Business Analysis Part 1: Apple Inc.
If an investor needs to decide whether to put money into a company, a careful analysis of that business is be the first step in making a decision. It is important to understand several factors that point to a company’s stability: the company’s place in the market, its future prospects, and its financial health, just to name a few. This business analysis will look at Apple Inc. to assess whether it would be a company worth investing in. First a SWOT analysis will be conducted and will identify what aspects of the analysis are most important in making the decision to invest. Secondly, the company’s internal and external stakeholders will be identified and examined, in order to see if the stakeholders’ needs are being met and how. By analyzing these two important overviews of Apple Inc. it will reveal whether the company is a sound home for investment. SWOT Analysis
When deciding to invest in a company or not, a shrewd businessperson will begin with planning. Planning is a continuous process that is important because ever-changing markets require constant adjustments of goals and the processes to meet them. Key in planning is including a careful analysis of a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This type of analysis is known as a SWOT analysis (Nickels, McHugh & McHugh, 2010). A SWOT analysis of Apple Inc. reveals some important facts about its popularity and opportunities in the market. Strengths
Apple Inc.’s most important tool in the market is its ability to leverage its strong brand image. Apple’s product designs are well recognized throughout all markets. This allows new products to rapidly gain a share of the market upon release. Released to the US in April of 2010, the iPad enjoyed unit sales of 7.5 million, with a net of $5 billion in sales of iPads and related products (Datamonitor: Apple Inc., 2011). This showcases how quickly the tech market reacts to new releases by the company. This strong brand image has been developed by iconic advertisements that have long set Apple apart in the personal computer market. This began with the company’s 1984 Superbowl ad, which positioned “IBM as the Orwellian Big Brother of the computer industry” and Mac users as those breaking free from that oppression (Kenney, 2007). This individual vs. corporation image has continued into their more recent advertisements. Benoit and Delbert (2010) analyzed a series of ads that began airing in May 2006. The “Get a Mac” campaign used actors Justin Long and John Hodgman to portray a Mac and a PC, showcasing Apple computers’ strengths over the market-dominating PC (Benoit & Delbert, 2010). By depicting their computers as easy-to-use, fun-loving and friendly, Apple further solidified its brand image in the market by being different from its competitors, allowing its new products to quickly capture the market. Weaknesses
Weaknesses of Apple Inc. are important in the decision to invest in the company because they point to internal issues that need to be shored up. One major weakness is Apple’s involvement in several patent infringement lawsuits. Nokia and Motorola Mobility have both filed suits with Apple claiming patent infringement (Datamonitor: Apple Inc., 2011). Cisco has also been involved in an ongoing suit about the trademark name of the iPhone and which company actually owns the name (Chumney & Cowart, 2010). The lawsuits create a weakness for Apple in a few ways. First there is the negative image associated with being sued. This will only detract from the company’s long-held image of being an individual fighting against the oppressive PC regime if the company is seen engaging in its own questionable legal practices. Second, lawsuits of this nature require time and money that could be better spent elsewhere. An unfavorable verdict in any of these suits would affect the company’s financial health and...