Apple’s Top Challenges

There are many challenges facing Apple today. The slump of the economy, the threat of Microsoft, new environmental requirements to name a few. Innovation would typically be named as a strength for most companies, and Apple is innovative in many different ways, but what happens when you run out of ideas or key top figures in your company aren’t keeping up with changing times? Even worse, what happens when your competitors start to exceed your own abilities to be innovative? The main point I’m trying to get across is that Apple has set a pretty high bar when it comes to innovation and since it is now known for that, it has to pump millions and millions of dollars into research and development to try to stay ahead of the pack and certainly there has to be a plateau at some point.

Distribution is also a challenge. Apple has certain criteria that must be met before a vendor is allowed to sell Apple products. This is like a double edged sword because in the one hand it provides the consumers with a reliable and up-to-standard delivery of its products, on the other it severely limits the amount of stores that can have different Apple products. So do you want ease of access or harder to reach reliability? Well guess what, you don’t get to decide, Apple does. Which leads me to my next challenge, Steve Jobs.

Don’t get me wrong Steve Jobs is an innovator, a motivator, and some would say a marketing genius, but not every body’s perfect. Jobs is the king and Apple is his kingdom, but after his near-death experience with pancreatic cancer, we became aware that the king can’t rule forever (although I’m sure he’d try). Another problem that I’ve been hearing about is that Jobs is a tyrannical boss and his employees wear out easily with him. It’s been said that Jobs has a too centralized form of leadership and that he plays many things very close to the chest. It seems to be working so far, but sometimes having too much control can be a bad thing.

On the topic of the economy and market share, yes we are in an economic slump right now and even the very large companies are feeling it in their pockets. Stock has been significantly down since July 2008, but over the past five years they have more than steadily increased to very high numbers. The challenge here is how to minimize the damage of the slump and get ready to go full throttle once the economy gets better. Market share is also difficult because they recently entered into the cell phone market and have to spend money to penetrate that deeper, and they will always have to compete with other competitors that produce computers.

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~ by williammfoster on December 2, 2008.

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