This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Biggest Threat to Apple: Google Chrome OS

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --

We Apple (AAPL) investors typically view Steve Jobs' health as the biggest risk to the stock, but there's a potentially greater threat: Google's (GOOG) new operating system.

No, I'm not talking about Android.

I'm talking about Chrome OS.

People are focusing too much on Android, which has already overtaken Apple's iOS in terms of the global unit shipment rate, at least according to some estimates. While Android is a capable and interesting operating system, especially given that it's free and ties into Google's plethora of free services, ranging from maps to docs, it fundamentally doesn't change the game much, if at all. Its main architectural paradigm has more in common with Apple's iOS than any fundamental difference.

Chrome OS, on the other hand, is as fundamental a re-think of the operating system, the computer architecture and the nature of applications as we have seen since at least the advent of the PC in the late 1970s. Its pure cloud architecture means lesser hardware requirements, more security and faster boot-time.

Google's Chrome OS can threaten Apple in at least three ways:

1. Starting some time around July or August, Google's partners Samsung and Acer will launch laptops and perhaps also a desktop or two, based on Chrome OS. I am guessing laptops will start at $299 and "naked" desktops at $149. Given the superb performance of these Chrome OS PCs, with boot-up times (from cold) of less than even Apple's MacBook Air, some consumers and enterprises will pick Chrome OS PCs over the much more expensive Apple PCs.

To wit, the cheapest Mac laptop starts at $999. A service plan starts at $249. So effectively, you're out at least $1,248. Chrome OS laptops at $299 without the need for a service plan will look extremely attractive in comparison. I also predict that Chrome OS laptops will become available for sale in entirely new places: hotels, airplanes and even vending machines. Why? Unlike a regular Apple or Microsoft (MSFT) PC, there is almost zero set-up time, making an impulse purchase/replacement realistic.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,928.68 +13.61 0.08%
S&P 500 1,967.00 +2.32 0.12%
NASDAQ 4,415.3970 +19.1930 0.44%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs