Can Apple stay on top? Investors, suppliers question its future.
Projections continue to suggest negative results for Apple, but what is preventing Apple from dominating the market like it used to?
As Apple continues to face growing competition, the company's allure is starting to fade in the eyes of investors and suppliers, according to new report from Reuters. Meanwhile, the once dominant tech giant is losing market share as Samsung and other rivals continue to grow.
The concerns of shareholders apparently range from worries about smaller shipments to criticisms that the company has lost its innovative edge since iconic co-founder Steve Jobs died a year and a half ago.
Asian suppliers have told Reuters that they are trying to become less dependent on Apple as they encountered delays on deadlines from the company.
For the first time since December 2011, Apple’s stock closed last week below $400.
Apple will hold its financial conference call on quarterly results Tuesday afternoon. While Apple is still expected to show growth – estimates of quarterly revenue currently circle $42.77 billion – the projection is that Apple may be moving downward, Dan Moren of MacWorld reports.
"Apple is in some ways a sort of victim of its own success, especially when the term innovation starts being thrown around," says Charles Golvin, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. In other words, Apple, which has introduced multiple revolutionary products in the past, is under fire for not bringing an entirely different product to the market recently – or at least fast enough.
What seems to be preventing Apple from owning the market is its pricing for smart phones, Golvin says. Apple could benefit from having a range of smart phone prices, similar to the range of options that were available for the iPod.
Another possible issue is Apple’s pattern of releasing new products every year, some of which had relatively minor adjustments. Golvin notes that it seems to be harder for Apple to continue that trend with Samsung and other competitors releasing products more often.
John Koetsier of VentureBeat expressed similar concerns with Apple’s dominance in the market in December. He emphasizes the need for a change in Apple’s market strategy, including more aggressive pricing, if the company expects to stay on top.
He notes that while Apple has helped innovate the computer and electronics industry, they need to "fill available niches in the new ecosystem" to compete with rivals like Google and Samsung.
The company is at risk of falling back into the lull it saw in the late 20th century, according to Mr. Koetsier. "The problem for Apple, if the current sales and market trends continue, is that iOS will get less and less important, relatively speaking," Koetsier said. "And those massive profits will start to wither away, start to follow the leaders — the new leaders — and we’ll be back to the 90s."