In April 1976 Steve Woznaik who was 25 years old and Steve Jobs who was 21 years old established Apple Computers. Both of them were college dropouts. These two started their business from family garage and sold a van for the startup capital requirement. The great apple company has emerged from a garage at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, California.
The garage is so famous that people come from all over the world to take a picture there. The main objective of both owners to make computers more user friendly. They based their thinking on suspendered judgment and open minded approach when creating products and services. Apple mission was to provide best personal computers along with iwork and sophisticated software.
The very first computer of the company was built in summer 1976 by Woznaik who was a true technical professional named as the Apple I.2. At the same time Jobs found a buyer for computer and also started advertisement campaign for computers. The first main customer of Apple was The Byte Shop in Mountain View. Two brothers were able to sell fifty computers that summer. The official incorporation of Apple happened on January 3. 1977. After that they started developing Apple II with the assistance of few classmates. Apple has been selected due to visionary leadership and creativity embracing culture.
Organizational and Business Structure
Apple having multiple locations operate at a global scale worldwide with headquarter in Cupertino, California, USA. Three main categories of Apple business are software, hardware and business support services. Within these three broad categories Apple has various divisions like applications (iTunes, iLife, Final Cut Studio, etc.), Macintosh (computers), internet services (Safari, QuickTime, MobileMe, etc.), peripherals (Apple TV, digital video displays, etc.) and others. Following table provides a basic chart of Apple’s organizational structure.
Apple’s Organizational Chart ➢ iPhone Internet Services Retail ➢ Macintosh Operating System Accounting ➢ iPod Applications Legal ➢ Markets and Distribution ➢ Industrial Design ➢ Hardware Software Business Support Services ➢ Peripherals Product Support
Apple is working on all aspects of software and hardware production using the vertical integration approach. To run Intel based Macs only third party parts used were Intel core 2 Duo processors. The tight control of Apple on its distribution, price and development make sure that apple customers get powerful user friendly products.
The MacBook Pro and MacBook
The MacBook was launched in May 2006 a really efficient computer designed for general computer users and students. In U.S this was the best valued laptop.
Mac OS X
One of best of Mac OS X series was Mac OS X Leopard which was launched in 2007 having features never included before. One of the interesting features was Quick Look which allowed users to look at a file without operation of any application.
The iPod and iTunes Media Store
Apple’s iPod is also a revolutionary breakthrough in the industry. This product has almost every feature a sophisticated user can dream off like touch screen, see maps and photos, internet and many more.
The iPhone and The iPad
iPhone which was launched in June 2008 was a combination of 3G mobile phone with a iPod. One of the reasons of this product success was various factory-installed applications developed by third party. Apple once again captured the market by using this open source capability
“Main competitors of Apple INC are Ceridian Corporation, Micro Electronics Inc, NEC Corporation, Unisys Corporation, View Sonic Corporation, PC Connection Inc, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Casio Computer Co Ltd, Dell Inc, Hewlett-Packard Company, International Business Machines Corporation, Micron Technology Inc, Microsoft Corporation, Oki Electric Industry Company Limited, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Sony Corporation, Toshiba Corporation and BenQ Corporation”.
INDUSTRIES WHERE APPLE INC work • Computer Hardware Manufacturing • Wireless Telephone Handset Manufacturing • Computer Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing • Computer Networking Equipment Manufacturing • Computer Input Device & Speaker Manufacturing • Wireless Networking Equipment Manufacturing Business Philosophy
The reason why customer are so loyal to Apple’s products is because of their continuous struggle to think different which is also depicted by their slogan. Apple’s Business strategy revolves around the production of products that work on operating system made by the company itself so relying less on other companies like other electronic products. Apple strategy is differentiation.
Apart from emphasizing on innovation and new thinking, Apple Inc also focus products that are easy to use and at the same time are equipped with powerful and multipurpose tools. It is due to such combination of innovative and user friendly aspects of their products that Apple Inc remain the world leader on Corporate technology.
As the investigator is discussing the case of Apple Inc. the innovation management strategy can be viewing in different ways. Typically there are three main domains where innovation can be categories that are business process, product and the model that is used in business for innovation. Referring back to our case Apple’s business strategy make demoralize to their competitors. Apple iPod amazing strategy gets their market share and it was shocking news for Sony Walkman since it was competitor and facing extreme competition.
