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Analysis: How Apple is changing the CE industry

Posted: 26 Nov 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:consumer electronics? CE market? Apple business? smart phone?

Apple Inc. is already a great consumer electronics company. It's hard to argue against it. But the $64-million question is whether Apple has secured its position as king of the consumer market in the future.

You bet.

The smart money is on Apple, not because of Apple's specific future products, but because of Apple's current business model, and its meticulous, disciplined record of execution.

To be sure, Apple has brought a tectonic shift to the industry. Sounds too dramatic? I know. But I mean it.

Apple's iPod, iTune, iPhone and App Store aren't merely the latest fad fostered by the company. Apple has built a new business paradigm, likely to impose lasting effects on the CE industry.

The global adoration of Apple's products and its business model is infectious and unprecedented.

The Consumer Electronics Show happens every January in Las Vegas, drawing every industry giant into its sphere. But, like Macavity the mystery cat, Apple's not there.

And yet, Apple, which proudly and pointedly shuns CES, has managed to steal the competition's thunder with new products and corporate announcements at every recent CES. Despite being physically absent, Apple dominates conversation on the show floor and in countless panel sessions.

Going the Apple way
Talk to any executive at any leading consumer electronics company and many will openly admit to Apple envy. Some even wonder out loud where their company has gone wrong, while Apple has become so successful. There is no better example than a new service unveiled by Sony Corp. last week.

It's called "Sony Online Service (SOS)." Sony's SOS looks like something straight out of Apple's playbook.

With SOS, Sony's strategy is to achieve differentiation by delivering movies, games and music to their devicesallowing consumers to buy once and watch or play the same content on TV, mobile phone, or any other gadget bearing the same SOS log-in identity. Sound like Apple's App Store?

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