Apple Company’s Sustainability, Values and Innovation

Abstract

Apple has been known in the IT market for quite a while due to the disruptive technology and the brilliant solutions that have become its brand image. The company has developed an impressive competitive advantage, thus, remaining successful even when the organizations such as Samsung started to deliver the products of comparable quality and price. The focus on sustainability and consistent innovation helped the organization maintain a top position in the global IT market.

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However, recent problems with the quality of the product (particularly, the exploding smartphones), the efficacy of product delivery, etc., have contributed to a drop in Apple’s market prices and, therefore, jeopardized its success in the global economy. Therefore, a shift in the company’s focus and a change in its values is required to promote the active quality enhancement and the exploration of new economic environments. Thus, the premises for success can be built.

Introductory Statement

Apple, Inc. has been known for its innovative approaches and original, inimitable products for quite a while. The company has established a very strong presence in the target market by building a competitive advantage that could not possibly be rivaled by organizations with less rigid quality standards. That being said, Apple has been facing significant challenges in the realm of the global economy due to the necessity to maintain the quality standards high and deliver the products that meet the demands of the target population.

Despite the impressive competition rates in the global market and the threat of being ousted from the market by Samsung, which also maintains a rather positive presence in the global market, Apple has managed to cement its position due to the ability to create value based on the ever-improving quality standards and the use of innovative ideas that often reinvent the very foundation for the communication and technology industry.

A closer look at the very foundation on which the company stands will reveal that its propensity to deploy innovative solutions based on the principles of sustainability are implanted in its very framework. Particularly, Apple’s values revolve around the introduction of innovative solutions with the focus on sustainable use of resources (Donker et al., 2013). The identified approach toward using the available assets makes the organization significantly different from its rival, Samsung, which views the comfort and satisfaction of its customers as its primary goal.

Although Samsung’s position can also be deemed as reasonable, it fails to embrace the necessity to cater to the needs of the target populations on a global level, i.e., with a deep understanding of the impact that the organization’s operations have on every stakeholder. Therefore, Apple’s current success should be attributed to the unique amalgam of a sustainability-based policy of using the available resources and the consistent innovative thinking that move the organization forward and contribute to an unceasing improvement of the production quality.

Executive Summary

Apple has been branding itself as an innovative company that promotes the sustainable use of resources and delivers the products and services of the finest quality. However, recent issues in the quality of the end product, the timeliness of its delivery, etc., have affected the company’s position in the global economy realm. With Samsung being a very competent and quite dangerous rival, Apple needs to redesign its current approach toward a range of aspects of its operations, quality management, demand forecasting, and the exploration of new markets being the key ones.

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The recent drop in market share levels has been rather unfortunate for both Apple’s smartphone and Samsung’s Galaxy. However, while the latter managed to bounce back successfully, Apple has been rather slow in its endeavors at restoring its current position in the global market. The pricing issues associated with the company have also had its toll on Apple’s popularity, leading to an inevitable drop in the levels of customer loyalty.

However, the fact that the firm has been known for its innovativeness and sustainable approach toward resource management makes the current position of the company somewhat less shaky. Because of its positive reputation, Apple has the chance of improving its product quality and attracting new audiences. To make sure that the identified tasks should be completed flawlessly, Apple must alter its current value system and corporate philosophy slightly so that more active promotion of consistent quality improvement could become a possibility.

Main Issues

In retrospect, when determining what made Appel so popular, one must mention the fact that the company has always viewed the combination of innovation, creativity, and the current fashion trends as the basis for its creative solutions. For instance, the organization has been quite prosperous and is likely to attain even greater success in the future, with its market share increasing consistently. That being said, the current financial situation in the company shows that, along with Samsung and its brand Galaxy phone, Apple has been struggling to maintain its presence in the target market because of the recent problem with exploring smartphones (Reisinger, 2017).

It would be wrong to claim that Apple’s progress has been impeccable throughout its entire existence. Like any other organization, Apple has seen rises and falls, yet the principles of sustainability that the firm adopted as the foundation for the use of its resources, including not only financial but also HR-related ones, allowed Apple to maintain its success rates high. Furthermore, there are some dents in the current approach used by the company to market its products and services, the famous iPhone not being an exception.

