Apple and RAWR
I don’t know if there’s a better representation of the health of a consumer business than this kind of chart found in the Asymco blog: In the chart above, it shows that Apple derives more profit per unit than any other vendor (by far), and that RIM (another integrated platform) still derives the second-most profit per unit. It also shows the profit per vendor by looking at the area of each rectangle. Again, Apple and RIM look to be #1 and #2. Similar charts for the PC business would also be interesting. And the Auto business. Conventional wisdom says you have to have volume (scale) to be successful – and therefore a high-margin product in a low-margin industry won’t succeed (because it won’t achieve scale). But there are examples that show it is possible. And in some markets (cell phones), even a single digit market share is a very large user base (platform).