Introduction and Background of the Organization
Apple is one of the global corporations that produce computers and smartphones. Our group decided to choose Apple company for this project because of its widely-known success and high-quality products. This company offers customers innovative ideas and shares valuable decisions. Except for computers and notebooks, Apple offers a set of iPhone smartphones that are characterized by touch screen technology, excellent mobile connection, and attractive design. The vision of the company is to focus on innovation and simplicity to make an important contribution to the technology industry and people. The mission states that Apple strives to define the future of mobile devices and computers. This means that the company intends to develop its products and improve them. Apple presents the two industries, including mobile electronics and computers. This paper focuses on the iPhone. To achieve its goals, the company uses a global strategy, treating the world as a unified market. In other words, the products are based on the same principles for different countries with minor changes.
Apple Corporation understands that culture is an integral part of every global company as it identifies key values and leads on the way to success. The first cultural value is diversity. It states that Apple wants to reflect the world and serve people regardless of their age, ethnicity, and gender (Viswanathan). That is why the company hires employees from underrepresented minorities such as Hispanics, African Americans, and others. The official website of the company offers the following definition of diversity: “We see diversity as everything that makes an employee who they are” (Apple). Trying to provide diversity, the company not only hires people from the mentioned groups but also provides them with all the necessary conditions.
The second cultural value implies equality. Every process and procedure is traditionally based on equal characteristics. It may include equal and fair pay, working environment, benefits, and opportunities to build a career (Apple). Regardless of race or gender, employees earn the same amount of money for the same position. One more cultural value proposed by Apple refers to creativity. The employees are expected to show their knowledge and, most importantly, the ability to think innovatively. This point is especially significant for product designers as they develop business solutions to make products relevant to the customers’ expectations (Apple). Also, creativity is necessary to come up with innovative ideas and implement them in practice. The fourth cultural value supported by the company since its establishment is secrecy. Confidentiality terms are clearly described in the policies and regulations of Apple, protecting employees’ information, and the company’s proprietary data. The mentioned value reduces the possibility of corporate espionage and also protects employees.
The cultural values that were listed above seem to be quite important and justified in the context of the modern world. Taking into account that technology is developing faster than ever, and countries tend to blur their boundaries following globalization, one may note that these values are critical to ensuring the effectiveness of Apple. In general, the company provides a comprehensive organizational culture, paying attention to both employees’ needs and their own goals. Apple management understands that in conditions of continuous change, it is of great importance to maintain diversity, equality, innovativeness, and confidentiality. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that the described values cause Apple’s global success. Comparing these values and the company’s overall culture with its vision and mission, one may say that the first ones are appropriate for the latter. The culture is the factor that helps to motivate and inspire employees to achieve new goals and expand their horizons. As a result, they become highly-motivated and able to offer innovative products as well as improve the current ones by adding new features. At the same time, the products remain simple, user-friendly, and intuitive. Thus, the organizational culture of Apple can be evaluated as properly elaborate and comprehensive.
The mobile electronics industry changes rapidly and presents new products more often than any other similar business area. Several political factors may impact Apple as it has contracts with many countries some of which may have political conflicts (Khan et al. 958). However, in case the politics of these countries remain stable, this factor creates the opportunity because the minimum political impact can be made. The economic factors are also significant for the company. For example, the quick growth of developing countries provides opportunities to expand the business and collaborate effectively (Wilhelm). Another potential trend is associated with the fact that many developed countries have stable economies. It helps to make a prognosis for long periods of time and plan future actions.
Such a challenge as the threat of new entrants in the industry increases Apple’s competitiveness. The threat of new competitors in the industry always stays an important area of the company’s concerns as strategic solutions of principal rivals usually have a crucial impact on this factor. The mobile electronics industry is quite closed to the entry of new competitors that weakens the competition in this industry. Nonetheless, being a well-known brand and forming the loyalty of customers over time, Apple may adjust costs to competitors’ products. To remain competitive, the company properly monitors the demand for the digital market and keeps the ability to speedily present the target audience what it needs (Khan et al. 960). Taking into account that technological progress develops faster than ever, it should be noted that industrial factors may also affect Apple’s performance. In particular, the growing apps market presents essential grounds for the extension of services offered by Apple. The App Store can be enlarged to attract customers and meet their requirements.
The key aim of Apple’s external strategy model is to adapt to the competitive environment. Namely, Apple’s marketing philosophy stands on three pillars, including understanding the feelings and needs of customers, the maximum focus on the company’s interactions, and the primary role of the new product presentation (Wilhelm). Apple sells iPhones while its corporate slogan summarizes what customers actually buy: their dreams. In general, the external environment seems to present various hopeful opportunities while challenges are minimal.
SWOT analysis is a useful tool to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats an organization may face. Let us consider each of the mentioned points in detail.
One of the most important strong points of Apple is its stable market position as the main purpose of the company is to provide people high-quality products with perfect design and service. The motivation they have for iPhone may be defined in the following way: to offer the best smartphone technology to students, teachers, people of creative professions, and customers around the world through its innovative hardware solutions, software, and network applications (Apple). Providing such a comprehensive distribution strategy, Apple has a number of target audiences.
