Apple, which specializes in the design and manufacture of media and communication equipment, computers, and mobile devices, was incorporated in 1977 with its headquarters in Cupertino, California (Mustaniroh, Anti and Hidayat 2). Despite the previous dismal performance, the company under Steven P. Jobs has recorded astounding growth. This is because of the ability to optimize its strengths to exploit existing opportunities, overcome its weaknesses, and address threats in the market.
According to Fleischer, one of Apple’s strengths is its strong brand image (121). Besides, the company has a competitive advantage in mobile device technology in the development of innovative products such as the MacBook (122). According to Mustaniroh, Anti, and Hidayat, in 2014, Apple Inc. was the first company in the U.S.A. to cross a 700 billion dollar revenue generation mark (5). Research comparing different brands in 2016 shows that Apple has an estimated value of 118.9 Billion dollars in brand equity, which takes position 1 among competing brands.
In 2016, it was established that Apple has an efficient supply chain and distribution channel with 470 stores across 17different countries. In addition, the company provides services through its Apple Genius Bar to resolve customer problems and other issues that need attention.
Despite Apple’s strengths, the company has several weaknesses including the inability to match customer needs and expectations because of a large customer base and market share. It has been established that a significant number of Apple’s products are incompatible with third-party software products (Mustaniroh, Anti, and Hidayat 7). The company has highly-priced most of its products including the iPhone 5C smartphone and other higher-end 5S models.
This had made it difficult for Apple to make entries into new markets because it offers expensive luxury products. It also makes it difficult for the company to compete with other manufacturers including Samsung, which offers cheaper and high-quality substitute products. Besides, Apple does not have a wide product portfolio but depends on a few products, which increases the risk of loss in case of the failure to sell one of the products. For instance, if the company incurs losses on one of its products, it is likely to get a 10% loss on the rest of them.
According to Mustaniroh, Anti and Hidayat, there are several opportunities that the company can exploit for growth including new markets in China, which has a wide customer base of over 760 million people (8). Another opportunity that can be exploited is in the development of Apple cars, I watch, and Apple TVs. Apple can leverage its technological advances to develop more advanced devices and become more competitive.
According to Fleischer, one of the threats is the penetration of Android by Google and other smartphone manufacturers, which is 42% of the existing market (110). Uncertainty in the global economy constitutes a significant threat to the company (Fleischer 9). Apple is facing the problems of pricing wars and increasing competition leading to gross margin pressures. Most of the devices now are being manufactured in China where low-priced substitute products are being developed and sold globally. Examples include Smartphones that replace an iPod leading to a 52% decline in sales in 2014.
Despite the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats, Apple is the best brand name among telecommunication device manufacturers in the world.
Fleischer, Håkan. “What is our current understanding of one-to-one computer projects: A systematic narrative research review.” Educational Research Review 7.2 (2012): 107-122. Print.
Mustaniroh, Siti Asmaul, Febrina Grace Tri Anti, and Arifianto Hidayat. “Development of Apple Juice Beverage Industry In Batu City Through Marketing Intelligence And Strategic Alliances Approach.” Agroindustrial Journal 2.1 (2016). Print.