Apple Incorporation is one of the most successful organizations in the world because of its superior business model. The company’s headquarters are situated in Cupertino, California. It remains a leading designer, marketer, and developer of computer software, handheld consumer electronics, and online services. This U.S. multinational corporation trades its stock on the New York Stocks Exchange. In 2018, Apple became the first company to be valued above 1 trillion US dollars. This paper gives a detailed analysis of this corporation’s history, products and services, marketing strategies, and financial profile.
Apple Incorporation began as Apple Computers, Inc. in the year 1976 when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs decided to start a small firm to transform the way human beings interact with emerging technologies. Since the era of computers had become a reality by the 1970s, these two entrepreneurs developed smaller systems that would be used in many offices and homes. The ultimate idea behind this new company was to produce user-friendly computers that met the needs of all people. The first product was a computer called “Apple I” that laced a monitor, casing, and a keyboard. Such features would be added a year later. This led to the production of Apple II, a new system that presented color graphics to the user. By 1980, the company had already gone public with sales of over 120 million US dollars (Zhang, p. 40). Unfortunately, Wozniak left Apple in the year 1983. Jobs would later quit his position in 1985 (Zhang, p. 40). This was the case since the entry of John Sculley as the company’s president resulted in controversy. Jobs would start a new company by the name NeXT Software. This organization would later become a leading producer of computer animations and movies.
Between 1985 and 1996, Apple’s market share declined significantly and made it impossible for the company to achieve its objectives. The lack of a superior operating system (OS) for its products made it impossible for this organization to market its products successfully. In 1997, Jobs returns to Apple and became its interim CEO (Aljafari, p. 409). His re-entry led to a new partnership with Microsoft that resulted in the production of a Mac version.
Within the next few years, Steve Jobs managed to revamp the existing computers by introducing new products, including the iBook. He also identified other items that would diversify the company and make it more competitive in the global market. He achieved this objective by producing the iPod and a media player application software called iTunes (Aljafari, p. 409). These two products worked synergistically and became successful for this company. In the recent past, Apple has released its revolutionary iPhone and the Apple TV. Despite Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, this organization has continued to support and improve its original model (Kim and Mauborgne, p. 36). Consequently, its leaders always push the limits of technological innovation to deliver valuable items, apps, and products to its global customers.
Company Products and Services
The success of Apple Incorporation is attributable to its diverse products and sustainable business model. The first product line is the Mac computer and its software. The leading ones include MacBook Air, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, and iMac (Zhang, p. 40). The company introduced its iMac in the year 1998 and made it the prototype for designing new computers (Kim and Mauborgne, p. 39). Additionally, Apple markets various accessories that support the performance of Macs, such as Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Thunderbolt Display (Zhang, p. 41). The next product is the iPod. Since 2001, the iPod has remained an iconic digital player that meets the diverse expectations of many people across the world (Kim and Mauborgne, p. 48). It has partnered with Nike to market the Nike+iPod sports kit that makes it possible for runners to meet their aims. The iPhone remains a reputable product that presents a convergence of the iPod, smartphone, and the Internet (Zhang, p. 42). The first iPhone device was produced and released in the market in the year 2007 (Kim and Mauborgne, p. 51). The second version was the iPhone 3G that was released in 2008. These original smartphones have been followed by iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and iPhone XS. Each subsequent device delivers additional features and increased processing speeds to the users.
The iPad has been in the market since 2010. It offers an unforgettable experience to the customer since it has video games, photo and video apps, music, e-book reading capability, and the Safari web browser (Kim and Mauborgne, p. 52). Introduced in 2015, iPad Pro is a superior device that users can synchronize with these accessories: Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard (Aljafari, p. 412). The Apple Watch is yet another powerful device that has been in the market since 2014. It is marketed as a fitness-tracking and health product. In 2018, this corporation produced and marketed the Apple Watch Series 4 which has fall detection and electrocardiogram features (Zhang, p. 40). Apple TV is another product that has internal memory and runs on iOS software.