When considering the main issues that Apple has been having with its brand products, one must mention the pricing issues first. Indeed, even in the realm of IT products, where prices are high due to the expenses associated with the production, the R&D processes, etc., Apple has been known for its outstandingly high prices for the iPhone.

It is the supply issue, however, that must be viewed as the primary reason for concern for Apple at present. According to a recent report, the organization has been experiencing difficulties with the provision of the required products for the target population. AirPods can be viewed as the most graphic and infamous example of a product delivered too late for it to enjoy any modicum of success among the target population (Strayer, Cooper, Turrill, Coleman, & Hopman, 2017).

Therefore, while being admittedly successful, Apple has been experiencing certain issues over the past few months. Because of the need to maintain its competitive advantage high and at the same time improve the areas such as the supply chain management, R&D, and market research, the organization will have to reconsider its current approach to some of the crucial corporate processes, including the management of the production process and the human resources.

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Discussion of Main Issues

Much to its credit, Apple has managed to find a niche market where even extremely high prices are viewed as an advantage. Particularly, the recent foray into the Japanese market deserves to be mentioned. Studies show that Japanese customers tend to consider expensive products as the mark of the buyer’s status and, therefore, are willing to purchase expensive items (Paul, 2015).

The tendency to celebrate luxury as the desired lifestyle has been rather strong among Japanese customers, which predetermined the success of Apple products, particularly, iPhones, among the target population: “According to luxury analysts, the luxury brands succeeded in making Japan as the world’s largest market for luxury brands, accounting for anywhere between 12 and 40 percent of global sales, depending on the market definition” (Paul, 2015, p. 693). Therefore, by introducing its products to the Japanese population as the symbol of a luxurious lifestyle, Apple made its product incredibly popular among the target customers.

Nevertheless, the current pricing strategy makes the organization less popular in Europe and the U.S., therefore, intensifying the rivalry between Apple and Samsung. Therefore, the reconsideration of the current approach toward the allocation of the financial resources, the waste management framework, and other aspects of the company’s operations that lead to a rise in expenses, need to be reconsidered immediately. While the principles of sustainability and the focus on customer satisfaction have been keeping Apple at the top of the market for years, a minor issue may set its progress back significantly, making it more vulnerable to the strategic choices made by Samsun and similar rivaling companies.

When considering the issues associated with the timeliness of the product delivery, though, one must mention that the problem is much more intricate and convoluted than the organization is willing to admit. Particularly, the reasons for the failure to deliver the product on time are very difficult to identify. One might blame the inability of the organization to forecast the demands among the target audience for the identified failure and the similar problems faced by Apple over the past few months.

However, information management concerns are not the only factors that contribute to the untimely delivery of services. In addition to the failure to identify the tendencies among buyers, Apple has also been displaying a rather troubling inability to get its priorities straight and, therefore, determine the appropriate strategy for allocating its resources (Apple’s iPads will help crack the $3 trillion health care sector, 2017).

Therefore, Apple seems to be in desperate need of a rearrangement of its current system of management. Even though the values of the organization are in order, there has been a lack of compliance with the corporate philosophy, ethics, and standards. Therefore, a change in the leadership approach, as well as the focus on quality improvement, staff motivation, and information management should be interpreted as the key priorities for the firm at present.

The emphasis on the significance of appropriate information management should also be reinforced as one of the foundational concepts by which the operations within the firm should be managed. Particularly, it is imperative that every single staff member should remain motivated to excel in their endeavors and engage in the active transfer of the relevant data. Hus, the instances of mismanagement and the failure to meet the deadlines can be avoided successfully, and the demands of the target population will be met successfully.

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Furthermore, to cement the company’s success in the global market and prevent Samsung from surpassing it and its Galaxy phone, Apple should adopt the forecasting framework that will; allow it not only taking the current trends into account but also determining the ones that are bound to occur in the nearest future. As a result, the foundation for improving customer satisfaction levels and building loyalty among the target population will be created.

