From Vlad Savov's "Nintendo Is the Apple of Asia" posted Tuesday by Bloomberg:
Apple Inc. and Nintendo Co. are two of the technology world’s biggest names, each built on idiosyncratic ways of doing business. Although their market values are separated by about $2 trillion, they are perhaps the industry’s closest ideological peers.
I was reminded of this last week when Bloomberg broke news of Nintendo’s plan to hike production of its six-year-old Switch console. At this point in the system’s life cycle, any other hardware maker would be getting ready to start talking about its next product. Nintendo is convinced it can sell more of the old one.
Apple and Nintendo move to their own rhythm. I thought the AirPods looked stupid when they were first announced. Likewise, the Switch underwhelmed me at first with its lack of commitment to either portable or home console play. But both proved my initial judgment wrong with the quality of how they worked...
For much of the last four decades, these two companies have transcended the commodified nature of personal electronics and generate outsized profits for the hardware they put in people’s hands. The two keys I see to this are software and the power of a strong brand.
An iPhone without iOS is just a shiny glass-and-steel sandwich. A Switch without Nintendo’s storied franchises like Animal Crossing, the Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. is — well, look at the frumpy thing and its bezels from 2010...
Another analog between the American and Japanese giants: devoted customers who will buy the new thing no matter how incremental the upgrade and, moreover, feel deep satisfaction about it. Apple used to sell S editions of iPhones that made it obvious when the company didn’t have a new design ready — and people flocked to them anyhow. Nintendo puts out game-themed Switch consoles that, likewise, draw committed fans to buy new hardware with the same old specs.
My take: Market caps separated by "about $2 trillion?" Believe it or not, that's accurate to within some $20 billion. Nintendo's market value this morning is 7.2 trillion Japanese Yen, or $55.2 billion, compared to Apple's $2.35 trillion.