Can Apple Become The Next Nokia?

In my age group, who does not remember Nokia. Our lives were run by those phones. We were in awe of it. Looking back today we may smile at us being in awe but at that time it was an awe that we all would defend with many arguments.

None of us, including the Nokia management, would have thought that a decade and half later, the next generation might say, what is Nokia ?

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A multi-billion dollar company fell from its grace. Too many debates as to why it happened and too many corporate theories as to who was to blame, the consumer behavior or the management vision. Apple is facing the same dilemma today.

The case in point is a bit different when it comes to Apple. Nokia at that time was a front runner in innovation and the market share. That caused it to become slightly over confident when it came to continuously reinventing itself. Thus resulting in a lesser and lesser market share over the years.

Apple’s problem is not over confidence or innovation. Apple is a status symbol around the world. And status symbols are expensive and expensive items tend to lose its attraction in a recession. And to top it off, competition is so tough that Apple has no feature in its devices that others can not develop. It will be the upcoming recession worldwide and a tough trade war plus a intellectual Property Rights Infringement Laws that will keep it a bit busy. Qualcomm just won the lawsuit against Apple in China where Apple cannot sell some of its products as we speak.

Apple was a Trillion Dollar Company just a few months ago. It has lost almost $300 billion in Market Capitalization since then. Its 1st Quarter revenue forecast has been revised down from $93 billion to $84 billion. That is a huge revision if you add up all 4 quarters of 2019. And when it comes to recession, consumers at large do not upgrade their phones. Specially the expensive ones.

No new product launch has taken place by Apple either. Indian market is shrinking for Apple very rapidly because of its mispricing issues. China is hell bent on winning the tariff war and so is America. Apple is not only manufacturing dependent on China but also sales dependent to a large extent as well. No product launch of Apple means a few upcoming quarters getting thrown behind the eight ball, so to speak. That will further put pressure on its future revenue growth.

Is Apple going to lead the herd in the coming years ? That is a Trillion dollar question. I see dangers for Apple ahead. Will it go into oblivion like Nokia when it comes to being a household name ? Difficult to say.

Will Apple become a Trillion dollar company in 2019 again, I doubt it.


The Article is written by Mir Muhammad Ali Khan.

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Mir Mohammad Alikhan is internationally renowned Investment Banker, Entrepreneur & Capital Markets Advisor.

At the age of 29, he became the youngest Chairman and Founder of a Full service Investment Bank in America and the first Muslim to have owned an investment bank on Wall Street.