Innovation that belongs from corporate developments involves restructuring the whole corporate procedures by establishing totally new marketplaces to encounter untouched customer wants as described by Kim and Mauborgne’s in their Blue Ocean Strategy. There is totally new market explored in business developments modernization. As a case of Apple’s iPod, this kind of device was launched first time with a high capacity of songs storage and transferring facility. It was the first ever innovation of this specification from Apple.
Innovation and Marketing
Apple is known as a famous brand name in electronic industry and it takes as pride to quote apple’s name. Apple is very famous to comportment market exploration. They have high skills employees and they are continuously looking to yield something diverse. The entire team members are confident that whatever they are going to innovate, the customer will love it and they will definitely purchase their product. Apple’s major success is based on their research and development department which always struggling to explore new market with unexploited potential. According to the facts related to Apple’s iPod, this project is done with different sub-contractors.
This strategy will give them the in-depth reality about the market conditions. As per the commercial angle, the iPod was exclusively designed to target digital media content which is named as iTunes. To attain above mentioned approach, this is highly recommended to established coordination among all the departments including research and development, marketing, corporate sales and manufacturing to explore collective vision and hurdle free business operations.
For past many years, Apple’s invention policy includes preparing new advance products and services which were associated with a cardinal center strategy. The core ideology of apples is to provide outstanding services bases on the excellent operator lines. The firm’s product approach is depends everywhere around their all product line and Apple application storages are playing significant important role.
Key Issues and Challenges and Recommendations
As the investigator is working on the case of Apple Inc. and this company belong to electronic industry. It has been found that product life cycle of electronic industry has been reduced from 15 years to 3 years argued by Gray & Larson (PM-4th Ed). Since the market competition is too much higher and greater risk factor is involved while launching a new product. By keeping in view the above mention findings there are three main circumstances that represent the innovation.
The important requirement in innovation is to keep balance between these three cases which include research & development department, the in-depth skills of the management and commercialization. The team leader must respond the innovation case as an opportunity but there is a bad factor involves which represent much information as bad image. Each manager has their own thinking pattern and they individually decide their vision for them which effects on company’s operation and ultimately company’s strategy as well.
This situation has been identifies as a big challenge for the companies which are continuously looking for innovation. Try to provide products for people of low purchasing power. This could give boost to their revenue by cashing out brand name.
At the end, while concluding the case of Apple Inc. innovation factor is very much circumstantial. As different studies represent that every company have certain theme in their operation and companies are working on different logical ground. In case of Apple, they are specifically following the innovation strategy with strong skill set and technology whereas Nokia is focusing the customer behavior to target the market as explained the series of products.
The commonality among companies is to target the market share and build as much revenue as they can. Every company was in practice to establish their brand name in market and they are establishing new spirals rather than conflicting with the past principle of the electronic industry.
Owen Linzmayer, Apple Confidential: The Real Story of Apple Computer, Inc. (San Francisco, CA: NoStarch Press, 1991)
The Apple I was based on the MOStek 6502 chip, whereas most other "kit" computers were built from the Intel 8080. Initial cost was $666.66. See Glen Stanford, “Apple I,” Apple-History. Available at:http://www.apple history.com/body.php?page=gallery&model=aI&sort=date&performa=off&order=ASC
Linzmayer, Apple Confidential: The Real Story of Apple Computer, Inc., 3.
Funding Universe, “Apple Computer, Inc.,” Funding Universe Company Histories, Available at: http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Apple-Computer-Inc-Company-History.html . Apple Computer, “Investor Relations,” Available at: http://www.apple.com/investor
Funding Universe, “Apple Computer, Inc.”
Michael Scott was the first CEO of Apple Computer from 1977 to 1981. On February 25, 1981, the day known as Black Wednesday, Scott fired 40 Apple employees personally, including half of the Apple II team, in a belief that they were redundant. He was then demoted to vice chairman, and Mike Markkula replaced him as CEO. See AllExperts, “Michael Scott (Apple Computer),” AllExperts.com, Available at:http://en.allexperts.com/e/m/mi/michael_scott_%28apple_computer%29.htm