Apple

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Apple Inc. is the largest publicly traded company in the world by market capitalization. Overtopping ExxonMobil by some $60 billion, (CNN, 2012) as well as the largest technology company in the world by revenue and profit, worth more than Google and Microsoft combined. (Appleinsider.com, 2012)Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired company in the United States in 2008, and in the world from 2008 to 2011.All these facts caused my interest in studying in Apple Inc.’s backgrounds, financial data and business strategies and performance to assess its current position and potential developments.

Apple started in 1976 as a computer company. In the last decade, however, Apple has expanded into a very intricate company that specializes in much more than just computers. In 2001, Apple broke the barrier with the iPod, eventually becoming the dominant market leader in music players. As well, Apple joined the phone industry in 2007 with the iPhone, which has also been widely successful.

Background
Apple is probably the most well-known company when it comes to the making of technology that is cutting edge and something that everyone wants to have in their possession. Apple Computer first came to be a company in 1976 when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak when they released the Apple I and was located in Cupertino, California. These two young men dropped out of college, and were often viewed as outcasts in most of the places that they were at, including schools, which could have been the reason that they dropped out of college. As most people have heard, Apple really started in the basement or garage, depending on who the person talks to rather than at some expensive business location. Which is perhaps the reason so many people were first intrigued by the brand and could be the reason that the computers were such a success, they were created by guys that knew what they wanted and passed this on to the rest of the world. And what they wanted was something that other people wanted as well.

Apple with time has brought about a significant reputation in the consumer electronic aspect. The users of Apple electronics tend to be fascinated about and loyal to the products and on the other hand those who have no experience with Apples product most times criticize them an being too expensive. On August 15, 1998 Apple released the iMac and was able to cover up its past failures which includes the first Apple portable, which was to wrong looking and bulky and the Newton's, Apple in entering the PDA market. In 2001, after several years of rigorous developments, Apple came up with Mac OS X a universal operating system targeted at both consumers and professionals. The Mac OS X was a different re designs from its previous the Mac OS 9 which could not constrain the power of UNIX while offering a streamlined user experience with a simplified GUI (Graphical User Interface). The iMac line of professional computers combined with the Mac OS X regained Apples profitability coupled with the release of the iPod portable digital audio player, later in the year which was just to crown its productions. The historical success of the iPod created a platform for future product, including the best mobile device in history, the iPhone and the Mac Book line of portable computers and the latest release of the iPad on the 27th of January 2010. Current Challenges

Apple faces considerable challenges in each of its product categories and must make significant strategic initiatives, both in the short and long term, if it is to avoid a recurrence of challenges that it has faced in the past. Upon analyzing Apple's product strategy since inception, two notable issues stand out. Reliance on proprietary designs as opposed to relatively open systems that other manufacturers can clone, enhance or interface to. Again, currently the bundling of Mac OS X operating system with Apple hardware, a combination that only Apple can offer. In contrast, the top three PC...
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