5. Making up for iPod declines
Apple’s iPod was once the most important product the company sold. In fact, just 10 years ago, the device was keeping Apple afloat and generating boatloads of cash. However, the iPod’s sales and profits have waned, and now, there’s a multibillion dollar hole starting to form in the company’s financials. Unless Apple releases something to plug that hole, its best days might be behind it.
6. Tim Cook is more business-like than innovative
Apple was built on innovation, it faltered in the 1990s when its leadership tried to be more corporate and it thrived in the 2000s because of innovation. Tim Cook is a skilled business man, but he is not a visionary or an inventor as Steve Jobs ways. Cook likes to solve problems with business-school ideas. In Apple’s world, that doesn’t work. And we’re starting to see that once again.
7. Mistakes are happening more often
There was a stretch in the 2000s that saw Apple make few mistakes and no major ones. In the past two years, however, the company has been hit hard by a host of issues, including a poorly conceived Siri, a troubled Maps application, and a relationship with manufacturing Foxconn contractor that made the company look bad. Apple is actually not infallible, despite the image of Apple that Steve Jobs used to project.
8. Shareholders are losing confidence
Apple’s shares have fallen off a cliff. In the last year alone, Apple’s shares hit a high of more than $700. Now, though, the company’s stock is in the $400s and could fall even more in the coming weeks. Shareholders are starting to lose confidence in Apple. And if that’s not a sign of trouble, what is?
9. Macs are the quiet disappointment
Lost amid the talk of Apple’s revenue and profit during the last quarter is the fact that Mac sales actually disappointed Wall Street. In fact, consensus pegged Mac sales at 5.2 to 5.3 million Mac unit sales. During the period, Apple sold 4.1 million Macs. Now observers are starting to ask whether iPad sales are even cannibalizing Mac sales. That’s something everyone should keep an eye on in the coming quarters.
10. Too many, too close
Apple has fallen into the trap of selling too many products with features that are too close to those that it already offers. There are simply too many iPhones and iPads and MacBooks on the market right now. Consumers might like choice, but a company can’t give them that choice to the detriment of its own operation. It appears now that Apple needs to go back to its strategy of offering one or two really great products in a respective category, and getting away from the lure of offering too many devices and models with features that are too similar to others it sells.