Apple’s Evolution Continues. Next Stop: Disillusionment

“Remember the old bit about a General Motors car in every garage? Today, iPhones, MacBooks, and iPads seem just as ubiquitous, especially at Starbucks.”

That’s a line from Roben Fazard’s great article on BusinessWeek about how Apple’s fall mirrors its struggles this year.

Apple’s stock tumbled 23 percent last Wednesday, pushing it to a four-year low to $545. According to BusinessWeek, the one-day misfortune eradicated $35 billion in market value for Apple.

So, what gives? If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I’ve discussed Apple a few times over the course of the semester. My most recent post on the company divulged how it is losing face as it inches further and further away from Steve Jobs’ original vision.

The article outlines a few more reasons for discontent:

  • Investors have not yet gotten that mega-dividend they prayed for ahead of the U.S. fiscal cliff.
  • Increased competition, notably from Samsung
  • The closed-off nature of the App Store experience, which is a turn-off to consumers
  • Management discord, particularly after Scott Forstall left the company after its failure to duplicate Google Maps resulted in the laughably erroneous Apple Maps

Apple’s products will not sell forever just because they carry the brand’s name. Competitors will catch up and perhaps pass Apple in terms of innovation, technology, and price. This dip may just be an unfortunate-but-natural deviation from Apple’s grand scheme, but the company should try to forestall this autumn of discontent from becoming a year of one.