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yARN: Riding the Apple wave

yARN: Riding the Apple wave

Everybody else is doing it, doing it ...

At its regional imaging and printing launch in Shanghai last week, HP made the revelation that its original ENVY printer - a sleek, stylish box (for a printer, anyway) - sold exceptionally well... With Apple customers. It sold so well, in fact, that HP has tweaked the design of its successor to have a shiny white finish instead of black one, an effort sure to further entice the Apple faithful.

But HP's printer design is just the icing on the cake of the companies doing their part to ride Apple's wave of suceess as it paves the way to multi-billion dollar financial success. Companies all over the world, from small independent start ups to huge internationals are all doing their best to revel in the glow of Apple's money-making golden halo.

Earlier this year, Pioneer added support for Apple's wireless media streaming protocol AirPlay across a wide range of devices, from AV receivers to dedicated iPod docks. At the time, the company made no secret of the fact they were trying to take advantage of Apple's massive success. Even though Android phone sales have eclipsed those of iPhones worldwide, Pioneer has emphasised its compatibility with Apple, rather than its support of open platforms like Android.

Then there's the app market. Despite the success of Android, iOS almost always gets apps first, whether it be a high quality game like Spy Mouse from Australian developers Firemint, or a printer control app like HP's Printer Control Mobile App. This is despite the fact that Apple's system is closed and developers have to jump through virtual hoops to have their software listed on the App Store.

Of course, the moves around the market to ride Apple's coattails has also bred a fair amount of competition. PC manufacturers around the world are currently falling over themselves to get their Ultrabooks - or Macbook Air clones - onto the market to compete with Apple's ultra thin, lightweight laptop. While impressively specced and nicely designed, there's no escaping that this new breed of laptops is a copy of the Apple original.

The same can be said of the current Android tablet market, with plenty of 10-inch devices selling for the same price as Apple's iPad. But in this case, the competition is far from friendly, with Apple currently in court with a wide range of manufacturers, including Samsung, whose launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been successfully delayed thanks to the legal proceedings.

Even with Steve Jobs' recent resignation as CEO, Apple is still the biggest wave at the consumer technology beach. And while plenty of companies are trying to hop on and enjoy the ride of their lives, there's still a very good chance of being smashed in the surf.


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Tags firemintPrintersmacbook airgalaxy tab 10.1AndroidconsumerHPiPhonesSpy MouseApplesamsungPioneerretailtablet6smobilityAirPlaymobile solutions

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