Apple Inc.: Keeping the "I" in "Innovation"

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A. CASE SYNOPSIS
As one of the most well-known and respected companies in the world, Apple Inc. was one of the few companies to emerge from the recession stronger than ever. Started in 1976 as a computer business, most of Apple’s success has been attributed to its music- and video-related products and the iPhone. Quickly became known then as a company that made innovative consumer electronic products instead of just a company that made computers, it changed its name in 2007 from “Apple Computer” to “Apple Inc.”. As Steve Jobs, Apple’s former CEO and co-founder said, “The Mac, iPod, Apple TV and iPhone. Only one of those is a computer. So we’re changing the name.” Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak began the partnership to became later the Apple Computer. Worked for Hewlett-Packard (HP), Wozniak once approached his employer with his idea, but then was rebuffed for HP did not see any future for personal computers (PC). Later then he and Jobs decided to go into business together and sell computers themselves. The first computer, Apple I, was known as a “kit computer” since the original Apple consisted only circuit board and did not even have an exterior casing. Sold only for hobbyists, soon after got the feedbacks and responses from the hobbyists they tried to develop another, and reach for wider market for personal computers by building a more attractive and useful machine. After the born of Apple II, then came the struggles from competitors, such as IBM with its personal computer release. Jobs realized that Apple would have to move fast in order to remain a viable company. Not so long time since then, Apple released their new computer models which included notably Apple III and the Lisa. Several moments happened until Jobs’s first leave from the Apple, at the moment after the launch of Macintosh computer whose features in graphical interface and a mouse for navigation. He left in May to start his own new business, NeXT Computers. However, the ongoing dispute between Apple and Microsoft over the Graphical User Interface (GUI) had Jobs returned to lend a hand. He then proceeded to change the company’s sales strategy in 1997 to encompass direct sales – both online and by phone. Finally, after a year with no profit showed, the next first quarter of 1998 began three years of profitable quarters for Apple. Intended to make the Mac “the hub of [the consumers’] digital lifestyle”, in 2002 Apple introduced new iLife, a software suite including applications such as iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes, and eventually the iPod. It saw a yieldful way to capitalize on the emerging trend of cheap music downloads by creating a legal online music distribution network, with iTunes as the bullet for the guns. After then, Apple kept growing and growing the innovation within the assets not only to develop, but as well as creating the products customers did even imagine. Ventured into the market of legal downloads, Apple introduced the iTunes Music Store which provided customers in 23 countries with music, movies, HDTV shows, apps, games, podcasts, audiobooks, and ways to connect with artists and friends (via Ping). Another iTunes’s feature, iTunes U, can even provide the users access to download lectures, discussions, language lessons, and other opportunities for learning for free from leading universities, museums, and other institutions. Later on, the success of iTunes (the downloads rate) is also used as a means to boost the sales of other products as such as iPods, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs. Facing the world full with competitors, Marketing has been one of Apple’s strengths. However, staying on top of the game has become more difficult as Apple develops a broader range of products for the mainstream customer rather than just the “tech-savvy fanatics” in fields such as education and design. Begins with the design of the product, Apple’s marketing plan conducting took a different approach to the design of its products. While competitors do everything...
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