Clearly, it's Steve Jobs' world and we all are just living in his touch-screen-based, iTunes-driven, Cult-of-Mac world. Whether it's the Chinese are fighting over the iPad 2, or people leaving their laptops and home computers aside in favor of tablet environments, or Apple being named the world's most valuable brand, the mobile computing device industry has allowed Apple to escape the "also ran" category, a place the company resided until the mobile computing device industry began its takeover.
However, now that consumers are moving away from the home computing market in favor of mobile devices, Apple has final achieved its position of dominance. Nowhere is this more obvious than the news Apple has surpassed Google, becoming the world's most valuable brand (PDF).
According to report by Millward Brown, Apple experienced an 84 percent brand value increase between 2010 and 2011, allowing them to surpass such companies like Google, IBM, McDonald's, Microsoft, Coca-Cola and AT&T. It's also clear Apple's ascension is tied directly to the iPhone -- and its resulting cult-like following.
Over at the Millward Brown blog, Apple's ascension began in earnest in 2006, shortly before the debut of the iPhone. Since that time, Apple's value has increased 859 percent. If there's any mistaking about where Apple's successes lie, that is, the mobile device industry, this should clear things up:
Last year, Apple sold more iPads than Macs, and more iPhones than iPods. And according to a new report by IHS iSuppli, Apple will capture 76 percent of all mobile app revenues in 2011.
And a mobile device will set them free, apparently... At least that's what some Chinese iPad 2 scalpers thought, anyway. In a report at InternationalBusinessTimes.com, it was revealed that, in China, iPad 2 scalpers have been out in force, trying to profit from the resale of these devices. Apparently, their tactics are aggressive enough to catch the attention of Apple Store employees, and in one location, a fight between employees and scalpers broke out, leaving four people wounded:
...the hustle was courtesy a Chinese man surmised to be a scalper who tried to cut in thrice into the long queue of customers waiting to buy the iPad 2 in Beijing.
Three Apple security guards and an Apple manager attempted to shove the scalper aside, which ultimately resulted in a shoving match between an Apple security guard and a member of the scalper family.
Further detailing Apple's growing dominance, especially over the mobile computing industry, was a report from Nielsen, which said tablet owners (read, iPad) are using their other home computing devices significantly less than their tablet. This includes laptops, PCs and eReaders. Ease of use and transport was the primary reasons given for the increased usage.
You have to justify those tablet purchases somehow, right?
Facetiousness aside, the circle of Steve Jobs' is now complete. When he took over, Apple was but an upstart company with provocative commercials that recalled George Orwell.
Now, Apple is the apparent master. The question is, can anyone knock them off, especially as society moves more and more towards mobile device computing? Or are we bound to live in a Facebook/Twitter world where the main method of interaction is through the latest iDevice?