Acer Founder: Apple is Like a Mutant Virus

Wednesday during an interview, Acer founder Stan Shih took a slight jab at Apple, comparing its products--namely the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch--to mutant viruses. According to the exec, its difficult to find a cure for said viruses in the short-term, however he believes that the PC industry will eventually find a way to contain the infection, and become immune to its effects.

However Shih didn't completely devalue Steve Jobs and his accomplishments. He noted the success of Apple's innovation and creativity through iTunes and the introduction of apps. Shih said that PC vendors need to follow the lead and focus less on hardware and more on innovative software in order to grab a portion of the growing market.

Shih also added that Apple actually deserves a little respect. While PC manufacturers have evolved naturally and developed products "in a more solid way," the Apple boss has taken a different strategy, looking for a "revolution." But despite Apple's success, Shih believes that the PC market will eventually come out on top, as history dictates that a natural evolution builds a stronger industry backbone.

During the interview, Shih also compared Microsoft’s Windows against Apple's Macintosh OS, and then eventually into the war between VHS and Betamax. Both examples compare the open platform approach against a closed platform approach, with the latter option apparently providing a far less market share than the former open Windows platform group. He even noted the emergence of Google's open Android platform as a tool that could help isolate Apple in the future.

Towards the end of the interview, Shih spelled out a grim future for the PC market here in the States. According to the Acer founder, US-based vendors will eventually abandon the market in the long term and turn to the services industry. He even cited IBM's sale of its PC department to Lenovo, deeming it as a sign of things to come.

  • mindspring
    just admit defeat.

    - Apple fanboy.
  • elel
    If that's him, I think he's the one looking like a mutant :P
  • dogofwars
    Might be right but again there is too many fanboy out there that just want an Apple product.
  • Teen Geek
    I hope he's right
  • phych
    I hope he's wrong. Less competition is never good for consumers and innovation. I'd like to see Android and Linux gain more foothold in the market, but I would still like Apple to be alive and provide competition.
  • getreal
    Typical comment from those who are jealous of Apple's success. It's tough being number 1; Apple has a giant target on its back.
  • thejerk
    Stan looks like he'd be real good at eating corn on the cobb.
  • crus_russ
    I used to hate apple, but now I own an iphone, ipod and macbook pro. Really you dont need windows anymore, except for Direct X based games.

    The reason I slowly got sucked into apple is because of their extremely high quality build and human interfaces. PCs are akin to bloatware and every app looks and behaves differently. With apple, there is 1 or 2 ways to do something and its simple, clean and fast. Sure sometimes you get stuck because there is something missing (like writing to NFS volumes), but the sheer quality and ease of use of the other 95% has totally kicked pc/microsoft in the butt.

    Apple has simply showed people, "there is another way, computers dont need to be complicated".

    With the web as the platform these days, the line between PC and Mac is blurring to really be the visual interface and support for certain programs. I am an IT professional and the reasons for needing a PC are rapidly dwindling (note, I run a win7 VM in the background if I need something, but its rare).

  • volt-aire
    Wow, racists and apple fanboys. I think he makes a good point; closed systems can't compete with open ones in the end, and a single monolithic company's supply chain can't compete with an entire industry (that is competitive within itself). Apple's marketing and presentation vaulted it back into relevance with the iPod, but unless they can keep producing products that have the same premium over competitors that are cheaper and technically superior, they won't last.

    It's a shame about American computer hardware as a whole, too. It's a process that's basically already happened, though, it's just that instead of getting components produced by an American company in China you get them from a Chinese company.. in China.
  • Joecitizen
    I'm immune to this virus, I'm not an iSheep