apple swot analysis

Apple SWOT Analysis – The Big Problem It Can’t Ignore

Apple SWOT analysis uncovers some of the big challenges Apple faces in 2020 and beyond. One big issue though can’t be ignored.

Apple is a US-based consumer electronic company that has an estimated worth of over a trillion dollars. Equally impressive, is how Apple has retained the top slot of being the number one brand in the world for seven consecutive years.

Apple though is at a pivotal point in its history. Competition is now fierce and Apple’s growth is stalling.

There’s a lot to love about Apple, its history iconic leaders and pioneering design. But let’s face it, others have caught up.

Apple is now looking quite exposed with over 55% of revenue from a single product line which is facing fierce competition, particularly from Asia. Is Apple is in jeopardy of following in the footsteps of Nokia?

Apple Quick Facts

Company name: Apple
Founders: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne
Annual revenue: (FY 2019): $260.17 Billion
Profit | Net Income: FY 2019: $ 55.25 Billion
Year founded: 1976
Company CEO: Tim Cook
Headquarters: Cupertino, California, USA
Link: Apple
Number of employees: (FY 2019): 137,000
Type of business: Public
Ticker symbol: AAPL
Products And Services:Mac, Macbook, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade (Gaming Platform), App Store, iCloud
Company Competitors:Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Toshiba, Sony, Dell, Amazon, Spotify, Netflix

Apple SWOT Analysis

Part of any SWOT requires is an analysis of the company’s financial performance, market and the Apple business model.

In this Apple SWOT analysis, I’ll take a look into the external challenges Apple faces – the Opportunities and Threats, as well as its internal capabilities to realize the opportunities and deal with the threats – Strengths and Weaknesses.

What is the SWOT analysis For Apple?

The SWOT analysis of Apple analyses the internal capabilities of Apple (strengths and weaknesses) as well as the external environment (opportunities and threats). The result shows Apple is at a pivotal point in its history.

Financial Analysis of Apple

To see the full breakdown of Apple’s financial results

apple swot analysis - 2019 revenue and profits
Apple SWOT analysis – 2019 revenue and profits

Apple’s Strengths

Apple’s Weaknesses

  1. High Priced Products

    The iPhone represents over 55% of Apple’s revenue in 2019. However, iPhone sales recently slumped, dropping from $165 billion in 2018 to $139 billion in 2019.

    Apple charges premium prices across all its products and in developing Countries Apple is pricing itself out of the market. Lower-priced smartphones are taking market share and in Asia Apple is losing ground to brands such as Huawei

    China now accounts for 30% of the smartphone market but Apple saw a sharp decline in sales of over 30%.

  2. Narrow Product Set

    Apple has focused on a very slim set of products and often has limited the number of varieties. The high-prices and narrow range may restrict growth in developing Countries where smaller competitors have a similar feature set phones at lower prices.

    A further weakness is that not all products in the range are successful. The HomePod is not a very good smart speaker and has had no impact in the market. Amazon and Google still dominate with their range of speakers.

  3. Incompatability with other software

    Apple has long been criticized for how poorly Apple devices and software connect with other non-Apple devices.

  4. Lack of innovation

    There has been plenty of improvements in the Apple range – new features with the iPhone (and the high price to go with it), new features for the IPad but no real groundbreaking products have been launched recently. Many analysts are questioning if Apple has lost its innovative spirit and is simply playing safe by expanding into services rather than creating new products.

  5. Competing in non-core markets

    Apple’s move to service could pay off but Apple hasn’t been a platform business before. It is now going up against pure born-platform leaders such as Netflix, Disney and Amazon. Most people will favour one maybe two services at most and Apple is just breaking into this market – whether it will be successful in the long run remains to be seen. In the meantime, Apple is facing tough market conditions in its traditional product markets.

  6. Limited Distribution and Partnerships

    Apple has a limited number of stores and distribution network. It has stores in 25 Countries which leaves a lot of gaps in worldwide retail distribution. Although Apple deals with retail partners these are carefully selected and are limited.

