The American multinational corporation Apple, founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, is the second most valuable company in the world after Microsoft.
But the tech giant is making the same mistakes that Finnish telecommunications and information technology company Nokia made.
Slowing sales, controversies, and a lack of innovation could push Apple into a tailspin.
From a garage startup to a $2 trillion megalith
The company has impacted hundreds of millions of lives since it was founded in 1976 in a garage.
Apple scrambled to success in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but faltered after the departure of Jobs and Wozniak.
The company was revitalized in the late 1990s, and Jobs returned to the fold as CEO.
With his passion for minimalist design and marketing genius, Jobs changed the course of personal computing during 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 was called “the phone of Jesus” to his semi-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 presented a new iPhone at the kind of party that became Jobs’ trademark.
Perhaps coincidentally, the new device got lukewarm reviews, with many saying it wasn’t a big enough improvement over the current version of one of the most successful consumer products in history.
Apple still faces challenges in the absence of the man who was the chief product designer, marketing guru, and unremarkable salesman.
Google’s Android-powered phones are gaining market share, and there are questions about the next big thing in Apple’s product line.
While the company’s biggest challenge is repositioning the company’s legendary marketing apparatus to protect the brand, experts believe Cook is likely to stick with the battle plans laid out at this critical juncture.
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blast from the past
Finnish telecom network equipment maker Nokia has failed to keep pace with changing customer needs and adapt to market dynamics.
In the popular narrative of Nokia’s eclipse, it’s Apple’s iPhone that steals the spotlight, but the company has lost its luster in the essential phone market, which was a reliable source of profits and held the promise of years of solid growth in emerging markets.
The company ditched its Symbian smartphone operating system in 2011 in favor of a largely untried Windows Phone alternative after Stephen Elop joined in as CEO of Windows operating system maker Microsoft.
Nokia’s decline is partly due to a lack of entrepreneurial leadership and a failure in the face of bad news, according to book by Resto Silasma, Nokia’s president, who joined the company’s board of directors in 2008.
Microsoft bought Nokia phones and licensed its patents for 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion) in 2013 and sold it for $350 million to Foxconn three years later.
Magic rolling for profit?
The fall of Nokia and the emergence of Apple as a smartphone giant are deeply intertwined.
Apple, which smashed Wall Street expectations throughout the global recession, is losing its aura of invincibility.
Apple received a $6 billion loss in sales during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year due to persistent global supply chain problems. The company has missed Wall Street’s goals twice in less than a year.
CEO Tim Cook may now have to worry more about economic cycles, product launches and the volatile whims of consumers.
A popular smartphone that adds a special luster to the Apple brand is a very periodic product. Buyers show up in droves every time a new release is released, queuing up in stores overnight, and upping the ante for the device.
Its popularity has fueled speculation about the device every year as more than 100 million customers a year decide when to switch to a new model, whether to buy now or wait for a better phone but at the same price.
And the more predictable lineup now also means consumers are more attuned to product lifecycles and launch timelines, something Apple does its best to keep a secret.
Apple dodged a bullet in 2021 when a US federal court said Fortnite maker Epic Games had failed to show that the iPhone giant had an illegal monopoly, but the company was still required to loosen control of its app store that serves as the only gateway to its coveted mobile phone. Hardware and takes purchase commissions.
It is unlikely to meet production targets for its new iPhone before the holidays due to the global shortage of electronic chips, according to a recent report.
Apple is facing criticism and lawsuits over strict control of its “ecosystem” from iPhones to allowed apps on mobile phones.
It has been relying on customer upgrades in the face of a saturated market for more than a decade.
Customers have been late to replacing their phones and are instead repairing their old devices amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The company has started a “self-service repair” program in the United States offering to sell tools and parts to people who want to work on damaged iPhone 12 or 13 models.
It will initially focus on the parts that are most susceptible to damage, such as screens, batteries, and cameras.
The Silicon Valley-based company said the software will roll out to other countries over the next year and be expanded to some Mac computers.