Cook’s next 10 years, will Apple fall?

  Apple will definitely fall, even if it falls very slowly. Ten years ago, when Tim Cook took over the company from Jobs, even the most optimistic group of “fruit fans” worried that it was doomed to fall.
  But it turns out that Cook can. He has almost staged the most successful succession story in the technology industry, and there are many managers in this industry who have screwed up the achievements of the founders. From a purely financial point of view, as CEO, Cook is much more successful than Jobs.
  When he succeeded Jobs, Apple’s market value was $349 billion, and it is now $2.5 trillion, the largest in the history of a listed company. Under his leadership, Apple’s annual sales soared from US$108 billion in 2011 to US$274 billion last year. Net profit more than doubled to 57 billion U.S. dollars, surpassing Saudi Aramco to become the most profitable company in the world. In addition, during Cook’s tenure, the “Apple Economy” means that the company’s own annual revenue plus all the revenue earned by other companies on its platform has increased six times to more than $1 trillion.
  Cook could have retired amidst the enthusiastic praises, but it is said that he is likely to work until at least 2025, which in turn begs the question: how long can he keep Apple in high-altitude orbit. This is much more difficult than his first ten years. Apple faces three outstanding challenges: growth, geopolitics and competition.
  To the surprise of analysts who have predicted the impending decline of the iPhone for years, this machine has been making a lot of money. Although global sales have fallen from the 2015 peak of 231 million units, the decline is small-Apple still sold 200 million mobile phones last year. But the smartphone market will eventually become saturated. Apple will encounter a problem that all major companies are familiar with-the larger the company, the harder it is to grow quickly. Apple needs another key innovation comparable to the iPhone. Apple is rumored to be developing iGlasses, which will add a digital layer to the real world that the wearer perceives, and even develop iCar.

  Cook’s second major challenge is geopolitics. So far, most of Apple’s products have been assembled in China, and many of them are also sold in China. Judging from Apple’s latest supplier list, it has even increased its reliance on Chinese companies. 51 of the top 200 suppliers are in China, compared with 42 in 2018.
  The third challenge Cook faces is competition. Some people regard Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft as a cartel alliance whose members tacitly do not infringe upon each other’s core businesses. Apple has never tried to become a social media giant, and Facebook has no intention of creating another app store. Apple did not establish its own search engine, but reached an agreement with Google to make Google the default search engine on the iPhone, and charges approximately US$8 billion to US$12 billion per year for this privilege, which is equivalent to Apple’s 2020 net profit. 14% to 21% of the total.
  Now this friendly and comfortable situation is gradually dissolving. In order to maintain the trillion-dollar market value, all technology giants are looking for new sources of growth-and as a result, they are targeting each other’s turf. Allowing iPhone users to have more control over their data may really be out of the desire to protect their privacy, but at the same time it also allows data to be out of the control of Facebook, which may help Apple build its own advertising business. There are also rumors that Apple is developing its own search engine.

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