Is the lack of a competitor good?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by richpjr, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    The iPad is a runaway success and is dominating both sales and mindset. There are no real competitors to it and it doesn't look like anything is even on the horizon that looks able to challenge the Apple machine for the foreseeable future. But is that good? Apple is a for profit company and in the end will do what is best for them, not for us. I've gone all in on the Apple bandwagon. Everyone in my family has iPhones, we have 3 iPads, 3 Apple notebooks, an iMac, 3 Apple TVs and an Apple router. It's obviously extremely convenient having one source to share between and sync them. But I am not real comfortable having a sole source for everything. Up until now I have been generally happy with all of my products. They aren't perfect, but are the best or close to the best on the market. But will the lack of a competitor hurt in the long run? Will we continue to get the best product and the best price with no real competition?

    What do you think?
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
  3. MR1324 macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2010
    innovation comes with competition. no, it is not a good thing if there are no competitors.
  4. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Jun 8, 2011
    Innovation isn't always sparked by competition. It really depends on the company. Apple isn't normally a company that gets complacent.
  5. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I think that the lack of competition isn't nearly as bad for the consumer as the rabid fans and biased media that constantly make excuses or overhype the smallest upgraded features. That false sense of "we're perfect" makes the necessity of "huge new annual features" unnecessary.

    That said, apple doesnt need competition to be innovative. I bet that Apple has a lab full of incredible ideas that they can unleash at any point that they feel threatened.
  6. AR15MBP macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2009
    Took the words right out of my keyboard.
  7. ThatsMeRight, Apr 4, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012

    ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    Yeah, it definitely is a negative thing that there is little competition. Apple has always done things to differentiate themselves from the competition.

    One example is the retina display on the iPhone 4. I am quite sure that Apple would never have introduced the retina display if the competition wasn't pushing all those higher resolution AMOLED displays. I can't support my statement, but I believe - if you look at Apple's history that it is pretty obvious.

    The retina display on the iPad: sure, they might have been busy with it since the original iPad, but only now when the competion started pushing better displays with Full HD resolutions Apple decided to give us a retina display,

    And those who say Apple doesn't compete on the hardware side: you are completely wrong. Apple already had the most powerful GPU in a mobile device since the iPad 2 - which wasn't necessary. Apple was happy to state that the iPad 2 was the first dual-core tablet to ship in huge quantities. Apple has only been using the same CPU architecture for two years in a row. After that, they always switch. Apple is happy to talk about its camera lenses.

    Fact is: Apple only introduces bigger, greater products when it's in risk of lagging behind. The iPhone 4 was a huge upgrade. By the end of 2009 and by the beginning of 2010 almost all competitors were talking about their great OLED displays, better cameras with flash, video calling and thinness. So what did Apple do? They introduced the 'retina display' (marketing), an extremely high resolution display. So what did Apple do? They introduced a camera with much better lenses, more pixels and a LED flash - and now it is called iSight (marketing). So what did Apple do? They gave us a front facing camera, but made it special - it's not just a camera to make video calls with, it's a FaceTime camera. So what did Apple do? They made a thinner smartphone: at the time the thinnest in the world.

    That doesn't mean Apple doesn't introduce great things (the first iPad, the app store, the first iPhone), but the successor of a device (the next generations) are usually based on either catching up or beating the competition only just.

    Apple is about catching up and not lagging behind with the competion. When they introduce something that really isn't new, they give it a special name like iSight and FaceTime. You'll feel great. And occasionally, they will introduce something that is in fact new (like the first iPhone and iPad and of course the App Store).

    Anyone who thinks Apple truly cares about you, is wrong. They might have some ideals, but in the end Apple is just another commercial company. And commercial companies are all about making profits... and that's what they exactly are doing right now.
  8. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    Never say never. :) Sometimes a lack of competition allows a "better" product to gain enough of a foothold to benefit from economies of scale, so it isn't drowned out by "cheaper".

    And, of course, there are many situations where homogeneity is more important than the benefits of variety. That's why we have standards.
  9. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Of course lack of competition isn't good.

