For more than five years now, Apple has dominated the mobile industry, selling millions of iPhone and iPads to consumers all over the world. As successful the company's hardware division is, however, it's software offerings have begun to lag behind. And as mobile devices improve, much of the innovation in the tech industry can be seen moving from the hardware space to creative social media and advertising online.
Market research firm Strategy Analytics today issued a report criticizing Apple's weak spots. The firm points to social media, location services, and advertising as segments where the tech company could end up falling behind.
Apple has relied on app makers such as Facebook and Google for many of the services offered on its devices. When the company has tried to go its own way in the past, such as with the new Apple Maps or the doomed Ping social network, missteps have followed.
"Apple has the potential to extend its overall leadership by catching up on its weaker areas," said Wei Shi, analyst for Wireless media Strategies for Strategy Analytics. "Despite recently announcing a suite of new devices and a significant revision of its OS, any meaningful measures to improve its areas of weakness are eye-catchingly missing from its latest announcements. Apple Maps has not evolved significantly, and Apple's play into the mobile wallet space, Passbook, remains under-utilized by the retail sector. In the future we anticipate Apple increasing its internal efforts, or possibly targeting some acquisitions in order to retain its leadership in the smartphone and tablet sectors."
Strategy Analytics did, however, praise Apple for its tight integration of iTunes with its mobile devices. The firm stated that iTunes is the "best suite of audiovisual content offered by any OEM" and that its quality, combined with the quality of Apple's hardware, is what inspires the company's amazing customer brand loyalty.