Wow! You really can tell you’ve made it when the competition start to trash talk you, and now we’re seeing the biggest compliment ever shot across at Apple, with Acer founder Stan Shih calling Apple’s products a “mutant virus”.

Wow! I’m writing this story using a mutant virus. That’s amazing.

Anyway, the upshot of these claims, made during a Digitimes interview yesterday: Shih says that Apple’s popularity is mainly due to the success of products such as the iPad and iPhone (I’d add iPod, but then I know what I’m talking about), and he calls these succesful products ‘mutant viruses’. And like viruses these are difficult to “cure” in the short term, but the Acer man thinks PC makers will eventually find a way to isolate Apple and become immune.

Quoted verbatim because I like it: “Shih pointed out that Apple deserves to be respected, since it has a completely different strategy than other PC brands. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has always been looking for revolution, while other PC brands evolved naturally and are developing products in a more solid way, Shih commented. But based on the historical experience, a market that evolves naturally will always turn out to be much stronger, according to Shih.”

Shih still praised Apple’s creativity and innovation, especially its highly integrated hardware and software and its completely established online application store and believes its strategy should be a good example for PC brands to learn from.

Shih also noted that all Apple’s products are built on a culture of innovation, and predicted US PC vendors will eventually quite the PC market as profits decline. (Or, as Steve Jobs says, PCs become like haulage trucks).

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