Originally Posted by wizard69
My response directly below touches upon this but a truly huge Apple might as well change its logo from a apple to a bullseye. In any event some points below.
- Large companies are targets for lawyers. This drains money from a company like Apple. More importantly they will eventually loose a lawsuit that will cost them money.
- There seems to be a rather vocal crowd right now that sees success as some how evil. Apple doubling in size so that it is clearly the largest company in the world just gives these idiots something to focus on.
- In a very similar manner some in the political world see big companies as a "thing" to exercise their political power against. You will see people in politics attacking Apple simple because it is a big successful company. This is no different than what has happened to Exxon, IBM, Microsoft, AT&T and other companies over the years.
- Sheer size brings with it difficulties with respect to growth. Some of the factories in China employ more people than entire states have population wise in the USA. Doubling production is a huge capital investment and requires finding skilled workers. Yes Apple has lots of cash but they are not magicians and can not wave a wand to get instantly functional production facilities.
- As alluded to above the political climate against success is a problem. Apple could very well end up paying far more in taxes. This could be a huge issue if excessively sever.
- Apple has way to much invested in production in China which leaves them exposed in several ways. For one there is a backlash in the US against Chinese products. More significantly though is that China is becoming very aggressive militarily which could lead to war or tight sanctions against China. It is the old story about having all of your eggs in one basket.
- Apple is product thin in its two biggest growth areas. This being iPhone and iPad. Though I believe they will address this with more products soon, relying on a one size fits all strategy is a mistake when you are talking about billions of customers. Ultimately this means leaving an opening for competition that they should close themselves. Studies have shown that to much choice chases away customers but I suspect that the converse also happens, that is to little choice drives customers away. Apple hasn't demonstrated the aggressive product development needed to drive sales further.
These are just a few issues but if Apple wants to double sales they need to obviously increase production. In some cases they are already fully employing all of a contractors facilities so doubling production might mean investing in another processor factory with Samsung for example. They have the billions to do so but it isn't a shake and bake dinner. It is interesting that Apple has been rumored to be looking at production at TSMC with people taking this as a freeze in relations with Samsung. I rather see it as a prudent measure because they had a real possibility of outstripping Samsungs production capacity.
This is just one example of Apple having struggles that are a result of their sheer size. A small company that wants to double production often just buys a new machine and sticks it in a corner. To double A6 production they may have to build an entire factory. Which brings up another question, I wonder how much ownership Apple has in Samsungs new factory in Austin. I know a few years ago Samsung was looking for partners, it makes me wonder how much Apple owns of the operation.
Point by point response:
1. What exactly do you mean by this statement? And even if Apple loses a lawsuit, the damages amount to chump change for Apple.
2. Lucky for Apple, it's up to a court of law to decide if Apple is guilty of wrongdoing. And from the looks of it, the "idiots" have yet to find proof.
3. Refer to number 2.
4. This is a problem but Apple didn't get to where they are without learning a thing or two about ramping up production.
5. Are you trying to say that somehow, there's a "tax" on success and that somehow, Apple will be singled out for paying high taxes?
6. A backlash in China against US products? Do you think Android devices are made in the USA? Think again. At least Apple products are designed in the USA and believe it or not, Apple contributes quite a bit job-wise to the US economy. Android itself is designed by Google but with the exception of Motorola, the leading Android devices are designed by foreign companies. And if what the reports say is true about Android outselling the iPhone in the US, I doubt there's a backlash against Chinese-made products.
7. Apple can't be everything to everyone. What do you expect Apple to do? Make 50 different modes of products or something?
Apple will face issues being a large company, but if you and I have thought of these issues, it's reasonable to expect that Apple executives have probably thought of them. After all, they're paid millions of dollars to think of these issues.