Apple In Bigger Trouble Than Microsoft: Economist

Dennis Faas's picture

Times are tough over at Microsoft. At least, it seems that way given consumer reaction to Windows 8 and the firm's new Surface tablet. Now, the firm's chief executive officer, Steve Ballmer, has announced plans to leave the company.

But one very prominent economist thinks the Redmond, Washington-based firm is still in better shape than one of its main rivals: Apple.

Apple Losing its "Quality Edge"

In a recent New York Times piece, internationally renowned economist Paul Krugman suggested that Apple might have a more troubled future than Microsoft.

His reasoning: conservative IT managers will continue to use Microsoft products, including Windows, while consumers are starting to tire of Apple products.

"As far as I can tell Apple products no longer have a dramatic quality edge," Krugman said. (Source:

Indeed, Apple is also facing its fair share of adversity in the post-Steve Jobs era. Just as consumers have expressed disappointment with Windows 8 and the Surface, many seem to view the newest iPhone, the iPhone 5, as not a significant improvement on the iPhone 4.

Many consumers have also expressed disappointment with the iPad Mini, which lacks the famous high-resolution Retina display of its big brother (though this could change in the coming months).

Krugman is clearly not a huge fan of Apple. He says in his piece that he's tired of "fighting iOS in order to do simple things," even though many Apple fans insist the iOS platform is far easier to navigate than Windows 8 or even Windows 7.

Krugman also insists he's no expert when it comes to consumer electronics.

The End of An Era?

Still, it's hard to argue that both Apple and Microsoft are presently in a delicate state. CNET's Chris Matyszczyk suggests this could very well be the beginning of the end for both companies.

"They might both have seen their best days," Matyszczyk says. "They might both represent a certain era, a certain moment, and a certain attitude. The only question is where the next great competitor might come from." (Source:

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