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Los Angelas, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/02/2012 -- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has recently disclosed its full year report, that provides an overview of its future plans and outlook on the rivalry. Let’s have a look at some of the highlights: The company said it is dealing with tough competition in all segments of its business and anticipates it to move on rapid speed as rivals try to copy some of the features of their products and applications within their own products or, alternatively, work together to provide solutions that are more aggressive as compared to those they currently offer. Its financial position and operating results could be hurt as competitors making mobile devices and PCs have reduced prices and lowered product margins to gain or maintain market share. Single or limited sources for several product components lead the company toward significant supply and pricing risks.- Research & Development costs are rising: Total R&D expense in 2012 remained $US3.4 billion, higher from $US2.4 billion in 2011 and $US1.8 billion in 2010.
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Apple [AAPL 596.5399 1.2199 (+0.2%)] is under pressure to create cheaper products to compete with the likes of Samsung, which has a spectrum of products catered for both the high- and low-end consumers. Yet, as most Apple watchers note, that’s not a solution. Analysts say Apple should focus on improving distribution in emerging markets through partnerships with mobile network carriers, to make the latest products available quickly and at a cheaper rate to consumers; and boosting its presence by opening more stores.
Cape Town based Ian Duvenage, consulting manager for Africa at market research firm Frost & Sullivan, said Apple hasn’t done much to attract customers in Africa’s developing markets, where there has been a significant uptake for smartphones, compared to its rivals which are doing loads of marketing.
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London based Dominic Sunnebo, Global Insight Director at consumer research firm Kantar Worldpanel, says Apple should replicate the strategy used in China, where it has seen relative success. By targeting the country’s affluent population, Apple has created a sense of status associated with its products, resulting in huge demand, even from consumers who can’t really afford them. While gaining market share has never been the top priority for Apple, which has essentially focused its revenue model on high margins, Teck Zhung Wong, senior market analyst at IDC Asia-Pacific says the company may have to reconsider its strategy eventually.
Furthermore, the smaller tablet market has lacked the presence of a smaller iPad that brings the Apple ecosystem and brand to that market.He estimates that about 20-25% of total tablets are of the approximately 7? variety, but expects that percentage to be driven up significantly by the iPad Mini over the next few quarters.
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