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SWOT Analysis of Apple

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Business Studies

Due to its exceptionality and innovation in its extensive array of products, Apple, Inc. is considered one of the most successful businesses globally. It offers robust technological products and outstanding software services. The multinational company managed to create a niche for itself when its co-founder Steve Jobs brought a transformation in personal computing.

Apple – an overview

Headquartered in California, the first product launched by Apple was the Apple 1 computer back in 1976. From that time onwards Apple has progressed tremendously in terms of its products and services. Nowadays, one of Apple's most popular products is the iPhone.

In the year 2020, iPhone's sale was around $137 billion which helped signify of Apple's total revenue of $274 billion.1

Apple's success can be attributed to its ability to employ its strengths in order to overcome weaknesses and threats and to take advantage of opportunities in the market. The SWOT analysis of a technology corporation provides strategic insights on how the company can encourage growth with its own strengths and the opportunities offered by the environment. The SWOT analysis structure can be considered as a strategic management decision-making tool that recognizes the major problems faced by the company, depending on the internal and external factors. This SWOT analysis of Apple describes the factors that affect the decisions and choices of the CEO Tim Cook as well as the managers in developing the company. Since Apple operates in different markets worldwide, it has to cope with various sets of SWOT factors depending on the regional situations.

Apple Inc's strengths (internal factors)

Let's take a look at Apple's strengths.

Brand identity

One of the major strengths of Apple is its brand identity. Its products display striking design aesthetics, luxury, simplicity, originality, and creativity. Apple uses its brand to showcase a lifestyle. They have used this concept to market their products as not only gadgets but as a way to its vigilantly designed world.

Highly valued brand

With a market capitalization of 2.23 trillion USD as of April 2021, Apple Inc. is regarded as the world's biggest corporation in 2021.

Leading innovation and technology

Apple Inc. was the pioneer to present highly innovative products (iPhones, iPads) that have transformed the world. Apple is steadfast to develop and produce highly efficient technological devices.

Brand of choice

There is no doubt that Apple is a highly in-demand brand in corporate offices. Apple offers an explicit business page that presents high-quality technological solutions for every company's needs.

Competent research

Apple pays close attention to its product design. A meticulous study is done and further research is conducted in order to understand the demands and needs of customers.

Top-quality experience for its customers

Apple continuously follows a simple formula, that is, forming good customer relations with the aim of selling more products. As a result, a good customer experience would mean satisfied customers.

Establishing on this aspect of the SWOT analysis, Apple's strengths are tough to compete with, thus sustaining continuous dominance in the global market.

Apple Inc.'s weaknesses (internal factor)

Now, let's turn to Apple's weaknesses.

Premium prices

The products of Apple can be regarded as luxury because of the high prices. They are priced for middle-income and high-income customers, meaning low-income individuals may not be able to afford them.

Different OS systems are not compatible

People who are used to other operating systems (OS) do not get a user-friendly experience when they switch to iOS. This is because when an individual switches from PC to Mac, they might find it overwhelming to use Apple's operating system in the beginning.

Highly dependent on iPhone and iPad

The revenues of Apple are hugely based on the sales of iPads and iPhones. Apple generated a revenue of $365 billion in 2020 and 52% of it was from iPhones. Overall , 194 million iPhones, 71 million iPads, and 20 million Mac and MacBooks were sold in 2020.

Based on the internal aspect of SWOT analysis, Apple's pricing and over-dependency on certain products impose restraints in the business.

Apple Inc.'s opportunities (external factors)

The next stage in a SWOT analysis is to look at external opportunities.

Expanding distribution network

Apple may avail the opportunity to expand and develop its distribution network. This emphasizes the fact that Apple needs to revise its distribution strategy. An expansion of the distribution network will facilitate Apple to be able to reach more customers worldwide.

Green technology

Apple has not yet introduced products that are made completely from green technology. It has not yet applied completely sustainable and eco-friendly technology to its production process.

Smart wearable technological products

It has been recognized that smart wearable products will be dominating the world shortly. As stated by Forbes, the sale of such products will double by 2022 and will be a market of $ 27 billion +. Therefore, Apple can exploit this opportunity to progress on top of Apple Watches and Airpods into different wearable devices.

Offer self-driving car technology

There is an increasing demand for autonomous cars. Apple can take advantage of its expertise to offer a self-driving software technology like an entirely functional autonomous car.

This aspect of the SWOT analysis of Apple shows that it has key opportunities for growth and development in spite of intense competition.

Apple Inc.'s threats (external factors)

Finally, we look at threats.

Impact of Coronavirus

Apple has a high dependency on China to manufacture and distribute its products. China is a huge market for Apple from where around 14.5% of its $ 274 billion revenue is generated from. The coronavirus has had a considerable impact and might continue to disturb sales in the near future.

Disrupted supply chain

The ongoing events (like the Covid-19 pandemic) have adversely influenced its operations. There was a decrease in Apple's annual revenue in 2020 because of the uncertainty in certain supply chain processes.