It is also desirable that Apple should use its ability to transcend the industry of computer industry and enter the realm of other domains and markets should be used as the basis for the further expansion of the company. Particularly, it can be advised that Apple should enter the healthcare market by introducing innovative tools for communication between patients and healthcare providers. A recent foray into the identified industry shoed that it contains a significant potential that needs to be explored, and that Apple will be able to deliver the services and products of the required quality to improve patient outcomes. Particularly, the report shows that Apple has created a potentially disruptive technology that will allow for a rapid improvement in the delivery of healthcare services:

Cedars Sinai has also come a long way with its use of HealthKit and other iOS offerings. As of this week, patients can log in to their medical chart, click a download button, access a copy of their medical record, and port it to their Apple health app on a smartphone. That way, they can show it to any doctor they opt to see, even if they leave Cedars Sinai. (Apple’s iPads will help crack the $3 trillion health care sector, 2017)

Therefore, the organization must continue exploring the healthcare market as the area where it is likely to achieve tremendous success. Furthermore, because of the recent problems with the timeliness of the delivery of the product, it will be crucial to carry out an all-embracive study of the healthcare market and define the factors that will affect the delivery of the products. As a result, the foundation for satisfying the needs of the customers will be created, whereas the threats of being ousted from the identified market niche by competitors will be avoided successfully. Furthermore, the devices produced by the company can become very popular in the domain of healthcare education as the means of encouraging the faster and more efficient acquisition of the relevant skills and knowledge by nurses:

Some medical schools have adopted a program to introduce the iPad among students’ curriculum. This is the case of the Yale School of Medicine for example. They have provided an iPad for all students since 2011 [5]. However, since last year, they have given a stipend to purchase an iPad mini. This initiative is extremely popular among third-year students. (Ponce, Mendez, & Penalvo, 2014, p. 4654)

Finally, Apple can view the opportunity for promoting a better communication process between nurses and patients as the possibility for improving its operations and preventing Samsung from surpassing it in the realm of the global IT market. Therefore, the current approach based on sustainability and customer satisfaction used by Apple should be encouraged. However, new elements, such as the significance of exploring new markets and identifying future trends in the IT industry, should also be introduced into the company’s framework. Finally, the approach toward the supply chain management that the firm is using at present needs to be revisited so that more efficient delivery of the requested services could become a possibility.

Summary and Conclusion

Apple has been enjoying impressive success in the global market for quite a while. However, the recent issue associated with the new demands, the necessity to meet tighter deadlines and more rigid quality standards, etc., have posed a threat to Apple’s ability to remain competitive in the market where powerful competitors such as Samsung operate. Therefore, the organization must redesign its current approach toward information management and compliance with the existing quality standards. A steep rise in the quality of the services must become the foundation for the company’s operations in the future.

Also, the present-day pricing strategy used by the firm will have to be revisited. Apple managed to appeal to the unique characteristics of specific customers, such as Japanese buyers, who are willing to purchase luxurious and expensive items to retain their status in the society. However, for European and American markets, the identified approach will not suffice, which means that Apple will have to come up with a new pricing strategy.

Furthermore, the financial issues such as the falling market share will have to be managed so that Apple should remain competitive and be able to beat Samsung successfully. As stressed above, the problems with the quality of iPhones, which showed the tendency to explode because of a faulty production process and the inherent defects, have aggravated the market situation for Apple. Thus, the organization must reinforce its position in the target environment. By creating the value that will cement its position as an innovative, reliable, and efficient organization, Apple will be able to maintain its competitive advantage high. Therefore, the exploration of the healthcare realm as the potential market where apple may become a success is strongly advised.

References

Apple’s iPads will help crack the $3 trillion health care sector. (2017). Web.

Donker, T., Petrie, K., Proudfoot, J., Clarke, J., Birch, M. R., & Christensen, H. (2013). Smartphones for smarter delivery of mental health programs: A systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15(11), 247.

Paul, J. (2015). Masstige marketing redefined and mapped: Introducing a pyramid model and MMS measure. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 33(5), 691-706.

Ponce, L. B., Mendez, J. A. J., & Penalvo, F. J. G. (2014). Analysis of mobile devices as a support tool for professional medical education in the university school (pp. 4653-4658). Proceedings of EDULEARN14 Conference. Barcelona: EDULEARN14.

Reisinger, D. (2017). Apple and Samsung stumble as smartphone market soars. Fortune. Web.

Strayer, D. L., Cooper, J. M., Turrill, J., Coleman, J. R., & Hopman, R. J. (2017). The smartphone and the driver’s cognitive workload: A comparison of Apple, Google, and Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistants. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71(2), 93-110.

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