Apple Leadership and Products

Apple Inc. has undergone a major transformation in recent years leaving them buoying in the market recently. For much of Apple’s history Steve Jobs has been at the helm of the company and been a source of reference for consumer and investors alike. Steve Jobs was the iconic spearhead of Apple until his resignation on August 24, 2011. Jobs was more than just a founder of the Apple Inc. , he was the vision of the future. Steve Jobs was part of a generation that kick started the technological revolution to much of the products society uses from the computer and the internet to “smart” phones and iPads.

Apple Inc. originally only sold personal computers but since its early days has flowed into a major corporation that deals with everything from music to mobile phones. All that was Apple was commanded and marketed by Steve Jobs. Jobs was characterized as a focused man how would stop at nothing to achieve his goals and always centered on simplicity. His attitude to others was abrasive and he consistently expected the best from employees. He was a terrifying figure amongst employees who were constantly on edge with Jobs around.

Everything was a secret with Jobs and very few people where in the loop for any of their projects, such as Project Purple, also known as the iPhone. “Jobs, a legend in his own time and the face of Apple, actively hid his managers from public view, preferring that they focus on work, not self-aggrandizement. ” (Lashinsky) Steve Jobs was known for having the final say on all product decision, from the weight and feel of the product to how the software ran and its ease of use. Following Steve Jobs’ resignation and death, Tim Cook has stepped in and taken charge of the company.

In September the company hit an all-time stock price high of $705. 07 but since has been on the decline falling to a 52 week low of $419. Apple was once more valuable than Exxon Mobile but has since been surpassed. Despite this Apple still reported $31 billion in revenue and now has a market cap of $140 billion since the introduction of Cook. Investors also saw the first stock dividends paid out in the Corporations history. Apple stock has plunged 35% since it’s September high.

“The company generates about $16 billion in cash per quarter, customers continue to mob its elegant retail stores, and even its derivative products, like the iPad Mini, quickly sell out. ” (Lashinsky) Tim Cook has begun to stir things up inside of Apple angering some and pleasing others. The company is slowly becoming more and more corporate. Tim Cook has become more open with both investors and employees. The secrets that shrouded the mystery of Apple seem to be disappearing and many of the long time problems with-in the company is being resolved.

Tim Cook has capital expenditure of $7 billion planned which it appears will be used towards increasing growth and volume. Max Paley, former engineering VP, had this to say on the changes at Apple, “It looks like it has become a more conservative execution engine rather than a pushing-the-envelope engineering regime”. Tim Cook is centered around operational efficiency going so far with cost saving cuts as to restructure the employee-scheduling system of the Apple retail stores and cutting hours so drastically that there were rumors of a layoff.

Cook was bombarded by a firestorm and immediately reversed his mistake. Tim Cook and Steve Jobs are truly different leaders. Cook enjoys the company of the employees around him and often times sit at random in the library to talk with them. Everyone inside Apple seems to be happier and less afraid that their necks are on the line at all times. Cook has gone on to fire Scott Forstall who was Steve Job’s software engineer and Senior VP of the iOS software and had a very close relationship with Steve Jobs.

“Management discord in Cupertino, as illustrated by the recent ouster of Scott Forstall, the head of Apple’s iOS software group, is another cause for concern. Apple must “develop a more unified approach between its Mac and iOS groups. More than a great innovator, Steve Jobs was a unifying force who was able to challenge people to bring their best game. ” He says he doesn’t believe the Apple Maps fiasco would have happened under the late founder” (Farzad) Johnathan Ive, seen as Job’s number 2, has been brought in to help fill the void left by the departure of Forstall.

Ive, till now Senior VP of Design, will now take a greater role on synching Apple software and hardware. Ive was reportedly responsible for many of the designs of Apple’s products and now will help to improve Apple’s “human interface” and create more simplicity and move away from “keuomorphism, which refers to rendering virtual objects to look like real ones. ” (Olson) This drop in stock price maybe a direct reflection of the failure of the iPhone 5, a product that seems identical to its predecessors and was unfinished and perfected.

The iPhone 5’s problems with its Maps feature, responsible for navigation, was not perfected and left a mess upon the phones release. The marketing wizard that was Steve Jobs was clearly no longer there and not only was the product suffering but as was the marketing strategy. The iPhone 5 was released to stores globally without any accessories or real support for the product. The backlash from consumers was tremendous regarding the failure of the Apple Maps causing Tim Cook to issue a public apology and seemingly led to the end of Mr.

Scott Forstall’s career at Apple. The iPhone was launched prematurely to deal with the advent of the Samsung Galaxy 3, SG3, which has taken a large chunk of market shares away from Apple. The SG3 is seen by many consumers as a superior product, with a fresh new design, layout, features, and most-importantly screen size. Samsung has done an unbelievable job marketing it’s product and has caused Apple to tinker with many of it’s tactics. “Samsung spent $349 million on marketing in the U. S.

in the first three quarters of 2012, compared with $191 million a year earlier, according to Kantar Media, a research firm…In the most popular of the anti-Apple commercials–the one that aired during the iPhone 5 launch, it turns out that one of the hipsters waiting in line for an Apple phone is actually holding a spot for his parents. ”(Lev-Ram) Analyst believe that Apple will implement a pricing strategy to continue to enter new international markets by introducing iPhones in the higher-end range of $250-$350.

Samsung recently unveiled the latest model, the Galaxy 4, “…with some reviewers calling it “meh” and “completely amazing and utterly boring. “) and steps up the pressure on Apple CEO Tim Cook and his team to deliver a groundbreaking new phone this year. ”(Guilermo) In June of 2012 Apple Inc. awarded $1. 05 Billion against Samsung for having 28 devices that infringe on Apple’s intellectual property including a design-patent for the flat rectangle with round edges of iPhone. Apple products and services include the iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, software, iOS and OS X operating systems, iCould, iTunes, App Store, and iBookstore.