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History and background of the company:
The history and the back ground of Apple Inc which used to be Apple Computers, Inc when they first started in California USA and become a multinational company which started from scratch. Apple Inc mainly deal with consumer electronics, computer software and commercial servers. Apple's most famous products are iPhone, iPod and Macintosh computers.
Apple was formed by Steven Paul Jobs 21 and Stephen Gary Wozniak 25, they created a first Apple computer on 1st April 1976 named Apple I. Apple was incorporated in 1977 in California (Apple website, FAQ). For about 20 year Apple computers Inc was predominantly a manufacturer of personal computers that includes Power Mac, Apple I, Apple II, Apple III and Macintosh lines but also faced unstable sales and low market shares. Steven Job resign the company in 1985 due to infighting and he rejoin in 1996 as a CEO of the company. He brought with him a new corporate philosophy of identifiable product and simple design. Introducing a great success of iPod music player in 2001, Apple become a leader in consumer electronic industry, dropping ''computer'' from its name and keeping on to release the iPad and iPhone. And in present Apple is one of the biggest technology company in the world, with the revenue of over $60 billion per annum[ Hormby Thomas, A history of Apple's Lisa, 1979-1986, Low End Mac, 6th October 2005] [Apple website].
Strategy and Implementation
Philosophy of identifiable product and simple design help Apple maintain their growth in early 80's and a huge part of success is due to its leadership in the education sector, which was one of the brilliant business strategy, education environment provided Apple with a great amount of loyal users around the world. They started targeting into education sector in Cupertino California by a very important agreement between Steve Job and Jim Baroux of (LCSI) Logo Computer Systems Inc, which was an agreement to donate one Apple II and one Apple LOGO software package to every public school in Texas. The idea was great and the philosophy behind that was that if they donate one package to each school then this would result in thirty more packages to sell, which is estimated as the number of students in one classroom at least and ofcourse some more purchases are possible from parents who wants to support the technology to make their children to stay aware of technology, learn more and get familiar. This significant agreement between Apple Inc and Logo Computer System Inc (LCSI) was a great success though out the State, which establish a very strong and constant presence for Apple in the schools throughout California. This become Apple II's era in schools right across the United States and the leadership of Apple in education sector around the world continues in the most critical time of 1980's. Therefore Apple made it extremely well in education sector as well as in the families, as parents carry on supporting the learning experience for their children after school [Wikipedia, Article, Apple Inc].
Technology used and Product/Services:
Apple Inc mainly deal with consumer electronics, computer software and commercial servers. Apple is an example of itself when comes to technology, the technology they introduce since they first launched and until today. Although there was issues in some software they introduced as well as their Operating system that it is not users friendly but Apple keep identifying the issue efficiently and effectively, for example using Microsoft's Power point compare to Apple's keynote which takes powerPoint apart and figures out how the files work that makes it more user friendly [Bill Thompson, 19th Sep 2007, BBC News]. They are famous to introduce the best touch sensor in their products which includes Mac, iPhone, iPod and iPad recently, best example is iPhone which is still the leader in smart phone technology and introduced the best touch screen system in the market so far.
Apple have introduced various operating system for its products like Macintosh, PowerBook, iPod, iPad and iPhone. Apple always use their own Operating system in all of their products, one of the most famous operating system is iOS which is used in iPhone and OS X, Mac OS X is the world's most advanced operating system. Built on UNIX foundation and designed simple as of this is one of the fundamentals of the company. This is why Mac have a reputation of innovative, compatible, highly secure and user friendly [Apple website, Mac OS X, Over view].
OS X series includes Snow Leopard which was unveiled on 8th of June 2009 and was available to purchase in Cupertino, California and on their website and by 28th of August 2009 in the market throughout the world [Apple website, library, Mac OS Snow Leopard].
Mac OS X Versions are Mac OS X Server 1.0, Public Beta, then from 10.0 to the Latest version is Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.7 Lion announced on 20th of October 2010 and expected to release by 2011. Apple have also introduces digital cameras, portable CD audio players, speakers, video consoles and TV appliances [Wikipedia, Apple Inc, Mac OS X].
The main markets where Apple operates:
Apple is a multinational company based in Cupertino, California and their product sales in more than 50 countries, one of the most recent successful product of Apple is iPhone, it is available in over 50 countries and more to be added in their network later and Apple iPhones are making their production company to increase their yearly products because the of their extreme success and they are selling it very well indeed and iPhones are increasing their market share day by day and quit fast.
[Amit Bhawani, Information guide, Apple inc, smart phone launch, vodaphone]
As the graph shows, their main markets where they operates are USA, Japan, Germany, France, Spain, Canada and UK, over all they are doing very well in Europe and USA itself, besides that they are also in Mexico, Netherland, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Hong Kong and now in India as well. Success of iPhone is a great boom to Apple Inc.
Main Products and Ethical challenges:
Apple's worldwide smartphone shares boost upto 17% due to iPhone sales reached 7 million in 2009 including the continued version of iPhone 3GS and they are expected to be more because later in the same year they started selling iPhones in China, where as Chinese made a copy version of iPhone with different software but unable to beat the original one ofcourse.
[Website Mac Rumors, News, Smartphone market worldwide]
Worldwide mobile phone market experienced less growth as compare to their early years and in this year the growth was as low as 0.1 percent but smartphones was continuously growing their success and performance and growing their market upto 12.8 percent nearly every year.
They face great competitors like Microsoft which is focusing on delivering software to cheap product personal computers while Apple delivers rich engineered products. Apple relied on high profit margins and never developed a clear response. Other competitors are IBM and Dell which are famous about their durability and have a good reputation in making computers.
Product and Business Portfolio :
Product portfolio plays important role in company's business success especially when come to competition. Product portfolio is to capture and understand customers need according to the market. Apples portfolio is to transform their customers into specifications of the product they are offerings. There has been criticism on iPhone and iPod that these devices has been locked/restricted into iTones and creating iTone Store monopoly but Apple keep ensuring that anyone but their product will be completely locked/restricted to an Apple's created world. This portfolio keep the other competitors out in some aspects but is also become hard to justify some measures when creating a circle around the customers and keep competitors out. Although the fact that iTunes database format has already been cracked and the third party tool have been updated, example application like cydia which unlock iPhone and enable customers to download various applications and allow them to use their iPhone for all the network providers. But Apple is spending more time trying to ensure that anyone who purchase their product must completely locked in to Apple-centred world in which they use iTones for products like iPod and iPhone, buy from iTones Music store, and purchese only Apple-certified accessories. The new version of iTunes break the fix and they keep updating the versions of iPhone and iPod to lock the customers and other updated and therefore no third party tool is able to unlock the version unless it is certified by Apple itself [Bill Thompson, 2007, BBC News, Article in Technology section].
Corporate Change and Social welfare of employee:
Apple was one of the highest successful companies founded in 70s, Corporate philosophy of identifiable product and simple design which was introduced by Steve Jobs. Apple cares about their employees and provide them various facilities and benefits that includes, staff discount, paid holidays, maternity leaves, annual bonus and friendly and learning environment.
Apples relies on best quality for their customers as of their product is design to provide the best output, high profile and highly priced due to their basic strategy of high profit margin on each product and keeping their market stable. They launch the best quality product and improvise it in later versions as required by their customers. They also manage to maintain their product quality with their corporate philosophy of identifiable product and simple design.