A Brief History.3
Use of Social Media and Digital Technologies for Growt..4
Employee Programs for Hiring, Development, Satisfaction4
The Opportunity for Future Success5
Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership.5
How Apple Incorporates “Disruptive by Nature”6
A Brief History
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 laid the foundations of Apple Inc. in Cupertino, California (Linzmayer, 2006). The first computer released by the company was Apple I; it was a hand-built computer which became the most “collectible” PC of all times. Other personal computers initially released by Apple Inc. were Apple I, Macintosh, and Power Mac. The Macintosh was the first affordable computer which incorporated a graphical user interface featuring a layout of folders and icons. The advertisement for the Macintosh was supported primarily by the notion of non-conformity of Apple products. A few decades later, Steve Jobs was fired by Apple’s board because of his whimsical and zealous flight of ideas. However, in 1997 Jobs was re-hired because the company was facing immense losses due to its competitor Microsoft. In 1998, Apple introduced the iMac, which had two distinct characteristics: it was “self-contained” and pleasant to look at. Many first-time buyers purchased iMac simply because of the convenience, soon causing it to become the best-selling PC in the United States. As the company’s competitors increased, Apple remediated the decrease in the sales by introducing the Apple iPod, a portable music player, which revolutionized technology at a completely new level. The iPod became famous for its good appearance, high storage capacity, and quick download capacity. This was the first time such a product had been released and it caused frenzy in the market for technological products. Next, Mac Operating System (OS) X was released in 2001. Mac OS X underwent nine iterations in the course of time, each new version attempting to improve the previous version. To augment the music industry further, Apple released the iTunes store in 2003, allowing consumers to download cheap songs. In 2007, Apple released the iPhone, which was dubbed the “invention of the year”. Three years later, the iPad was released and though several competitors released similar tablets, none could compete with iPad’s roaring success (The Apple Revolution: 10 key moments, 2009). With its successive release of user-friendly products, Apple is considered the top company in technology worldwide.
Use of Social Media and Digital Technologies for Growth
Apple’s use of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, is relatively sparse (Quinn. 2011). At the start of 2014, Apple bought the social media Analytics Company called Topsy Labs in order to have its Twitter data analyzed to infer user sentiment; hence its social media strategies may be changing (Monty, 2013). Apple’s advertisement on social media is primarily done by its customers.
Employee Programs for Hiring, Development, Satisfaction
Apple Inc. employed several strategies to keep its employees satisfied and motivated to work efficiently and develop their skills. Apple ensures that its employees own its products by only selecting those people whose interests and capabilities align with those of the company’s and when there is a right fit between the employee and the company. Apple guides its employees and teaches them the fundamentals of cause, strategy, and planning to implement novel ideas (Tobak, 2014). These account got the internal motivation that drive employees to work. Apple employees receive a plethora of employee benefits including various insurances like life and health, flexible spending account, disability coverage for short term and long term, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, assistance for the tuitions, paid vacations, wellness programs, on-site fitness center and other facilities, parental and family counseling, product discounts, on-site café, and access to computer programs and free Wi-Fi-equipped shuttle to Cupertino (Jobs at Apple, n.d.). Apple has very strict criteria for hiring employees and has an active LinkedIn page to recruit people.
Growth Initiatives at Apple Inc.
Some of the growth initiatives taken by Apple Inc. to expand the company and boost sales include diversification, market development, and use of growth platforms (Growth Strategy, 2014). Diversification refers to a corporate strategy which seeks to bolster profitability by increasing sales as a result of introducing new products into the market. Apple’s consistent release of innovative products, including the iPod, iWatch, iPad among others, has contributed to its growth over the years. Apple also employs a market development strategy of expanding new markets through new users, such as targeting a specific age group to boost product popularity and hence sales. For instance, Apple explored and augmented the new market for personal music systems when its sales of personal computers began to wane due to a rise in competitors’ product demands. Strategic growth platforms are also used to pursue novel product areas and entry into novel distribution channels. All of these measures stimulate growth and increase revenue.
The Opportunity for Future Success
Apple’s yearly revenue has been increasing rapidly over the past few years, especially since it introduced the iPad and the remake of its iOS mobile operating system. However, Google’s Android products recently came up as Apple’s competitors. If Apple introduces a new product, it can manage to secure its future (Levy, 2014).
Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership
In order to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership, Apple focuses strongly on innovating and combining the technical vision with customers’ needs and wants, to meet their expectations (Hoffman, n.d.). Apple usually employs a leader with a visionary style, like Steve Jobs, someone who is capable of conceiving new ideas or innovating, believing that the product will revolutionize the target market, predicting the unforeseen, and thinking uniquely. A key to success at Apple Inc. is tailoring the products according to the customers’ preferences and ensuring that customer needs are fulfilled efficiently and easily. (The Apple Revolution: 10 Key Moments, 2009)
How Apple Incorporates “Disruptive by Nature”
Disruptive technology typically displaces established technology and stirs the industry by introducing a ground-breaking new product which essentially creates a new industry. Such products are likely to be used in only new markets, but eventually the market expands (Bower and Christensen, 1995). Apple has made use of this tactic several times in history, for instance when it re leased the iPod, thereby creating a massive market for portable music players with disruptive traits such as immense storage capacity and quick download speed.
With the widespread acceptance of Tim Cook as Apple’s new CEO, after Steve Jobs, by investors, and massive transitions in the smartphone industry, Apple’s prospects look optimistic. Apple’s biggest rival, Samsung, is falling behind due to the failure of its strategy to “please everyone and all prices”. It seems that Apple is succeeding in providing its customers with what they desire and meeting the demands of its investors as well. If Apple manages to release its wearable device, which will portray the company’s ability to integrate hardware and software to make easy-to-use products, Apple’s growth will be boosted further (Apple's prospects are looking up as it approaches 'big announcement' Tuesday, 2014). iPhones with larger screens, better operating systems, and improved cameras are also being released, arousing the interest of software developers in the company itself. With effective leadership by Tim Cook and a continuous evolution and diversification of Apple products, the company’s prospects look favorable because it seems to have gained the trust of both customers and investors, thereby satisfying everyone.
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