If you have lived through the mobile phone boom there’s a good chance that you owned a Nokia phone and if you are living through the smartphone age there’s a good chance you do not have a Nokia phone today and you don’t really need me to tell you why. Nokia failed; the smartphone killed it. Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone in 2007, it did not have a physical keyboard; it had just that one home button the screen stretched across the phone you could pinch and zoom photographs with your fingers.
The geeks were wowed and now look at your phone today. Most of you had that same touch screen that Steve Jobs mainstreamed with the iPhone 13 years ago. Nokia missed the smartphone bus in less than 10 years. It went from market domination to a sell off. Microsoft bought Nokia’s phone business for 7.2 billion dollars in 2013 and three years later Microsoft sold these assets back to former mobile executives of Nokia and Microsoft for $350 million. From 7.2 billion to 350 million; pennies from dollar.
In the mean time look at what happened to Apple. It has gone from strength to strength becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world. In many ways the story of the fall of Nokia and the rise of Apple as a smartphone joint are deeply intertwined but 13 years after it revolutionised an entire industry is Apple making the same mistakes as Nokia? Is Apple going the Nokia way is it poised to collapse just like Nokia?
Now Apple is not a company in crisis. In fact it is one of the richest companies in the world. If you were to buy all the shares of Apple today you would need well over 2 trillion dollars you have that right more than two trillion dollars. In August Apple’s market capitalisation was more than the GDP of Italy, Brazil, Canada, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. Just to name a few so Apple is more valuable than several countries in the world. By the end of the September quarter Apple had reported more than 64 billion dollars in revenue; it had an income of more than 12 billion dollars and it had a little more than 38 billion dollars cash on hand so money is not a problem.
What about sales Apple’s revenues are impressive but they are not what they used to be. In February Apple warned its investors that it will not be able to live up to its revenue forecast. The pandemic had just begun and China was shut Apple depends on the supply chains in China it was bound to feel the impact of the Wuhan virus outbreak but there’s more to the Apple problem than the pandemic the bleeding and Apple had begun well before the virus from China struck the company. They issued a similar warning last year to the first one for Apple in the last 16 years it cut its revenue outlook by 9 billion dollars the reason slowing iPhone sales especially in China Apple CEO Tim Cook made an admission in a letter he said “in fact most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance over 100% of our year over year worldwide revenue decline occurred in Greater China across iPhone Mac and iPad”.
The future is still unpredictable!!!