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

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

  1. Brand Value

    Apple has maintained the position of being the number one brand in the world for the seventh consecutive year – source Interbrand.

  2. Financial Performance

    At the end of 2019, Apple had $205 billion cash in hand. That gives it a war chest of money to invest in future acquisitions, technologies and/or expanding into new markets.

  3. Intellectual Property

    Apple excels at innovation and that is demonstrated in how it continually evolves the features in its products. In 2018 alone it filed for more than 2000 patents ranking it number in 10th for US patents.

  4. Global Coverage

    Apple operates has 506 stores in 25 countries worldwide. It is estimated that the stores alone account for around $16 billion in sales placing it in the top tier of retail stores.

  5. Management Team

    Consistently growing a business, remaining ahead of the competition and producing new and innovative products is the dream of most CEO’s. Yet few companies can boast that level of success. Beyond the legacy of Steve Jobs, many other senior members of Apple helped create that success.

  6. Services

    Apple has strategically diversified from only selling products to creating an ecosystem of services. Services accounted for 446 billion in turnover but a whopping $29 billion in gross margin (63%). Digital services provide higher margins and a platform for growth by tapping into their product user base. (see digital business models)

    Digital services include: iCloud storage, Apple TV+, Apple news+, Apple Pay, and Apple Arcade (gaming). All are based on a subscription business model.

  7. Scale

    Apple’s scale gives it an advantage in being able to produce products a low costs (see economies of scale). As an example, when Apple launched Arcade their gaming platform they already had over 900 million iPhone users as potential customers.

  8. Design

    Apple creates innovative technologies but it also creates innovative customer experiences. How Apple applies the technology and designs the user experience continues to give it a competitive edge

Apple’s Weaknesses

Apple’s Opportunities

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

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