Apple incorporated is a multinational company that is jointly owned by Vanguard Group and BlackRock, both being institutional investors. It has become the largest technological giants of today (World Economic Forum). It was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. It’s an American-based company whose current CEO is Tim Cook since 2011. Apple products include Apple Watch, Apple TV, Apple iPad, and, the most famous, iPhone. Apple earned a total revenue of $260 Billion in 2019. Its subsidiaries include Beats Electronics, Apple Store, NextVR, FileMaker and many more. As of 2019, the company had more than 500 retail stores globally. The SWOT analysis of the company is significant in revealing where the company stands today and how it will go about in the coming years of the future.
By identifying the strengths of the company, one can tell the company’s strong areas and how it has a monopoly over them and takes advantage of these to overcome its weaknesses. The company has internal as well as external advantages and strengths.
Apple’s Brand Image
One of its major strengths includes the fact that it has a sturdy brand image. The brand has been in the market for very long and has become a luxury good. Thus, many people with increased incomes prefer to buy Apple products, especially iPhones, because of the image it entails and displays wealth.
Self-sufficiency in Developing Parts
Another one of its strengths is that the company is self-sufficient in developing its own hardware, software, services and all other applications. Apple has designed its own ecosystem, and since it lacks Apple’s biggest competitor, Samsung, this is a really strong strength of Apple Inc.
Advanced Advertising and Marketing Expertise
Moreover, another important strength of the company is its advanced and attractive advertising and marketing abilities. Apple’s brand recognition is maintained via media giants and technology companies such as Forbes that acknowledges that the company is worth about 205.5 Billion US Dollars. Its reputation is maintained by quality advertisements such as “1984” and “Think Different” that guarantee superior marketing skills, promising to attract new customers by using advertisements as psychological tools. This enables the building of brand loyalty and confirms future customers.
Apple’s weaknesses are not many but are sufficient enough to be mentioned.
One of its most targeted weaknesses is that it has extremely expensive products. iPhone 7 cost $649 in 2016, and in about three years, its price increased by 54%. Apple is the first American company toreach the trillion-dollar mark. Even Switzerland’s GDP is lesser than Apple’s market cap in monetary terms. Since its logo has become a status symbol; the company is alleged to charge the “Apple Tax” for its branding. The prices are so high that brand sales are decreasing exponentially in India.
Exclusivity of Apple Products
One of the major criticisms of Apple is that the company’s software is incompatible with working with other any other software. This has given rise to the concept of Apple universe whereby the customers are propelled to buy supportive products to enhance their products that are already in use. The exclusivity of the Apple products faces criticism by customers that complain that not only are their products expensive but are compatible only with other Apple products.
The opportunities available for Apple Inc. are external factors that affect its supply. These opportunities also help in the strategic planning of the company by highlighting the areas it can potentially take advantage of to enable economic growth.
One of the major areas of opportunity is granted by the overall trend of increased dependency on technology in this subtle digital revolution that is underway. This entails the increased use of Apple computers, iPhones, Keyboards and the accessories attached in furthering the increased use of technology. Offices, schools and freelance places are all now more dependent on technology than they used to be, and this increased demand for technology does propel the supply to increase to meet the demand.
Another opportunity provided to Apple Inc. is the very fact that globalization has successfully taken place. Globalization is the process whereby a company gains international scale and influence and expands its operational procedures. Globalization has boosted the company’s profit margins as consumers can easily request and purchase Apple products that are more readily available. This aspect increases sales, and thereby the profits also increase.
Additionally, another strategy the Apple Inc. can take advantage of is the strategy of product diversification. This propagates that the company may increase the number of products it offers or may offer cheaper products to attract middle or low-income customers. Also, increasing their supply chains distribution centres, especially in developing countries, will help boost their sales that will, in turn, assist in earning more profits.
Apple Inc. also faces many threats, as any multinational company does.
Market for Products
One of the important areas of the threat the company faces is the potential market for phones and tablets might be on the fall as evidence show that the smartphone demand has fallen by 3%. Reasons for the fall might include the fact that when one has already purchased a phone or a tablet, he or she might not feel the need to buy that again when the older one is fully functional already. This argument suggests that sales might slow down.
Additionally, another threat present for Apple Inc. may be the emergence of new companies that offer the same products. These competitors might provide the same product with more or less the same features. The product also might be less expensive, so it is attractive to the consumers. Apple Inc.’s competitors include Samsung, Google, Nokia, Sony and many more.
Fear of Imitation
Another threat to the company may be the fear that its products can be imitated. Imitation has been one of the biggest threats for recognized companies. The fear of having their software or any aspect of the technology stolen is big enough to take measures to cover for it.
All in all, it can be observed from the SWOT analysis that Apple Inc. has many strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Analyzing and assessing all of these will help the company, its customers, and its competitors alike to make a decision that benefits the respective parties.
Businessinsider.com (page 2)
Fobes.com (page 2)
Apple.com (page 1 and 2)
World Economic Forum (page 1)