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By Dan Moren for Macworld
Apple is as big as a country, and so are the threats to its existence
When you’re a company as big as Apple, the idea of threats starts to evolve. By contrast, when you’re a brand-new startup or a small indie business, or even an established and somewhat successful company, you probably face threats from other companies, from your products just not being successful, or even from mistakes you’ve made.
But at the size Apple has reached, none of these are really existential threats. Competitors exist, certainly, but oftentimes they’re more like peers—you’re as unlikely to take them out as they are to take you out. Unsuccessful products might ding you a bit, but they’re hardly going to sink you. And even big mistakes can’t really do substantial damage when your revenue is in the tens of billions and your cash reserves are measured in twelve digits.
So when Apple has reached a point—where, by some accounts, it is worth more than about 96 percent of the world—are those existential threats, if there are any, coming from? As it turns out, when you’ve reached the size of a country, those threats—perhaps unsurprisingly—often come from countries themselves. And those happen to be several of the biggest threats that Apple is facing at this very moment.