Apple Inc. a computer and smartphone tech giant headquartered in Cupertino, California is a successful business entity renowned across the world. The success of Apple lies in its ability to use its business strengths to exploit opportunities in the tech environment and overcome threats and weaknesses. The success of its iPhone range of smartphones, iPad, MacBook, iMac, Mac Air, iOS, iCloud, and iTunes, among other products gives the company a competitive advantage over rivals in the ever-changing tech industry. Apple's ability to thrive in the market is also supported by its strong strategic leadership under CEO, Tim Cook. A SWOT analysis of Apple will justify why the company is a leader in the tech industry.
Innovation and creativity are key attributes that make Apple products marketable across the globe. Apple introduces new features and specification in its hardware brands that have promoted customer loyalty. In September 2018, Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR as advanced gadgets to the previous iPhone series of smartphones (Kelly, 2018). Furthermore, the company also unveiled new changes in the iPad to make it more appealing and adaptable. According to the unveiled product specifications, the iPad Pro is slimmer than its predecessor by 15% and comes with the edge-to-edge display (Kelly, 2018). The iPad also includes face detection technology and a USB-C that supports the 5K display. Similarly, Apple unveiled the MacBook Air that is 25% lighter and manufactured using recycled aluminum to reduce the carbon footprint of the product making it eco-friendly (Kelly, 2018). Such innovations and design features have made Apple stay atop of its game in the competitive tech industries. Customers are ready to buy Apple products to feel the value for money. Therefore, the tech giant is able to introduce profitable new products due to its strong brand image.
Tech companies have embarked on the adoption of 5G wireless connectivity. Qualcomm, a wireless chipmaker has already produced its Snapdragon X50 that supports wireless technology (Eassa, 2019). Unfortunately, Apple is not among the list of smartphone designs utilizing the 5G enabled Snapdragon processors. Therefore, the company will lack the capacity to market 5G products. Samsung, fierce Apple rival has already unveiled its Galaxy S10 5G (Eassa, 2019). The Samsung Galaxy variants are strong iPhone competitors. In the age of the internet of things, consumers are in pursuit of faster internet connectivity. 5G provides a faster platform than the current 4G LTE wireless connectivity. Therefore, Apple is expected to invest heavily in promotions by aggressively selling the benefits of its devices even if they lack 5G wireless connectivity (Eassa, 2019).
Apple has the opportunity of investing in new technologies that will elevate the company's brand image. Tech consumers and generally the rising number of internet users want faster connectivity. Apple has a chance to produce the next generation of iPhone smartphones powered by a 5G wireless processor such as the Snapdragon X50 that features first generation 5G technologies (Eassa, 2019). Besides, the company has the opportunity to design cutting-edge cameras and screen technology such as OLED and ProMotion to attract and retain customers in pursuit of quality image display (Eassa, 2019). Likewise, the partnership with Samsung to launch iTunes on Samsung's smart TVs to rent and sell films and TV shows is a bold move to market Apple products. Whilst Samsung has failed in the video services, Apple is still learning the code to crack the TV segment as well as online streaming services by launching a Netflix rival.
On the other hand, Apple has the resources to expand its operations. According to Mamula (2018), Apple announced to expand its business in New York, Pittsburgh, and Boulder, Colorado. Such expansions promote the company in producing new hardware and software technologies to beat the competition in the industry. For instance, operations in Pittsburgh have been fundamental to the success of the Keynote and iWork suite of applications (Mamula, 2018). Likewise, the focus should not only be on product innovation but also on improving future human resource. In 2017, Apple announced its commitment to building a new campus in Austin, Texas as part of its talent acquisition and retention strategy. According to Tim Cook, the initiative is the company's commitment to nurturing a nationwide workforce and high-tech sector (Mamula, 2018).
ThreatsTrade protectionist policies have a great impact on business. The Trump administration trade protectionist policies have led to a trade war with China and have affected Apple's operations. According to Bayly (2019), Apple shares fell by an estimated 10% the worst in six years due to a Chinese slowdown caused by the trade tensions with the US. Apart from that, the ongoing cold war between Apple and Facebook due to data privacy is a risk to the company's success (Ingram, 2019). If Apple was to block Facebook applications on its products, it could risk a consumer backlash and even lose customer loyalty. Tim Cook has openly spoken about Apple's stance on privacy as the company is opposed to personal data collection that is used for targeted ads (Salinas, & Meredith, 2018). Companies that profit from personal data could avoid using Apple products based on the company's opposition to a privacy breach.
Conclusively, Apple is a successful tech giant with an impressive track record in terms of product innovation, marketing, profitability, and brand position. The company is a strong innovator and has the opportunity to expand its operations and cultivate a nationwide tech workforce. However, the company faces stiff competition and has failed in venturing in the 5G wireless connectivity.
Bayly, L. (2019, January 03). Dow closes down 660 points after Apple's shock warning sends tremors through markets. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/business/markets/dow-opens-sharply-lower-apple-s-shock-warning-sends-tremors-n954166
Eassa, A. (2019, March 03). Apple Is Going to Be Late to 5G -- So What? Retrieved from https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/03/03/apple-is-going-to-be-late-to-5g-so-what.aspx
Ingram, D. (2019, January 31). Consumers in crossfire as Facebook and Apple's cold war gets hot - and personal. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-vs-apple-tech-s-biggest-cold-war-heats-will-n965236
Kelly, S. M. (2018, October 30). Apple unveils new iPad Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/30/tech/apple-event-october-2018/index.html
Mamula, K. B. (2018, December 13). Apple's expansion plans include more jobs in
Pittsburgh, $1 billion campus in Austin. Retrieved from https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2018/12/13/Apple-announces-major-expansion-in-Austin-other-U-S-cities/stories/201812130107
Salinas, S., & Meredith, S. (2018, October 25). Tim Cook: Personal data collection is being weaponized against us with military efficiency. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/24/apples-tim-cook-warns-silicon-valley-it-would-be-destructive-to-block-strong-privacy-laws.html
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