Sun Tzu, the maybe historical Chinese general, is a favorite for tech motivational speakers, with a war-making philosophy that can be summarized as “avoid direct military conflict when other means suffice”. Real or imaginary, Sun Tzu would be proud of what Apple has done to its competitors.
I’ve had to copy my envelope-back to a genuine list of now-departed CEOs who failed to confront Apple with a strategy or products that suited said CEO’s board. Here’s the list of the departed as of the first day of Q2-2011:
- Dirk Meyer – AMD
- Gianfranco Lanci – Acer
- Nam Yong – LG Electronics
- Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo – Nokia
Motorola, Sony, Toshiba, Asustek Computer (Asus) and Lenovo are all in danger of being dragged off by the smartphone wave that is iPhone.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell have modest smartphone bases, and are for the moment defending their enterprise citadels from incursions by the iPad. But walled moats have not held forever in the innovative tech industry. Verticals like education and medical are taking up tablets at a rapid rate. The PC giants need a better solution, fairly soon.
As I keep saying, its not just about the hardware. The so-far impregnable juggernaught that is Apple is an ecosystem of hardware, operating system, apps, an app store, and vibrant developer community.