Project Topic Apple Inc. Case Study
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Apple Inc is a computer oriented Multinational Corporation which specializes in the creation of consumer electronics, various computer software and different commercial servers. The company products include iPhone, iPod music player and the Macintosh computer line up. The company was first formed in 1976 by Stephen Job and Steve Wozniak after which it has grown to the present state.
Social trends likely to impact on the company in future
Just like was the case in its early formation in 1970s, when the business environment was volatile with unpredictable swings in the inflation and recession. The instability in the political and the social environment may still not be very stable for the company. The company will therefore have to put the necessary strategies in place to enable it withstands such factors as, price controls, oil embargoes, high unemployment, highly publicized labor disputes, and rapid rates of change in market prices. The company will have to be sensitive to the changes in the market demand as new challenges emerge. Such social factors have the potential of posing a great challenge to the company and even slowing down both its growth and market operations. These factors were responsible for the company’s slow productivity witnessed in the 1970’s.
The emergence of the company occurred at the time when several industries were being affected by the 1070’s energy crisis. Stephen Job and Steve Wozniak took advantage of the environment during which they innovated the new technology. The two used the collaborative model in their innovation. The Homebrew Computer Club meetings acted as a place for workshop where the members openly discussed the idea leading to the inception of Apple, Inc and a new product category that would soon become a way of life in the society.
The innovation of the Apple Inc. succeeded to create a new market product by offering the first personal computer which was much relevant to the market. Steve Jobs provided the entrepreneurial energy; while Stephen Wozniak contributed the innovative technical skills with mike Markkula contributing the financial expertise.
The company originated form a meeting of the homebrew computer club made of lobbyists who had knowledge in engineering and programming. Their initial interest was to begin by trading in parts, devices and information. According to Stephen Wozniak, he the whole design was a fun meant for the Computer Homebrew club meeting not to be a product for a company. The technology therefore developed from a review process by the experts who were studying the computers as a hobby.
Contributions by Wozniak and Job in the formation of the Apple computer
The first commercial product was first developed by Stephen Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1971. Their fist (a blue box) invited controversies because it could hack into the phone system and therefore could promote ill vises. A year later, the development of the product was stopped because of its alleged use in phone fraud. Wozniak and Job were able to work together because of their matching interests which complimented one another’s interest. Wozniak was more interested in the technical development of the computer while Job was more interested in its commercialization. The two entrepreneurs thus began developing and selling of the apple computer on a very small scale.
The rapid growth of the personal computer industry
The development of the industry can be traced back to the use of miniaturization by Intel in 1971. The company used the technology in its attempt to develop a microprocessor for the calculators and the watches. The first personal computer was the Altar 1800 developed in 1975. In 1977 Wozniak and Jobs introduced the Apple II while at the same time improving the characteristics of the Apple I. Some factors which triggered the innovation of the technology are the release of the IBM PC in 1981 by the international business Machine (IBM). There was therefore some form of competition in the field of personal computer with IBM capitalizing on its established brand name to secure the control of the market.
Apple computers took the technology to another level with the introduction of Macintosh. The new product eased computing by introducing the use of a mouse to execute demands in a computer. Apple computers survived the market competition with IBM because of its user friendly nature. Apple computer was thus widely used as a home and educational computer irrespective of the common knowledge in the public that the IBM’s PC was considered to be the most favorable in the market.
By the beginning of 2000, the competition between the two companies was scaled up as PC industry matured into the market. The competition was both for the market and for better prizes to the customers. Another player in the market was Dell computer which was at the forefront of the pricing battle. Apple took the advantage of having revolutionized desktop publishing and being an early pioneer in the use of electronic communications with its proprietary online services. Apple therefore opted to innovate along its already established communication lines rather than directly competing with Dell. The company innovated along its strengths with its Macintosh while focusing on its digital communications hub. These measures have enabled Apple Computers to remain relevant in a highly competitive market.
The Apple Computers later increased its competitive advantage by its innovation of the iPod, the ITunes Music Store and the Web-enabled iPhone. The new innovations saw the company maintaining its lead in the electronic communications until the beginning of the 20th century. Throughout its company life cycle Apple has helped transform the personal computer industry from a hobby market place to a necessity in day-living. Its technologies are expected to spread to all parts of the world.
During the1990s, the company faced rocky sales and the low market share. Job returned to the company in 1985 and became the company’s CEO in 1996 after its company NeXT was bought by Apple inc. His return led to positive growth of the company through his experience in product designing which was useful the company.
