Apple Now Creates Markets Before It Even Enters Them

Thought-provoking piece by Mr. Google+, Mike Elgan.

The ability of Apple to create markets before they enter them is a function, by the way, of three phenomena:

1. Apple’s great reputation. We saw this with the iPad. Before anyone had even seen it, people were already lining up to buy it. People expected Apple to ship a solid, elegant, beautiful device because of Apple’s previous products, and Apple delivered on that expectation.

2. The impossibility of keeping secrets. If Apple had it their way, nobody would be talking about the iWatch and iTV. But it’s impossible to build anything at Apple scale without involving numerous partners all over the world. At some point, people are going to leak and speculate, triggering multiple-source rumors.

3. The slow speed that Apple introduces products. I’m not sure if Apple is slower or if competitors are faster, but there’s a disparity. For example, why can Android companies ship retina-quality, 7-inch tablets so long before Apple does? Why is Sony on their second smartwatch when Apple hasn’t even hinted about a first one? Part or all of the answer may be that Apple tends to wait until technologies are fully baked before releasing its 1.0 products (see point #1). Part of the reason could be that Apple tends to ship at a vastly higher scale for 1.0 releases (see point #2). Or — worst case scenario — Apple has just gotten too slow for an accelerating industry.