Apple Company Profile
Apple Company was established on 1st April 1976 by Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne and Steve Jobs. This company specializes in computers and related parts’ production. Nevertheless, Wozniak sold the share that he had in the company to Wayne and Steve Jobs in 1977 for $800 only. However, this company has advanced from the production, sale and marketing of computers to include the production and sale of other products. It specializes in consumer electronics.
Following this change, the company has risen to become a multibillion dollar firm that is currently in the control of a large share of the electronic consumers’ market globally. Apple’s rise to its profitability position has a link with the former CEO and one of the founders Steve Jobs who eventually became its face. Later, the position of the CEO was taken by Tim Cook following Steve Jobs’ death.
In the August of 2012, this company was worth $624 billion. Its net revenues stood at $156 billion. As of 2012, the profits of this company were $41.733 billion. The number of people employed by this company directly was 72,800. The financial reserves of this company during the July 2011’s financial crisis were estimated to be more than the reserve of the government of the U.S.
As a multinational firm, Apple specializes in designing, manufacturing, marketing and selling consumer electronics, media and mobile communication devices, personal computers and computer software. Among the products of this company include iPad, portable computers, iPod, iPhone, Mac Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, and iMac.
This company also produces professional and consumer software applications that include iCloud. This is a storage portal that is available online. In addition, this company has produced operating systems that include OS X and iOS as well as other software platforms including iWorks, iLife productivity, Safari browser and iTunes media browser. Other applications from this company include Logic Studio, Final Cut Pro, File Maker Pro and Logic Pro.
Apple also engages in the manufacture and sale of other products that include Apple LED Cinema Display and Thunderbolt Display. The company also sells third party Apple-branded iOS and Mac compatible peripheral devices such as storage devices, computer memory, Apple TV, printers and video cameras (Sutherland 203).
Apple Consumers and Electronics
The customer base of Apple is wide and it spans across different ethnicities, genders, employments, income levels, ages, races and continents. Nevertheless, statistics show that about 55 percent of the customer base of this company for the smart phones comprises of individuals aged below 26 years. The other customers who purchase the products of this company are mid-sized and small businesses, governments and education institutions as well as other multinational organizations that buy computers, computer peripherals and software applications.
The sales stores and distributors network of this company is robust. This engages in the sale and marketing of its products. Apple uses different avenues to market and sell its products including retail and wholesale stores, direct sales forces and online stores. It also uses other avenues including value-added resellers, wholesalers, retailers and cellular networks carriers of third party products. Among the online stores via which the company sells its digital products include Mac App Store, iBookstore, App Stores and iTune Store.
There are many competitors of Apple in the field that entails production and sale of smart phones. LG, Sony Ericson, Alcatel, Huawei, Nokia and Samsung are the major competitors. It is worth noting that there is a fierce competition in the market with both Samsung Galaxy smart phones and iPhones wanting to take control of this sector. In the iPads, laptops and computer sectors, the major competitors of this company include Dell, Gateway, Alienware, Acer and HP.
In the production of operating systems for phones and computers, the major competitors of this company include Linux and Microsoft which produce operating systems for laptops and PCs. Others include Mozilla, Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Android (for phones). The main competitor in the portable music products’ market is the Microsoft’s Zune.
The competitors of this company’s iTunes in the digital library for music include YouTube, mySpace and Napster. The iWorks and iLife server software of this company are facing competition from Sun, IBM, SGI and HP. In centralized storage for web serving and high computing performance, its product, the iCloud is facing competition from Brocade, Sanrad, IBM and Amazon. Sony Corporation, Lenovo Group Limited and Cisco Systems are the other competitors of Apple.
Apple’s SWOT Analysis
The customer base of Apple has increased due to the increased loyalty among the customers. The company has achieved this through the creation of different interlinked products that include applications, phones, software and pertinent products (Sutherland 94). Additionally, the marketing team of this company is innovative and strong. It ensures that Apple products are released regularly and this keeps customers anticipating for new products. Concurrently, Apple has proven itself as a leading innovator in the technology of mobile phone devices. The firm has also established a brand name that people consider as a synonym of quality, trendiness and innovation.
