Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

The Dream Team to Take on Apple

I just finished my first and last plane trip of the year to Qualcomm’s annual analyst event that was in Hawaii this year. Lenovo continues to impress me with its effort to be the center of events for all of their major partners and they did it again at this event. While most OEMs, including Microsoft, often talk about acquiring Apple with their impressive Surface efforts, few have the breadth to do so, even though Qualcomm has provided them with a viable tech platform in their upcoming Snapdragon 8 offering, which – on paper – much better than what Apple has, at doing that.

Lenovo is the exception, as they are the only competitor with both a high degree of design focus and the potential ability to counter Apple’s core strengths based on their smartphones, not their PCs. And Motorola, with their old Razr line, once dominated that space and still has the potential to do so again.

Let’s take a look at Apple’s potential exposure and what the Lenovo-Qualcomm partnership can do to capitalize on it.

Apple’s strengths and weaknesses

Apple has never really been a technology leader, but under Steve Jobs they were unparalleled in marketing and proved that, when done right, marketing could overcome more than a technological weakness. Their first iPhone had a design based on the old LG Prada, which didn’t sell well at all, and turned it into a market killer by convincing the sellers leading the market at the time to chase them. The strategy is not much different from what Tesla under Musk is doing with the auto market and it was brilliant.

But Jobs is gone, the marketing engine they once had appears to have been dismantled, and they haven’t had a real breakthrough product since — though the spec Apple Watch could have been. As a side note, I find it fascinating that the Apple Watch is, in terms of technology, a much more competitive product than the first iPhones were, but a lack of marketing and interoperability crippled it – clearly not showing Jobs’ genius and a lesson to Tim Cook. learned.

Apple’s decline in marketing power isn’t the company’s only weakness — there are three more. One is an almost rabid focus on margins that causes their offerings to deteriorate competitively and become more expensive over time, their lock-in strategy that creates an internal belief that they can milk their customers for money while maintaining quality. of their offerings, and an inability to effectively sell to companies because they both lack those skills, and that profit focus prevents a viable solution for that segment.

Exploiting Apple’s Weakness

Lenovo’s strategy appears to be largely focused on Apple’s weakness in business, as that will be the area where Apple will struggle to respond. What the business market wants is a very consistent offering for PCs, tablets and smartphones. And while many of the OEMs can make PCs and tablets, smartphones have thus far been a bridge too far, and unfortunately smartphones are a critical part of that effort.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 allows Lenovo to create a full hardware mix with common security and management across all three categories. Their designs are competitive in appearance to Apple’s, and their Think brand is much stronger, especially in large enterprises and in government, than Apple’s. In addition, Lenovo is the only company that not only has its own manufacturing, but also bridges the gap between the US and China as the two largest markets, making it likely that they can handle the current logistical nightmare better than any other company. including Apple. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8, on paper (no one has tested a shipping product yet) seems to be between 1 and 3 generations ahead of where Apple is in terms of AI capabilities (Siri is bad anyway), photographic capabilities (that of a DSLR) , security, sound quality, gaming (maybe 5 generations in this category), battery life and graphics performance. Even with those benefits, thanks to Apple’s huge margins, Lenovo’s phones should also be less expensive.

The result should be an attractive alternative to Apple that better suits both business and, with the help of Google, personal needs in the market and for the first time creates a real alternative to Apple in the segment where Apple is weakest.

To block

Now there is one area where this effort could fail and that is in marketing. For now, Apple maintains an extremely loyal customer base and they have made switching their products difficult. Apple showed how to solve this problem with their first iPhone effort that did the same with Palm, Blackberry, Nokia and Microsoft as Lenovo plans to do with Apple. Samsung effectively showed when they ran too short a campaign to demonstrate that most Apple buyers were old folks that Apple is vulnerable to these kinds of attacks, but neither Lenovo nor Qualcomm ever marketed to this critical level. However, the corporate market may not need that level of marketing, as the market is much more pragmatic in its approach than the consumer market. But if this attempt fails, I suspect it will not be due to the product, but to a reluctance to fund a campaign that will allow this effort to reach its full competitive potential.

Anyway, next year, once the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Lenovo products start shipping, it should be fascinating to watch. Let the game begin!

Comments are closed.