According to recent surveys and the opinions of analysts, public regard for technology giant Apple is slipping. The brand is now deemed less “inspiring” than it was three years ago; making it only equally “inspiring” to biggest rival Samsung – and that’s just not good enough, is it.
Jest as we might, these results will no doubt fuel fear among shareholders who have already witnessed Apple’s stock market value decrease by around $230 billion since September 2012; when Apple’s share price reached a record whopping $700, giving the brand a market capitalisation of more than $655 billion.
Some analysts put the tide change down to the loss of “visionary co-founder” Steve Jobs, who lost his battle with cancer in October 2011. However, others believe that Apple’s reputation for innovation and ground-breaking style was bruised with the release of the iPhone 5; which was viewed as an iteration of an earlier design and not pioneering enough in its own right. And with other brands breaking all sorts of boundaries and innovations around them, this reputation is certainly weakening Apple.
Solid evidence that Apple has lost its trend-setting status can be found in the release of the iPad Mini which was seen as a response to other tablets on the market, instead of a market leader – as its predecessors have been in previous years.
Research by Gartner shows that while Apple and Samsung account for 52% of the global smartphone market, in the last quarter of 2012 Samsung sold 64.5 million handsets, compared to Apple’s 43.5 million. Are these numbers giving us a glimpse of the future?
Although the iconic brand is sitting on around $137 billion of cash, many believe that unless it can regain its crown as the trend-setting, market leader pretty soon, the perception may well grow that “Apple’s best days are behind it”.
But Apple Apostles, you needn’t despair just yet. In a ‘Cultural Traction’ survey conducted by Added Value, Apple was counted in the top 10 most “visionary, inspiring, bold and exciting” brands. Others included Google, Samsung, Ikea, Microsoft, Sony, BMW, Audi, Coca-Cola and eBay. Not exactly in its winter days just yet, is it?!
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