Is the threat of Apple’s demise real?

Lately Apple has taken lots of flak from various areas of life. It all stems from their on-going patent battle with Samsung and apology fiasco on their website, workforce issues in China; then the IOS Map debacle, fluctuating share prices, delays to the new iTunes version, cutting staff hours at Apple stores, Ping (social network) closure, brand depletion, and the final nail into the coffin was the bad PR they got for publicly firing two very high-profile executives. In addition, many experts believe they are running out of ideas (or products) as both iPad and iPhone have already peaked.





To a certain extent, I agree that this $100+ bn dollar cash-rich company is now running toward a cliff-edge, where their blunders could snowball and roll them down into a very deep valley, with no prospect of climbing out again. I think an analogy with Yahoo, Nokia, Blackberry or Intel might offend some diehard Apple fans, but these companies were at the top and vigorously pioneering their respective industries, and whether it was their misjudgement of customer needs or inability to innovate, they all ended up in a very sorry state and are now struggling to survive.

Let’s go back to the original topic – is the threat of Apple’s demise real, or are people just panicking because they have never before seen such bad PR coverage of their beloved company? Or have tablets, laptops, desktops and phones already peaked, leaving little for Apple to milk? We all know Apple is very tight-lipped about its future products i.e. we don’t know what the company has in its pipeline to keep their revenue stream flowing, but looking at their immediate competitors, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Samsung, it can easily be anticipated that Apple’s near-future product development focus would be around phones, tablets and maybe TV.

So how can Apple possibly keep its supremacy in the tablet, TV, and phone market, when both Google and Microsoft, along with Samsung, who after playing catch-up for a while now seems to be looking confident and in control of its product range, are making good commercial progress? An obvious answer would be innovation: coming up with a completely new product range that can catch consumers’ imaginations; however, is it conceivable that Apple still has the necessary extraordinary talent, content (such as exclusive music , movies or TV programs), leadership, showmanship (don’t forget the charismatic Steve Jobs) or technology edge to carry on innovating the way it did before.

I know all the above analysis makes one think that the peril of Apple slowing down is real, but we should not forget that this cash-rich company with a $550bn market cap is still very agile, with an engineering focus, a loyal customer base and a very stable top management. They are very capable of turning the company around with a new product range as fast as, or maybe faster and better than, their competitors.

Apple still dictate their publicity terms, with no official Facebook, Google+ , Twitter or Pinterest Channel. In Tim Cook and Sir Jonathan Ive, they have one of the most trusted and talented leadership teams. iPhone and iPad are still the fastest selling products in the world! The Apple App economy has created over 466k jobs;



And don’t forget, Apple has yet to fully leverage their popularity (or cult following) in the biggest consumer markets (China and India = Chindia) where another platforms like Google android and Samsung failed to make mark specially among non price sensitive consumers!


And, as they have done with tablet and phone, if they can break into TV App market, where most of the content is consumed, Apple will remain the king.

Also, if Apple can come up with product diversification in the same way as some of their competitors (e.g. Google, who are venturing into driverless cars and social media integrated glasses; Jeff Bezos (Amazon), who is investing in a private space travel program; Microsoft, who are now introducing music on their XBox games console) then who knows. Apple may already have a surprise in store?

Last but not the least, another unthinkable yet very possible  thought comes into mind, what about, if Apple starts selling iPad at £99, iPhone £49 and iPod at £29? I think we will have riots on streets to grab remaining stock at any part of the world and Apple market share for all gadgets will sky rocket at supersonic speed!

Overall, still there are many factors such as Chindia market share, Apple TV, Price war,Tim Cook, Sir Jonathon Ive  and/or most likely another gadget disruption-those can help Apple to keep their lead over competitors!

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