MGT 431 Week 3 Case Analysis
Week 3 Case Analysis: "Apple Inc."
Despite the effects of ongoing poor economic conditions in the U.S., Apple Inc. celebrated record revenues and sales of computers. The company’s newly released iPad tablet computer and iPhone smartphone models helped push Apple to the #2 U.S. market share ranking for smartphones (trailing #1 Samsung, running Google’s Android OS.) However, Google’s expansion of the Android operating system had allowed competitors such as HTC, LG, Nokia, and Samsung to introduce smartphones, along with a new Windows Mobile operating system that copied many features of the iPhone. Google was also a growing threat to Apple in the tablet market, since many computer manufacturers were developing new tablet computers similar to the iPad that would run the Android operating system; increasing the stakes in the battle for the mobile device market that continues today (Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J., & Strickland, A. (2011).
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer in 1976 out of a garage in California, where they began selling a crudely designed personal computer called the Apple I to Silicon Valley computer enthusiasts. Two years later, introducing the first mass-produced personal computer (PC), the Apple II. The Apple II boasted the first color display and eventually sold more than 1000 units. While the Apple II was relatively successful, the next revision of the product line, the Macintosh, would dramatically change personal computing through it’s user-friendly graphical-use-interface (GUI), which allowed users to interact with screen images rather than merely type text commands (Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J., & Strickland, A. (2011). The Macintosh that was introduced in 1984 was hailed as a breakthrough in personal computing, but it did not have the speed, power, or software compatibility to compete with the PC that IBM had introduced in 1981. One of the reasons the Macintosh lacked the necessary software was that Apple put very strict restrictions on the Apple Certified Developer program, which made it difficult to for software developers to obtain the Macs at a discount and receive informational materials about the operating system (Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J., & Strickland, A. (2011). With the Mac fairing poorly in the market, founder Steve Jobs became highly critical of the company’s president and CEO John Scully, who had been hired by the board in 1983 (Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J., & Strickland, A. (2011). Job’s had originally persuaded Scully to come to Apple from his position as CEO of Pepsi, saying: “Do you want to sell sugared water all your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” The two were initially inseparable, however management and leadership differences soon developed between the two. Finally, in 1985 as Scully was preparing to visit China, Jobs devised a boardroom coup to replace him. Scully found out about the plan and cancelled his trip. After Apple’s board voted unanimously to keep Scully in his position, Jobs, who was retained as chairman of the company, but stripped of all his decision-making authority, soon resigned (Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J., & Strickland, A. (2011). The “firing” of Jobs from the company he founded, has since become an adamantly referenced piece of tech industry history. During the remainder of 1985, Apple continued to encounter problems and laid off one-fifth of its employees while posting its first ever quarterly loss (Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J., & Strickland, A. (2011). Jobs went on to found NeXT Computer in 1985, producing many powerful and innovative products, including the PC that was used to create the World Wide Web (Cult of Mac.com, 2013). Despite these setbacks, Apple kept bringing...