Apple Inc - Case Study

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Described Historical Perspective:

The historical perspective of Apple Inc. shows us that they were an innovative company that started the industries of successful computers, music players, phones and many other electronic items we have used over the past thirty years. Apple Inc. have had their ups and downs to include in depth software/hardware which was difficult for competitors and users to understand and mimic as well as holding face on their computer background with their innovative technologies of the iPod, iPad and iPhone which sparked interest once these innovations took a hold on the market we have seen over the past 10 years or so.

Apple Inc.’s competitors were highly successful in the early 1990’s with their mass market in businesses, schools and homes around the world and the ease of communicating across cultures with their computer technologies. They constantly gave Apple Inc. a run for their money with their innovative/similar music players, portable computers, smart phones and desktop operating systems. Current Situation:

Strengths

Apple Inc.’s current strengths include the highest market share and industry selling percentage of digital music (iTunes), music players (iPod & iPod Touch), smart phones (iPhone) and tablet computers (iPad) all over the globe. They have also increased their sales in portable computers for all walks of life due to the popularity and versatility of the above mentioned technologies.

Additionally, strengths of Apple Inc. include; (Meuller, 2010) - Product development. Doesn't invent the market, but its products set high standards for the market. - Design and utility. Sleek, not clunky. For instance, the desktop computer is part of the screen, not a separate box with wires; the iPhone has very few buttons and feels nice in the hand. Products are easy to use, almost intuitive. - Marketing. Clever and takes advantages of people's frustrations with other hardware. - Brand name.

- CEO Steve Jobs. Visionary and charismatic.

Weaknesses

A weakness that Apple Inc. currently has is the learning curb of users transferring over to Mac operating systems from Microsoft and other competitors. An additional weakness they currently face is the downfall of their iPod sales and revenues.

Additionally, weaknesses of Apple Inc. include; (Meuller, 2010) - Very proprietary and controlling. Won't open the operating system to outsiders to develop hardware to work with the products, keeping hardware sales to itself. While this keeps design control inside and up to standards, it has hurt wide adaptation of its hardware, especially computers, where it has a relatively small market share. Apple has veto power over Apps sold. - CEO Steve Jobs. He has been described as a control freak and very demanding. When he dies, the company will take a severe blow. When his health was in the news, his secretiveness damaged the company's reputation. - Not shareholder-friendly. Has abused option granting in the past and refuses to pay a dividend despite a huge (and growing) cash level, no debt, and gobs of free cash flow.

Opportunities

Opportunities that Apple Inc. has are the avenues to perfect their technologies of iPhones, iPads, desktop computers and portable computers. These opportunities could be as simple as making their computer operating systems more easily understood or providing quick/easy education for these systems; similar to what most Microsoft operating systems have available for all walks of life (i.e. businesses, personal professionals, students etc.).

Additionally, opportunities for Apple Inc. include; (Meuller, 2010) - Very loyal customer base which has expanded beyond the Mac-heads of the 1990s with the iPod and the iPhone. The iPad has had a very successful launch. This seems to be leading to more sales of computers. - Has a well-deserved reputation for high-quality products that work smoothly. New products are generally...
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