The iPhone maker didn’t have the best year in 2015 and it could be about to get worse
The world’s biggest company could be about to be on its way down. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Working conditions and consumer awareness
Firstly, it’s important to note that Apple isn’t the only company criticised for the working conditions in the factories where its phones are made. However, unethical practices in the manufacture of the most recent iPhone model are widely publicised. In 2014, an investigation by the BBC found staff assembling the iPhone 6 were made to work 18 days in a row and fell asleep during 12 hour shifts.
It seems many consumers are aware of some of the unethical practices behind the manufacture of smartphones, and this has caused a rise in consumers seeking an alternative. An “ethical” smartphone, the Fairphone 2, sold more than 22,000 units before it had even dispatched an order.
2. iPhone market share is falling
Despite the hype, iOS isn’t the most popular operating system in the UK. By market share, Android has the largest market share – 52%, compared with iOS’s 39.5% – and in most other countries in the world iOS has a smaller market share. Not only is it not the largest, but it’s falling too. Globally, Apple smartphone marketshare has fallen from 16.6% in 2012 to 13.9% in 2015.
3. Non-standard ports are getting on people’s nerves
We were annoyed when you couldn’t open up the back and take the battery out easily, next we were irritated when we had to get a special small SIM card for our iPhones but now people are positively angry at Apple’s supposed plan to change the shape of its headphone jacks so only special Apple headphones fit. It’s already an annoyance to iPhone users that the charger is non-standard (and not even the same as previous generations) – it might just be the final straw for consumers wanting to ditch the tech giant.
4. The cost of the handset is rising
While many of its users might consider the iPhone an essential item, its rising cost is making it an increasingly luxury good. People are being priced out of owning the iPhone, particularly as phone contracts have begun to get shorter than two years again, as a result of phones not lasting the full contract length or consumers wanting the latest handset. Not being able to afford the £450-£650 for the latest model is one way Apple is breaking its traditionally strong bonds of brand loyalty with consumers.
5. Innovation appears to be declining
After the death of cofounder Steve Jobs, there has been a perception in the tech community that innovation in the tech giant is going south. It was criticised for the Apple Watch, which commentators complained lacked innovation, and was ridiculed for its “terrible” app, Apple Maps. So much so, in fact, that “it’s Apple Maps bad” was used as a punchline on the US TV series Silicon Valley.