Appendices typing tool by attaching a keyboard. It also

Appendices

Appendix
1: Computing
SWOT analysis

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Below, we have
undertaken a SWOT analysis on the computing industry.

Strengths
 
Well-known brands
ü 
Computing
technology often comes to what the consumer feels about the brand. Popular
brands such as Apple, Google and Microsoft are some of the most trustworthy
and recognisable brands in the world and have outstanding marketing
capabilities. For example, Apple is a brand that is filled with innovation.
They choose to create a product that can make a difference in people’s lives
(Coburn, 2017). Their aim is to deliver remarkable customer experience
through their superior user interface. The Apple branding strategy is all
about simplicity and to remove complexity from people’s lives (Marketing Minds, 2016). Due to this,
Apple is now an international, well-branded computing organisation.
 
High-profit Margins
ü 
The profit
margin on computing is very strong. For example, Apple announced record
profits of $11.1 billion on a revenue of $41.5 billion in its latest quarter,
ending on September 26, 2015. This leaves the organisation with the profit
margin of 40% (Apple, 2015). This
shows that computing is a very strong industry sector and consumers rely on
high-end technology to get work done with minimal difficulty. With the solid
financial position, Apple could facilitate new product development for the
long-term growth of the business.
 
Easy to use
ü 
As the
computing industry is expanding, the user interface on computers is easier to
use due to constant innovation. For example, Microsoft released a tablet
called the Surface Pro. This is a 2 in one tablet that allows the consumer to
transform the tablet into a typing tool by attaching a keyboard. It also has
an optional Surface pen that can be purchased to name, annotate and draw on
web pages. This innovation brings simplicity to consumers lives (McGregor,
2015).

Weaknesses
 
Financials
ü  In an industry so dependent on
change and innovation, the cost of developments is heavy. In fact, Apple’s
spending on research and development in the first quarter of 2017 was 2.8
billion U.S. dollars (Leswing, 2017), whereas Microsoft spent 3.5 U.S.
dollars on R between June and September this year (Ycharts, 2017). This makes it harder for low funded and new
companies to enter the market, and especially maintain revenue growth over
time after an original idea. This leads to a lot of sell-out companies like;
LinkedIn, Skype Technologies and Hotmail, which are all merged with or acquisition
by Microsoft (Goetz, 2017).
 
Dependence on
single products
ü  Every technology giant has a
flagship product or several, like Apple’s successful iPhone (Griffin, 2017)
or Microsoft’s successful Windows operating system, and a malfunction or
unsuccessful version of flagship products could cost the companies severely. For
example, when Samsung’s smart phone: Galaxy Seven, was recalled after the
discovery of its overheating danger (Hollister, 2016), Samsung shares plunged
7% in 2016 (Mullen, 2016).  Therefore,
a high standard on updates and new versions of flagship products is essential
to secure revenue.
 
 

Opportunities
 
Applying Virtual Reality into
e-commerce
ü 
E-commerce
based organisations could release a Virtual Reality headset to give the customer
a sense of a real-life retail experience and to be able to view products in
all angles (The Filter, n.d.).
Examples of headsets that can be used are Oculus Rift, Sony PlayStation VR,
HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality. (Zaytsev, 2017)
 
Increasing the use of Cloud Storage
ü 
Businesses have
the opportunity to use cloud storage. This is an external server that can be
used to back up files and data and can be accessed on any device. It is
flexible, easy to use and can save the businesses a significant amount of
money because they will no longer need to invest in IT support to maintain
the storage system as the cloud storage have automatic updates (Gregory,
2016). Some examples of cloud storage for business are, Livedrive, Oracle,
Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive (Angeles, 2017).
 
Create new product lines
ü 
As current
product lines are very successful, Apple has an opportunity to introduce new
product lines such as a 2 in 1 MacBook. This will benefit Apple users as they
will able to use the laptop as a tablet to increase productivity and
flexibility (Smithson, 2017). This would be a perfect device to go from
entertainment to productivity and would support the company’s growth as they
will attract more consumers that want the flexibility to have an integrated
touch screen on their laptop. This would improve customer satisfaction as it
would save the customer money into investing to purchase an actual tablet.
(Rutherford, 2017).
 

Threats
 
Intense competition
ü 
The global
gadget market being huge is not a bad thing for businesses, but it makes the
competition intense and fast changing. For instance, Blackberry had the world
at its feet in 2007 (Hill 2013), peaking on a
net income of 3.4 million U.S. dollars in 2011, only to fall to a net income
of negative -5,873 million U.S. dollars net income in 2014 (Statista, 2017).
This makes adaptability crucial in this fast-changing market, with a wide
range of consumers after all. Currently, increased popularity for iPads and
other tablets are contributing to the deteriorating of smartphone and
computer sales (MarketLine, 2017).
 
Lawsuits and Litigations
ü 
Apple has been
subject to various legal proceedings which have not been fully resolved. For
instance, early in 2016, Apple was ordered to pay 626 million U.S. dollars
after finding that iMessage and Facetime infringed VirnetX’s patents (Mullin,
2016). Microsoft’s products and online services are subject to government
regulation in some jurisdictions (Norris, 2017) including in areas of user
privacy and data protection. Compliance with these types of regulations may
involve significant costs or require changes in products or business practices
that result in reduced revenue.
 
Environmental
effects
 
ü 
The global
mobile market has been decelerating recently due to a slowdown in the broader
economy because of falling commodity prices and weak international
currencies. For Apple, premium pricing could also limit growth in emerging
markets and be a competitive disadvantage competitor can use to gain market
share. (Market Line, 2017)