Apple Case Study
Historical Timeline of Apple Inc.
Apple Incorporated has come a long way over the years, starting more than 3 decades ago in 1976. Apple was founded by Steve jobs, Steve Wonzniak and Ronald Wayne initially entering a niche market in the production of the first computer, the Apple I, followed by the Apple II in 1978. Apple began its career as a successful company based upon strategic innovation, and they remain that way today, but it wasn’t always sunshine and lollipops, they experienced their fair share of struggles too. IBM entered the market in 1981 and gave Apple its first real competition. Apple managed to bounce back and thrived on this competition to abolish complacency and starting findings new ways to stay on top. Macintosh was released in 1984 and they focused on that for the 1980’s and 1990’s. The emphasis Apple put into the Macintosh turned out not being the best decision for the company, and they almost went bankrupt in 1996. What Apple did in response makes them the powerhouse company they are today. In 2001 they released the iPod along with opening their first retail store in Maclean Virginia. The retail store was a huge success for Apple as it allowed them to build a relationship with their customers in person, an advantage they had over their competitors. Apple continued to create other new, revolutionary products such as the iPhone in 2007, the iTouch in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. As this course is based upon Strategic Leadership the history of Apple’s managerial progress is an interesting timeline in itself. Steve Jobs was the head of Apple since its creation in 1976 up until he supposedly resigned in 1985. John Sculley and Michael Spindler had shorts stints as CEO until Gil Amelio took over in 1996. Amelio turned out to be a huge mistake for Apple as he nearly forced them bankrupt. Due to this disaster Apple decided to call back Steve Jobs to CEO who became the official head again in 1997. Jobs has since turned the Company around with innovation creating the iMac and declaring their new focus on non-PC products and making the company appear younger and more attractive appealing to a broaden target audience. Macro-Environmental Factors
When it comes to the product and development stage of Apples production line there are several decisions that need to be made including those that effect the social and cultural environment that surrounds us. There has been a huge shift within the last decade of people adopting a lifestyle associated with the concept of “green”, and Apple is doing their part in the reduction of their carbon footprint. But how green is Apple? Apple’s notebooks lead the industry in the elimination of toxic chemicals by having a Mercury-free LCD display, arsenic-free display glass, Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free internal cables and components, and being free of brominated flame retardant (BFR). The newest MacBooks also have a highly recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure. In addition Apple has cut down the size of their boxes so that more boxes can fit in a shipping container. This requires less vehicles to transport, and in the end cuts down the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are created. Apple has is also practicing responsible manufacturing, longer lasting products and employee commuter programs. Innovative markets such as the ones Apple products exist in demand high levels of technology and this has become a global trend. As technology becomes more sophisticated it allows for business to expand international and increase their market share. Although this can be seen as an advantage for Apple, it also offers new challenges as more and more competitors enter the market. What this means for Apple is that no longer to they need to specialize nationally in America, but also right across the world. Their products have to not only be available in multiple languages, but need to appeal to the vast cultures of the world.
With all the economic doom and gloom...
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