Apple crumbles -

Things are not well at Cupertino.

Market shares of the iPhone and iPad are declining, and its cunning plan to claw that back using patent troll tactics are not working.

According to Chosun, US market research firm Canaccord Genuity recently said Apple's share of the American tablet PC market is forecast to fall from 74 percent in the third quarter to 53.2 percent in the fourth.

Ironically, the market killer is not the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which has been the Apple legal department's obession, but the the cheap and cheerful Kindle Fire which costs just $199.

Analysts think that the Fire is going to grab some 20 percent of the market in only 1.5 months since its release on 15 October.

The figures prove what we have always said. Outfits which copy Apple's business model by making hugely expensive tablets were on a hiding to nowhere.

Analysts say that the shine has already gone from the iPhone 4S as users wake up to the fact that the phone is, really, an expensive upgrade.  It has a battery life which is shorter than Nicolas Sarkozy and takes lessons in communication from David Cameron by dropping important connections.

Some dealers in Korea have already slashed prices since the product was launched in early November. 

Of course, some corners of the press insist that the drop in sales is because punters are waiting to buy the iPhone 5, but KT and SK Telecom, which market the iPhone 4S in Korea, have been caught off guard by lackluster demand. Apple told dealers to buy a batch of at least 500,000 units and now they can't flog them.

Telcos there say it is nothing to do with people waiting for the iPhone 5, and is more to do with the popularity of fourth-generation LTE protocol. SK is focusing more on selling LTE phones than the 3G iPhone 4S.

Apparently, the only thing that is keeping Apple relevant is its software and content. How long that will last is anyone's guess.