Apple’s doomsday comes into focus

Apple Analysis iPhone iPad

There is no shortage of analysts looking to draw a bead on Apple’s eventual downfall. No company can stay on top forever, of course, and there is plenty of money to be made by predicting the imminent end of Apple’s (AAPL) record run — just ask the market watchers who led a recent charge that saw Apple’s stock dive more than 25% in just two months. In a recent analysis offered by Sector & Sovereign Research, TMT analyst Paul Sagawa offers his views on a company standing at a crossroads, forced to make radical strategic shifts in order to avoid being crushed by the mobile revolution it spurred six years ago. Of course, whether or not his chilling account of Apple on the brink of collapse represents reality remains to be seen.

As picked up by Fortune on Wednesday, Sagawa’s “Apple: Can a Leopard Change its Spots?” dives deep into the various factors that could combine to create a perfect storm and put an end to Apple’s reign.

“Android phones now outsell Apple 5 to 1, and the iPad is on the same path, exacerbated by rivals willing to subsidize device sales in pursuit of e-commerce and advertising,” Sagawa wrote. “At the same time, the nexus of the user experience is shifting off of the device and into the cloud, greatly disadvantaging Apple vs. its web-savvy rivals.”

Among the problems the analyst sees arising for Apple are market share declines for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, margin erosion caused by accelerated product refresh cycles, Apple’s poor position in enterprise if the bring your own device (BYOD) trend evaporates, and an ongoing shift to the cloud.

In the end, Sagawa admits Apple is capable of rising to the occasion and overcoming these hurdles, though he says the company will need to make some big strategic shifts if it hopes to avoid a calamity.

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