updated 02:30 pm EDT, Fri April 13, 2007
Apple spreading too thin?
Apple may be biting off more than it can chew as it moves to spread its grip on the digital entertainment industry into the living room while also making a bold move into the already-cluttered mobile handset market, according to the Mercury News. Apple shipped its Apple TV wireless media streaming device in mid-March rather than its original February target, which, coupled with the company's latest announcement that it would push back its release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard from the spring to the fall, has some industry watchers questioning whether the Cupertino-based company has enough resources to deliver on all of its more recent undertakings. Gartner research analyst Van Baker said Apple is a relatively small company compared to tech firms such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard, with Apple employing around 18,000 full-time workers vs. HP's 156,000 as of last fall.
"Clearly there's evidence that they're not executing to the same level they have in the past," Baker said, adding that while Apple is not known for steady delays, he is not surprised because the company has "only so many engineering resources to go around."
IDC analyst Richard Shim agreed, saying that by moving resources from Leopard to its iPhone, Apple is favoring an uncertain product that will have to compete in a very touch industry.
"It's also a sign that they'll have to be more careful with spreading themselves too thin," Shim noted.
Another factor which could prove detrimental to Apple's standing is Microsoft's advantage in having already released Windows Vista -- Mac OS X's primary competitor.
"This might give Microsoft a one-up to get that consumer that doesn't want to wait for Leopard," Baker said.