Carol Kong

Carol Kong
Contributor since: 2013
The licensing agreement in South Korea includes opening 5 RMCF stores within 30 months, along with the option to convert to a Master Licensing Agreement for a minimum of 30 stores. The agreement for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia includes opening 4 RMCF stores within 30 months, with the option to develop a total of 10 stores.
Because the stores have opened at a slower pace, they will be reviewing the terms of the licensing agreement. I am not concerned, as I wouldn't expect a consistent 10 stores to open annually, but a gradual ramp up over time.
Correct, unfortunately only 5 stores have opened, rather than the 10.
You bring up compelling arguments. While I do agree that de-throning Microsoft in the enterprise space is unlikely in the near future, Apple is managing at paving their way into the enterprise market.
However, your notion that people don't want to use a second platform is mislead. The consumer market is a completely different space, and the future generation isn't as devoted to the PC revolution as you think. Consider my restatement of your thoughts:
I am [forced] to work at least 40 hours a week on a Windows O/S and [thankfully] getting paid to do so. [I can't wait] to work on a another O/S for personal use that [is way more] productive as far as business applications [and all other purposes] goes.
There's a few ways to look at the 'competition' aspect.
1. Is the competition to be the industry leader for server solutions and operating systems, meaning that it is crucial for Microsoft Office Suite, Exchange, Sharepoint, etc to remain as the industry standard? If so, remembering that the bulk of Microsoft's revenue is derived from this, then ensuring that Office is used on the Apple platform ensures their stance.
2. Is the competition to win in hardware sales for tablets, and can their device compete in both the consumer and enterprise markets? If the Surface can offer seamless integration with Microsoft and Windows products, then the Surface will be successful for enterprise use regardless of whether or not and iPad/Android Office app or is released.
3. Does reluctance to release tablet Office versions benefit the competition of the growing Google Apps, iWork, and other third party office apps?
While I don't have the expertise to understand the tech issues between the two platforms, I'd expect that there aren't substantial hardware issues of developing an Office app with simplified functionality. Most iPad users aren't looking for an app to replace their computer Office Suite, but to complement it when they are on the go.
I think the issues arise from Apple taking 30% of app store revenue from Microsoft. Isn't that where the push for Office 365 and Skydrive stem from?
These days, taking so much as 10-15% market share of the smartphone sector is no easy feat. When do you expect Microsoft & Nokia to accomplish this by?
It's great that Microsoft's Surface Pro can run PC-level applications (note the Surface RT that sold ~1 million units can't do this), but don't the low sales numbers point to the fact that consumers don't care? The Surface might help bridge the gap between content consumption tablets and content production laptops, but the world isn't ready to replace their desktop computers with tablets yet, and the demand for a PC-level tablet isn't high. Tablets don't need to run 'full' versions of all software. I wouldn't go so far to call a mobile/tablet versions that serve a different purpose to be crippled versions.
I also hope that when "Apple catches up and does the same", they will be selling a lot more units than Microsoft has.
Great perspective on the glue, and HTML5 points. I think ultrabooks will gain popularity in the future, but are currently priced too high for the value they offer in comparison to tablets or laptops.
You're also right about the recommendations already being implemented - I guess it's not just about stepping in those directions, but also executing them well.
Considering your thoughts on the reverse situation, Apple's operating revenues are not heavily weighted in system/server/software licensing, whereas Microsoft's is. Microsoft Office is used and desired by Apple users because it currently is the industry standard - but with the growing number of Apple users who still want to continue using Microsoft Office, isn't Microsoft missing out on lost revenue? The question becomes - do they want to pursue a platform strategy or a product strategy?
And is the revenue earned from keeping Office proprietory to Microsoft devices only and from hardware sales worth the loss in licensing fees?
There's risk to both releasing Office for other platforms, and to not releasing it.
Thanks for reading. I agree with you that Windows and Office currently are accepted as the industry standard. Technology and software is improving rapidly these days - wouldn't you say the possibility exists that it is no longer the standard in 5+ years?
spot on
@scott trader
Hah! nice analogy
Stocks go up and down and I was by no means saying that Cook was responsible for apple's stock price fate. The low price is really just a blessing in disguise for Apple to repurchase shares.