Apple was featured at the second position in the list of the most valuable global brands in 2012. It was worth $7605 billion. The financial strength of this company enables it to plan its operations and activities adequately because it does not have debts. In addition, this firm has high quality, well-structured as well as expansive stores that spread in different countries worldwide. The advertising and marketing team of this company is vibrant and it ensures successful sales of pricy products and latest products of Apple.
The products of this firm are highly pricy. This limits their affordability to the common citizens. For example, Apple targets the rich buyers without producing cheap products like those of Samsung and Nokia. Secondly, the operating systems of Apple products are incompatible with those of non-Apple products.
The incompatibility of the hardware and software has limited the enhancement of the market reach of these products unlike Android and Microsoft whose hardware and software are compatible with different apps, software and peripheral devices (Tar 13). In addition, this limitation in the market share has proven difficult for this firm to convince noncustomers and customers to use its products exclusively.
The structure of the top management of this company has also been changed. This has affected the brand name of this company negatively. Several patent infringement suits that the company has faced over the recent past have also affected its brand name. Additionally, the firm has also encountered dips in the sales following the release of defective products that include iPod and iPhone products. The firm has a financial future that is considered volatile. This is because the company is currently at a high financial performance. Analysts believe that this is unsustainable in the long run.
iPad and iPhone products from Apple have a high demand. This will increase the market share of this company and give it a better competitive advantage. The markets for smart phone and tablet are also growing. This will keep Apple’s products in active demand in the global market.
Additionally, Apple stands a chance to scout for new application processors’ providers considering the fact that there are immense advancements among the newer manufacturers whose machinery and engineering skills are advanced. Concurrently, this company is about to launch an iTV. This will support the sale of its TV products. This company is also positioned positively which enhances its chances of acquiring other firms that are producing similar products.
Such acquisitions can enhance the ability of this firm to acquire the patents of the products of such companies, competent and skills of their technicians, managers, engineers and marketers. Apple also has a strategic position which can enable it to increase cash reserves as well as to quash competitors through damages of some of its patents (Sutherland 112).
Mobile advertising has also increased and Apple is strategically position especially by the development of an iAD, a platform for advertising that it can use to promote iPhone, iPad and iPod. Apple also has an opportunity for increasing software and iCloud services because cloud-based services are in high demand.
The US taxes’ increase in 2013 is among the major threats that are likely to hinder the future growth of Apple. This is because this increase will affect its profits and revenues negatively. Increased pay packages among Foxconn workers who manufacture majority of the Apple’s products will also affect this firm negatively. This can increase the price or value of its product and affect the sales’ margins in the future. Rapid changes in technology are also an imminent threat to the survival of this company.
Over the past decade, the market has been dormant in terms of newer technologies. This can lead to a loss of value of the products and their appeal to the customers. Nevertheless, Apple launched iTV which is its new product produced in the last five years. The increased number of firms that breach IP or information protection rights has also affected the products of Apple negatively causing it revenues’ loss (Tar 7).
The profits of this company are also affected by the high dollar’s strength because most sales of this company come from other countries apart from the United States. The increased Android’s domination of the operating systems’ field for mobile devices affect the ability of Apple to achieve greater sales using its own iOS. Samsung is also another threat because it has application processors that are compatible with Apple products. Currently, Samsung enjoys a monopoly in application processors’ sales which have already increased to reach those of Apple.
As a multinational firm, Apple has a robust and expansive design, manufacture, production and sales lines. This implies that it is strategically positioned as a leader in the software and consumer electronics markets. In addition, the brand name and innovativeness of this company have earned it a large customer base as well as loyalty for its products.
However, Apple faces several difficulties which have necessitated the establishment of safeguards for ensuring that its sales are not affected by economic and market fluctuations. In addition, the wide array of its products allows customers to choose what to buy and use from different products. This has driven the sales of this company upwards.
Sutherland, Adam. The Story of Apple. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2012. Print.
Tar, Adam. Apple SWOT Analysis. New York, NY: GRIN Verlag, 2013. Print.