Introduction- Apple Inc., earlier known as Apple Computers, started off as a computing company in 1977, that later lost its competitive advantages to other big companies like Microsoft, Gateway, and Dell. This was all due to the changes in management and the consumer needs. Apple Inc. has now reinvented itself not only as a computer company, but is now apart of the online media, server markets, networking, etc. offering many different products and expanding their horizons.
This research paper will cover the brief history of Apple, which is to enclose some of the head leaders of the company, industry, products, target markets, and competitive markets. History- April of 1976 was the birth date for when Apple computers was founded by college drop out Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Ronald Wayne. Their strategic plan was to give computer enthusiasts a small user- friendly computer.
Jobs hired Regis McKenna, a successful advertiser, to advertise Apple’s products and to come up with the Apple logo. June of 1977, Apple computers reached one million dollars in sales, which rocketed up in the 80’s to one hundred seventeen million dollars, after going public. A few years after Wozniak left the company and Jobs recruited John Scully as president, but with different visions for the company Jobs left a year after.
Scully retired after establishing the company into the desktop publishing world with its new products Mac Plus and Laser writer printers, which failed to increase earnings due to the competition Microsoft Windows operating system was giving. After Apple lost considerable amount of money and market shares, software was created to allow the Macintosh to connect to IBM- based systems which rocketed the sales once again. Jobs was then reappointed to CEO in 1998, and made a deal with Microsoft, stopped the production of 15 out of the 19 products, and cut out licenses. Apple successfully introduced IMac and IBook and pushes them in the consumer and educational markets.
Due to the strategically plan shifting and management trying to grab as much of the market share as possible most of these CEO’s failed to better the company and give the consumers an unintimidating computer. While Apple II was a big seller, Apple decided to try and compete with IBM in the office market by introducing Apple III which was released too early without undergoing line testing, and ended up not selling as much as the Apple II.
Jobs decided to increase the money in Research and Development and introduced the Lisa computer complete with a mouse hand held pointer and picture displays. IBM was too follow in the same year, by introducing a easy to use operating system, so Apple decided to further their products by going into multitasking.
Apple had all the right products but because of management they were not able to start off to well. A) State of Incorporation and the CEO- Apple is incorporated in Cupertino, California, with over 394 retail stores worldwide. After Steve Jobs took an indefinite medical leave in January of 2011, Chief operating officer, Tim Cook assumed Jobs’ day to day operations at Apple. Jobs was still involved in the major strategic decisions for the company. 24 August 2011, Steve Jobs resigned as CEO, and was replaced by Tim Cook, but Jobs became chairman. B) Industry- Apple Inc. is in the computing hardware, software, consumer electronics, and digital distribution industry.
C) Products- Apple has a very diverse product line. Their top selling computers are Macs. Macs offer many different options when it comes to either buying desktops or laptops. Macs can be personalized by adding different applications just like the rest of the Apple products. Apple also offers many different accessories for all the basic needs for example AirPort Express, Apple Thunderbolt Display, Magic Trackpad, etc. From the iPod line of products, Apple offers iPod Shuffle, Nano, Touch, Classic, etc. They also offer Apple TV, and accessories like headphones, cables to hook up your devices to laptops, TV, car accessories, cases etc.
The most popular product Apple offers is the iPhone, which like the iPad and iPod touch, run iOS one of the worlds most advanced mobile operating systems. iPads are too becoming a big part of the educational and business markets. They offer two sizes and can be personalized to fit anybody’s lifestyle. All these products are not complete without iTunes, which makes it easy to organize, buy, and browse through music, movies, TV shows, books, and more. D) Target Market- According to Apple’s 2003 annual repots, “Apple’s business strategy is to focus on the digital hub, retail, and the educational sectors.”
Apple has also committed to bringing the best possible personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals, businesses and consumers around the world. Innovative hardware, software, computing and Internet offerings are just some of the core items Apple will use to bring these consumers the best experience. Apple also feels that if they continue to provide the best technology to the educational sectors it will help to enhance the learning of the students and will maximize the investments for the schools. Another business strategy Apple focuses on is the creativity profession. Apple offers hardware and software depending on the specific customers needs and professions.
E) Competitive Market- Apple has many different competitors in all the different markets they are involved in. At first, they were focusing on building computers and had competitors from the PC manufacturers like Dell, Gateway, Alienware, etc. Now that they have expanded their horizons, Apple also has rivals in their operating system, online media, server markets, performance computing, web serving, centralized storage, and networking.
Their biggest rival would have to be Microsoft when it comes to computers, because all of the other companies who produce PCs use Microsoft operating system. Apple has OS where as Microsoft has XP. Online media is becoming a huge part of everyday life and Apple introduces advancements in their line of products such as iTunes, MobileMe, iPhone, iPod, iPad, etc. iTunes is rival of Napster and other legal music search engines.
Their iPhones were once the dominating first touch screen multi-tasking smart phone, but know has rivals with big companies like Samsung, Google, HTC, Blackberry, etc. When it comes to high performance computing, web serving, centralized storage they rival with some of the best companies in the server markets like HP, SGI, IBM, etc. Apple products offer networking with the Airport lines who rival companies like Cisco, Netgear, etc. Apple having a more diverse range of products makes them more prone to having some of the largest competitions in those markets.