I suppose you're correct there hasn't been other extraordinary innovation from other companies. However, there has been extraordinary copycat products that closes in on Apple's competitive edge.
Well said.
Change isn't always bad, and it's not that Cook doesn't have vision, but his is just different from Jobs'.
Credit goes where it's due, and that's why Apple bears are unwarranted. Cook has done a stellar job managing the company, but just using a different approach.
Agreed - with $10 B allocated to the share repurchase program it still leaves plenty left for other purposes.
I agree that Apple is in good hands with Tim Cook and the board, and all the talent. He's managing the company well, and I'm excited for the new products they are developing! While they are on their own schedule and the quality products take a lot of time before coming to market, Apple just needs to be wary not to lose their momentum. Technology trends can be fickle based on whatever the next coolest thing is.
Absolutely, and discount e-tailing IS their core business. Going into video streaming is a way to complement their Kindle sector. Adding more perks to what Amazon Prime buys you will increase Prime membership and also allow them to increase membership costs in the future for more consistent revenue, as their margins decline.
Entering online video streaming may be costing AMZN a fortune, but making investments in content is a necessary investment to prevent Netflix from running too far ahead as a market leader.
In a field such as digital media content, it will be a contest of who can hold their breath the longest, and Amazon's other businesses will help back up their revenues while forcing Netflix's hand. If anything, they will keep pushing until a fissure swallows Netflix.
@Michael Nau,
Indeed you are correct. Customer loyalty and satisfaction does not necessarily mean profits, but it means building a brand that is valued and can in turn churn higher profits in the future.
Amazon's eagerness in the online streaming business is an attempt to compete in the platform war against Google and Apple. With their Kindle Fire Tablet, Amazon is trying to gain marketshare for their device and build a base of loyal customers through video streaming.
In the past, Amazon has plowed into business segments with low potential for revenues, but that is due to Amazon's business model geared at putting the customer first, and then secondly finding a way to improve their revenues.
Great points. I agree that capital outlay is the largest deterrent in adopting the Mac environment. Corporations are finally realizing the life cycle cost of much lower, given lower IT costs. Another issue was previously the availability of software restricted to Windows, but almost all software is now available on both windows and Mac, and this is no longer a problem.
I definitely agree that the iPad will be the driver behind enterprise growth. But the syncing, convenience, and productivity improvements of pairing both iPhone and iPad together just mean that the trend of adopting iOS will improve sales of both devices.
Yes there has been a lot of hype about Windows 8 pads, but from a usability point of view in my experience, Apple is superior in both the OS and the device.
Great find, thanks!
Great point. There are many examples that prove Apple is successfully being integrated by companies large and small. Or course there won't be negative pages, but these testamonials just goes to show that Apple a clear choice in enterprise, and there is plenty of room to grow.
@Jack Baker
Thanks for your comments!
I agree that the enterprise market is smaller, but growth in developing markets such as India and China will also reduce profit margins. Hopefully growth in the enterprise market will help to offset these concerns and keep profit margins high, and continue the forecasted growth.
The difference between Apple and BlackBerry in this scenario is that BlackBerry's core business, and strength was originally in the enterprise market. As they began focusing on personal use, and providing lower cost phones to increase market share, they slowly started to slip on providing the best enterprise solution.
Apple is beginning to step into this role, and is strong in its other segments - including iTunes & app revenue, and also personal use sales for Macs, iPads, and iPhones. The difference is that the enterprise market is not Apple's lifeline, but a new growth opportunity, that will provide more stability.
Other systems have similar issues, and there is no perfect operating system/device. The battery drain issue is a common issue for ALL phones, including the new z10.
Just because there are issues surrounding the Apple environment, does not mean that they are not ready for an enterprise environment. And they have been serving this market already.
I think that whether or not each OS is "better" depends on users needs. There is a large market for Apple, including its large user base. No doubt there will be some Apple faithful switching to BlackBerry, but this is natural with every product release by any company.
iOS may not have faced any drastic improvements, but it is still very functional and gets the job done. There are other reasons why Apple is a 'sticky' brand, outside of the quality of the operating system.