Issue of counterfeits

Apple faces the issue of unauthorized sellers illegally using its brand image to sell fake products in developing countries. The illegal dealers sell fake products at the same price as the original product. These counterfeit products can represent a low-quality image of Apple to potential customers. Hence, it can lead to negative publicity and bad reviews.

Intense competition

Even though Apple has strong roots, it faces threats from its rivals. With the development of technology and innovation, brands such as Samsung, Google, and Dell are giving intense competition to Apple. With this strong competition, Apple has to continuously launch new technologies or review the pricing policies in order to be ahead of its rivals.

Entering highly competitive markets

Apple is rapidly growing into new services, for instance, video content streaming with Apple Tv +, gaming, and simplified payment options with Apple Pay. It is competing directly with the already leading players like Netflix, Disney Plus, PayPal, etc.

Tariffs on China

The government of the USA has enforced high tariffs on goods from China, which will increase the total cost of the goods. As a result, it will negatively influence the profit margins and Apple products may become more expensive for customers.

Establishing this external strategic factor in this SWOT analysis, there is a threat of intense competition and unauthorized replication of Apple products which could severely heavily the company.

Apple business analysis & recommendations

Apple is known for its innovation and high-quality products around the world. In contrast to the innovative products launched by Apple, not all of its products receive the same level of recognition. For instance, Apple Maps was a failure, in which the app showed users unreliable navigation and incorrect placement of popular landmarks.

In addition, one of the weaknesses of Apple's products is that they are expensive and exclude certain customer segments from buying them. Hence, the product is targeted at a minority of the world market. In contrast, it is this high-pricing strategy that generates high-profit margins for the company. This internal strategic factor can be considered as a key strength as it maximizes profits, even when sales are inadequate, for instance in the case of MacBook laptops. Moreover, to overcome the threat of high dependency on China for manufacturing its products, Apple may consider other low-cost developing countries for production and part of its supply chain.

Furthermore, the internal and external factors described in this SWOT analysis show that Apple Inc. has key strengths that can be used to address the weaknesses in an effective manner. With the help of its brand image and innovative processes, Apple can successfully create and introduce new technological products. Apple also faces the threat of intense competition and replication which affect players in the global market.

Nonetheless, a recommendation is that Apple should maintain the aggressive and swift innovative development of its products as technological innovations to lower the risk of replication. It may also consider partnerships with different distributors to enhance the overall reach of its products in the global market.

Swot Analysis of Apple - Key takeaways

  • Apple Inc. offers robust technological products and outstanding software services.

  • Apple Inc was founded by Steve Jobs and is headquartered in California.

    Apple's first product was the Apple 1 computer in 1976.

  • The SWOT analysis structure can be considered as a strategic management decision-making tool that recognizes the major problems faced by the company, DEPENDING on the internal and external factors.

  • Apple Inc's strengths include high brand identity, valued brand, leading innovation and technology, a brand of choice, competent research, and top-quality experience for its customer.

  • Apple Inc's weaknesses include premium prices, incompatibility with other OS systems, and high dependency on iPhone and iPad.

  • Apple Inc's opportunities include expanding distribution networks, using green technology, introducing smart wearable products, and offering self-driving car technology.

  • Apple Inc's threats include the impact of coronavirus, disrupted supply chain, issue of counterfeits, intense competition, and tariffs on China.


1. Business of Apps: Apple Statistics 2022

SWOT Analysis of Apple

SWOT analysis enables Apple to recognise its strengths, weaknesses, potential opportunities, and threats. It assists the company to develop further what they performing well in, focus on what is lacking, and lower risks. 

Strengths: brand identity, leading innovation and technology, brand of choice by customers, competent research, and highly valued brand.

Weaknesses: premium prices, different OS systems are not compatible, highly dependent on iPhones and iPads.

Apple's high dependency on China for the manufacturing and distribution of its products, because of COVID-19, has adversely affected Apple, issues of counterfeits, disrupted supply chain, and intense competition are all threats to Apple.


Worldwide famous premium brand, competency to innovate rapidly as it has a long history of creating distinctive technology products such as Apple TV, iPods, iPhones, iPads, Mac computers, and Apple Watch.

Final SWOT Analysis of Apple Quiz

Question

What does SWOT analysis stand for?

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Answer

Strength, weakness, opportunity, and threats.

Show question

Question

What is the use of SWOT analysis?

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Answer

The SWOT analysis structure can be considered as a strategic management decision-making tool that recognizes the major problems faced by the company, established on the internal and external factors.

Show question

Question

Why should Apple use SWOT analysis?


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Answer

SWOT analysis of Apple will describe the factors that affect the decisions and choices of the CEO Tim Cook as well as the managers in developing the company.

Show question

Question

Where is Apple’s headquarter situated?


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Answer

 It is headquartered in California.

