Apple Faces 10 Threats to Future Growth, Prosperity

NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple might seem to have everything in order and all is well, but a closer look shows Apple's business prospects are shakier than they have been in a long time.

Apple looks invincible at first glance. For years now, the company has been delivering products that customers can't wait to get their hands on, and most of its competitors have been unable to answer with products of their own that can match the same level of quality and buyer appeal. The iPhone maker seems to have it all together.

But a closer look at Apple reveals something much different. The Cupertino, Calif., company isn't necessarily in the greatest position right now, and there's no indication that things will turn around any time soon. The iPhone is now outclassed by the Samsung Galaxy S; Chinese government-controlled media seems to be turning on Apple, accusing it of arrogance and criticizing its warranty policies as onerous.

Now Tim Cook seems a little too willing to run Apple as a business, rather than an innovative company. Apple is simply facing more threats now than ever. It would be a mistake not to acknowledge that Apple's market situation has changed.

Read on to find out about the threats Apple will face and why the company's position in the technology industry might not be as cemented in success as some think.

1. Apple's China problem

Apple has a very big problem that the company doesn't like talking about much: China. Android is the dominant force in the mobile space in China, and even the government has announced plans to build its own Linux-based processor to reduce reliance on Apple's computers. Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to Chinese media criticism with a surprisingly contrite apology to customers for its warranty policies. He has made several trips to China to improve relations with the government and its biggest carrier, China Mobile, but so far, there is no indication that Apple's efforts to improve its relations in China will bear fruit.

2. Apple's India problem

Apple also has an India problem. That developing country, which is often forgotten in discussions on big, important markets, has one of the largest addressable consumer markets in the world. Still, Apple's market share in the country is in the low single-digits, and the company has trouble bringing its stores to India because of stringent local market laws. It's a real problem Apple needs to figure out.

3. Intense competition with Samsung

Samsung is an obvious one, isn't it? The company has been the only Apple competitor to crack the code of beating Apple on product design and innovation, and its sales reflect that victory. Apple has downplayed Samsung's success, saying that it's simply trying to copy the iPhone maker. But perhaps it's not as simple as Apple thinks.

4. Lawsuits are making it look bad

As the lawsuits between Apple and Samsung have dragged on over the last few years, they're starting to make the iPhone maker look bad. For years now, it's been waging legal battles across the world, and so far, it's won only a single notable case. It's time to let the patent lawsuits go away and fight a fair fight between itself and Samsung.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...