Iwata's remarks come as no surprise given the downturn in sales of Nintendo's consoles. Sales of the Wii are down nearly 21 percent year over year, and the company's net profits have seen an almost identical decline. While Nintendo hasn't been selling either the Wii or the DS as technological powerhouses, Times Online correctly notes that both platforms are starting to show their age. It's only a matter of time before the iPhone, iPod, and iPad catch up to or even surpass the capabilities of Nintendo's offerings unless Nintendo introduces new hardware, and soon.
There's more than enough room in the market for both companies to sell their wares, of course. Nintendo has a singular focus as a games maker, while Apple seems to be taking a page from Sony in becoming a more generalized consumer electronics company. Apple's recent focus on gaming on its portables is reportedly something that Steve Jobs himself embraced with reluctance. Not only is it unlikely that Apple's portables will kill off Nintendo, it's unlikely that Apple even wants to do so. Personally, I was worried about Nintendo's prognosis when they were dismissing Apple out of hand; now that the company seems committed to taking Apple seriously as a competitor, Nintendo's future looks a lot rosier to me.