  7. China and Asia

    Sales in China are declining and there is no real growth in the rest of Asia. This could present a problem for Apple in the future. If the western countries fell into a recession sales of the Apple premium products would drop leaving Apple exposed. You can see from the Apple infographic of the last three years revenue the China and Rest of Asia performance.

Apple’s Opportunities

  1. Growth and Investment in Services

    Apple is cash-rich and could use its money to aggressively market its services to capture market share. It’s particularly, important for Apple to establish market share in the US and Europe.

  2. Product Diversification

    Apple hasn’t released any major new product lines in recent years. New product lines could be related to its rumoured Electric Car investments, more wearables other than the Apple Watch or new gaming devices

  3. Acquisitions Asia

    Apple has had a history of acquiring other companies but nowhere near the pace and scale of Amazon for instance. With a sizeable amount of cash in hand, Apple could buy new existing companies with products that show promise in Asia. Apple has previously purchased other brands such as robotic system to dismantle and recycle parts it is the initial design and lack of modularity that causes the problems in extending the life of products and enabling greater efficiencies in recycling materials.

  4. More Wearables

    Wearables, the Apple Watch, has been a runaway success and without doubt, has been a redeeming factor in an otherwise poor performing portfolio of products. The Apple Watch apps have also contributed revenue to the services pot of revenue, although exact figures are not known.

    The healthcare opportunity is a big market and Apple is in a good position to seize both personal and professional aspects of it through wearables.

    Afuture opportunity could be to have a professional monitoring system designed specifically for remote healthcare as opposed to the consumer offering. However, to do this Apple needs to make further investments in AI, and platform technologies. With Fitbit being acquired by Google the race is now on as to who produces the best future wearable watch.

  5. New Technologies – AI/VR/AR

    Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will play a significant role in the future in how we interact with information and communicate. As yet, there has been no product that has reached the mass market. Google glasses failed, although they have released a new set aimed at enterprises at $999.

Apple’s Threats

  1. Corona virus Outbreak

    Apple manufacturers like Foxxconn were forced as a result of the coronavirus in China. Additionally, Apple stores in China shut their doors creating a further problem. China accounted for $43 billion of sales in 2019, roughly 16.5% of total sales, but now sales have plummeted. Not only has Apple’s supply chain has been disrupted but retail across the globe has suffered from lockdowns in major markets.

  2. Intensity of Competition

    Smartphones are a crowded market where more and more consumer electronic companies have now compete. The strongest brand at the moment is Samsung, but the market for smartphones, music streaming, entertainment streaming is becoming more competitive. As an example, Disney used to license its content to Netflix but has more recently launched Disney+.

    Asia has seen its own homegrown streaming video services such as Youku Tudou and Hooq.

  3. New Disruptive Brands

    Oppo which is largely unknown in the west has grown to become China’s top smartphone – a clear case of disrupting the established players. These disruptive newcomers could expand and erode Apple’s dominance by offering lower-cost phones with similar features to gran the lower end of the market then move upmarket with higher-end phones.

  4. China Tariffs

    The US government has imposed a tariff on imports from China. Inevitably this will lead to an increase in the overall cost of Apple products. This could create the perfect storm and along with coronavirus and talks of a downturn in the economy, even devoted Apple fans might seek solace in lower-cost smartphones.

  5. Rising Costs in China

    The cost of labour in China has and continues to rise as the China economy evolves. In turn, this could place further pressure on pricing at a time when Apple continues to push premium products over more economical versions.

  6. Intellectual Property Infringements

    Apple and Broadcom had to pay out $1.1 billion for infringing the California Institute of Technology’s patents. While Apple has money to pay for this, it brings into question their ethics and approach to intellectual property and the potential for related cases.

The Apple SWOT Analysis

apple swot analysis
Apple swot analysis

Free SWOT Analysis Templates

If you’re interested in creating your own SWOT analysis then download these free SWOT analysis templates now.

apple swot analysis

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