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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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APPLE INC., Is an American multinational company Created by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 (Levy,2018). It designs and produces electronic equipment, mobile communication, multimedia devices, portable music players and software sales, among others (Levy,2008).

The year 1976 is key, not only for Steve Jobs but also for Apple, more particularly because at this moment the apple company was born. In the garage of a house, Jobs, Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, they founded Apple (Levy,2018). Later, they received funding from Mike Markkula but the important thing at this time was the creation and launch of Apple I, the first real home computer. Jobs began to show himself as a great leader and visionary. The Apple II was the first ever color graphics (Levy,2018). By 1978, Apple was expanding and needed more people, more trained professionals to assume different roles for its operation, and personnel was hired. Later, in 1983, Steve convinced John Sculley to leave Pepsi-Cola and join Apple (Molina, 2016). Over time, towards the end of 1984, the relationship between Jobs and Sculley deteriorated, and in late May 1985 Sculley fired Jobs (Molina, 2016). In 1980 they launched the new computer under the name of Apple III. Unfortunately, some technical choices, among which was the absence of a fan, were the reason why many teams overheated; thousands of Apple III had to be replaced (Molina, 2016).

A few months later, in November 1981, Apple released a new version of the Apple III, which corrected all the major problems of the initial version (Molina, 2016). An Apple III + came out even in 1983. But the problems of its beginnings discouraged buyers and were the reason that the Apple III became the first major commercial failure of Apple (Molina, 2016).

On December 12, 1980, Apple entered the stock market. Until then, only some of Apple's employees owned shares of the company (Molina, 2016). In a few minutes, the 4.6 million shares were sold at 22 dollars a unit, instantly increasing by 100 million dollars the capital of Apple (Molina, 2016).

Despite the economic successes and the worldwide expansion of the company, 1981 was a hard year for Apple. Apart from the problems of the Apple III, in February of this year, it was decided to purge the staff of employees (Molina, 2016). The following month, the purge this time was the same president, Scott, being replaced by Mike Markkula and assuming Steve Jobs as director (Molina, 2016).

After the failure of the Apple III and Apple Lisa, the company turned to the small project of Jef Raskin first and Steve Jobs after: the Macintosh (Levy,2018). After numerous delays and problems, especially with the software, which was not prepared until practically the last moment, the computer was presented on January 24, 1984 (Molina, 2016).

In 1985, there was a power struggle between Steve Jobs and CEO John Sculley, who had been hired by Jobs himself two years earlier. Jobs was not willing to be relegated to an irrelevant position in the company he founded and began to conspire with Apple executives to take control (Molina, 2016).Sculley learned that Jobs had been trying to stage a coup and convened a board meeting on April 10, 1985, in which Apple's board unanimously sided with Sculley and Jobs was removed. of its functions as manager. A few weeks later Jobs left Apple and founded NeXT Inc. that same year (Molina, 2016).

In 2001 it was where Apple really started the climb that has led to our days, with the presentation of two of the products that have most characterized it: Mac OS X and iPod (Molina, 2016). The new operating system took all the frameworks that Jobs had created in the era of NeXT, and created a revolutionary operating system not only in its appearance (Molina, 2016).

In 2007 Apple made the leap that would lead to its total success in all respects, mainly facing the public: Steve Jobs announced that the company was renamed Apple Inc. and that his business was not going to be just computers (Levy,2018).  In this event, Apple introduced the iPhone and Apple TV. In 2012 the creator and genius Steve Jobs dies, Apple continues to create new products and improve existing ones and remains the leading brand (Levy,2018).

2. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses Within the Company

Strengths:

Innovation: Apple has a strong inimitable ability to design and develop exclusive hardware, software, applications and services that permits the company to introduce innovative and user friendly  products for its customers more than any other technology brand.  Apple, is an innovative success in recognition to the company’s vision envisioned by its founders (Johnson, Katherine; Li, Yang; & et all, 2012).

Excellent brand image: Apple is the world’s most valued and identifiable brand. The according to La Monica (2018),  Apple is close to become the first trillion American company; Apple is now worth around $945 billion. Additionally, Apple has the ability of developing innovative, well designed and functioning products, as well as, for having a powerful customer experience (La Monica, 2018).

Loyal customers: Apple is permeated to design its products with a focus on consumers loyalty, customer services and the improving its customer experience. Apple, does this by investing in training its employees, creating more efficient policies for its customers and having a better user friendly system (Johnson, Katherine; Li, Yang; & et all, 2012). “Maintain a high quality of product. This is one of the main reasons why customers choose Apple’s product; therefore, the company has to maintain product quality while expanding its supply chain by taking more control on quality management and delivery time” Johnson, Katherine; Li, Yang; & et all, (2012)  

Distribution: Apple has 502 stores in 24 countries; besides the outrageous number of stores, Apple also sells through trade partners, online channels as well as other premium retail stores (Apple, Inc 2018) Therefore Apple’s attentiveness to its on retail stores and distribution channels for sales is impressive and hard to compete.

Weakness:

  Closed Ecosystem: Apple has a tightly controlled software and services, as it allows Apple to control all aspects of the devices it produces. However, since most of the Apple’s revenue comes from a hardware perspective, then it forces Apple “to be in all the other businesses in order to offer the same features as competing devices” (Beattie, 2015)

    Innovation Rhythm: Apple has created a high product expectation, Apple’s customers are always waiting for the new product to come out, one that would be even better than previous, one that would prove the company’s biggest strength; however it can also be its biggest weakness (Beattie, 2015). As a consequence, because the aforementioned expectations Apple can’t have experimental products/services at the market without hurting its customers anticipations, therefore aching the brand image (Beattie, 2015)

Leadership: Apple embarked with an unique visionary leader that took Apple to the top of the technology sector; however after his death a new leader emerged: Tim Cook. “The question is whether or not Tim Cook can provide the leadership Apple needs to stay on top of the device game” (Beattie, 2015)

3. Gather Information on the External Environment.

Opportunities (Frue, 2016):

• Technological innovation

• Alliance with potential suppliers

• Increase more and more the value of the shares in the stock market.

