I hate to sound so cynical — you would be too if you lived through the bursting of the original “tech and internet bubble,” the first of our great asset inflations — but when I hear a Morgan Stanley analyst compare today’s Apple to late 90s AOL and Microsoft, my instinct would be to run in the opposite direction, as quickly as possible. (Such a strategy would have made you a rich and happy camper in the Spring of 2000.)
“Apple changed the view of what you can do with that small phone in your back pocket,” says Katy Huberty, a Morgan Stanley analyst. “Applications make the smartphone trend a revolutionary trend — one we haven’t seen in consumer technology for many years.”
Ms. Huberty likens the advent of the App Store and the iPhone to AOL’s pioneering role in driving broad-based consumer adoption of the Internet in the 1990s. She also draws comparisons to ways in which laptops have upended industry assumptions about consumer preferences and desktop computing. But, she notes, something even more profound may now be afoot.
“The iPhone is something different. It’s changing our behavior,” she says. “The game that Apple is playing is to become the Microsoft of the smartphone market.”
Edit: By the way, who in world has ever carried a cell phone “in their back pocket?”