Apple without Steve Jobs: Innovation and presence in emerging telecom markets will decide future

Steve Jobs was already prepared for his exit by nurturing a new leader in Tim Cook. iPhone 4S was the first major product unveiled by Apple after Cook took over as the CEO. When Steve Jobs resigned as CEO and when Apple unveiled iPhone 4S, the stock price of Apple tanked.

The demise of the iconic leader will pose many challenges to Apple despite the presence of a strong board and young leaders to strengthen the Apple leadership in the digital world. In the long run, Apple could continue to pose challenges to  Microsoft, Google,  Samsung and  HTC.

Apple has traditionally been focusing on Americas for its majority sales in terms of volume as compared to the other regions. The second largest contributor is Europe (see the chart below). In all regions, Apple posted more than 50 percent growth in Q3 2011.

Incidentally, Apple is yet to strengthen presence in Asia Pacific (including China and excluding Japan) Africa and the Middle East. Selling costly Apple products in this region will be a big challenge for the new leadership. Apple does not have cost effective products suitable for emerging markets.

In the Asia Pacific region, Apple can tap both India and China to sell more. Both are the world’s fastest growing telecom markets. China sells more Apple look-alike products than  Apple original products. Nokia still dominates Indian market. Both Samsung and Research in Motion are trying to capture more market share in India.

Apple’s revenue from Americas region was $10,126 million in Q3 2011, showing 63 percent growth. Asia Pacific contributed $6,332 million, growing at 247 percent. The growth reflects that Apple is very active in the region. But there is a long way to capture significant market share.


                                             (in $ million)

                        Q3 2011              Q3 2010                  % GROWTH

America           10,126                  6,227                            63

Europe              7,098                   4,160                            71

Japan                1,510                      910                            66

Asia Pacific       6,332                   1,825                           247 


Retail                  3,505                   2,578                           36 


Total                 28,571                 15,700                            82    



Q3 2011                Q3 2010              % GROWTH

Desktops              1,580                    1,301                           21

Portables              3,525                    3,098                           14

iPod                      1,325                    1,545                           -14

iPhone                 13,311                   5,334                          150 


iPad                       6,046                   2,166                            179          


Innovation efforts will continue at Apple after the demise of Steve Jobs. But the industry expects more from the device major. Recently, Sony Ericsson CEO said he lost a big market opportunity by not following Apple and Samsung in the tablet space. If Tim Cook does not understand market demands, the digital products major will face troubles.


Apple’s desktops business in Q3 2011 posted 21 percent growth, but growth from iPod was -14 percent. iPhone and iPad grew at 150 percent and 179 percent, respectively.

The company posted record quarterly revenue of $28.57 billion and record quarterly net profit of $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per diluted share in Q3 2011.

We’re thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, sharing his last quarterly result. Right now, we’re very focused and excited about bringing iOS 5 and iCloud to our users this fall.”


Globally, price revision in smart phone space and tablet markets is happening at faster pace. Can Apple deliver innovative products in emerging markets? Will Apple continue its performance in weakening economies in Americas and the Europe? Only future will give the answers.


Baburajan K
[email protected]