Apple has for the past half-decade dominated the technology headlines, the design press, tablet sales and given the smartphone industry a huge kick up the you know what. The share price has rocketed and so have quarterly financial reports, but this could all be about to change.
They say that when you are at the top you can only go one way and small chinks are appearing in the aluminium armour that Apple has polished so carefully in the 2000′s. The iPad is of course selling well, but the Microsoft Surface has a big chance considering that 90% of the world’s computers run Windows. Indeed, consider Windows 8 on a smartphone, tablet and desktop and you can see where Microsoft is heading. I would bet that Microsoft will get there before Google or Apple in building an identical eco-system between all three form factors. And then there is the Nexus 7, a tablet so cheap and at 7″ it is the right size for a tablet (in my opinion). It could gain substantial ground before Apple releases the smaller iPad.
The Galaxy SIII is a fantastic smartphone and so is the HTC One X and the Galaxy Nexus. All are arguably better than the iPhone 4S from a hardware point of view and if the rumours surrounding the iPhone 5 are correct, they still will be. Apple needs to think bigger in terms of smartphones to keep pace because a new phone that is similar to the 4S in stature will not do what the previous models have done, nowhere near.
And then there is iCloud. Google does web integration better than Apple and so does Microsoft. I use an iMac every day and at no point does it feel the same as my iPad or iPhone- some of the features such as Photo Stream are useful, but Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs are my weapons of choice to get stuff done. Everywhere I turn, I see red flags for Apple and green flags for Google and Microsoft. I may be wrong and in a way I hope I am because one thing Apple does well is drive the entire industry, but those red flags keep coming back to me.