Apple on rare ground

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

I am both surprised and conflicted about my ability to come up with blog post titles that sound like newspaper headlines. It could be a very bad sign.

There does not seem to be much talk of rare earth metals these days. The headlines a couple days ago were all about how Apple once again exceeded its sales targets for iPads and iPhones.

However, below the surface are two big concerns of which I believe Tim Cook should take note (Tim, you can get my number from Pippa – afterward tell her to hit the little button that looks like a trash can). One, is that his biggest supplier of logic chips is also his biggest competitor (Samsung). I’m sure there is a wall – Berlin-style – surrounding the Apple portion of the factory and the factory for in-house production. And that the Apple-side employees have taken a lifetime vow of silence. However, in spite of these measures…something tells me there is a risk here.

The other is the whole rare-earth thing. Currently China is cranking out microchips with about as much regard for the environment as George Clooney has for his legacy. Descendants, seriously?! But that could change.

In fact, if South Korea (Samsung HQ is in Seoul) starts to get a little too frisky with their northern brethren, China has shown they are not averse to a little strong-arming (see dispute with Japan circa September 2010). There, always wanted to use circa in a blog post, and 3 of you will have picked up on the fact that I used it wildly incorrectly.

Definitely possible that Apple continues its dominance for years to come. Fortune, or world events, could dictate a different fate.


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