MOSCOW, February 9 — RIA Novosti, Maxim Rubchenko. This week the market was shocked by two high-profile dismissal in the Apple — leave the company Vice President, retail sales Angela Arends and a leading developer of virtual reality systems AVI Bar-Ziv. Analysts say a radical change of strategy of the manufacturer of iPhones. What will be the main business of Apple a few years — in the material RIA Novosti.
Communication is sales
Angela Arends came to Apple five years ago with the CEO of Burberry. It is believed that she brought British fashion house from years of crisis and revived the brand.
In the Apple main project Arends — the transformation of branded stores from places of purchase to the place of meetings and discussions. The shops there were fresh flowers and sofas for visitors, held theme nights with famous people and even concerts.
Arends also insisted on the rebranding of Apple Store: the Store is now “personal names” — Apple Fifth Avenue, Apple Williamsburg, and so on. However, the reform did not meet expectations of company management.
Users complained that from the place where the client can solve their problems, the Apple stores have turned into showrooms, glorifying the brand. In particular, early in each outlet were so-called Genius Bar is a special section for technical support where immediately change a defective product. Now there’s a Genius Grove, but to get help, you need to apply in advance.
“And even in this case, “genius” from Apple, most likely, simply say that your device will be repaired in two weeks”, — noted in the blog, the famous venture capitalist and partner in Google Ventures, MG Siegler, who was “lucky” to buy Apple Watch is faulty. It ended up that after two weeks he returned the defective watch, saying that he is guilty in failure.
The reasons for the resignation of Angela Arends not misleading, but, apparently, it is connected with the fourth quarter results, when revenue from the iPhone fell by 15%. As a result, total annual sales for the first time since the beginning of the century decreased by five percent.
The return to reality
In addition, Apple leaves the main systems of virtual and augmented reality AVI Bar-Ziv, one of the founders points Microsoft HoloLens. According to rumors, he was working on a new device that was going to introduce in 2020.
Virtual reality was considered to be in the company of one of the strategic directions. In 2013, Apple bought PrimeSense a startup that developed a new technology of image processing. Two years later, Tim cook has acquired app developer, augmented reality Metaio. The head of Metaio, Thomas Alt took a spot in the team strategy Apple which determines the direction for future investments. In 2016, the list of acquisitions has expanded FlyBy Media Creator software for augmented reality glasses.
In 2017, Global Market Insights has published a forecast according to which by 2024, the market for projects related to augmented and virtual reality, will grow by 80% to $ 165 billion. Analysts highlighted that Apple on the background of the decline of interest in the iPhone needs to release a new product for the future, “when people will change the way information is consumed from smartphones to something else.”
Recently, however, marketing Agency CCS Insight said the decline of interest in virtual and augmented reality: sales of devices with these technologies decreased by 20%. Looks like Tim cook realized that the virtual reality was incorrect, and dismissed Bar-Ziv.
How to buy growth
Experts louder discuss strategic issues Apple. Of course, bankruptcy it is not — the company has more than $ 130 billion of free cash. But, according to analysts at investment Bank JPMorgan, shareholders will insist on the use of these funds for acquisitions that take the business to the next level.
“Although so far Apple has no major acquisitions, the company has repeatedly made deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars,” JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee, pointing to the purchase of speech recognition system Siri.
The most promising Bank in three areas: video games, gadgets for the smart home and video content. These market segments can contribute to the development of the company on the basis of the existing customer base.
Among the developers of video games, according to JPMorgan, the best target for acquisition looks like Activision Blizzard is the designer of the series of games Call of Duty, Warcraft, StarCraft, Overwatch. The acquisition will allow Apple to “use the turn of the industry towards mobile segment.”
As for the gadgets for smart home, Apple will have to catch up with competitors (in particular, smart columns). Moreover, it will contribute to the promotion of Apple Music service.
While smart speakers Apple HomePod is inferior to the popularity of products such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. JPMorgan experts believe that this problem is easily solved by purchasing the Sonos, manufacturer of gadgets for the smart home premium.
Sonos have a great market reputation and high customer loyalty. Besides smart column this company are perceived as more premium competitors Amazon and Google Alexa Home. So, buying Sonos, Apple will add a customer base of households with high income.
From iPhones to the TV series
A promising, stress analysts JPMorgan, video. For the year, sales of apps, movies, games, Music, Apple, AppleCare, iCloud subscriptions, and commissions of Apple Pay has brought nearly $ 40 billion. It’s more of the revenue of companies such as American Express, Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Time Warner and 21st Century Fox. Apple without fanfare has become one of the largest players in the market of media production.
According to rumors, Apple signs agreements with producers, Directors and even with Oprah Winfrey to launch own streaming service with exclusive content. At the January conference calls with investors, Tim cook refused to give details, promising, however, that he “will have something to say about it later.”
In the current situation “is the best choice for Apple from a strategic point of view” — the acquisition videoscreensaver of the Netflix service, experts believe. And argues: the rapid growth of content consumption on mobile devices that support the sale of gadgets, and a good model of getting revenue from subscriptions Netflix.
Finally, the video service will help the “Yabloko” faster to beat the current investment in content production. However, for bright prospects will have to pay dearly: Netflix’s market value is approaching $ 150 billion. However, using the stock of cash and an annual profit of 45 billion dollars, Apple is quite overpower such a deal.
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