Apple taking a trending down turn that will maintain and this is the reason why. I remember in 1986 getting my first home computer, the Apple II GS. At the time it was one of the most advanced home computers with color graphics. Apple almost going bankrupt in 1996 but pulling itself out of the downward spiral for many different reasons not just because of Steve Job’s. One could almost argue that it was his predecessor Gil Amelio that brought Apple back from the edge of total disaster. He started layoffs and cutting huge projects, he is also the one responsible for bringing Jobs back to Apple. Before they canned him and moved Jobs into his place as temporary CEO. There were and I believe still is a lot of misconception that Jobs was the innovator of Apple. I would disagree and I would say he wasn’t very much of an innovator as much as he was a genius in marketing and mass marketing at that.
A lot of people are unaware but one of the first things Jobs did when taken over the CEO role was he worked with Microsoft to make Office available to Mac users and that deal is what gave apple a huge push out of the “red.” Also a lot of the technology in 2000’s that Apple came with was already out there, it just wasn’t packaged and put together to be consumer friendly and wasn’t marketed well at all. You could claim Jobs was an innovator when making a product consumer friendly, trendy, and marketable. Which in lies the problem and back to the reason why I say it has taken a down turn and maintain.
Jobs created a brand, a movement, and made it, “cool.” He made owning an apple product a statement about whom you were and where you were going. He made a product that a person looked at you and the product and it immediately said something about the person. A lot of people will probably hate me for saying this but he branded Apple in a way most do fashion. The first time a tech company had ever done such a thing. He made having a Nano, Mac Book Pro, IPod, IPad, Or Iphone as much as a statement as a person wearing an Armani suit, Gucci cuffs, Fendi shoes, Jimmy Choo anything, or Prada hand bags. He also raised the company stock by pricing products in the same manor of fashion too. After IPOD it wasn’t long before competition came that could do all the same for 1/3 of the price but no one cared because it wasn’t an IPOD just like a hand bag from Target that looked exactly the same wasn’t a Prada even though it was 1/5 less the cost.
Steve Jobs did do something no one else had been able to do, he created a status symbol for a huge population that had battle being grouped, lumped in, or subjected to trends essentially making a young, up and coming group of young adults to teens that would not become part of the corrupt economic “establishment” part of it and made it cool while doing so. The time has ran out for Apple to sit atop the thrown of the markets as a corporate cash cow, not saying they won’t do it again in the future but they won’t do it again anytime soon. Apple gave a great marketing product and campaign with their I-Products but their fad has started to run aground. As they struggle to top where they already peaked they will take a long time to come up with something innovative enough to compare to their I-product line.
The company didn’t diversify enough some would say. They put all their eggs in one basket with the I-product line and Apple went down this road once before with their Apple II line. They are riding a wave of a trend again and have not offered anything new. I would argue they essential road their own bubble they created. Which don’t get me wrong, a company that can create a bubble that lasted almost 15 years isn’t easy to maintain.
We have seen the bubble as it is starting to come to an end though. If you truly think about it from an innovation stand point alone Apple I-hardware products haven’t changed much since the IPOD and the IPhone. There hasn’t been anything new offered in those products for some time other than what other companies have started to offer and the upgrades are now running equal. Other products have caught up and Apple marketing I believe has caught up to themselves as a company. They had pushed being the latest hippest product, the coolest, hottest thing to get your hands on and people would pay a lot for that. Now that they have become just another touch screen device and every new roll out is just an upgrade of hardware and software that ever other company has out as well, the price isn’t worth the product. People aren’t going to maintain paying double, triple, or even four times the amount for a product in the tech world that doesn’t seem to have something extra and special when you can just walk down the road and get the same thing for half the price.
Apple is in trouble because of this fact and because they didn’t diversify. They branded almost everything since the IPOD in 2001 the I-something and people are becoming all “I’ed” out. When you begin selling the same product over and over again for higher prices than the competitions and don’t offer anything new. That is when people are going to start walking away. My belief is Apple stock is in a little trouble, not saying we will see the drop like in the 90’s but we will see a big drop over time. People are just tired of IPod’s, IPad’s, IPad mini’s, IPhones, ITouches, Iphotos, Ilife, IMovies, IStores, IMac’s, ITunes, IClouds, IBooks, and any other I’s, I may have missed. Outlook for Apple Stock, not so good.