It’s easy to point fingers. It doesn’t take a genius to look at trends and start spouting doom and gloom. When Apple is concerned, it’s even easier, almost wanted, as the company has enjoyed golden child status for several years now.
For the first time in a decade, Apple had a quarter that showed negative growth. That alone is not necessarily a telling sign; companies can only continue to show positive numbers for so long. There’s simply no way to sustain it indefinitely and a decade is a long time. However, when you look at the other things that have been happening lately, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to say that Apple might have lost its edge a bit and the downturn may be more than just a reflection of their recent stock performance.
The competition is catching up with technology. That’s the first big challenge they’re facing. Samsung, Google, and even Microsoft have been showing equal or better technological advancements (at least from a public perception perspective) for a couple of years. The iPhone and iPad changed the game completely, but they haven’t done anything amazing since those. While their two are still two more than nearly everybody else, it’s not enough when you’re Apple.
One of the other challenges that nobody wants to mention is the loss of Steve Jobs. While the current regime is doing an acceptable job, it’s not good enough. No need to point out the obvious or pour acid on an open wound, but everybody is thinking it.
Last and perhaps most importantly, there’s a sentiment change that nobody is talking about. It’s not that Apple is being viewed worse. It’s that the competition is starting to step up in the perceptions of the consumers. There’s nothing wrong with having a Galaxy SIII or a Nexus tablet. Android is definitely accepted. Others may be more acceptable soon as well.