Along with uniqueness, one may note that Apple provides access to the iTunes Store to music lovers from all over the globe. Users can also take in rent or buy movies from iTunes Store by major film studios, including Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and so on. iTunes Store involves the revolutionary App Store, which presents more than 650 000 applications to users from 155 countries (Wakabayashi). Also, it is the best resource for users of the iPhone to find, legally buy, and download music from the Internet. Such a variety of entertainment creates greater interest in the product and serves as an extra channel of information sharing. Developing an iPhone as an integral device, Apple gains excellent performance of its product in comparison to the powerful Samsung products, for example.
Among other strengths, there are customer loyalty, well-organized financial performance, retail stores, and brand reputation.
Among the problems faced by the company, one might note the current decrease in profits of the iPhone and Apple’s overdependence on it. According to Goel, “in 2016, the company posted revenue of $42.4 billion, down 15 percent compared with the same quarter last year”. For the first time in many years, iPhone sales have fallen significantly against the backdrop of the lack of significant changes in the iOS and iPhone 6s. A considerable role in this was played by the desire of customers to wait for the next version of the iPhone. However, the main thing here is the competition with Android and cheap Chinese smartphones. However, Apple feels quite comfortable in a situation when the sale of smartphone device categories loses share in the revenue.
Incompatibility with other operational systems (OSs) is one more weakness. Moreover, the company uses different hardware. In this connection, customers may experience certain difficulties while trying to integrate several devices. For example, Microsoft OS users may detect that it is quite difficult to use a completely new OS. The same can be said of apps as those that can be downloaded from Google Play can be unavailable on iTunes Store.
Apple always monitors the latest innovations and trends. It intends to implement them in products. Recently, the company expressed its concern in both augmented and virtual realities. For example, Apple registered a patent for technology offering improved visual routing capabilities focused on camera (Apple). Apple could become the first company, offering augmented reality contact lenses, which are currently being developed by EP Global Communications. Besides, the Internet of Things (IoT) market seems to raise in the future, presenting a fruitful platform for expansion (Wilhelm). Also, Apple has its personal software platform that can serve as a place for the integration of various devices.
It is difficult to imagine that iPhone can be substituted by some other product or brand. It should be another revolution in the field of the mobile technology industry to eclipse the iPhone. This situation is caused by the innovativeness of the product. “Think different” is a slogan of the company. Therefore, Apple may benefit from focusing on research and development to maintain a continuous improvement strategy.
Another opportunity is associated with mobile payment promotion. Considering that people tend to pay more via electronic means, it is possible to suggest that the mobile payment market will grow significantly. As for iPhone, customers having Apple Watch may pay by near field communication (NFC) technology that is a contactless terminal. This option seems to be convenient and time-saving for customers.
First, there is a risk of new competitors’ entrance and strengthening of the existing ones, such as Blackberry or Nokia. Meanwhile, being a partially free platform, Android may present a considerable threat to iPhone (Viswanathan). Some other companies also supply microprocessor chips that control motion sensors, cameras, and other functions. Second, it should be noted that the iPhone is a luxury product, and the price is the central topic to be discussed and frequently subjected to the dissatisfaction of customers. Third, the risk of data breaches also exists. Apple collects and stores customers’ personal information, including names, credit card numbers, and so on. Despite protection mechanisms, data is sometimes stolen. This can lead to customer dissatisfaction and subsequently reduced sales.
Summary and Conclusion
In conclusion, it should be noted that the iPhone is the most recognizable and popular smartphone on the planet. Apple company has a strong vision of its goals and mission directed at the provision of the best products, defining the future of computers and mobile devices. Generally speaking, the company can be evaluated as an appropriately organized and effectively managed one. The external environment mainly presents opportunities for development. Even though Apple faces some threats and has certain weaknesses, its strong points and opportunities prevail. For example, clear vision, customer loyalty, uniqueness, a stable market position as well as the ability to come up with new ideas such as IoT or virtual reality technology seem to be quite promising. The vision, mission, and products are oriented to the future, namely, to changing industry requirements. Personally, I would like to work for Apple as its organizational culture looks attractive and comfortable for employees. Also, I would like to work with skilled professionals on interesting and innovative projects, thus contributing to the improvement of Apple technology and my own professional growth.
Apple. 2017. Web.
Goel, Vindu. “Apple’s IPhone Sales Drop Again, but Services Are a Bright Spot.” The New York Times. 2016. Web.
Khan, Usman Ali, et al. “A Critical Analysis of Internal and External Environment of Apple Inc.” International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, vol. 3, no. 6, 2015, pp. 955–967.
Viswanathan, Priya. “What Makes Apple So Special and Desirable?” Lifewire. 2016. Web.
Wakabayashi, Daisuke. “Apple IPhone Sales Grow at Slowest Rate Ever.” WSJ. 2016. Web.
Wilhelm, Alex. “Apple CEO Tim Cook Says iPhone Expansion Plans Include 50 More Carriers This Quarter.” TechCrunch. 2014. Web.