Apple Going Nokia Way - GoTechTalk

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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Apple Going Nokia Way

Steve Jobs loved this quote from Wayne Gretzky "I skate to where the puck is going to be not where it has been".
By Sudarshan Yerunkar |  | Posted on 12th January 2021 | 🛍 Support me with your Amazon purchases: https://amzn.to/311Gk4H


Apple Going Nokia Way

How many of you remember the signature ring tone of a Nokia phone if you have lived through the mobile phone boom there's a good chance that you owned a Nokia phone and if you're living through the smartphone age there's good chance you do not have a Nokia phone today and you don't really need me to tell you why Nokia failed. 

The smartphone killed it. 

Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone in 2007 it did not have a physical keyboard it had just that one home button, the screen stretched across the phone you could pinch and zoom photographs with your fingers the geeks were wowed, now look at your phone today most of you have that same touchscreen that Steve Jobs mainstreamed with the iPhone 13 years ago. 

Nokia missed the smartphone bus 

In less than 10 years it went from market domination to a sell off, Microsoft bought Nokia's phone business for 7.2 billion dollars in 2013, three years later Microsoft sold these assets back to former mobile executives of Nokia and Microsoft for 300 and $50,000,000 from 7.2 billion to 350 million pennies on the dollar. 

In the meantime, look at what happened to Apple it has gone from strength to strength becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world in many ways the story of the fall of Nokia and the rise of Apple as a smartphone giant at deeply intertwined. 13 years after it revolutionised an entire industry is Apple making the same mistakes as Nokia is Apple going the Nokia week is it poised to collapse just like Nokia. 

Apple is going the Nokia way? 

Apple is not a company in crisis in fact it is one of the richest companies in the world if you were to buy all the shares of Apple today you would need well over 2 trillion dollars' worth, that's right more than two trillion dollars. in August Apple's market capitalization was more than the GDP of Italy Brazil Canada Russia South Korea Spain Australia Saudi Arabia just to name a few. So Apple is more valuable than several countries in the world by the end of the September quarter Apple had reported more than 64 billion dollars in revenue it had an income of more than 12 billion dollars and it had a little more than 38 billion dollars cash on hand so money is not a problem. 

What about sales? 

Apple's sales revenues are impressive but they are not what they used to be in February Apple warned its investors that it will not be able to live up to its revenue forecast. The pandemic had just begun and China was shut Apple depends on the supply change in China it was bound to feel the impact of the Wuhan virus outbreak. But there's more to the Apple problem than the pandemic the bleeding and Apple had begun well before the virus from China struck the company issued a similar warning last year to the first one for Apple in the last 16 years, it cut its revenue outlook by 9 billion dollars the reason slowing iPhone sales especially in China. Apple CEO Tim Cook made an admission in a letter he said in fact most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance over 100% of our year over year worldwide revenue decline occurred in Greater China across iPhone Mac and iPad. Almost a year later the losses have grown in October Apple shares fell by close to 6% revenue in China dropped by 29% the lowest since 2014. 

Why are the numbers down? 

Last year an analyst at Goldman Sachs said that this is the beginning of a long-term story. Word Hall compared Apple situation to Nokia he said Nokia relied on customers upgrading their phones frequently but people started waiting longer and longer to update their phones because they did not need a new one. Apple faces the same problem people like to repair not to replace last year Tim Cook listed repairs is one of the many reasons why Apple is unable to sell new phones. 

The company seems to be depending too much on the glories of the past, newer phones and computers will not help it's cause. The launch of iPod the iPhone The iPad App Store these were moves that not just launched a new business vertical for Apple they made it a dominant force in that market but almost a decade now Apple seems to have fallen behind on innovation instead of conquering new lands the company seems to be more focused on defending its stuff. 

"I skate to where the puck is going to be not where it has Been" 

Steve Jobs loved this quote from Wayne Gretzky "I skate to where the puck is going to be not where it has been". Apple seems to be failing to live up to these words. Words that its founder lived by for many new innovation whether it's a company or a country they need to spend on research and development Apple despite its massive cash coffers is underspending on innovation and compared to its peers. Here are some numbers during the second quarter this year apple spent 4.8 billion dollars of research and development are indeed that is 8% of its total revenue it sounds like a lot but when you compare this to Apple Spears it isn't a lot in the same quarter Microsoft spent 5.2 billion dollars on R&D that is close to 14% of its total revenue Google's parent company alphabet spent 6.2 billion dollars on R&D that is almost 16% of its revenue, mergers and acquisitions is another way for companies to bring fresh ideas and new product into their phone but Apple is going slow on this front too, according to one claim Apple has spent only 2% of its cash flow on mergers and acquisitions since 2012 despite the tough competition what keeps Apple going is its brand value, buying an Apple product has an aspirational value if you buy anything Apple you feel that you belong to that higher class even if it means shelling out substantially more money, there is a term for it "The Apple Tax" and Apple can charge this tax because of its brand value but in recent years even brand Apple has taken a hit. 


When Apple launched its new series of iPhones this year it did not generate the same bus as it used to on Google. The launch of iPhone 5 was the peak and since then it has seen a steady decline. Time and again we've heard about the poor working conditions in factories that make Apple products recently the Washington post reported that Apple tried to weaken a bill aimed at preventing forced labor in China last week pictures from an Apple factory in India went violent angry workers destroyed parts of this facility allegedly over unpaid wages and while all of this may not have a direct impact on sales it does hit perception it tarnishes brand Apple in the market and in the media. 

Charge of cutting corners. 

Recently Apple decided to no longer include wall chargers and earbuds in the boxes of new iPhones Apple says it is for the environment to limit E waste since people already have phone Chargers at home they may not be the new one. Guess what, they do no one is buying this argument fewer people are buying the iPhone. By October revenues for iPhone dropped by 21% for Apple. People still need charges or hear phones or they simply by from elsewhere and it will still add to the E waste. Apple was not saving the environment it was trying to save its margins trying to maintain the profitability of the iPhone 

Parts of 5G phone fast more Apple sold about 217 million iPhones in 2018 and it just 5% of these people decide to add the air pods to their cart at the division 700 million dollars in gross profit for Apple Brazil seems to have seen through these tricks it is forcing Apple to include the charging brick in their iPhone boxes well done with the world of technology things can change at lightning speed Apple faces a dual challenge today to not only survive the cut throat competition but to remain a dominant player in the market. 

So it cannot be business as usual for Apple nothing purely on the bottom line will not help incremental upgrades and cutting corners may give apples profits a boost but apple needs to go beyond existing product lines and turn new territories build products that are new and different that bring new customers else face the risk of meeting the fate of the Nokia and blackberries of the world perhaps apple can find some inspiration in one of its old tag lines "Think Different".

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