    However, i'm to so sure that Apple really lacks competition. Keep in mind that iOS is just as much on the iPhone as it is on the iPad, and the iPhone market is heavily competitive.

    And, if you ask any Android fan, they'll gladly rattle off a litany of "iPad killers."

    Whether or not you agree with them however, is subjective.
  10. Jessemtz25 macrumors regular


    Dec 27, 2011
    What company at the end of the day isn't out for a profit?
  11. William.Mantle macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2011
    A lack of competition leads to a heavier, slower ipad with screen and heat issues
  12. Carouser macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2010
    So absent competition, Apple won't innovate. Yet there's plenty of serious competition facing every other tablet manufacturer by Apple, and all they've been spurred to do because of this competition is make landfill electronics.

    This mantra of 'competition is always good and without it Apple won't improve their products' is a dumb platitude, nothing more.
  13. Frenchjay macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2010
    I don't think there is a lack of competition, it's just Apple has managed to make some of the best products on the market coupled with a very good marketing department.
  14. Delighted macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2012
    It doesn't matter if the competitors put out a more competitive tablet. I just enjoy being in Apples ecosystem, this alone will keep me buying an iPad regardless of what others put out.
  15. Eddie Bombay macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2011
    The competition is afraid to get sued by Apple :p
  16. noteple macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2011
    If you want a tablet like an iPad. You've got to buy an iPad.

    3 million on release date gives them some leverage on pricing.

    Not to mention the App store, display, LTE, battery life, etc.....
  17. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    The lack of competition is what allows them to have such long periods between new product release and spend time on a lot of quality control measures, while a company like samsung probably churns out almost infinity different variations of the same boring stuff.

    However, the lack of competition also allows Apple to stretch things out and each iteration of device can get away with adding a few new features that could easily have been on the last version. I would personally love to see some genuine competition but Apple are so far ahead that they're not going to get caught any time soon, and even if serious competition arose they have the cash reserves to buy them outright and quash it.
  18. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    There is competition for the iPad - the problem is that nobody has been able to make one that truly competes with the iPad at its price point. The only real big seller is the Kindle Fire, and that really doesn't compete directly with the iPad in all honesty. Even the Asus Transformer Prime apparently has a very low initial production run, and if they can't even make the necessary quantities to challenge Apple's market position, they're just going to fall further behind as far as market share is concerned.

    That being said, I think the real competition to the iPad is going to be Windows 8. The question is what will the Windows 8 tablets look like, and how much will they be sold for?
  19. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    That argument gets pretty old. Apple isn't holding back features, it makes calculated moves to offer a competitive feature set at an acceptable price.

    Everyone "expected" a retina display with the iPad 2 but that was unrealistic. Nobody was capable of making them in the necessary volume at the right price. And it wasn't just a matter of slapping a new display on the device, you needed the graphics processing power to keep the display running smoothly and a battery to keep the whole thing running for an acceptable length of time.

    All that added to the weight, so while they certainly could have added more hardware features, they were operating under the constraints of a fixed volume. Add something - then delete something else.

    Oh, and then keep the entry price at $499.

    Easy to speculate on what they could have put in earlier, but the realities of developing, sourcing and manufacturing have to be weighed into what's possible, not just "they could have."
  20. richpjr thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    The easy answer - all companies that are not non-profit! :)

    Of course Apple is a for profit company, but if they had no competition and people could only buy iPads, would they spend as much on R&D? Would we get new models as fast?

    Having said that, it's gets a little more complicated in that Apple also has to compete with itself. I personally skipped the iPad 2 because it wasn't a big enough jump over my iPad 1. The new iPad was a big of enough leap that I did pick it up. And an awful lot of us are repeat buyers so they do have a delicate balance even if no other company is serious competition. If the new models aren't that big of an improvement, they lose out on a healthy upgrade market.
  21. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    Apple competes with itself. The stock market is a cruel mistress and it takes little more than a few down quarters to lose whatever good will the Firm has created. To keep the momentum steady Apple has to release a steady supply of new product. At the iPad price point the consumer market has demonstrated that annual upgrades are viable. Despite what people say about Apple customers, they still expect a genuinely improved product.

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