The introduction of the iPod music player in 2001, enable the company to increase its competitiveness as a computer electronics industry. Today the company drives its success from capitalizing on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad which has raised the company to the highest rank in the technology sector. The company’s future growth therefore largely depends on how its improvement and marketing of these key products.
Commodore Computer refused to buy the Apple II from Wozniak and Jobs because it was its policy to serve the masses and not the classes. It thus preferred to develop the commodore 64 as a simpler, lower-cost black and white only machine. They wanted to build their own computers having noted that though the computers had the same processor and the MOS 6502, the companies had two different strategies. Apple wanted to build complicated computers at a higher price but commodore wanted to sell less features filled computers at a lower prices.
Ron Wayne resigned from Apple computers because he was afraid that Jobs wild spending and Wozniak’s fancy life style could easily cause the failure of the company. He was therefore afraid that the company’s assets could be seized by creditors. In the occasion that this happened, he know he was the only one going to suffer as Ron and Wozniak did not own shares in the company. He then sold back his 800 dollars shares. Having the opportunity, I would have advised him to give his involvement in the company a little more time to evaluate its progress before deciding to sell back his shares. The reason for which he left the Apple never seemed true and in contrary the company has risen with unveiling of the next generation apple iPhone. Currently the company’s stock share value has more than doubled.
The CEO turnover is one of the major challenges facing the Apple Computers. The problems with the position of the CEO in the Apple Company started to be witnessed in 1983 when Job gave his post as the CEO. His reason for resigning was that the company needed a professional CEO, an experience that he lacked. He recruited John Sculley as the new CEO. In 1993, Michael Spindler was appointed the new CEO after John Sculley left. This came after the company experienced a period of drop in sales and product shortages. The Apple BOD then appointed Gilbert Amelio. He served the company for a long time as the BOD replaced Job as the acting CEO in 1997. Steve Jobs' role during both stints as CEO was to be Chief Operating Officer of the Company. Job was to oversee all the day today operation of the company.
However, the company remained attractive to the most qualified in the society as many people were attracted to work with it. A chance to work at the company was viewed as prestigious, as it gives the employees a chance to work with talented team Marketing Minds.
The company was hesitant to outsource and install supply chain system as a way of encouraging innovation and to reduce its operation cost. An example is when they turned their focus to cost reduction after the iPod market was established to help them maximize the profit and compete effectively through charging costs for their products.
ERP is Enterprise Resource Planning. It integrates planning, manufacturing distribution, shipping and accounting systems within a company. It is a system designed to serve the needs of each different department within an enterprise. The Apple has products designed with specific features to target specific users. An example is the recent IPod invent, where the company completely rebooted the iPod nano and rolled back its shuffle to an earlier interaction model. The company has forked the iPod touch in a way that positions it strategically. All the components suppliers are offering Apple products and pricing that are attractive.
IPod was referred to as a disruptive innovation because its ecosystem has locked in customers who are not able to invest with it. For the company’s competitors to battle their products they must work hard to either match them or taking advantages of the potential customers left out by the Apple Company. For example the dated app-centric interface of Apple’s touch products are functional, but can be sub-planted by any tech company willing to give a more natural, dynamic feel to the design.
Apple attracts its customers through the promise of lower prices, better tools and more collegial relationships. The company strategy has also avoided talking a bout money and is instead come up with averts which are virtually attractive. The company’s iconic stores also gave it a public face and served as training centers as well as sales outlet. During the release of the iphone, Apples retail store location helped to whip up media frenzy with enthusiastic buyers camping out in long lines. The online services made ordering of their products easy. Customers could easily purchase the products online. Apple computer developed a world wide computer network that connected Apples employees, sales force, dealers and third party developers. It provided direct connection for internal company support.
The earlier developments in communication technologies lead to the development of AppleLink Personal edition. The technology allowed e-mail exchange among personal computer users. The technology has also led to the development of AppleTalk which allowed multiple users to share files and various applications while showing the new phase of servers and clients.
The advanced technology has enabled Apple to develop new modes of training for both the company workforce and the Apple users. The technology is used in the company’s training programs at Apple University. The technology would provide exchanging insights and information between the executive and the any other interested parties. The company also deployed online sales program which allows customers to make purchase of their products.
AOL was able to survive in situations where Apple's electronic programs, such as AppleLink and eWorld, did not. It succeeded because of iPad which offers a safe and easy way to consume content without having to venture on the vast information supper highway. This came after the company partnered with Amercia Online, Inc to distribute AOL to the users of its products.
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