“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations”- Steve Jobs
Dominating headlines since a long time, Apple Inc. is an instrumental player in the famous FAANG group. The multinational technology entity of America is based in California and is into the transaction of consumer electronics, computer services and so forth.
Apple is one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world and has built its success upon a steady consumer appetite for buying every iteration of the company’s latest and greatest product.
With the launch of iPhone 11, iPhone Pro, Apple Watch series 5, Apple card, the new iPad and the most recent AirPods Pro, the company has been gaining consumer and media attention of late.
AirPods Pro (Source: Company Website)
What’s New with Apple?
The Apple iOS 13 was released in September 2019 and announced on 29 October 2019, the latest version (iOS 13.2) is live, which refocus the company’s attention on new features rather than correcting problems and is available to download on compatible iPhones, with iPadOS 13.2 for suitable iPads. It introduces Deep Fusion, a system for the wide and telephoto lenses on the latest iPhones, designed for a particular lighting condition.
Besides this, the Research app let users volunteer to participate in medical research. The company is also adding a bunch of emoji to its devices that are anticipated to become heavily used staples. Another new addition is Siri, Apple’s intelligent assistant, who can read messages through wireless earbuds without the need for the user to even touch the iPhone or Watch. AirPlay Handoff and HomePod Handoff are other features, which have caught the consumers eye, worldwide.
People around the world are waiting for the launch of the Apple TV+ (streaming platform) in the beginning of November 2019. The platform would allow viewers to see original big-budget programs and additional programs are likely to premiere in the following months.
Apple’s product innovation and strategies
Apple’s brand has been leading the industrial design and usability for decades, as it continues to drive markets. Market experts consider the company to be the number one innovative company in the world.
Apple has had a quieter go-to-market approach since Tim Cook took over, who is believed to be relatively grounded when it comes to extravagant product announcements, unlike the flashy media events and elaborate PR antics- events, which the company pioneered when Steve Jobs delivered his legendary keynotes and product presentations.
But is this quiet approach a reflection of the company’s more ambitious goals and evolving approach to innovation? Let’s decipher by browsing through Apple’s product innovation stance and strategic moves:
- The company’s innovation strategy involves terrific new products and innovative business models;
- Apple’s commitment to innovation has been cultural, not process driven;
- The company has been instrumental in proving through its innovation management that user friendliness and design can be a great success.
- It delivers consumers with a succession of presents- fantastic software in great hardware in exquisite packaging;
- The company pioneers into a new business spaces and creates new market niches (iPod, iTunes, iPhone, and iPad);
- Leaders at Apple have been known to think in terms of platforms and pipelines and push the pace of innovation;
- Experts believe that Apple has synced Top-down and Bottom-up Strategies (where managers describe the products and design teams select and present the best ideas). Moreover, top managers are heavily involved in Apple’s development process.
What Do the Experts Say?
The common brand recognition and the popularity of its devices among people across the world have always worked in favour of Apple. However, critics have pointed out the lack of content in Apple in dynamic times where competition has caught up to Apple in many ways.
Talking of competition, Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system (MacOS rival), Alexa and Hey Google (voice assistants’ versions like Siri) and Dell, Lenovo and HP (compelling hardware players) offer likewise services like Apple. Samsung and Huawei are not far from joining this bandwagon as they pave towards material innovation with foldable smartphones.
Amid rising competition, market selection and segmentation remain critical aspects.
Recently, the decline in the sale of iPhones spread like wildfire in the market. However, Apple, the efficient tech player that it is, has been consistently ramping its services play and upped its game in the sophistication of its services by moving beyond music and iCloud to tap the content, finance and healthcare market.
On another good side, Apple offers some of the best privacy controls in the industry in the contemporary era and recently, offered a new single sign-on service that allows consumers to sign in with their Apple ID. The company also has ways to protect consumers’ privacy with third-party app developers.
Even though the iPhones remain to be the company’s main trophy, the Apple TV and HomePod have received multi-user support that enables these devices to recognise and personalise menus and content for each household member.
With the watchOS launch, the company has taken a much-needed step to solidify developer’s interest.
Where Should Apple’s Focus Remain?
Trade tensions, dropping sales, impact of regulation, slow growth in developing markets have been dangling issues surrounding Apple. Industry experts believe that the company needs to be wary about the following to benefit from its innovative product stance and strategic moves:
- Act upon competition especially in the hardware section, as other companies launch the folding phones, which are looked upon as an innovative new technology which is likely to catch the consumer attention.
- Voice assistants might be in a face-off situation in a world that is prepping up for AI and Smart Technology.
- Apple is still the undisputed leader in digital wearables but is likely to face fierce competition, especially from Huawei.
- There would massive pressure on the company as it plans to dismantle the iTunes store and transitioning into more of a service-based structure by streaming music, movies and podcasts through separate apps.
Stock Price Information
After the close of trading on NASDAQ on 29 October 2019, (NASDAQ: AAPL) quoted US$243.29, down by 2.31% relative to its last close. The stock has a P/E ratio of 19.93x and the company’s market cap is US$1.10 trillion.
It is a fact that innovation is a success key in these competitive times, without which survival of any technology driven company is a charade. So, can Apple benefit from product innovation and strategic moves? Time would tell and the world would wait!
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