Written by Ronald Lye
Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, unfortunately passed away in Oct 2011. In the following year of 2012, Apple was still flying high, seemingly unaffected by the absence of their visionary leader.
The iPhone 5, despite a flawed map application, was selling fast. Profits were still soaring, with a market capitalisation of $629.4 billion. However, ominous signs of decline were also present. Jobs used to dazzle his adoring audience during his famous product launches; who can forget his trademark “one more thing” line, followed by the unveiling of a cool new product. Details of the iPhone 5 were leaked before the launch, an inconceivable occurrence under Jobs’ reign. This led to an underwhelming product launch. A company which prides itself on innovation, Apple tumbled from 5th to 26th on Forbes Magazine’s list of the world’s most innovative companies. Fast forward to 2013, and even greater challenges lie ahead for Apple. Can they overcome them and replicate the success of yesteryear?
The iPhone and iPad are Apple’s main sources of revenue. Faced with tough competition from competitors like Samsung, Amazon, Google, Nokia etc, experts predict flat sales and a 22% drop in profit in Apple’s fiscal third quarter. Key to this gradual decline is the emergence of Samsung’s Galaxy-branded range of smartphones. In the first quarter of 2013, Samsung shipped around 65 million smartphones, which accounted for 30% of the global smartphone market. In contrast, Apple “only” managed to ship 37.5 million, a 17.3% market share. The iPad is still the leader in the tablet market, but the first quarter saw market share shrink from 60% to 32%. Samsung quadrupled sales to gain 18% of the market share. In other words, Apple is losing out. Samsung has been putting out devices on operating systems that are reliable and stable. Combined with great marketing, it has overtaken Apple in the smartphone market and gradually catching up in the tablet market. Later this year, Samsung will be debuting a new non-Android smartphone powered by Tizen, an operating system developed in collaboration with Intel. In the face of such fierce competition, Apple needs to take decisive action to reassert its dominance.
Credits: Digital Trends
The iPod, iPhone, and iPad are revolutionary devices that catapulted Apple to the forefront of technological innovation. It’s been three years since the iPad was launched. Apple desperately need a new magical product to rejuvenate an ailing and predictable product line. The long-rumoured Apple iTV may be the saviour. Predicted to be released later in 2013, Apple’s voice-recognition system, Siri, will be the heart of the iTV. Users will be able to change channels and alter TV functions with voice alone. A Kinect-style action-based gaming system could also be part of the iTV package. This could potentially be the next great product that will disrupt the market in Apple’s favour, and we’re looking forward to the day of its release, if the rumours are true.