Re: Apple's market is cyclical
"I don't think Vesuvius will ever blow. It never has done before, ever since anyone can remember!
Meh, Smoke Schmoke."
-- Julius Unredius
Everyone seems to be waving the "China/India" wand around and muttering hocus pocus as if it will save the world. It won't. In the very best scenario imaginable, it puts off the inevitable for a few years. In all likelihood, by the time China/India become large viable markets, the commoditisation of mobile will be complete. I don't know if ARM/MIPS will be making laptops but I'm pretty sure there won't be a buzz of excitement around the release of the latest phone, any more than we have a buzz of excitement around a new Dell.
Apple at least understand that selling devices is a short-term operation - they've gone for the ecosystem to get into your digital life and pick up your day-to-day spend. The question is, what happens when there is no ecosystem? What happens when the latest bollywood star isn't on itunes? What happens when the option is cheap android or nothing? What happens when you don't care about syncing all your devices because you're really lucky to have even one? What happens when you need large local storage because your cloud is *normally* disconnected?
Eventually the privacy abuses of the cloud are going to seep into mainstream consciousness. Someone is going to realise that they don't want to have to choose between Apple, MS & Google owning the entire stack - they would actually like to have layered software with third-party products. They may even tumble to the realisation that IPSEC vpns aren't that hard to do back to your own router. Someone will do a home-server which does their backups and network serving without stupid $400 empty-NAS pricing.
Its going to be an interesting time for Apple. In the 80's they were beaten because their magical Mackintosh was simply outpriced by good-enough Windows. Is history going to repeat itself? Probably not with Windows this time. I wonder how much impact the network-effect of their other products will have.