Apple seems to be all over the news these days. It’s stock price is up to $123 per share from $85 at the beginning of 2007.
The buzz and valuation boost seem well deserved for they have been pursuing the long hard road of building a winning digital convergence strategy. Just look at the facts, iTunes is on over 300 million computers, iTunes jumps to number 3 in music sales, the analysts are predicting iPod sales of 10 million unit this quarter, Apple TV has been launched, and the iPhone should emerge as the most talked about new consumer electronic device in history.
It seems to me that they have been working hard at this for years and the exciting part of their strategy is starting to become a reality. They have secured a strong position in the world of media on Macs, Windows based computers, portable music players, iptv devices and soon will sell lots of mobile cell phones.
While the iPhone is still unproven, it will be bought and put to the test by many. If it lives up to it’s hype it will be an huge benefit to pushing Apple’s convergence agenda forward as it will drive developers to start building web apps using Safari, Apple’s alternative to Firefox and IE. At the same time, Apple has released Safari for Windows, which means that apps written for the iPhone will also play on your Windows device.
Step by step, Apple has been stealthily putting the pieces into place that make them a central player in the convergence of digital technology and media. They have done it by building really useful products that each make our lives a little bit better. Each one of the products by themselves has been great, but the collection of software and devices they have been able to deploy means that they could well be the big winner when our home computing environments and our home entertainment environments merge into one integrated environment that makes moving between media sources, data sources and applications seamless and easy.
While Microsoft has been distracted by Google, Apple stealth approach to competition seems to have put them in an enviable position.