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Apr 8, 2010

Apple on a Roll

Can any company match Apple? It's time for an update.

Billion Dollar Units

Cisco coined the strategy to organically grow new, billion-dollar businesses. Over the last few years, they have failed to execute the strategy.

Enter Apple. Count the business successes.
  • Macintosh PC's, particularly laptops.
  • Apple stores.
  • iPod music players
  • 70% share of digital music distribution
  • iPhone
  • Top share of purchased games
  • Annuity from wireless subscription plans

Recent Announcements

In 30 days, Apple has introduced the iPad and iPhone OS4 - entering multiple new businesses. I count four new, multi-billion enterprises.
  • The iPad overwhelms all eReaders on the opening bell, and may overtake the entire netbook segment.
  • Digital book distribution looks to become an easy, new, billion-dollar market for Apple - displacing long term players like Amazon, Sony, and Barnes & Noble.
  • Advertising has been boring for many years. iAds target billions of high-end ads delivered over the Apple franchise - and brings fresh excitement to the market.
  • Social gaming portal to gain a share of subscription based gaming.
Other segments where Apple is making progress include:
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • TV show and movie distribution
  • Difficult markets like enterprises
Is Apple becoming the distribution giant for all things digital? Apple has legs.

It's not just Steve Jobs, It's a Culture

What is truly amazing about Apple is its unique culture. Clearly, Mr. Jobs has been the incredible leader, but for a company to execute on so many fronts simultaneously - many leaders need to have the same clear vision to market leadership. This requires a huge team of members with a clear, common plan for success.

It is not a one-man show.

A success culture is not that easy to build. By comparison, Google has been an amazing technology company - with unique hiring plans, 20% innovation time, Marrisa Meyer, and other innovative cultural traits. However, despite thousands of projects, the company has failed to produce a second billion-dollar source of income.

Further, Google has chosen to cut-off-their toes by ending relations with the huge mobile and search markets in China.

Apple is executing.

Despite its newbie status in many new categories, few would argue that they have gained four new billion-dollar businesses.

Top Market Cap

MG Siegler, at Techcrunch, observed that Apple may be passing Microsoft on market cap, soon. Note that Apple has already left Google in the dust.

Could Apple become the market cap leader in the world?

You be the judge.

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