The Desolation of Forbes

Macalope

Writing for the goblin horde otherwise known as the Forbes contributor network, Gene Marks finds Apple's weakness by using his Precious to...

Ugh, blech, just read on.

"Have You Noticed The Chink In Apple's Armor?" (no link but tip o' the antlers to @JonyIveParody)

“Truly, the tales and songs fall utterly short of your enormity, O Apple the Stupendous.”

Awww, yeah, get ready for some literary allusions, y'all! Marks is going positively Middle Earth on this bad boy.

See, in this analogy that Marks is creating, Apple is likened to the great dragon Chrysophylax Dives from the classic JRR Tolkien tale, The Last Battle. (Look for the Macalope's forthcoming book: How to Troll Tolkien Fans.)

Apple is arguably the vast, golden dragon of earth, sitting alone on mountains of gold coins, breathing fire, daring anyone to take them on.

A flagon of Tolkien references for me and my men! Huzzah!

But a few have noticed a small bare spot on Apple’s left breast.

Is one of them Bard the bowman of Laketown? Does he have +10 Attack Bonus? Will Apple make the saving throw?!

Sigh. OK. So, what's Apple lacking that other companies have?

Partners, partners everywhere. And Intel’s partners, both new (like above) and old, are also hard at work. Microsoft is pouring millions into expanding the use of Windows for device manufacturers. Dell (with the help of Intel) recently launched an “Internet of Things” lab for its customers and suppliers. Intel even even joined up with scientist Stephen Hawking recently to announce a “connected wheelchair.”

That's really great but it's not exactly going to sell as many units as Apple will sell Watches.

If only Apple had recently announced a partnership with a large technology company that could help it gain further sales in the enterprise market.

Hmm, well, maybe Marks mentions that. Let's search the article for IBM.

Not found

Huh. That's weird. Also not mentioned were any of the banks Apple worked with on Apple Pay or any of the developers Apple got to work on apps for the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch. It's almost as if things that run counter to his argument were deliberately not included. Very strange.

This, the Macalope should note, is the same Gene Marks who rolled his eyes at Apple's acquisition of Beats and wondered why we were even talking about it.

Intel is aiming its black arrow directly at Apple’s weak spot, the exposure in its seemingly impenetrable armor: its aloneness.

Apple doesn't have as many partners because Apple makes more of its stuff itself. This is how it's been doing things forever. Look at where Apple is right now and ask yourself if that's a weakness or a strength.

“As a tech company, we’re not so arrogant as to think we know what the end user will want,” said Mike Bell, Intel’s head of new devices.

Or maybe you just don't have any idea.

I’m not so sure it’s arrogance. But making a bet like this on your own certainly is risky.

So, Intel—which has very little experience selling to end users and has very little choice but to partner because it makes components not things—is smart. And Apple—which sells stuff hand over fist to end users and has an unparalleled track record of success—is risky. Got it. Don't want it, but got it.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

"Like we'd take responsibility for this, amirite?"

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