Apple is one of the leading technology companies, which is best known for its smart mobile devices, personal computers and other consumer electronic products. Being one of the most successful technology companies in the world, the business operations of Apple is often studied among business management students and scholars. In this article, we have presented an in-depth Audit of Apple, using the SWOT framework, highlighting the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
The key strength of Apple comes from its brand image. It is currently the most valuable brand in the world, with a brand valuation of USD 260.2 billion. This strong brand image of the company makes it easier for it to attract its customers and investors, which contributes to its strong financial position. It should be noted that Apple has created a highly differentiated brand image in the market, which a as a result enables the brand to stay on top of the head of the customers. This is extremely crucial in driving customer purchase decision.
The unique user experience offered by Apple is also attributed to its vertical integration approach. The company develops its own mobile and desktop operating systems, which makes it easier to offer a user interface which is exclusive to its own products. Thus, the steep control of Apple over its product development and user experience acts as a key strength of the company.
Finally, the strength of Apple also comes from its robust infrastructure and its human capital. The company operates internationally in various host countries and its global supply chain spans across many international markets. Moreover, Apple works with some of the most talented employees, which allows it to create new and innovative technologies.
Despite of being one of the leading technology companies in the world, Apple still has certain weaknesses. The company is heavily reliant on third party suppliers for the procurement of raw materials and contract manufacturing processes. This as a result, exposes the company to various issues such as decreased control over the mass production process and threats from socio-economic issues in the host countries.
Apple follows a premium pricing strategy. As I was writing my paper, I found that even though it has helped the company to create a strong brand image and high aspirational value for its brand, but it has compelled the firm to cater to a relatively narrow customer base, when compared to the likes of competitors like Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.
Weakness of Apple also lies in its poor performance in the digital entertainment services such as Apple Arcade and Apple TV Plus. These services have failed to gain sufficient traction in the market to compete with other rivals.
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Apple holds significant opportunities in the mobile computing devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. The growing popularity of smartphones and increasing per capita expenditure on consumer electronics bring potential growth opportunities for the company.
The company also has growth opportunities in emerging technologies and new technology sectors like smart glasses, autonomous vehicles, cloud gaming services, etc. Since, Apple is constantly innovating to introduce new technologies, therefore entering into these sectors can be beneficial for the company. Moreover, it will also give Apple, the advantage of operating in industries which are in their nascent stage, as there will be far fewer competition in the market.
Apple can also reinforce its presence in the developing markets, especially in Asia. According to an expert research paper writer, the premium pricing and lack of attention to the mass market consumers has restricted the sales revenue of the company. However, the rapid growth in the smartphone and consumer electronics sector in the emerging markets can prove to be advantageous to the company.
Apple faces significant threats from other market players in the industry. Samsung, Microsoft, Huawei, Google are some of the biggest rivals of the company. It should be noted that Apple currently operates in multiple sectors, which has further exposed the company to new competitive threats. Some of the new competitors are Spotify, Netflix, Fitbit, Nintendo, among others. The presence of several well-established brands across all the sectors, can make it difficult for Apple to maintain a strong foothold.
Apple is a globally operational company, which caters to multiple international markets and also collaborates with various international supplier firms. This as a result, exposes the company to political and socio-economic threat in the host countries. The sudden changes in bilateral trade relationship between the domestic and host nations can have a strong negative impact on the supply chain of the company.
Finally, Apple also faces strong threat from the supply chain disruption due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It compelled the company to postpone its product release dates, thereby affecting its sales revenue.