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« A Sustainable Wellness Model - Medicare & Prevention | Main | Your IT Department's Fear of the Cloud »
Saturday
Aug142010

Apple's Best Days Are Over - What Does It Mean for Fitness ?

David Olive's recent article titled Why Apple and Google May Have Their Best Days Behind Them is a thoughtful examination of the trends occuring in tehcnology today. There is a lot of rapid change going on. Its implications are broad and in fact relevant to the fitness industry; a traditional late comer to technology adoption. Why ? It has to do with change, adoption and open systems. Here are a few excerpts from David's article:

They dominated their industries until they didn’t. General Motors, Massey-Ferguson, IBM, Sears, Roebuck – in their heyday, it was unimaginable that they could be dislodged as kings of their castles by rival firms and new technology and business methods.

Apple is increasingly a smartphone company, and that sector is coming under intense attack from competitors. The maker of iPods, iPads and Mac computers now looks to iPhones for 34 per cent of total sales, or $5.3 billion (U.S.) in Apple’s most recent quarter.

Competing smartphones using Google Inc.’s Android operating system have claimed 27 per cent of the U.S. market, to the iPhone’s 23 per cent. And the Android rivals are able to play most videos and games on the Web, a capability lacking in the iPhone.

Google’s core business, Internet search, is slowing. The search business has been growing at a clip of 30 per cent to 40 per cent a year. But projections have it slowing to growth in the range of 15 per cent to 17 per cent.

Google still depends on search for 91 per cent of its $24 billion (U.S.) in sales, and 91 per cent of its profits. That’s troubling given the trend in which surfers are bypassing Google and Microsoft Corp. rival Bing and instead using the likes of Facebook and Twitter to canvass friends for information, and responding to alerts from shopping services like Groupon.

Certainly Google has tried to bolster its core franchise, with acquisitions of YouTube, ad network DoubleClick and mobile ad platform AdMob. Its Android smartphone software has become an iPhone killer for upward of a dozen Apple rivals.

Yet those businesses haven’t made a dent in Google’s reliance on old-fashioned search. With its core business facing erosion, it’s no wonder Google’s share price has dropped 21 per cent this year, underperforming a 1 per cent gain in the Nasdaq.

More consumer centric tecnhologies will emerge in the fitness industry. However, that they might rely on Apple as a central component is a question. That they will rely on Apple's mobile technology alone would really be unwise. Unfortunately many vendors seeking to deliver innovation will rely on tApple's mobile technology and that will be a mistake in my view.

Watch this video on the emergence of Android in the mobile market to illustrate my point. If you see vendors in fitness relying largely on Apple's solutions - that is a bad sign for them. Android will become the clear victor in the next two years.

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