Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Apple & Strategy

Today Apple's stock dipped below $400 per share, in a slow descent that started from a $700/share peak last September.

Personally, I would be happy with any kind of share price that exceeds $100, but they have lost nearly half of their share price in less than a year.  Being one of the most valued largest companies on earth, this must be throwing them into chaos.

Earlier this year HBR reported on how Apple's 11-year success run has to expire "sometime."  To defy the plateau effect (and eventual decrease of a product's viability), Apple must keep innovating.  Or is innovation the best fit right now?

Many have pointed to the loss of Steve Jobs (and Tim Cook's appointment) as a loss in Apple's innovation.  Yet that is one of their unique, marketable qualities.  Does innovation have to occur though, when development of technology is so fast, and new editions/versions of products can revitalize the market, and fight the plateau effect?  People waited outside for last year's iPhone 5 release.

This week's readings focus on internal evaluation and auditing a company in times of downturn.  Although Apple weathered the 2008 recession, maybe now is the time to perform such evaluation.  What capabilities does Apple have, and which do they want to capitalize/improve on?  Are they actively analyzing their gaps?

Do they have talented leaders in various sectors of the company - and enough up-and-coming people to replace those?  Is brand loyalty enough?  Will iCloud data storage seduce/hold customers from trying other products.
These are the questions Apple needs to ask itself, employees, and stakeholders as it self-evaluates during this rapid downturn.  Also - it hasn't paid a dividend to shareholders!  Would now be the time, to restore confidence in the company?

Sources:
http://blogs.hbr.org/fox/2013/01/apple-versus-the-strategy-prof.html
http://blog.kissmetrics.com/7-strategies-apple-marketing/
http://buzz.money.cnn.com/2013/04/17/apple-stock-plunge/?iid=HP_LN

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