devices have iTunes deeply integrated, with all its content just a click or tap away.

Still, that doesn’t mean that Apple is without stiff competition. Companies like Samsung and Google are doing everything possible to eat Apple’s lunch. Let’s look past the patent lawsuits and marketing hype and take a look at what you’ll be seeing on store shelves this holiday season.

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November 18, 2012
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