I was onCNNMoney's"Bullhorn" show earlier this week talking to Paul La Monica and Howard Lindzon about who is going to win the mobile-phone war. The consensus is that it'sApple's(AAPL-commentary-Trade Now) game to lose. I agree with this view. A report last week, which Jim Cramer re-tweeted, showed that Apple had 50% of the total profits made by all mobile-phone software and handset makers. That's truly astounding.
The biggest concern you hear these days about Apple is the worry of Steve Jobs' succession plan. However, the market's action since he took medical leave on Martin Luther King Day shows that most people have gotten over that initial shock. They are also very comfortable with Tim Cook steering the ship from now on if need be. The Southern boy from Alabama has been rock-solid on analyst calls over the past few years and ensured a successful rollout of iPhone 4, iPad and now iPad 2.
The only other threat to Apple I've heard raised is that people don't want to deal with a monolithic supplier. However, this threat isn't raised by actual consumers -- just Apple's competitors. Have you seen the new Super Bowl ad forMotorola's(MMI-commentary-Trade Now) Xoom, which is its Android-based tablet? It's comical because A.) it never shows the Xoom working (probably because it's not at the moment), and B.) the company paint Apple as the Orwellian thought controller which Apple fought against in its famous1984 Super Bowl ad.
The biggest threat to Apple is clearlyGoogle(GOOG-commentary-Trade Now) with its Android operating system. It's not making any money off this software, which many handset makers are putting on their phones, but according to Google's last earnings call, it is now activating 300,000 Android phones each day. When the time comes for Google to monetize those phones, believe me, it will. In the meantime, Google is benefiting from the additional search queries and display ads.
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