Apple Slows On Innovation, Signs Of Trouble Ahead?
The results of a recent Brand Preference survey might be indicated towards trouble brewing for Apple. Apple’s brand preference rating fell by 5.1 points between Q2 and Q4 2013, one of the weakest performances of 21 major technology brands in the latest survey published by Strategy Analytics’ ConsumerMetrix service. Of particular concern to Apple is that its rating fell the most in its core affluent and younger demographics.
“Before Christmas I posted a warning to today’s twin tech titans that they couldn’t afford to rest on their laurels. After analysing the latest results from our ConsumerMetrix survey it looks like that warning has intensified for at least one of the two. Apple had one of the weakest performances during the second half of 2013,” says David Mercer, Principal Analyst and the author of the report. “Apple’s challenge is to stem the flow away from its stronghold segments while expanding its presence across other income and age demographics.”
Mercer further elaborates in his blog that Apple clearly gets strong media coverage in general and particularly when it launches new products, leading to the perception that it is a market leader in many ways. “We believe that the fact that Apple has had fewer high profile launches and obvious ‘hits in recent times is one factor behind its apparent recent decline,” he explains.
Although it is not necessary that the the brand will continue to fall rapidly in this Index, but the warnings from brands like Blackberry and Nokia suggest that things can change more quickly than anyone had imagined. In a competitive technology market even the leaders cannot afford to relax.
Among the other major brands in the survey, Samsung remained in first place, gaining ground in continental Europe but falling back in the US and UK. The best performance came from Chinese brand Huawei with an increase of 3.8 points since Q2 2013 and strong gains in upper income segments. The brand preference rating is an indication of the balance between consumers who say they would choose a brand and those who would not, when buying technology products such as computers, mobile phones, TVs and related products, based on a survey of 6180 respondents in the US and Europe.
Other key findings of the survey are:
- Apple’s weak performance may be attributed to its relative lack of new product introductions
- While still an emerging brand, Huawei’s recent improvement suggests that its early marketing efforts are already having an impact
- Blackberry (down 11.9 points) and Motorola (down 6.1) saw the biggest declines, reflecting the difficulties of these brands in recent times
Technology Brand Preference Index Q4 2013: Top 10 Brands
Source: Strategy Analytics ConsumerMetrix survey, Dec 13/Jan 14
The other brands in the survey included Acer, Amazon, Asus, Blackberry, Compaq, Google, Huawei, Lenovo, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Nokia, Sanyo, Sharp, Vizio.
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