Based on the detailed discussion of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, use SWOT
tables for the SWOT analysis. In other words, first state the facts based on your research, and
then summarize the findings in a SWOT table. Note the examples below and follow the “best
statements” to describe the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your company
and charge in SWOT table(s).
Examples Not Useful Statement Better Statement Best Statement
Internal Strengths Customer loyalty/brand image We have a strong brand image. We have a 42%
market share and our brand is known worldwide. Our global market share has grown from 25%
to 42% over the past four years. Independent surveys show our quality and image is rated No. 1
in our industry in the U.S. and Asia and No. 2 in Europe behind XYZ.
Sales/ Distribution Our distribution is the best in the industry. Our product is available in more
locations than our competitors’. Our extensive distribution network provides product within 10
miles of the home or work location of 95% of our target market. Our competitors only achieve
this level for 40%-65% of the market.
Internal Weaknesses Product cost Our costs are high. Our major competitors, ABC and XYZ,
produce in China for less cost. Our labor costs average $40/unit (in Detroit) vs. $12/unit for our
competitors (in China). With product market prices of $120/unit we barely break even.
Product Life We have product problems. Our product life is less than the competition. Typically,
our product fails after one year. Our major competitor’s product lasts 2-3 years. Customers are
willing to pay 50% more for our competitors’ product.
External Opportunities Alternative Distribution College Campus We can leverage new
distribution channels. Internet could be used to increase sales to college students. Direct Sales
(via campus Intranet) and on-campus kiosks would more than double our coverage of our
targeted Generation Y market.
Export Growth via Strategic Alliances Export markets can help us grow. Europe and Asia
provide good opportunities to grow by partnering. Strategic alliances with ABC in Europe and
XYZ in Asia would allow us to double international sales in two years.
External Threats Substitutes Substitutes are a threat. ABC’s new sugar-free sweetener may hurt
us. In six months, ABC’s sugar-free sweetener has achieved 20% market share. Its share is
expected to grow to 40% by next year.
Mergers Competitor mergers could hurt us. Competitor XYZ is expected to acquire ABC. If
XYZ acquires ABC, it will dominate the distribution network and limit our access.
Extensive market research is crucial to acquire pertinent information on the client
company. Such information is useful in the creation of a situational analysis, which then enables
the development of a SWOT analysis for the company. Ultimately, to conduct effective
promotion management through a feasible marketing plan, there has to be an effective analysis of
the internal and external factors affecting the firm. The section below outlines such factors
affecting Apple Inc.
Strengths and Weaknesses (Internal)
Strengths. Apple Inc. possesses some essential internal factors that fit into the category
of strengths. These factors represent things inside the company that management has some level
of control over, and which improve the effectiveness of the company.
Impressive brand reputation. The listing of Apple Inc. as the most valuable brand in the
world presents an image of the reputation the company enjoys across the globe. Owing to such
stellar valuations, as well as the global knowledge about the brand, Apple Inc. is in a strong
position to control various aspects that hinge upon such an impressive reputation (Reuters,
2018) . For example, the company may launch a new product, and it will instantly gain global
recognition and attention owing to the relation with the Apple brand. The management may
make use of such reputation to develop a far-reaching marketing plan or incorporate cutting edge
and risky incentives that other corporates may not attempt.
Strong financial performance. Apple Inc. is currently among the top most profitable
firms in the world. The high levels of revenues combined with an increase year on year cash flow
and a healthy profit margin provide for a financially strong firm. Apple Inc. has a vast reserve of
cash and cash equivalent assets. This provides a key strength for the firm by way of availing
great financial assets (Jurevicius, 2017; Securities and Exchange Commission, 2017) . Such
assets prove useful in growing the company through funding of research and development
initiatives, acquisition and mergers, and development of impactful advertising and marketing
Excellent business and design skills. A key element in Apple Inc.’s management is the
stellar ability to design beautiful and usable products and to manage such a business behemoth
efficiently. Such skills provide an advantage over their competitors who may not have the
capacity to produce great products and at the same time manage the business aspect of the
company effectively. These factors provide a competitive advantage over other firms that do not
have such human resource assets.
