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Has Apple Finally Hit a Brick Wall

by Kerry Dawson

It’s odd. Everyone worried what would become of Apple when Steve Jobs was gone. For the years since, we are coasting on his genius; his ability to come up with products people wanted. Everything in the product sales kit is basically Steve Job’s evolved. Jobs had vision while Cook is a financial guy. He’s been good at that as he’s milked the golden cow; the iPhone for everything it’s worth.

iPhone Sales are Getting Shaky but it Shouldn’t Matter and Yet it Does

It’s not a hidden secret that the Smartphone market is getting saturated and this is causing, along with exorbitant prices, there to be second thought when upgrading or buying a new smartphone. This really should not have mattered that much to Apple. The company has lots of tools in its war-chest to sell. However, Cook’s lack of vision and strict financial focus kept his eyes on one thing; the golden goose.

Apple is slowly shifting its focus to other products but as good if not better is the services it can bring to the table. The AppleTV has always been a winner especially in the early days when they liked calling it a hobby. The product is anything but a hobby and holds at its feet some real, exciting potential.

It’s not that the iPhone isn’t selling and selling well, it’s that it isn’t growing or meeting expectations the way things were planned. The market has become saturated and everyone who wants a Smartphone basically has one.

Saturation is one thing but people could still upgrade. However, this has declined also. With the high cost of the latest iPhones people are thinking twice about whether they need to upgrade and many are deciding they don’t need to. Their phone is working well for them so rather than take a mortgage payment away to buy a phone people are holding off. Apple seemed to be looking for that magical brick wall they could charge and they’ve somewhat found it.

Will Apple Reduce Prices

Current thinking is that it would be highly unlikely that Apple would reduce their prices. However, they might have to start thinking outside the box. Rather than having such a closed ecosystem in which others are not that allowed to enter the walled garden, Apple may have to listen to their customers and instead of just going along with Apple’s vision and what they want to do they may have to listen to what their customers want.

As an example, although for many the loss of the audio jack was not as big a deal as most people initially thought it would be there are many music aficionado’s that want the jack as the music is just richer.

Apple may not reintroduce the jack but it would probably be wise for Apple to listen to their customers. Rather than doing something because it suits Apple’s vision they might ensure themselves that their customer base is fine with what they’re planning.

Another good example is the introduction of the notch which almost all agree is an eyesore and effects the enjoyment of watching video. They could work diligently to get rid of this and that might get people to upgrade.

Avoid Having their Eggs all in one Basket

Apple has placed their eggs, so to speak, in one basket primarily and it has been known for quite some time that the market was nearing saturation. Add to that the cost of an iPhone and you have the perfect storm.

Rather, Apple realizes they have many products some of which are based on services. Services are growing and in fact services around the iPhone is growing well.

Apple botched their original Foray but it’s not Too Late

The AppleTV is a good example of how Apple botched this product line. The AppleTV is one of the best devices on the market for the delivery of services. The sale of subscription based services for music and possibly movies could be a boon for them. Growing this business couldn’t be more logical than now. People are buying into the idea of watching a show at a time that suits them without the TV companies having a hand in what they get.

A couple of years ago Apple sent in the wrong fellow to negotiate deals with the various distribution houses. However, he approached them incorrectly. He told these players what Apple wanted and the players were not prepared to play. Apple needs to learn from its mistakes.

It’s now time for Apple to re-approach these companies and put together a deal. Apple has both the money and the technology to compete with the Netflixes of the world but they have to get over their dictatorship mentality.

Apple Pay is a place where Their Incredibly Strong

Another service is Apple Pay which can piggy back off of their iTunes position. They hold more credit accounts than anyone. There is money to be made here but again they have to play smart.

Their Computer Systems

Finally, Apple has some pretty nice hardware in their kitbag. People still love their computers. The iPad and Pro models are the most popular Pads on the market but Apple has not given them the attention they deserve. Yet, finally their watches seem to be catching on now that they have found a pretty good application for them; health.

Apple is by No Means Dead however they do Need to Refocus

Apple is a big company, with a lot of cash and a good portfolio of products and services. The iPhone might be down for a while but they need listen to their customers.

I am convinced Apple, although they might have met a bump in the road, will basically do fine if they listen. Tim Cook has a good value system but he lacks that vision that Steve Job’s brought to the table. Hopefully this little bump in the road will wake them up to a bigger issue; you need to listen to your customers in the broadest sense and do what is logical but not force what they want down people’s throats at such steep prices.

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