SWOT Analysis Apple Inc.
Apple Inc. is a technology company that designs, manufactures and sells mobile electronics, software and other online solutions for the consumers of tech products. It is an American multinational founded on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne, and Steve Wozniak. The company has had great success in the past decade and has dominated the technology industry, evident from the amount of revenue generated (O’Grady, 2009).
Some of the major changes that have taken place in the company since 2013 is in the top leadership, after the passing on of Steve Jobs, former chairperson of the company. Leaders carry the vision of the company and steer the organization towards achieving more than the employees believe they can. Tim Cook took up the task of leading the organization, he has executed the task mandated to him excellently and life after Steve Jobs has been marked by several changes due to the difference at the top.
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Another major change is on embracing collaborations; Tim Cook has extensively considered the option of collaborating. Steve Jobs had a very high level of secrecy that created internal silos in the company. Collaborations have helped the company’s online services perform much better and gone are the days of disastrous launch of Apple products, such as the Apple maps. The company has also become more investor friendly as compared to the years before 2013, where Steve Jobs was very averse in giving investors a return on their investment. He also downplayed Warren Buffet’s advice on giving investors a return on their capital. Tim Cook established a capital return program for the investors, this move helped them feel that the company had their best interest at heart and reaping out of their investment (Heracleous & Papachroni, n.d.).
One of the strengths of Apple is its unique ability to come up with its own hardware and software solutions. These include applications, online services and its unique devices that have a high niche in the market for the solutions it offers its customers. This strength has evolved over time from the conventional mobile devices to having a wide variety of Apple products, more electronic devices, and more software tailored to meet the consumer’s needs. These include the watchOS, tvOS, Final cut Pro, and iWork.
The technology industry is rapidly growing and changing as compared to many other industries, this means that Apple has to keep innovating to remain among the market leaders, and have unique inventions that help it stand out of the rest. Some of the two biggest competitors for Apple Inc. include Samsung Electronics and Google. Most of the companies have tried but failed in trying to imitate Apple’s product ecosystem that is very comprehensive because of the great investment in designing, developing and manufacturing Apple products.
This strength of Apple Inc. has evolved from the few apple products that were in the market before 2013, to a wide variety of Apple products in the market now. The company has a great competitive advantage against its competitors especially after Tim Cook took over and the company has had several collaborations that have enabled its products work better. Its great strength lies in the design, development, and manufacture that most competitors are unable to match and they lack a similar product ecosystem such as the one coveted by Apple(Thao & Tsanthaiwo, 2017) .
In the lifetime of every successful company, there are points of strength and weaknesses that make up the company’s journey. One of the weaknesses of Apple is the compatibility of its products with third-party software or other accessories. Consumers who buy Apple products get into the Apple universe and can only use Apple products and therefore they must be well informed about their decisions. Apple limits its consumers from using other products together with its products. This weakness however is a disadvantage to consumers but an advantage to the company since it enhances the security and sale of its auxiliary products. This situation has not changed from 2013 to date as Apple continue to enjoy its competitive advantage in the market.
From 2013 to date, Apple has seized most of the opportunities present in the market through introduction of new products such as the Apple watch, the large-screen iPad, a MacBook Air with Retina display, and the redesigned Apple TV. These opportunities have come about from customer demands and the need to keep up with technological advancements. There are growing opportunities in the technology industry for Apple to take them up and the company has been a pace setter rather than a follower. The opportunities have evolved from the traditional mobile phones and computers to iPads, Apple TV and Apple watch.
Additionally, Apple has invested in their electric car project and is competing with other inventors such as Tesla with their innovation. Apple has named their project ‘Titan’ and is researching and developing before the product gets to the market (Sachon, 2016). The plan is to enter the automobile industry by 2020. Apple barely gives information about its projects and the market has to keep on speculating.
Lastly, Apple faces threats in the market from its competitors for its products such as Apple TV, smartphones, and laptops. Amazon has Roku that competes with Apple TV under streaming devices. Dell, HP, and Lenovo are among the laptops that threaten the sale of Apple’s MacBook since some of these products are more affordable and readily available in the market. As apple launches its series of smartphones, Samsung on the other hand is continuously coming up with its own to keep up with the competition. It is therefore upon Apple to recognize its strengths, weaknesses and threats and turn them into opportunities for continued dominance in the market.
- Heracleous, L., & Papachroni, A. Strategic leadership and innovation at Apple Inc.
- O’Grady, J. (2009). Apple Inc. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.
- Sachon, M. (2016). An Apple Car on the Horizon. IESE Insight, (29), 5-5. doi: 10.15581/002.opi-3714
- Thao, T., & Tsanthaiwo, S. (2017). Apple Inc. In the Years to Come. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2993019