APPLE’S HISTORY & PRODUCTS
STEVE JOBS ROLE
PORTERS FIVE FORCES - IPHONE
BOSTON I PORTFOLIO
The story of Apple Inc. started in 1976 and is a quite successful one. The chief character Steve Jobs just recently resigned as Managing Director of this multinational company.
These most recent news caused the apple stocks to drop which shows how much impact the cofounder Steve Jobs has on the company and its destiny.
Apple Inc. is an American multinational company, which provides personal computers, software and especially consumer electronics. Nowadays this company hired 49 400 employees worldwide. Additionally towards the end of the year 2010 the worldwide annual sales equal $65.23 billion.
Apple Inc. has been so successful in these last decades thanks to its fresh, imaginative way to contemplate and do its business. This winning mixture of extraordinary products, great style and design, grand strategy, innovative marketing, inviting communications is basis of this papers analysis. Apple owes its overwhelming victory in the last years to the IPhone and to the smart IPod and ITunes product combination. In the 5 years between 2003 and 2008 the Apple share value increased 25 times, from $7.5 to $180 per share.
In July 2008 prices, before the US Financial Crisis, Apple stock market capitalization was $160 billion. In January 2010 Apple shares topped the $210 mark. Just recently Apple was found to be the most valuable company of the world with share prizes of $373.
This simple number shows the immense success apple achieved during the past years.
Apple's History & Products
Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne and Steve Jobs founded Apple in 1976.
The company's first product was the apple 1 - a personal computer kit. The following year Apple II was introduced. Ten years later Apple already was a competition to IBM and Microsoft in the computing market. After many development failures associated with a Macintosh (first commercially personal computer with a mouse and a graphical user interface) in 1985, Apple became once again an innovator and introduced the Macintosh Plus one year later.
With a Macintosh II and all line of Mac (Mac IIx, Mac IIxi, Mac IIcx, Mac IIci, Mac II SE, and Mac IIfx) each upgrade was forced by the growing popularities of the lower-priced PC.
Nevertheless not all the products of this company were so successful. There were a lot of failure products produced in the end of the 80's and the begging of the 90's such as digital cameras, portable CD audio players, speakers, video consoles, and TV appliances.
Moreover after reappearing letdowns Steve Job came back in 1996 as an advisor to improve MAC OS. One year later Jobs announced that Apple Inc. will join Microsoft to release new versions of
Microsoft Office for the Macintosh. In 1998 Apple introduced a new version of the Macintosh called iMac. In 2001 Apple Inc. opened the first official Apple Retail Stores and announced the iPod - a well- designed portable digital audio player in the same year.
At the Macworld Expo on January 9, 2007 Steve Jobs announced that computers were no longer the focus of the company. Moreover on that event one of the most famous products was introduced - the IPhone. Three years later in 2010 Apple Inc. introduced a tablet media device, which is known as IPad.
Steve Jobs Role
Apples success is inextricable linked to Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs has been and is the great mind behind the company and one of the co-founders who turned the Apple in one of the most innovative and successful ones. He is most skilled in presenting Apples key features, is a great communicator and a visionary. His visions go from vision for strategy, vision in product development to vision in corporation and alliances. He was also the one who maintains a sober, intriguing, simple, clear, minimalist and clever communication toward the customers and his departments in charge.
Until recent developments he remained closely involved in all the key aspects of running the company and its major strategic decisions.
"Jobs and Apple are so intricately intertwined that it is difficult to imagine the future of Apple without him at the helm."
Since Steve Jobs and his immediate deputies made all the decisions, Apples destiny very much depended on one person. Due to health issues Steve Jobs had to resign before and will now resign for good. In order to prepare the company and its staff for a future without him, he established and manifested certain values, which are supposed to be carried on and make the company less reliant on one person. Employees received clear directives and supervision to make sure his vision is being followed.
Steve Jobs had the prevalent impact as a media person and marketing head. It is now vital for Apple to maintain the ingenious marketing strategy. Actually it is crucial not to change any of the strategic plans although the brain had to resign. Steve Jobs strategy was extremely successful every time he had the lead and managed to prevent Apple from failing several times.
The firm's primary strategy was governed by Steve Jobs and only worked through him.
Apple should continue its innovative and creative path in the future. In fact nothing less is expected from its costumers. Apple lovers, and those to be, wait for the next "hit" continuously.
Steve Jobs has left the company in an inimitably strong pose. His descendant, Tim Cook, has been introduced for the role of the new CEO and brings along 13 years of experience at Apple, where he
was in charge for global sales and supplier relationships. Steve Jobs will not leave Apple completely; he will take over a newly created position as a chairman of the board.
This solution will alley most of the stakeholders since Apples success is closely linked to a visionary and Tom Cook cannot fill that role yet. Therefore Apple is advised to strengthen the company's image without Jobs in the picture or to find a similar charismatic leader.
One of the best tools to analyze the current situation of Apple Inc. is a SWOT analysis. On one hand strengths and weaknesses present the internal situation of the company. On the other hand opportunities and threats can show the environment that influences the company.
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Table 1 - The overall view of key issues in the SWOT analysis
Strengths - The core competence of Apple Inc is having a unique product. No other company has the same product ideas, which are well designed and user friendly.
Furthermore no other company can provide a combination of marketing power and IT Products as Apple Inc, in fact the popularity of Apple increased tremendous in the last years. As a proof of this growth there can be used sales figures of 2010 were over 1.7 million of I Phone's were sold. There are Internet information that products of Apple Inc. such as iPod, IPhone and IPad are the three most anticipated, most publicized and most successful products launches in the last decade.
The popularity of these products is closely related to its features, designs and tools. For an example an IPhone 4 is a smart phone and multimedia device in one, can make video calling and had the highest resolution display resulting in stunning text image and video.
 http://phx .corporateir.net/External .Fil e?item= UG FyZW 50S UQ9Njc1MzN8Q2hpbGRJRD0tMXxUeXBl PTM=&t=1
Steve Jobs: Die autorisierte Biografie des Apple-Gründers von Walter Isaacson et al; Bertelsmann Verlag 2011, S. 63ff