MindBullets 20 Years


From hero to zero in three years

Just three years ago Apple shares peaked making it the most valuable company on the planet, topping Exxon at more than US$230 billion. Since then the oil crisis has shot Exxon’s stock price much higher, but it is Apple’s spectacular decline that has astounded many investors.

Today’s filing for bankruptcy shows that Apple and its investors had assumed continued growth and structured the financial plans accordingly. The big spend on strategic investments committed in 2012 haven’t helped.

When planned sales didn’t materialize, forecasts changed repeatedly, destroying consumer and investor confidence. The recent run on the stock seemed to complete a ‘perfect storm’ that lead to today’s Chapter 11 filing.

With perfect hindsight we can see that the loss of Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive were bifurcation points for the seemingly unstoppable Apple success, but there were signs of hard market realities before that.

In 2011, the romance with the Apple mobile operating system waned as Google’s Android took 60% of new phone and tablet sales.

App developers were quick to focus on this largest market and by 2012 the number of Android apps exceed those in the Apple iTunes store. The growth and gulf has increased steadily since.

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin was that Apple’s products became simply too ‘common’ in young markets to be ‘cool’ anymore.

But, there had to be a new brand icon to take the place of an iSomething in your hand, pocket and wallet – and along came the …well, I don’t have to tell you, you know it well – with one billion sales in two years, you’re likely to be reading this on one of those right now.

In this warp-speed world you cannot take anything for granted. You certainly can’t assume your future will be based on past success.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.