Thursday, July 25, 2013

(Business) Apple: Innovation Key To Stemming Apple’s Recent Decline

While there has been much lip service lended of late to the current trend of the decline of Apple’s dominance in the smartphone and tablet markets and it’s less than encouraging stock market performance, the question that really should be asked or addressed is when Apple going to launch a new product that always used to get them out of trouble and stave off competition. While losing a whopping 22% in revenue in  in one quarter shouldn’t inspire muck-eating grins at any department at Apple HQ, a drop from 8.8bn to 6.9bn in real numbers is nothing to panic about[1].

Despite all the focus on the slight decline in sales due to leading two increasingly competitive markets, Apple still has a sound business that has for two decades straight have defied the laws of the marketplace through genius level innovation, marketing and design. But notably since the death of its iconic founder and CEO Steve Jobs, the company has failed to stick to it main strengths that has kept ahead of its competitors for so long with Apple launching glorified updates of existing models for the last three years.

This notable lack of innovation in the last few years has been underlined by its competition making inroads into its dominant position in the smartphone and tablet markets, two markets Apple have had a large hand in creating in the first place. However not all Apple’s recent problem end and begin with its noted stagnation as far as innovation is concerned but with the savvy and market prowess of its competitors. For years, Apple competitors have lagged behind due to the company freakishly consistent habit of innovating its way out of trouble but now with the lack of innovative new products, the business nous and smart pricing of its competitors are now becoming key factors as to why Apple in experiencing a slight decline.

What Steve Jobs understood and Tim Cook must by now know better than the back of his hand is that the tech industry, much like the music industry, is that a hit will solve all problems and a hit for Apple is an innovative product launch. This is why it is important to judge any product launch by Apple in the near future by its success or failure but the company willingness to take a risk and innovate and avoid rehashing successful models of the past. Apple, as with much of modern life, has fallen into the trap of rehashing old hits instead of trying to innovate which has been at the heart of its success.

While numbers are at the heart of most business, the tech industry, maybe except the music and movie business, real currency and source of any real success is the ability to innovate and effectively change the world as business and all processes that come with are only the means to an end.

In sum, Apple are now more than any time in the last three decades subject to the laws of the marketplace, a marketplace they have managed to defy for the best part of two decades through genius level innovation, marketing and design. Now Apple, who seem to forgot the secret to their success for so long have fallen into the trap of rehashing old models which has seen their competitors eat into their dominant position in the smartphone and tablet markets. If Apple are to make a strong return to dominance, it must regain its trademark spirit of innovation that made it the company what it is today and be prepared to take risk that have made the company a cultural as well as business entity recognised and admired across the globe.

[1] Marketing Week, 2013, Apple’s European revenue slumps,

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