You are so correct, they can't give their phones away, nobody buys them and they are almost out of money. And they need to follow nokias new phone just like the old one every three or four months. Great strategy.
Ahhhh yes... the mandatory "lash out" response. Obviously, I am slamming Apple by daring to make an observation. And since it is on WPC, it must mean I am a blind fan boy. I am looking at Apple as opposed to the ENTIRE mobile market, not just their history or the market here in the US. Of course Apple isn't going broke anytime soon, nor are hey in danger of losing their core buyers. I have repeatedly marveled at Apple's ecosystem. It was years ahead of it's time, and it's users are steeped in it. There is no doubt their once a year upgrades are fine for that community.
However, to just say "Apple is Apple, and they are not facing challenges" is silly. First off- they are expensive. Not just their products, their services. As other ecosystems are built, most are undercutting Apple in price. since they are expensive, they are not making any real headway in developing markets. WP and Android are develping loyal customers which will stick to their services as these markets (hopefully) become more profitable. That is why the L520 was so important a success- this is getting WP's in the hands of users that never would have had them. This is something we can thank Mr Elop for- when he signed the agreement for Nokia to adopt WP, not only did he get a 250 Million dollar a quarter investment from MS and access to some core programming levels, he got MS to agree to write WP to work on really low end gear (the Tango update) enabling the 520 to be available in these markets. Apple has shown no signs of worrying about these markets and as such are getting creamed in them.
Want a mid range device with different sized screens? Not Apple. Want a lower priced tablet? Not Apple. Want a Hero device with a large screen to enjoy your media such as games and streaming movies/TV shows? A colorful device? A Physical Keyboard? (Okay, scratch that last one. No one is doing those anymore, dang it. That is what I want, not anyone else.)
even Apples strengths are in danger of becoming not so important anymore. Apple is one of the most well supported. Problem is, upgrade cycles are adjusting so much that getting new devices will be the norm and that support will only matter as far as PR, not in real life.
Apple is one of the most easy to learn. Problem is, everyone under the age of 30 has grown up with computers and smartphones. Why would todays young adults/teenagers care about a learning curve? This is their world.
Apple is a status symbol. So what? So was BlackBerry. I have seen several breakdowns at end of year reviews and Apple's audience is getting older. Not a good sign.
But, they are Apple. The 5C is a step in the right direction, and if prices fall on them they could still get things right on the low end market. The iPad mini was a huge success. The iPhone sales are flat and not growing, but are not falling either. If the iPhone 6 is indeed a 5" screen, then that would be in the modern smartphone flagship wheelhouse.
Again, this is Apple in the entire mobile marketplace, not just as opposed to WP.
Who, by the way, conitinues growth quarter after quarter. Just saying.