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Apple Inc.

Apple Inc.: Keeping the I in Innovation


Ottawa University
Strategies and Policies
Osee Romeo Njacheun
2013

Apple Inc.

Apple Inc.: Keeping the I in Innovation


With reference to Chapman, R., Hoskisson, R., Gail, C. (2013), Apple Inc. is a California
corporation founded in 1977 by Steve Job. Now, Apple Inc. operates 301 retail stores in several
countries, and has an online store. Since 2010, Apple is one of the largest companies in the world
and the most valuable technology company as well, for having surpassed Microsoft. Apple had
46,600 full time employees, and 2,800 temporary full time employees internationally for annual
sales of $65.23 billion. Apple was named one of the most admired companies in the United
States in 2008 and in the world in 2008, 2009, and 2010, because of its reputation and place in
the fast-moving technology world (Golvin, 2011). Over the years, Apple has grown by offering
superior products compared to competitors. Apple has positioned itself to be a pioneer in the
personal computer industry. It is one of the original hardware producers in the market that
controls both the manufacturing of its products as well as its operating system. Apple Inc. has
definitely been very successful and profitable for Steve Jobs and the organization as a whole
(p.16-18).
It seems that when Steve Jobs started managing and restructuring Apple, business began
booming. In the computer business it is hard to compete with Apple, and I am sure Steve Jobs
knew it. His strategies, leadership style, and core competency has led to ultimate success at
Apple Inc. Steve Jobs used many different strategies when launching Apple Inc. First, he
devised a plan which led to his strategic management style, and ensured that innovation remain
pervasive (Mulgan & Albury, 2003:6). He had the idea of creating a style of mass innovation.
Everything Apple designs and markets have originality and creativeness at its core. According to
Jones and George (2011), Apple is the leader in music downloads and player business (p. 8).
Steve Jobs planned and restructured Apple in such a way that made the company flourish and
grow substantially. His strategic management style has pushed Apple to the top of the computer

Apple Inc.

chain. Even though Apple is very expensive, the simplicity and quality of a long lasting product
causes consumers to the Apple over other brands.
Based off the Case 2 from Chapman R et al., (2013), Apple is self-sufficient and creates
its own internal components for the core of its computers. Apple has set standards for high
quality products in order to meet customer satisfaction. It is dedicated to research and
development in order to create new products, which are expected to make Apples products more
efficient and feasible to use. As a result of the companys commitment to excellence, most of its
products are compact and simple to operate. Apple is known for its reliable consumers who
purchase its products for quality, regardless of price. Apple has ascended to a brand of
distinction in the computer industry, which yielded a successful net income. In addition, the
companys stock price is the highest in the personal computer industry. Apple is financed mostly
by its owners equity. In fact Apple does not have any debt, so investors would put up with less
risk by holding Apples stocks. The company is well endowed and able of acquiring any firm
that could enhance the value of the company. Its customer service department is monumental and
highly appreciated by consumers (p.17-18).
Apples strategy of differentiation means that they deliver new and exciting products
such as futuristic PCs, iPods, and iPhones to customers (Jones & George, 2011, p. 9) no matter
what the cost. His strategies included setting clear goals and choosing certain paths of action to
achieve those goals. Innovation is the major driving force in Steve Jobs success on the market.
When Apple came out with the iPod, other companies were trying to mimic the music player;
however, Apples quality product is the most consumed on the market (Jones & George).
Apples line of products makes Steve Jobs one of the most strategic successful men in the
computer and technology world. Apple plans to maintain its status through organizational
stability and creativity. Advanced technology is being developed and produced for customers.

Apple Inc.

