Goldman Sachs Says Apple Dominance Makes Tough Sell for Microsoft

As reported by CNET, a new study by Goldman Sachs titled, “Clash of the titans,” paints Apple as dominant in the smartphone-tablet arena, with Microsoft and Google facing an uphill climb in the market.

The 75-page study, which was based on internal survey results says Google and Microsoft will be “challenged” in their attempts to compete with Apple.

Brooke Crothers of CNET describes key points in the Goldman Sachs report:

  • Well positioned v. challenged: In the “context of platform adoption,” companies that are defined as “well positioned” include Apple, Facebook, Samsung. Amazon is “straddling the line.” Google and Microsoft are “challenged” in platform adoption.
  • Google: “Tablet share loss leads to smartphone share defection.” Android tablet share (excluding the Kindle Fire) will drop to 21 percent next year from 33 percent this year. Android smartphone share will decline next year to 53 percent from 55 percent this year. “We ultimately see Google as trying to find a way to stay just as relevant in the new compute paradigm as it was during Web 1.0 and 2.0.”
  • Microsoft: Market share of “total consumer compute” has fallen from 93 percent in 2000 to an expected 20 percent in 2012 due to smartphones and, more recently, tablets. Though Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 tablets will help the company “reclaim some share in coming years,” the consumer PC market will be flat in 2013 and Microsoft “would have to sell roughly 5 Windows Phones or roughly two Windows 8 RT tablets to offset the loss of one traditional Windows PC sale.”

Apple is described in the report as a Star Trek Borg-like creature, whose momentum will be incredibly hard to stop.

The Goldman report reportedly discusses the value of ecosystems that each brand is trying to bring, noting that spending on the products or services that sit on top of platforms is rising and Apple leads here with its hardware, iTunes, and App Store sales. The report states;

“We believe loyalty to the company’s ecosystem is only increasing and this should translate into continued growth going forward…In particular, we see the potential for Apple to capture additional growth as existing iOS users move to multiple device ownership.”

They add that with new devices such as the iPad mini and lower priced iPhones, Apple’s market share in phones

“has room to rise much further, and that its dominant tablet market share appears to be more resilient than most expect.”

For Microsoft, they never said it would be easy, but one cannot help wondering what kept Redmond held back as the tablet and smartphone markets exploded in the last couple of years.

Do you agree with Goldman Sachs or will Windows 8 and Surface provide that ‘secret sauce’ needed to muscle into the marketplace?

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