November 21, 2008
Apple Inc. Company Analysis
Part One: Analysis of Current Marketing Situation
Introduction to Apple Inc.
Apple Inc. is a company whose main objectives are “to design, manufacture and market personal computers and related software, peripherals and personal computing and communicating solutions” (“Wright Investors’ Service”). Originally known as Apple Computers Inc, Apple has ventured into several other areas besides that of computers, such as phones and portable music players. The company is responsible for the production of iMacs, MacBooks, iPods, and the iPhone. Apple also produces the software program, iTunes, which allows people to store and buy music in a single place. Apple Inc. customers range from educators to businesses to everyday consumers. Since it has a wide array of different products, Apple Inc is able to successfully target a large number of people. The company does most of its business through its “online stores, direct sales force, third-party retailers, and its own retail stores” (“Wright Investors’ Service”) and its operations are currently in the “United States, Europe, Japan, and Asia Pacific” (“Wright Investors’ Service”).
Apple Inc was founded on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne (Linzmayer). However, it did not truly begin to gain attention until in 1984 when Apple announced the Macintosh computer (Knight). In 1985, both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak left the company to pursue other goals (Knight). As the years passed by, Apple Inc. continued to release new models focusing on being more portable than other computers and trying to give their computers a unique style. Even with all the breakthroughs Apple was making, it was not able to become a dominant force in the computer world and was more successful in certain niche market segments. In 1997, Apple Inc. was hemorrhaging money, losing hundreds of millions of dollars, but it had regained one of its former founders, Steve Jobs (Knight). In 1998, Apple released the iMac, which gained a profit in every quarter of the year, and turned Apple Inc. downward spiral around. As time went on the iMac gained more and more market share. In 2001, Apple released the iPod, which helped revolutionize the portable music market. Alongside the release of the iPod, Apple unveiled iTunes, a digital music player and store, which also quickly revolutionized the digital distribution of music. In 2007, Apple Inc. expanded its production into the world of smart-phones by releasing the iPhone (Knight).
Currently, Apple Inc. has become one of the major leaders in innovations in computer hardware, software, portable devices, and phones. All of its products are becoming quite successful and are reaching a large audience. The “Get a Mac” advertisement campaign, featuring two celebrities, has been running successfully and is one of the most watched advertisements on YouTube. Apple Inc. has also become a much larger business then it once was now employing 35,000 employees, selling 32.5 billion units, and operating 274 stores, according to statistics from September 29, 2008 (“Wright Investors’ Service”). Also, Apple Inc. has increased its market share in almost every one of its product types. As of April 1, 2008, the iMac’s market share has increased to 21% (DeWitt), up from just 9% in February 2007 (Baker). The MacBook has also increased its market share to 17.6% in August 2007, which puts it at number three on the list of top laptop makers (Dalrymple). The iPod has continued to dominate the MP3 portable player market with a market share of just around 70%, even with the declining market for these players (DeWitt). iTunes has also continued to hold a large market share over its competitors. A study by Ipsos TEMPO Digital Music Brandscape, shows that iTunes is still gaining market share, up to 57% of all paid digital music downloads (Yoskowitz) .The...