Apple : Hiding from investors
Customer focus leads to a blinkered outlook.
Apple, the US-based consumer electronics and software producer, loses touch on its website with its celebrated sense of user-focused design, leaving investors stranded.
Apple’s home page is aimed primarily at customers. Corporate links are in the footer bar, visible with scrolling, and consist of Site Map, Hot News, RSS Feeds, Media Info, Environment, Job Opportunities and Contact Us.
Visitors seeking the investor section can click Site Map, where it is listed, or can try one of the other links in the footer. Only the Media Info page has a related link to Investor Information, while the other corporate pages have a footer link to Apple Info. This is a form of corporate home page, and has an Investors link at the top. The Investor section itself has no a link to Apple Info. Routes away from it are via the Apple logo in the primary navigation, which links to the main home page, or the Site Map link in the footer.
It is strange that some of the most sophisticated technology companies in the world have not grasped a simple truth: that it is a mistake to transfer your decentralised philosophy on to your website. Microsoft and Google are offenders, too, but Apple raises incoherence to an art form. The site works well for customers, but other groups – most notably investors – are sadly ignored.
Apple distinguishes itself in the FT Bowen Craggs Index for not having an investor link on its home page. The links that there are suggest little thought has gone into intuitive navigation – what is the difference between Hot News and Media Info? The existence of a now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t ‘corporate home page’, as well as the splendid isolation of the investor section, suggests either that Apple does not care about its shareholders, or that its culture is incapable of thinking outside little boxes.http://www.apple.com
First published on 02 July, 2009