Mobile Mavens

All eyes on Apple: Is the industry too reliant on iPhone for success?

All eyes on Apple: Is the industry too reliant on iPhone for success?

Last week saw Apple post record revenues, profits, and handset sales.

However, a slightly retracted forecast for the forthcoming quarter, combined with the fact Apple wasn't quite able to sell 50 million iPhones in one quarter – yes, that's 50 million – meant the giant's share nose dived in the hours that followed.

So, we asked the Mavens:

Is the industry too reliant on Apple for success? Is it unrealistic to expect the platform to grow forever, and were investors right to sell off stock following the firm's record breaking results?

Brian Baglow Executive Producer Team Rock Games

See: Nokia.

Dave Castelnuovo Owner Bolt Creative

People tend to behave in a herd mentality, the stock market especially.

There is an impression that Apple can only go downhill from here, so people are selling the stock in anticipation of what will happen over the next year or two.

I can certainly see the point of view that says that since Apple is currently number one - and it just reported one of the largest corporate earnings in history - it can only be downhill from here.

Like Brian alluded to, there have been plenty of companies in this position and no one- except for maybe Exxon - can manage to hold onto it for more than a few years.

However, there is some danger in mindlessly applying patterns in the past to the future. In order for a company to lose its position, someone else needs to take over its market share or cannibalise its market with a new product. I just don’t see that happening with Apple - at least in the next few years.

Sure Android is giving iOS a run for its money and gained their position through the release of cheap devices, but Apple is a strong competitor. Verizon and AT&T in the US just announced record iPhone sales. 75 percent of all new phones that Verizon sold were iPhones.

When Apple releases a new device it will obliterate Android, leaving Google the rest of the year to try to catch up. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t. But the smartphone market worldwide is still growing at a solid rate.

The bottom line is that Apple still has to get people excited about its devices. A new technological breakthrough would be nice so they don’t have to continue relying on design, but I personally think it still has it within, and I honestly don’t see any other company that has the ability to take that away.

Christopher Kassulke CEO / Owner HandyGames



The only people the industry relies on are consumers.

Will Luton Luton & Son Founder

Without Apple, we'd still be on the slow march of pre-iPhone bullshit - J2ME, slide-out keyboards and polyphonic ringtone downloads. Tablet computing would be Windows with a stylus. Laptops would all look like IBM ThinkPads.

Apple serves (or at least has served) a function of shitting everyone up. If you don't keep moving and bettering, they'll wipe you out.

If Apple stops, then all progress slows.

So to that end, I think Apple is being kept on its toes by investors – they're saying incremental is not what they want. They want groundbreaking leaps in technology and user adoption – it's Apple's place.

Joony Koo Head of Business Development Block Crafters

It was a big drop, but stock holders need to realise their investment at some point. A record high revenue report is just the right timing.

I don't see much relation between Apple's stock and its leadership as a mobile gaming/app platform.

I believe it will hold the number one platform position for quite a while and, as Chris mentioned, as long as Apple's devices are where our users go to to consume games and apps, that's where our market is.

Well, I don't see this changing for the time being.

What I'm more worried about in the case of "relying on" something is that I don't see much change in the top grossing ranked publishers for the past how many months.

The ones that show up there never seem to change.

It feels like the old days where the carriers started to "take care of" the top 15 publishers and they would dominate the market - except that this time the big brother isn't Apple or Google, but rather the fact that it is so difficult to get exposure as it is often bought or self-served through cross promotions.

David Thomson Founder Ludometrics

Stock prices often drop when investors start cashing in - with Apple posting the single most profitable year in corporate history, I'm not surprised quite a lot of people feel like now's the time to take their own profits.

The industry's reliant on whoever happens to bring large amounts people together - as others have pointed out, Apple has changed the market for better or worse (or both, more probably), but it's the people who have its devices in their hands who we rely on to play, to buy and to (hopefully) tell their friends about what we make.

Keith Andrew With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

I think when it comes to 'we go where the gamers are' statements, we may all be looking in the wrong direction.

That, I expect, is exactly what the likes of those at THQ would have said in 2008 before the launch of the App Store. Or scores of 'hardcore' publishers before Wii came along.

It's very easy to get left behind in this industry because we expect what comes next to look much like what's currently top dog.

In reality, the firm that takes Apple's 'crown' isn't likely to be another mobile on its own. It's not going to be a phone that's a bit flashier than iPhone, or cheaper, or features changeable covers, has a maps app that works, or some other gimmick.

Instead, something will come along that changes the way consumers play – or, rather, what they use to play.

Mobile gaming isn't going to go away any time soon. Rather, it's merging with the rest of the industry. What may undo Apple – and, indeed, Google – isn't another mobile platform on its own, but a mobile platform that's able to link up with the other devices consumers want to play game on.

If we're all expecting the 'next big thing' to be another mobile, then we could all be in for a shock.


With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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