Apple: Has The Forbidden Fruit Lost Its Taste?

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Apple continues to decline as it struggles to introduce innovative products.Momentum has been going against Apple as of late. In September, the company’s shares were at an all-time high of $702 and it was on track to being the first company with a market capitalisation of $1 Trillion.

Three months on and Apple’s shares are hovering around the $500 mark with at least one analyst tipping its share price will continue to fall.

Edward Zabitsky, an analyst from Toronto-based ACI Research, is predicting Apple’s shares will fall to $270 a piece within the space of 12 months. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Zabitsky believes the tumbling share price is owed to an increasingly competitive Microsoft and Samsung, the diminishing appeal of the app-store’s closed architecture and the company’s ability to innovate without Steve Jobs.

Samsung and Google are already eating into Apple’s dominance by innovating at a faster pace. Samsung’s 4.8 inch Galaxy S3 just past the 30 million sales mile-stone, while research firm Gartner estimate Google’s Android has snared 72% of the market, compared to Apple’s lean 14%.  According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, 1.3 million Android devices were activated daily in the third quarter of 2012 alone.

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The iPod changed how we consume content

Over the past decade, Apple’s X-factor stemmed from its ability to innovate. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he introduced the iPod. No other mp3 player was quite like it and it continues to sell largely unopposed. Apple’s iTunes store redefined the music industry by legitimising music downloads. The company followed with the iPhone and its legendary App store, shifting the user experience towards user-friendly software and inviting gestures. More recently the company undermined the computer market with the introduction of the iPad, once again garnering an almost monopolistic share.

 

Under Tim Cook, Apple loyalists have settled for a lighter iPhone, a smaller iPad, a thinner iMac and the reviled Apple Maps. They may have shed weight and size, but these products are subtle revisions.

Many believe the next category Apple will add its unique touch to will be the television market. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Tim Cook claimed the television market was an area of ‘intense interest’ to Apple.

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Internet pundits have been speculating Apple will introduce its own TV since Walter Isaacson documented Steve Jobs saying “I’ve finally cracked it,” referring to a new TV model. That was more than a year ago, and now observers are worried an Apple TV, which is expected to unify the content industry in the same way iTunes brought together the music industry, won’t materialise due to failed negotiations with television and movie production companies.

Learning from Apple’s influence over the smartphone market, display companies Samsung, LG and Sony are amassing content portfolios. Each of the companies’ new televisions can access content and applications through WiFi. Samsung, for instance, has equipped their televisions with a successful Foxtel application.

At the launch of the company’s 75 inch OLED TV, Samsung’s director of AV, Phillip Newton, said “in a single month, we had more app clicks on Foxtel than there was on our web browser service.”

Read Samsung Doubles LG, Targets Sharp’s Big Screens

Apple may have stormed the blind smartphone market, but the big players in the television market are readying for an Apple invasion. 

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