Apple Inc. (formerly known as Apple Computer Inc.) is an American multinational corporation. The company specializes in technological consumer electronics, software and other online services. Apple produces desktop and laptop computers, mobile phones, tablets, computer accessories, software, music, streaming services etc. Apple Inc, is widely known for its smartphone series, iPhone.
The headquarters of Apple Inc. is located in Cupertino, California in the United States. The story of Apple Inc. started from Stephen G. Wozniak’s long standing ambition to create his own personal computer. In 1975, the Altair 8800 – the first commercially viable microcomputer, which employed the then-recently created microprocessor chip, made this desire suddenly attainable.
His friends at the Homebrew Computer Club sparked Wozniak’s proposal for his own microcomputer. However, in 1976, after Hewlett-Packard (where Wozniak was an engineering intern then) expressed no interest in his design, he joined forces with a 21-year old Steve Jobs to resume production operation in Job’s garage. Apple released the ‘Apple 1 Computer’, its first product, in the same year. Since then, Apple’s offerings of goods and services have multiplied dramatically.
As of now, Apple Inc. has evolved itself into a household name as there aren’t many homes without an Apple gadget. The company employs around 154,000 employees and, as of September 2022, the company has a market cap of $2.43 trillion. The iPhone is one of Apple’s best-selling products. Majority of Apple’s total income of $365 billion in the fiscal year 2021, i.e. $191 billion, came from the sales of iPhones only.
(S) SWOT ANALYSIS OF APPLE INC.
There are many factors that helped Apple Inc. become a tech giant. Similarly, not every organization runs with 100% efficiency. Hence, here we will be assessing all the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the company.
STRENGTHS OF APPLE
Leading Technology Innovator
Innovation is one of Apple Company’s biggest diversionary tactics. The ability of the company to manufacture its own technology, services, and other goods put the business at the top of the pile. They introduce new items every year that are always more user-friendly and are an improved version of its predecessor. Despite its high price, it still captures the majority of the market. Apple is always considered as an innovation leader for the products they built. Iphone revolutionized the way we see phones and telecommunication. Similarly, there are various other products that make Apple a leading technology innovator.
New Product Launches
Apple has kept up with the development of its applications despite the introduction of many latest technological streaming and payment methods by its competitors. Apple TV+, iTunes, Apple Card, Apple Music and other apple care services are currently being introduced and improved, which is a wonderful strength for continually reinventing their product line. Such Apple services made $68.4 billion in 2021 which signifies the success of product launches by Apple.
Strong Brand Presence
There is no denying that Apple devices, with their cutting-edge features and distinctive designs, are deserving of their stellar reputation throughout the globe. The strong product belief and product delivery, balanced perfectly by their marketing strategies make Apple a successful brand. Apple has been in the list of Top valuable brands for more than a decade. Apple has a strong presence in more than 25 countries from their official 521 stores and selling products all over the world.
Retail Stores with Quality Customer Experience
Apple’s retail locations guarantee a top-notch customer experience and enable face-to-face communication with the knowledgeable personnel. Due to Apple’s individualized attention, an increasing number of customers prefer to employ their excellent customer service. Apple distinctively follows five steps to build a strong customer experience, they are:
- Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome
- Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs
- Present a solution for the customer to take home today
- Listen for and resolve issues or concerns
- End with a fond farewell and in invitation to return
Strong Marketing Strategy
Apple has a reputation for being a master of advertising. Before the release of its products, Apple builds excitement around them. Their PR and marketing are so effective that they create a word-of-mouth approach to raise brand recognition and improve product demand. Apple Inc. has its own ecosystem where the brand positioning and product supremacy backs marketing strategies. Apple is always trying to focus on its product and customer value proposition rather than competing with other similar brands. This approach can be seen in marketing strategies of Apple.
(W) WEAKNESS OF APPLE
High Priced Products
Due to their high costs, Apple items can be regarded as luxury products. Consumers with middle- and high-income levels may be able to afford the goods, whereas consumers with low incomes cannot easily purchase their items. Only those with moderate or high incomes can purchase their items due to their expensive prices.
This cost factor is a big differentiation strategy by the company but its close competitors like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Samsung are providing low-budget products and services, sharing a better market pie.
Incompatible Operating Systems
People have found it challenging to move to iOS-based devices as it’s pretty incompatible with other devices. Unlike Android devices, the unfriendliness of these gadgets takes some getting used to. In the age where people are demanding simpler and convenient products and services, Apple’s incompatible software and hardware with other devices or Apple’s own ecosystem is making customs think about the ownership of product/services. Apple has a high retention ratio but is struggling to attract new customers due to the same reason.
Apple is frequently accused of infringing on other companies’ patents and has lost multiple court cases, which harms the company’s finances and brand image. Apple has been in news quite often regarding the infringement and has also lost some court proceedings leading Apple to pay for those infringement. This signifies the approach of the company and generally such lost patent fights question the integrity of the company and is a setback to the company. Some of such lawsuits are:
- Apple paid $ 300 million to Optis Technology in a patent lawsuit.
