Five reasons why Apple's star is on the wane

Apple: investors anticipating poor Q1 results
Apple: investors anticipating poor Q1 results

The air of invincibility surrounding Apple could be unceremoniously shattered today (23 April), with analysts predicting the technology giant will unveil disastrous financial results.

Pic: Colin StoutApple was, until recently, the biggest company in the world measured by market capitalisation and queue length. It seemed as though the good times would last forever.

However, oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil last week overtook the firm in market cap terms, and analysts are bracing themselves in anticipation of Apple announcing its first decline in quarterly profits for a decade later today.

Lean Mean Fighting Machine founder Tom Bazeley (above left) argues that Apple's golden decade was unsustainable, and that there is only one way to go after the scaling of such dizzying cultural and commercial heights: down.

1 - Victims of their own success

Apple pioneered the products (iPhone and iPad) that single-handedly created two new segments in mobile computing (smart phone and tablet). It did it brilliantly, but if the odds on creating one brand-new segment again are high, the chances of doing it twice are, as my betting friends might describe it, prohibitive.

Unfair? Almost certainly. But Apple's phenomenal success means some sort of decline is a nailed on certainty…it's just a matter of calling when.

2 - Supply chain is boring

Tim Cook is the don of supply chain management. His predecessor was the don of product design. The former delivers dollars and margin in the short term, the latter future market share and brand equity. If Cook's influence as the top dog changes the emphasis from product and vision, to cost and process, Apple’s long term ultra-profits will be compromised.

3 - No longer trying harder

Watch any Apple documentary and you'll notice the 'Us against Them' mentality present in every aspect of the company: proving the critics wrong, jabbing detractors in the eyes, and generally flicking the bird to the establishment. Avis eat your heart out, this was the #2 mentality that turned the world on its head.

Now Apple products are everywhere. The 06.22 from Haddenham is full of dusty old bean counters resizing The Times iPad edition and all of your mums want a Macbook air. Any organisation that moves from challenger to establishment in such a marked way will struggle to remember who it is.

4 - User experience my Dad hates

Picture my Dad on Christmas day. Fuming at the very sight of one of his grandchildren tossing aside the worthless A6 instruction booklet for their spanking new iPod and just plugging in and getting on with it. My Dad loves instructions and so, uniquely, hates Apple's magic touch when it comes to user experience.

Uncompromising user-centric design is no longer the sole preserve of Apple. Recent tech newbies that have mastered it include Hailo, Path and Vine (incidentally all of these models had precursors with similar functionality, but poor UX). Kia Motors have nabbed the design guy behind the Audi TT - what salary package to persuade Sir Jony [Ive] to defect to Huawei?

5 - Bigger problems to solve

For years Apple thought different. But in 2013, the big announcements from Cupertino seem to be more concerned about Version 846.2 of the metaphysical qualities of iOS rather than what the future might hold.

Google, on the other hand, aims high. Driven by the moon shot principle, this is a company that will bring us Glass, Google Fibre, driverless cars and space flight. Wildly, stupidly, irresponsibly ambitious projects all of them, but it's problem solving on this scale that will propel Google over the next five years, and the absence of which that will see Apple falter.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Virgin, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug
Thetrainline.com backs 'rubbish' mobile app with TV ad
Powerade launches global World Cup campaign
Subway considers taking fast food to fast lane with F1 sponsorship
Burberry's flagship Shanghai store facade responds to weather changes
Ikea splurges 'grey' Belgium with colour
Grim outlook for Tesco boss Philip Clarke ahead of expected profits fall
Thomson to create first crowd-sourced wedding decided by Facebook fans
Currency wars meets origami in Alpari FX trading ad campaign
Amazon rumoured to launch 3D smartphone in September
Facebook to allow European users to store and transfer money on site, claims report
Unilever pilots multi-brand advertising with YouTube beauty channel
Lego, Coca-Cola, Net-a-Porter, Bitcoin and AOL: the digitally creative brands