Apple, according to the Wall Street Journal, will have to “fight hard for every sale.” Really?
From Dan Gallagher’s “Apple Needs to Keep Accessorizing” ($) in Monday’s paper:
Inconveniently for Apple Inc., its new iPhones are coming just as everything not named iPhone is doing great.
Sales of Mac computers, iPads and wearable products such as the Apple Watch and AirPods have all notched gains in the first nine months of Apple’s current fiscal year, which ends later this month. Accessories like the AirPods have been especially hot, with Apple crediting “phenomenal demand” for the wireless earbuds in its most recent results…
And now, for Gallagher head-snapping conclusion:
In fact, Apple now faces tougher competition across all of its categories. The Mac, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV must all contend with rival devices from companies who have learned to take a page from Apple’s formidable design chops. The company is still right to lessen its dependence on the iPhone. But it will fight hard for every sale.
How does Gallagher get from point A to point B? Through Consumer Reports. Gallagher penultimate paragraph:
AirPods, meanwhile, are still hot—even three years after their initial launch. [Toni] Sacconaghi estimates that Apple is now close to selling about 10 million units each quarter, which is more than even the iPod managed at the same stage of life. But AirPods also face mounting competition from other wireless buds. Consumer Reports even recently picked Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds as “the clear winner” in the category the AirPods once owned.
My take: Amazing how useful a thumbs-down from Consumer Reports can be to a writer trying to turn a corner and get to his kicker. I finally got around to reading CS’ famous earbud face-off this morning. I’m old enough to have once subscribed to Consumer Reports magazine, and having made purchase decisions based on its recommendations. I’m also old enough to remember when Consumer Reports advised readers not to buy the iPhone 4, Apple’s best-selling phone to that date. Business Insider called it a “brilliant PR move,” one Consumer Reports hasn’t forgotten.