- Apple lps a patent lawsuit against Mtel and had to pay $24 million.
- The company had to pay $234 million to Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation for using their patented technology.
- VirnetX was awarded $502.6 million as the company sued Apple for infringement on four patents.
Limited Product Designs
If we compare the look of the iPhone 8 to the first iPhone, there are only minor differences in size and thickness. Although Apple updates each edition of the iPhone by adding new features, many iPhone owners complain that there isn’t much diversity in its appearance.
Apple has limited products and customers see less or minimal changes in designs and features in every latest release. This provides low or no motivation to upgrade their current gadgets with the new one. Meanwhile, other competitors are benefiting their sales with better product designs and features. Each new update is exciting and adds value to the purchase.
Reliance on iPhone Sales
Apple’s iPhone sales account for the majority of its income. Apple has sought to broaden its product line, but the iPhone remains a major source of revenue for the company. If customers quit purchasing iPhones for any reason, Apple might be in major danger as a result of this dependence.
(O) OPPORTUNITIES OF APPLE
Apple’s wide range of products are in higher demand as a result of its significant market share and well-known brand. People that have used apple gadgets continue to support the company by expressing interest in their new products. In different surveys, it has been recorded that Apple has maintained a brand loyalty rate of more than 90 % which is a big advantage and opportunity to grow. This brand loyalty suggests that Apple has a lot of support from its customers.
Increase in Market of Communication Services
Since 2013, the need for telecommunication devices has grown significantly. As a result, it will enable Apple to find new markets that the corporation had not before investigated, like the commonwealth countries. The global telecommunication market is expected to grow to $ 3629.04 billion by 2026. Apple has already set into the telecommunication market and has a huge opportunity to explore.
Technological competency and a huge brand equity of Apple Inc. provides an easy entry to the telecommunication market.
Development in AI Technology
Apple can take use of the most current artificial intelligence developments to create products that are more user-friendly as the globe experiences a new wave of AI. Even though this field has achieved numerous advances, there is still more work left.
The growing utility of AI-based assistance like Siri, Search Engines and Photo Fusion have become a factor to attract customers. Apple can greatly facilitate by enhancing the AI experience to its customers and other marketers. AI can help Apple to improve its services to customers and to other revenue partners.
Increasing Demand for Cloud-based Services
As internet connectivity and speeds increase, an increasing number of individuals are increasingly using cloud computing for their activities. Apple may increase the number of iCloud services and applications it offers due to the expansion of cloud-based services.
Production of Eco-friendly Products
The two biggest concerns facing the globe now are climate change and global warming, and much effort is being made to alleviate them. The creation of environmentally friendly products will have positive effects across the board. Even so, it will give a good impression of the business, which may aid in future sales of Apple goods.
(T) THREATS OF APPLE
Rapid Technological Change
Consumer electronics is a subject that is constantly developing thanks to new technical developments every day. The corporation faces a significant problem in keeping up with the most recent developments.
Growth of Android OS
Apple faces a major threat from the rapid expansion of its rival company, Android’s operating system. Android’s dominance may lessen iOS’s power, enticing customers to switch to Android in the future. The competition between Android and IOS is always stiff. The simple open source android is preferred over the less compatible closed ecosystem of IOS.
Tariffs Imposed by US on China
Due to the US’s hefty tariffs on China, the price of China’s imports has gone up. Apple’s production costs will rise as a result, driving up the cost of its goods. China is everyone’s favorite for cost-effective production. 92% of Apple’s hardware is made in China. Such punishment tariffs due to geo-political differences will greatly impact the production cost of Apple, giving a disadvantageous position to Apple.
Increased Competition in Online Music Market
Apple is under threat via increased competitions from online music subscription services like Spotify, Amazon, and Walmart. Online music streaming market valued at $ 29.45 billion in the year 2021. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.7% from 2022 to 2030. Apple has the market share of 15% but the big companies like Amazon music and YouTube are stiffly and aggressively behind Apple in this market. Both the companies are capable of a tough fight, hence it is a big threat.
Uncertainty of Pandemics
The COVID-19 epidemic might have impacted up to 20% of Apple’s annual sales. The corporation was only able to generate $57 billion in sales as opposed to the $63 to $67 billion predicted. Similarly, there are various unpredictable events that occur naturally or aesthetically create imbalance in business. Such events are big threats to the businesses.
Based on the SWOT analysis of Apple, it is clear that the corporation has a stronger position over its weaknesses and threats thanks to its strengths and opportunities; namely the company’s reputation and customer loyalty. However, it will be advantageous for the business to solve the above-described shortcomings by putting in place efficient management procedures and removing any possible dangers they may confront in the future.