So, Apple has revolutionized the music business, reinvented the phone and is leading the charge with its iPad. Plus, they make some computers as well. Not bad for the 35-year-old company that its co-founder Steve Jobs likes calls the world’s biggest startup. Each time Apple entered a new market, it caught its competitors on the wrong foot, leaving them perplexed and dumbfounded. Steve Ballmer who laughed off the iPhone isn’t laughing anymore.

RIM executives who thought the original iPhone was impossible in 2007 because it would have terrible battery life had found out when the device was released that it was virtually all battery plus some silicon. Nokia bosses used to point out how their day’s or week’s worth of sales matches Apple’s quarterly handset sales and now they’re going to bed with Microsoft – of all companies – to become relevant again. As of late, computer companies like Acer and smartphone vendors like Nokia and LG Electronics have seen their CEOs step down due to the Apple effect. Read on…

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Struggling to keep pace with Apple’s string of smash hits, several competitors have axed their CEOs, citing their inability to come up with the right recipe to stop the Silicon Valley consumer electronics powerhouse, sources tell Digitimes.

This includes Acer’s ex-CEO and president Gianfranco Lanci, with the company pledging to “overhaul its operations” in the wake of the iPad challenge.

Nokia’s ex-CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo and LG Electronics’ ex-CEO Nam Yong also stepped down in part due to the iPad’s coming out party, author Monica Chen explains:

The sources pointed out that the appearance of Apple’s iPad significantly impacted the netbook market in 2010 and messed up Acer’s lineup for the entry-level notebook market, causing the company to see almost no growth in shipments. Although Acer revealed its own tablet PC products in November 2010 aiming to grab back some market share, comparing to either iPad or Asustek’s Eee Pad, Acer’s devices are still outmatched in terms of both hardware and software.

In the smartphone world, the iPhone is instilling fear in Apple’s rivals because it’s disrupted the industry and grabbed a significant portion of the mind share, if not market share:

Since first-tier smartphone and PC brands are still unable to find an effective strategy to counter Apple’s advance with Lanci the most recent victim of Apple’s assault, the sources believe executives of brand vendors such as Motorola, Sony, Toshiba, Asustek Computer and Lenovo are all in danger of being dragged off by the wave.

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