Advertising and marketing abilities. Apple Inc.’s marketing and advertising campaigns
are among the most impactful and with a high return on investment. Given the financial and
human resources at their disposal, the company can budget for high impact campaigns. With the
right workforce in place, the company can manage the marketing budget efficiently in
comparison to competitors such as Samsung who use a larger share of their revenue, with much
lower brand recognition (Jurevicius, 2017) .
A Loyal fan base and extensive distribution channels. Another strength for Apple Inc. is
the loyal following it enjoys. With such strong followership, the company is assured of constant
growth in the sales of its products. Besides, the extensive direct and indirect distribution
networks across the globe serve to ensure the customers are always within reach of the products
Weaknesses. The weaknesses of Apple Inc. refer to the internal factors that limit the
effectiveness of the company to perform efficiently, accomplish the various objectives, neutralize
threats, and take advantage of the various available opportunities.
High pricing. A key element behind the loss of numerous potential customers for Apple
is the high price tag for its products. While the premium pricing attracts customers with the
ability to spend high amounts, it locks out millions of customers who could also boost the
company’s revenue stream due to the large numbers that could translate to large volumes
Incompatibility with other devices and operating systems. A significant weakness of the
products from Apple Inc. is that they are incompatible with third-party accessories, as well as
other operating systems. Users and analysts have coined the term “Apple world” to refer to the
use of products, software, accessories and services by Apple or its partners. Such tight control
over usage limits the number of people who purchase the products for lack of other required
devices or failure to integrate with their existing ones.
Opportunities and Threats (External)
Opportunities. These are factors in the external environment, which are beyond the
control of the firm, which present an advantage regarding the financial performance of market
placement for the company.
The growth of mobile usage. The continuous current and projected growth of the mobile
telephony and communications market is an opportunity for Apple to continue with its growth
trajectory. The growth of demand in the developing markets with high levels of GDP is an
opportunity for Apple to target such markets and acquire a sizeable market share to ensure
continued growth (Bhasin, 2015) .
Expansion in mobile payments. The growth of the mobile payments markets is an
opportunity for Apple Inc. to grow the production and sale of the firm’s mobile devices. Besides,
the fact that Apple has its mobile payment system – Apple Pay is an opportunity for continued
growth of the firm. The global recognition and immense following are in themselves
opportunities that could be tapped to grow Apple Pay.
Threats. Any external factor that represents a concern to the management of the firm
falls into the category of a threat. The following are some threats facing Apple Inc.
The growth of competitors. As Apple Inc. continues to grow, so does the number of
competitors. During the period when Apple launched the iPhone and iPad, their main rivals were
computing giants Microsoft, HP, IBM, and Dell. Today, however, the number of competitors has
grown to include the likes of Google, Huawei, and Samsung. Also, the growth of numerous
services providing similar functionality is a threat to the business of Apple as well as the market
share (Jurevicius, 2017) .
Increasing cases of data integrity and security concerns. In the recent past, there have
been numerous reports of data breaches. The trend has not spared Apple Inc., with some hacks
on the company’s software such as iCloud being a frequent target. These types of breaches in the
security of the devices may paint the company in a bad light and lead to decreasing confidence in
their products and ultimately leading to losses in customers and market share.
Component Element Explanation
Our global market share has grown incrementally over the past
decade. Independent surveys show our quality and image is
rated No. 1 in our industry in the U.S.
Our extensive distribution network provides the products
within proximity to the home or work location of 95% of our
Our advertising and marketing campaigns are efficient,
effective and economical. With only 1% of our revenue used in
marketing, and with a return on investment of over 1000%
Internal Product cost The pricing of our products is between 40% and 60% more
Weaknesses than those our competitors have in the market.
Our products are designed to provide a unifying experience and
seamless integration and interaction between our devices and
Continuing growth of the mobile market assures us of
increasing sales over the next decade
Increase in the use of mobile money payments should help us
grow on two fronts: sales of devices and increased market
share in the mobile money segment.
The number of direct competitor firms has grown from four to
over 10 in the last ten years.
Data Breaches Cases of hacking iCloud accounts could cause reduced trust
from the customers.
Bhasin, H. (2015). SWOT analysis of Apple Inc.