Originally Posted by Sil_liS
The problem with Apple going bust (not that it's going to happen soon, etc.) is that it will be followed by increased concern that the market for devices is falling, which will screw up the economy further. Components manufacturers will feel it first, but the effects will not stop there.
I'm not saying that you should go and buy Apple products to keep them going, but if the management screws things up so badly that they lead one of the most profitable companies to ruin, everybody is going to feel the effects.
You're close. Your observations are spot on, but I have other thoughts on cause and effect.
I think the cause is the rapid acceleration of change coupled with a high level of satisfaction and the effect is that people sit tight waiting to see what comes next.
When it was just Apple, there was an ever increasing throng of consumers waiting for the next version. It was going to be much better than what you had and not as good as what was to come. Some people bought every release and others held on for a bit, but you decided when Apple announced the next product.
Now, if Apple doesn't get it just right, you can sit tight to see if Samsung, Amazon, or Google do. In my house, we postponed upgrading our Fires for a year to see if Amazon would add 4g to the 8" models. While we were waiting, I got interested in the Surface. Amazon may lose out on the sale. Everyone lost out on a sale while I wait to see what happens next.
I wouldn't lose too much sleep over this. This is what commoditization is all about. This is the peak of consumer advantage. Before long, players will start leaving the market and technology and prices will stabilize.