The American multinational Apple, founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, is the second most valued company in the world after Microsoft.
But the tech giant is making the same mistakes Finnish telecommunications and information technology company Nokia made.
Slowing sales, controversies, and a lack of innovation could push Apple down.
From the garage start-up to the megalith worth $ 2 trillion
The business has impacted hundreds of millions of lives since it was founded in 1976 in a garage.
Apple shot to success in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but collapsed after Jobs and Wozniak left.
The company was reinvigorated in the late 1990s, and Jobs was brought back to the fold as chief executive.
With his passion for minimalist design and marketing genius, Jobs changed the course of personal computing in two stints at Apple and then revolutionized the mobile market.
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He oversaw the launch of the iPod, and later the world-changing iPhone, which put the Internet in people’s pockets. It has been nicknamed the “Jesus telephone” for its quasi-religious followers.
However, after his death in 2011 from a rare form of pancreatic cancer, he lost a visionary leader.
Jobs ‘death came just a day after Cook introduced a new iPhone at the kind of gala that has become Jobs’ trademark.
Perhaps coincidentally, the new device received mixed reviews, with many saying it wasn’t a big enough improvement over the existing version of one of the most popular consumer products in history.
Apple still faces challenges in the absence of the man who was its chief product designer, marketing guru, and peerless salesperson.
Phones running Google’s Android software are gaining share in the smartphone market, and questions are raised about the next big thing in Apple’s product line.
While the company’s biggest challenge is repositioning the company’s legendary marketing device to protect the brand, experts believe Cook is likely sticking to the battle plans established at this critical juncture.
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Blast from the past
Finnish telecommunications network equipment maker Nokia has failed to keep pace with changing customer needs and adapt to market dynamics.
In the popular Nokia eclipse tale, it was Apple’s iPhone that stole the light, but the company also lost its shine in the basic phone market, which had been a reliable generator of profits and carried the promise of years of strong growth in emerging markets. .
The company ditched its own Symbian smartphone operating system in 2011 in favor of the largely untested Windows Phone alternative after Stephen Elop joined as the general manager of Windows maker Microsoft.
Nokia’s decline was in part due to a lack of entrepreneurial leadership and the inability to deal with bad news, according to the book by Risto Siilasmaa, chairman of Nokia, who joined the company’s board in 2008. .
Microsoft Corp bought Nokia’s telephony business and licensed its patents for 5.44 billion euros ($ 7.2 billion) in 2013 and sold them for $ 350 million to Foxconn three years later.
Have you traded magic for profit?
The fall of Nokia and the rise of Apple as a smartphone giant are deeply linked.
Apple, which throughout the global recession almost infallibly shattered Wall Street forecasts, is beginning to lose its aura of invincibility.
Apple hit $ 6 billion in sales in the fiscal fourth quarter due to lingering global supply chain issues. The company has missed Wall Street targets twice in less than a year.
CEO Tim Cook may now need to worry more about business cycles and product launches, as well as the vagaries of fickle consumers.
The successful smartphone that adds special shine to the Apple brand is a highly cyclical product. Buyers emerge in droves every time a new version is released, lining up in stores overnight and increasing the device’s supply.
Its popularity has intensified speculation around the device every year, as more than 100 million annual customers decide when to upgrade to a new model, whether it’s buying now or waiting for a better phone but at the same. price.
The now more predictable lineup also means consumers are more attuned to product lifecycles and launch times, something Apple is working to keep a secret.
Apple dodged a bullet in 2021 when a U.S. federal court said Fortnite maker Epic Games failed to demonstrate the iPhone giant had an illegal monopoly, but the company still received the order to loosen control of its App Store, which serves as a single gateway to its coveted mobile. devices and takes shopping commissions.
It is unlikely to meet production targets for its new iPhone before the holidays due to a global microchip shortage, according to a recent report.
Apple is facing criticism and lawsuits for tight control over its “ecosystem”, from iPhone hardware to licensed apps on handsets.
It became dependent on customer upgrades in the face of a saturated market over a decade ago.
Customers have delayed replacing their phones and are instead fixing their old gadgets amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The company has started a “self-service repair” program in the United States that sells tools and parts to people who want to work on damaged iPhone 12 or 13 handsets.
It will initially focus on the parts most susceptible to damage, such as displays, batteries and cameras.
The program will roll out to other countries over the next year and expand to select Mac computers, the Silicon Valley-based company said.