• Job creation

• Growth of the company to more countries.

• New technologies.

• Globalization of the economy.

• Emerging markets

Threats (Frue, 2016):

• The creation of new products from the competition with much better capacity and price.

• Substitute products.

• Skepticism and distrust of consumers.

• Business difficulty of rapid adaptation to changes.

• Too much dependence on perception.

• World Economic crisis.

• Google with Android.

• Windows

• Compatibility of your operating systems

4. Analyze Your Findings

Apple's Inc, has great strengths and opportunities that can be used effectively to counter weaknesses and threats. Additionally, Apple can focus on to exploit its strengths and opportunities to expand its distribution network. Nevertheless,  Apple’s strong brand image  and rapid innovation process provides the company with the opportunity to develop and launch new products and or services. However, the firm faces a significant threat from aggressive competitors like Samsung and the imitation of its products, which represent major factors and challenges in this industry. An appropriate strategy to be considered to face these threats it may be through a stronger patent of its products, alongside with constant innovation to ensure Apples competitive advantage over its rivals.

5. Identify Corporate Level Strategy:

Apples Inc, current mission statement: "Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad." (Apple, Inc 2018)

Apples’ Inc Values (Apple, Inc 2018):

• Research and constant technological innovation to achieve the desired growth.

• Quality in the products and services it develops.

• Professionalism through constant training of work team.

• Service and attention throughout the commercial and post-commercial cycle process.

• Loyalty and Honesty to ensure the integrity of the company.

• Support for the social environment in which it is located

• Education as the main objective, to achieve growth, development and improvement

• Flexibility to accept the change

• Perseverance and tenacity in their attitudes

Apple’s Corporate Level strategy is based on product differentiation. The company's strategy is the commitment to provide the greatest consumer experience through innovative hardware, software, peripherals, services and Internet offerings (Johnson, Katherine; Li, Yang; & et all, 2012). The company also has a business strategy that is based on the ability they have to design and develop their own operating system, their own hardware, software applications, and services to offer consumers new products that are easy to use and innovative in the design industry (Johnson, Katherine; Li, Yang; & et all, 2012).

6. Identify Business Level Strategy

Competitive Strategy: Apple has gained a strong competitive advantage through technological innovation. Not only because they continuously aim to achieve the most innovative products, but also, because they manufacture both software and hardware. Apple has more control over the overall product because they create their products and operating systems (Johnson, Katherine; Li, Yang; & et all, 2012).  Manufacturing both hardware and software has an immense competitive advantage over rivals; thus, the Apple’s high tech strategy provides the best experience to its loyal customers (Johnson, Katherine; Li, Yang; & et all, 2012).

Marketing Strategy: product differentiation provides Apple Inc with the opportunity to  gain market share, and maintain brand awareness and brand loyalty (Johnson, Katherine; Li, Yang; & et all, 2012). Apple has an unique style and design, not only Apple Inc has created a brand that represents an innovative product, but also has a vast product line and services that calls out several target groups; from kids, teenagers to adults and seniors. The following is the product line and services from Apple Inc, 2018:

• Macintosh Computers

• iPod

• iPad

• iPhone

• Apple TV

• Apple Watch

• Mac OS X operating system

• iOS operating system

• iTunes multimedia content browser

• iLife suite (creativity and multimedia software)

• iWork suite (productivity software)

• Final Cut Studio ( a professional video editing suite)

• Logic Studio (software for audio editing on audio tracks),

• Aperture (software for editing RAW images)

• Safari web browser

7. Analyze Implementations

Apple’s Levels of Hierarchy (Johnson, Katherine; Li, Yang; & et all, 2012):

• Tim Cook as the CEO of Apple, is the responsible for sales and operations worldwide

• Eddy Cue, the Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services

• Craig Federighi, the Senior Vice President of Software Engineering

• Jonathon Ive, the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design

• Bob Mansfield, the Senior Vice President of Technologies

• Peter Oppenheimer, the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, h

• Dan Riccio, the Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering

• Phillip W. Schiller, the Vice President of Worldwide Marketing

• Bruce Sewell, the Senior Vice President and General Counsel

• Jeff Williams, the Senior Vice President of Operations

Employees:

According to Glassdoor, (2012):

• An average engineer earns approximately $ 76,000 per year

• Apple workers love their discounts

• Every few weeks, the brand has a "beer party" in which its employees can enjoy snacks and feel free

• Transportation alternatives that the company offers its employees

• Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO is introducing a new program called “Blu Sky” for its employees. According to the WSJ, a selected group of employees would be able to spend a few weeks of their time working on personal engineering projects” (Lessin, 2012)

8. Make Recommendations

There are some suggestions and strategies that Apple could implement/change or adapt that can be useful in the future:

The iPhone Operating System: Apple’s software is incompatible with some programs. Rival companies such as Android products are compatible with different operating systems, therefore it becomes an advantage over Apple’s products.

Products’ Price: Apple’s products are considered to be expensive in comparison would its rivals, however customers are buying a lifestyle with the product. Apple could make some arrangements or create a loyalty program that would offer discounts to its customers.

Line of Distribution: since Apple sells through different line of distributions, among them cellphone carriers that subsidized iPhone. It can get tricky since the iPhone are blocked and customer are moored to the contract.

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