The only way to win against innovation is even more innovation and looks like the PC makers are finally waking up to the fact that simply aping Apple’s cutting edge designs or innovative products and business models are not going to help their wafer-thin margins. In an interview with DigiTimes, outspoken Acer founder Stan Shih called Apple products a ‘mutant virus’ that the PC industry has no cure for. An excerpt:
Acer founder Stan Shih, in a talks with reporters on September 8, commented that Apple’s strong popularity is mainly due to its products such as iPad and iPhone, and these products are like mutant viruses, which are difficult to find a cure for in the short-term, but he believes that PC vendors will eventually find a way to isolate Apple and become immune.
Shih pointed out that Apple deserves to be respected, since it has a completely different strategy than other PC brands. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has always been looking for revolution, while other PC brands evolved naturally and are developing products in a more solid way, Shih commented. But based on the historical experience, a market that evolves naturally will always turn out to be much stronger, according to Shih.
Shih used the example of the competition between Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s Macintosh OS and noted the Apple has always looked down on Windows and believes it lacks creativity. But Windows’ open platform has attracted the adoption of most PC brands, Shih said adding that, Apple’s PC market has turned out to be limited, with a market share far less than the open Windows platform group. Shih also brought up the example of the competition between video tape formats, pointing out that the open VHS standard won against the closed Betamax format.
He believes that just like how PCs won market-share in the PC vs Mac wars, Android will win market-share from iOS in the long run,and while that optimism is very cute, Apple’s measly single-digit PC market-share has not held it back from beating 90+% market-share hoarding Microsoft, to take the title of the most valuable tech company on the planet today. The key to that lies in this quote from Steve Jobs: