This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
TheStreet Open House

Biggest Threat to Apple: Google Chrome OS

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --

We Apple (AAPL - Get Report) 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 - Get Report) PC, there is almost zero set-up time, making an impulse purchase/replacement realistic.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

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

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
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!
AAPL $123.25 0.00%
GOOG $548.34 0.00%
HPQ $31.49 0.00%
MSFT $40.97 0.00%
FB $83.30 0.00%


DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

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