Therefore, Apple is faced with the difficult task of ensuring consistency and quality within its
products. The iPod, which is a worldwide success, had many glitches and technological flaws
including battery life and screen faults that plagued iPods when they were initially released.
According to Hardagon (2003), even when many other companies are creating similar
products, it is really imperative and crucial for a company to remain competitive by solving
technological errors in devices. It is beneficial that Apple should continue to invest in its research
and development department to remain competitive (Lectures notes).
Apple is a financially stable organization apparently; its lack of debt is a latent weakness
for the infrastructure because it creates potential risk for stock acquisition by other corporations.
The employees at Apple are sufficient in their expertise because they predict the target audience
for the latest technology. Because of their originality, Apple is known for its innovative thinking.
It has developed a product line that is both practical and attractive. The organization is spreading
beyond the limits of its products and into the lives of its consumers. The Apple iLife applications
allow users to connect to multiple programs through one package. For example iLife provides a
well integrated elegant interface that enables users to tie into iMac, iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, and
YouTube accounts. The current opportunity for Apple is the development and campaign of the
new iPod shuffle, as the worlds first talking MP3 player. Apple has proven its quality by
packing 4 gigabytes of memory into a device half the size of the original Shuffle (Golvin, 2011).
The computer technology industry is a consistently transforming and decidedly
competitive industry. There are more competitive companies entering the market that Apple has
saturated. Microsoft is Apples historic rival, and has managed to maintain its competitive status.
In the computer hardware division, there are many competitors such as Hewlett-Packard and
Dell. Dell produces low-budget computers and products that appeal to economically cautious
consumers. Apple has a higher stock price than Dell and HP but Apples market share and total

Apple Inc.

revenue are considerably lower. Thus, it is imperative for Apple to consistently create new
products that set financial and technological standards for the computer industry. Of course,
Apple has a growing international market, specifically in Asia. The exchange rates challenged
the organization and created a shift in supply and demand for Apple, including the depreciation
of the US dollar which led to the decline of Apples international revenue (Case 2, p.35).
Apple is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. As of right now Apple has
over $40 billion in cash, coupled with no debt Apple has the power to, under much speculation,
purchase other companies, institute stock buyback programs, or to increase its dividend yield.
Apple has been regarded as one of the most innovative companies in technology. Starting in
1984 with their Macintosh personal computer Apple continues to produce market disrupting
products like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Golvin in Fortune (2011) named Apple the 5th most
innovative company in 2011. Nonetheless, Apples iPad has been the undisputed king of the
tablet computer market. In 2010 the iOS operating system accounted for 83.9% of the tablet
market. Fast forward to 2012 Apple is still on top with 53.8% of the tablet market; a respectable
majority of the market but a quickly declining share. Googles Android operating system is
currently the biggest threat to Apple. In 2012, the Android OS has claimed 42.7% of tablet sales.
Android smartphone sales have increased from 57.5% of total smartphones worldwide in 2011 to
75% of smartphone sales in 2012 (Golvin, 2011).
Even though Apple has been going through major management changes according to the
case study 2 (p.33), it is clear that Apple is in a good position to capitalize on the increasing
demand for smartphones. Apple is showing universal strength and by remaining competitive
internationally and within the United States, Apple is setting standards other competitors have to
match.

Apple Inc.
References

Chapman, R., Hoskisson, R., Gail, C. (2013). Apple Inc.: Keeping the I in Innovation
Strategic management: Concepts and cases, competitiveness & globalization (Case 2,
p.16).
Golvin, G. (March 21, 2011). The worlds most admired companies, Fortune,
Vol.163, 4.
Hitt, M. A., Ireland, R. D., & Hoskisson, R. (2013). Strategic management: Concepts and cases,
competitiveness & globalization (10th ed.) South-Western, Cengage Learning.
Mason, OH.
Hoskisson, R, E. (2007). Strategic Focus: Apple using innovation to create technology trends
and maintain competitive advantage. Strategic management: Concepts and cases,
competitiveness & globalization (8th ed.) South-Western, Cengage Learning.
Mason, OH.
Hargadon, A. (2003). How breakthroughs happen, the surprising truth about how companies
innovate. Harvard Business Press
Jones, G. R., & George, J. M. (2011). Essentials of contemporary management. (4th ed.). New
York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Sage Publications, Inc.,
Thousand Oaks, CA.