Overview of Apple Inc Essay
From humble beginnings in 1976, Apple inc. has become a leader in the computer industry. Through their leadership and management they are credited for the growth of the personal computer industry. Apple designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers and many related software, services, peripheral and network solutions. With such products as the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad; Apple has continue its vision of innovation. This has allowed them to garner a relatively large base of loyal consumer that widen internationally, through their subsidiaries in places such as England, Japan, and Ireland.
The paper will focus on the following topics: Historical perspective of the organization and its affiliations, the scope of business and scope of market distribution, leadership and management structure, and issues that may hinder the future of the organization. Name of Organization, Historical Perspective and Subsidiaries Apple inc. , being the dominant force it is today, started from humble beginnings. Apple was the brainchild of two college dropouts Steve Wozniak, then 26 years old, and Steve Jobs, 21.
The two started building apple computers in Steve Job’s parents living room (O’Grady). With $1300, Jobs and Wozniak founded Apple computer inc in 1976; Steve Wozniak was the engineer, he built the computers while Steve Jobs marketed them. They created a strong partnership that utilized both their skills to build and promote computers in an way that no one had done yet. From this humble beginning, the two founders had a clear plan and vision on the future of computers.
The problem with computers at that time was that components were very expensive, Steve Wozniak solved this by minimizing the amount of computer components required; therefore, designing cost-effective computers (O’Grady). Apple is largely responsible for the growth of the personal computer industry, with the introduction of the Macintosh line of personal computers. Throughout the 1980’s Apple profited from unprecedented success becoming the first personal computer company to reach $1 billion in annual sales (funding universe).
Apples meteoric rise in the 80’s was followed by a fall from grace in the 90’s due to mismanagement of the company. The company stock, which had traded at more than $70 per share in 1991, dropped to $14 per share (funding universe). At the turn of the millennium, Apple rose itself out of the ashes, partly due to the restorative efforts of Steve Jobs; who realizing that Apple was at risk of destroying itself through internal crisis, limited the number of products the company offered, laid of thousands of workers, and sold stock to their rival Microsoft Corporation.
From these transaction Apple was able to exit the 1990’s as a profitable company (funding universe). Today Apple is a leader in the personal computer and mp3 market, with the launch of such revolutionary products such as the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. When a company has the majority of its stock owned by another company, that company is said to be a subsidiary of the parent company. The principal subsidiaries of Apple computer inc. are located both regionally and internationally, these include: Apple Computer, Inc (Ireland); Apple Computer U.
K. Limited (U. K); Apple Computer International (Ireland); Filemaker Inc. ; Apple Japan, LLC; Apple Computer B. V. (Netherlands); A C Real Properties, Inc. ; Braeburn Capital (Funding universe). Each of these subsidiaries serve a variety of functions for Apple, from managing its assets to creating the operation systems that power its many devices. Scope of Business and Market Distribution Apple designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers and many related software, services, peripherals and network solutions.
It also designs, develops and manufactures mp3 players with related accessories and services including online distribution of third-party music, audio books, music videos, and movies. Apple has earned a strong reputation for simplicity, beauty and quality. Hence, its business strategy is tailored to accomplish these things. Apple is a niche player in the creative segment of the computer market (Harrison), and so far they have done much to revolutionized this market. Apple’s innovation-focused strategy can clearly be seen in their products, which unite technology, media, and entertainment into one simple product.
The scope of Apple’s business range from personal computers that sell for around $1200, the ipod, which sells for around $230, and most recently apple has entered the cellular communication market, with the introduction of the iPhone. All these devices have strengthen Apple’s position as an innovator by revolutionizing their niche market. This is the goal Apple had set for itself as stated in its mission statement “ to design the best personal computers in the world, reinvent the mobile phone, and to define the future of mobile media and computing devices” (apple inc).
Apple has become part of popular culture, their devices epitomize style, status, and innovation. Apple has utilize the apple brand to compete across several highly competitive markets ( marketing minds) such as: the consumer electronic industry with products such as the iPod, digital music distribution through its iTunes Music Store, and smart phone market with the apple iPhone. The great success Apple has shared in America has allowed it to branch out internationally through its subsidiaries in Ireland, Japan, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
Apple mostly sell their products through their online store and certain retail stores; recently, they have opened a chain of apple stores totaling over 323 stores with the bulk of which located in the U. S. (apple. com). The company also sell its products to small and mid-sized businesses, educational institutions, and government offices (apple. com). To meet the demands Apple has increased its full-time equivalent employees from 21,600 to 32,000 and contractors from 2,100 to 3,100 (apple insider). The Apple brand is able branch out to so many countries and industries because of the sense of community it has created among its consumers.
This devoted user-base consist of die hard consumers, who are willing to pay any amount for an Apple product. Current Leadership Structure and Management Apple is successful due to its highly organized leadership structure. Since its inception in 1976 Apple has had Six CEOs at the helm of the company, and each left their mark at the company for better or worse. The current CEO is Steve Jobs, the original founder of Apple inc. , Jobs is responsible for getting Apple out of the financial problems it had put itself in in the 1990s and the current wave of success Apple has enjoyed today.
This is partly due to his leadership skills and personal drive to reinvent the brand. Currently Apple has a 8 member board of directors ranging from former vice president Albert Gore to Dr. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google (O’Grady). They have 10 executives who operates their daily operations, such as their retail division, software division, and worldwide product marketing. Along with a highly structured leadership, Apple has a strong management force, which utilize the five functions of management: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling (Maheshwari,1997).
These functions are inter-related and are usually carried out simultaneously to maximize productivity. Apple had a clear plan, which was to explore new markets and revolutionized them. Their current management realized that they were burden with too many products so they limited their focus to only a few main products and accessories. Furthermore, they realized that the current market trend was leading towards the convergence of technology, media, and entertainment; so they tailored their products to fit this trend as evident in such products as the iPad, which allows users to watch movies, listen to music, and read books.
All these are achieved through great planning and sound organizing. Apple’s strong management skills can also be seen in the people they hire; in a recent interview with CNN Steve Jobs stated that when he hires somebody they have to be both smart and in love with the company, because they will want to do what’s best for the company (cnn). This is important for success because a company is only as strong as its weakest link, if you have employees that are discontent with their job and do not share the company’s vision, then the company is bound to falter.
Current Issues Affecting The Future of Apple Inc. Based on its recent past it can be said that the company is on a major upswing; with booming revenue and profit. This is due to a strong product mix, customer loyalty, and excellent customer support. According to author Jason O’Grady “ Apple’s new modus operandi is to let others take the first shot at a product, spend a lot of money, and make a lot of mistakes. Then once they’ve taken their licks, Apple enters the market with a product that works and looks better and reap the rewards” (O‘Grady).
This new operandi may not always work for Apple, especially with the current state of the economy. Many investors are avoiding technology stocks; as a result, Apple stock has lost nearly 30 percent in value having hit a 52 week high of $26. 17 then dropping to $18. 30 (market watch). Furthermore, Apple faces the challenges of a growing window-based personal computer users; most of apples products are only semi compatible with windows pc. If Apple was to allow their product to have full compatibility with windows pc then they might acquire a new niche of customers that never used an apple product before.
Conclusion In less than a decade Apple has reinvented itself into the juggernaut it is today, through great leadership, management, and innovations. Apple probably won’t ever dominate the computer market due to windows pc being more cost effective, but they have found a perfect niche selling higher-end products to students and professionals. The future clearly looks bright for Apple has they continue to enter new markets such as: renewable energy, video gaming consoles, speech recognition, and many others (O’Grady). This speaks volume to Apple’s vision of always being in the forefront of technology.
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