Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ruled the tech world for almost a decade. But now the company seems to be stagnating while other tech giants are moving ahead in the race. According to IDC’s latest ranking of smartphone operating systems, the market share of Android smartphones increased to 75 percent in 1Q2013 from 59.1 percent in the same period of 2012. In contrast, iOS market share shrank from 23 percent to 17.3 percent in the same period. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ruled the hearts of millions by creating the smartphone craze since 2007, but the feel and look of iPhones has remained almost similar to its original version, says Darcy Travlos of Forbes.
Almost a decade ago, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was considered a niche company in the market ruled by Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM). Then the company set its eyes on IBM, Dell and Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758), and the iPhone maker won those battles. Next, it turned to mobile phone heavyweights Nokia Corp. (NYSE:NOK), Motorola and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC). And it came out defeating all the three. But the Cupertino, California-based company made a big mistake by dismissing Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) as just a search engine company.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) now doesn’t invest much in R&D to keep ahead of competitors to develop new products. YCharts ranked Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) at 21st place in terms of R&D spending over the past 12 months, while Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) came in at 7th place. Even companies like Ericsson (ADR) (NASDAQ:ERIC) (#17) and QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) (#19) were ahead of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The Tim Cook-led company allocated only $3.9 billion to R&D or future growth, compared to the #1 company, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) with an R&D budget of $10.3 billion.
Apple’s Upcoming Product Lineup
Though Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has always been tight-lipped about its upcoming products, most new products have been known to markets, through blog posting and manufacturer leaks. The new products Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to launch in the next 12 months are a television, a smartwatch and iPhone 5S. Now most people don’t seem to bother about iPhone 5S, especially when a number of other high-end smartphones are hitting the markets every other week. Analysts believe that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might have missed its television opportunity as other electronics giants have made significant improvements in Internet connectivity and user interface. The only thing expected to create buzz is the smartwatch. If the company doesn’t launch it soon, it may miss this opportunity too.
Google: The Innovation Hub
As far as innovation is concerned, the search engine giant seems to be omnipresent. Google Play is challenging iTunes. It has developed highly affordable Chromebooks. The company is working on its own fiber network. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is streaming music, offering cloud services, developing Google Glass, and a self-driving car. The company is rapidly eating into the market share of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in its core smartphone, laptops and tablets market.
Most importantly, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) isn’t shy about telling people what it is working on. That has become really important in the current market scenario. It gives Google an opportunity to get people’s feedback and make sure that the development is in the right direction.
Markets are different from what they used to be a decade ago. So, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has to take a different approach to delight customers, otherwise it may lose its consumer base. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) needs to use a part of its huge cash coffers to boost innovation and bring exciting new products to market.