Show question

Question

What was the first product of Apple?


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Answer

The first product launched by Apple was Apple 1 computer back in the 1970s.

Show question

Question

Which of the following are Apple’s strengths?


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Answer

All of the above

Show question

Question

Are strengths and weaknesses internal factors?

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Answer

Yes

Show question

Question

How are the premium prices of Apple a weakness?

Show answer

Answer

The products of Apple can be regarded as luxury because of the high prices. They are priced for middle-income and high-income customers due to which low-income individuals are not able to afford them.

Show question

Question

How is Apple able to provide a top-quality experience to its customers?


Show answer

Answer

Apple continuously follows a simple formula, and that is forming good customer relations with the aim of selling more products. Therefore, a good customer experience would mean satisfied customers.

Show question

Question

List three weaknesses of Apple.


Show answer

Answer

  1. Different OS systems are not compatible 
  2. Highly dependent on iPhone and iPad
  3. Entering in an incompetent area 

Show question

Question

Are opportunities and threats external factors?


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Answer

Yes

Show question

Question

List three opportunities for Apple.


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Answer

  1. Expanding distribution network
  2. Green technology
  3. Smart wearable technological products

Show question

Question

Is the Corona virus a threat for Apple and how?


Show answer

Answer

Apple has a high dependency on China to manufacture and distribute its products. China is a huge market for Apple from where around 14.5% of its $274 billion revenue is generated from. The Coronavirus has considerably impacted and might continue to disturb the sales in the near future.

Show question

Question

List three threats for Apple.


Show answer

Answer

  1. Disrupted supply chain 
  2. Issue of counterfeits
  3. Tariffs on China

Show question

Question

Do all the products launched by Apple get the same recognition?


Show answer

Answer

In innovative products launched by Apple not all the products get the same recognition as its other products. For instance, Apple maps was a failure, the new app showed users unreliable navigation and incorrect placement of popular landmarks.

Show question

Question

Select the parts of a SWOT analysis that focus on the external environmrnt.

Show answer

Answer

Opportunities

Show question

Question

How has Apple's brand identity worked in its favour?

Show answer

Answer

Its products display striking design aesthetics, luxury, simplicity, originality, and creativity. Apple uses its brand to showcase a lifestyle that attracts customers.

Show question

Question

Technology and innovation are among the main factors that contribute to Apple's success.

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

How does Apple conduct competent research?

Show answer

Answer

Apple pays close attention to its product design. A meticulous study is done and further research is conducted in order to understand the demands and needs of customers. 

Show question

Question

Why is Apple a highly in-demand brand in corporate offices?

Show answer

Answer

This is because Apple offers an explicit business page that presents high-quality technological solutions for every company's needs. 

Show question

Question

Apple's compatibility with other OS is one of its stengths.

Show answer

Answer

False. They are incompatible with other OS.

Show question

Question

Apple's revenue is highly dependent on iPhones and iPads. Is this a strength or weakness?

Show answer

Answer

This is a weakness, as Apple's pricing and over-dependency on certain products impose restraints in the business. 

Show question

Question

Is the fact that Apple has not yet used green technology a threat or opportunity?

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Answer

It is an opportunity because Apple can start its implementation, thereby attracting more customers. The company's current reputation also provides a guarantee that its customers will remain loyal. 


Show question

Question

As stated by Forbes, the sale of wearable technological products will double by 2022 and will be a market of $ 27 billion +.  How will this affect Apple?

Show answer

Answer

Apple has already experimented and succeeded in this sector with Apple watched and Airpods. Therefore, this is an opportunity for them to experiment further.

Show question

Question

Can the growing demand for autonomous cars impact Apple's business development?

Show answer

Answer

Apple has the potential to satisfy this want of the demographic, and can therefore be seen as an opportunity and be included in their business development plans.

Show question

Question

How does the issue of counterfeits act as a threat?

Show answer

Answer

The illegal dealers sell fake products at the same price as the original product. These counterfeit products can represent a low-quality image of Apple to potential customers. Hence, it can lead to negative publicity and bad reviews. 

Show question

Question

Name a few of Apple's main competitors. 

Show answer

Answer

Samsung, Google, and Dell.

Show question

Question

Name Apple's competitors in the service sector.

Show answer

Answer

Streaming platforms (Apple TV+) - Netflix, Disney Plus

Digital payment (Apple Pay) - PayPal 

Show question

Question

How does imposing tariffs on China affect Apple?

Show answer

Answer

It will increase the total cost of the goods, as Apple products are manufactured in China. This will negatively influence the profit margins and Apple products may become more expensive for customers. 

Show question

Question

How does the high-pricing strategy have contradicting effects on the company?

Show answer

Answer

Apple's pricing strategy excludes certain customer segments from buying them, and is targeted at a minority of the world market. 


In contrast, it also generates high-profit margins for the company. This is a key strength as it maximizes profits, even when sales are inadequate.

Show question

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