Apple's Beethoven

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION

This report will thoroughly go through the case of Apple, a company that is at the forefront of entertainment technology. Our team of expert analysts and consultants has carefully evaluated the situation of the company, determining what practices and innovations have led to its current position, developing a plan will continue to help the company further it’s position, and provide logical rationale and follow up to our plan. Before getting into the details of the company’s managerial and innovational practices, the report will provide a brief overview of the company. Apple is in a critical position with the loss of its former CEO, Steve Jobs, but with implementation of certain practices and policies, it can continue as a company that is representative of innovation.

OVERVIEW OF THE COMPANY

Apple is one of the world’s leading computer companies, selling laptop, desktop and tablet computers, as well as cell phones and they revolutionized the music industry with the release of its mp3 player, the iPod. Apple also develops computer software, such as iTunes, which has an online store to buy music, movies, books, and software. Buyers love its products, as they are deemed much simpler to use than competitors. Apple at one point held a very small share of the computer market, but with the introduction of the iPod, business began to boom. Today the company boasts impeccably sound financial and accounting practices. The main premise of the company is to provide superior, innovative technological products.

OVERVIEW OF THE ISSUE

Apple has focused on innovation as the driving force behind its vast success. Innovation led the company to the forefront of the technology industry. A problem the company faces is to remain driven and produce industry-changing products, as it did with the iPod. At times, innovation has hurt more than helped the company, namely compatibility issues in the 1980s and 90s. While trying to stay ahead of the competition, Apple created an operating system that was not compatible and was not utilized in the business world. Apple still has some issues with compatibility, but has since alleviated most of the problems.

OVERVIEW OF SOLUTIONS

In order to remain driven in the technology field, Apple must continue to motivate its designers and engineers to produce groundbreaking hardware and software programs. While creating new technology, Apple cannot create a product that increases difficulty for its users, many of whom are extremely loyal. Apple must create products compatible with different operating systems while remaining easy to use. When creating new products, the transition from the existing ones must be as smooth as possible.

Apple up to 2011
Apple’s Steve Jobs credits the company’s success to the maintenance of its core values, innovation, and focus on the needs of the consumer.  Over the years, competitors have learned from Apple’s innovative trends and are slowly building upon their strategy.  By 2005, Apple sold “more than 10 million iPods and 250 million songs” (Apple's Beethoven, 2005). By February of 2005, stock prices hit a record high of nearly $80 per share with experts predicting the year’s revenues would hit $13 billion.  At the Worldwide Developers Conference, Jobs’ stated in his keynote address that Apple would begin to produce Intel-based Mac computers in the following year.  The production of the company’s MacBook and iMac, the first to use Intel’s Core Duo CPU, embodied the Apple’s core concept of high quality innovation. With the success of this advancement, stock prices continued to increase and Apple’s market cap surpassed a close competitor, Dell. In his keynote speech at the Macworld Expo 2007, Steve Jobs made the announcement that the company name would change from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple Inc.. The company was no longer solely focused on computers. The name change illustrates the shift in the company’s view from computers...
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