On top of these products, Apple Incorporation offers software applications and operating systems for its devices, including the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. It also produces the watchOS for its Apple Watch. Other key software products include Xsan, GarageBand, iMovie for film editing, and Logic Pro X (Kim and Mauborgne, p. 63). Apple’s cloud storage platform is available to customers who want to synchronize their photos, music, documents, applications, and backup systems. Apple Music is a product aimed at providing music and video streaming experience to different users. Currently, this giant corporation is planning to produce a self-driving or autonomous electric car by the year 2020 (Zhang, p. 44). To achieve this dream, Apple has partnered with engineers and professionals from several companies, such as LG Chem, Panasonic, Johnson Controls, Samsung Electronics, A123 Systems, Telsa Motors, and Toshiba (Kim and Mauborgne, p. 63). The analysis of these products and software is a clear indication that Apple intends to continue examining and fulfilling the changing demands of its global consumers.
Although Apple Incorporation is currently a leader in the global technology industry, its leaders employ a simple marketing mix that is informed by the intended goals and objectives. The outstanding attribute that makes the current approach successful is that of premium branding (Zhang, p. 44). This strategy is realized by ensuring that the 4Ps of marketing are aimed at maintaining a strong image or brand. The first element of the marketing mix is that of product. Through continuous research, Apple Incorporation has managed to innovate and design high-quality devices and software applications that resonate with the changing demands of different customers. Its main product lines include Apple Watch, iPhone, Apple TV, Mac, iPod, Cloud Services, Accessories, Digital Content, iPad, and Software (Zhang, p. 43). Most of these items or devices make it easier for its customers to store, access and use data efficiently. They also support the distribution of content and ensure that is accessible via different platforms. The innovative nature of its products explains why this company remains diversified while at the same time focusing on the changes experienced in the global information technology industry.
In terms of place, Apple Incorporation identifies the most appropriate avenues and places for distributing and delivering various devices to the identified customers. It collaborates with authorizes different parties to market its key products. This strategy entails the use of certified sellers, company-owned websites, and online stores for handheld devices, Apple Store locations, and telecommunications companies. Apple Store is an important subsidiary that operates physical stores to market different products (Aljafari, p. 428). Using the company’s website, people can purchase and download applications, games, movies, music, and other digital content that are compatible with mobile phones and other handheld devices. Apple’s agreements with various companies ensure that more customers in different parts of the world can purchase its products, such as Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. This is a clear indication that the existing marketing mix is comprehensive and capable of capitalizing on the established offline and online distribution networks or platforms.
Several methods have been put in place to ensure that all devices, apps, and software are promoted successfully. Some of them include effective public relations, sales promotions, personal selling, and advertising strategies. The corporation emphasizes the premium quality and brand image of every item available to different customers. Apple Events are considered to inform potential customers about upcoming devices. The company has gone further to establish a powerful corporate social responsibility (CSR) model that engages different stakeholders and encourages them to purchase various products. The pricing strategy focuses on these two approaches: premium and freemium (Aljafari, p. 421). The premium model ensures that its products are available at higher prices because they deliver quality and innovation to the user (Aljafari, p. 421). The freemium approach is available for different apps whereby customers can download them for free. However, additional or advanced features are available at a specified fee. This is a clear indication that the marketing mix put in place resonates with the corporation’s premium branding and product development efforts. Such measures have made it possible for this organization to remain profitable while at the same time presenting unforgettable experiences to the targeted clients.
The marketing strategy Apple adopts and implements presents several insights and lessons that other organizations can emulate. For instance, it embraces the concept of product placement to ensure that all devices are capable of meeting the present demands of all potential customers. It creates excellent experiences for all clients throughout the marketing process. Apple has always developed an aura around its model and ability to empower its customers (Aljafari, p. 439). The products are also of superior quality, something that does not make pricing an issue. This means that all potential customers admire the company’s devices and software applications since they support their objectives.
Company Financial Profile
Apple Incorporation is currently the biggest information technology in the world by revenue and total assets. For instance, its earnings for 2018 were around 265.6 billion US dollars (Zhang, p. 39). The net income during the same period was 59.5 billion US dollars (Zhang, p. 40). In August 2018, the company was identified as the first U.S. corporation to have a market value of over 1 trillion US dollars (Zhang, p. 43). Apple Corporation’s current ratio for the past twelve months is 5.2x (Zhang, p. 44). In 2017, a report released by the Wall Street Journal revealed that this company’s cash reserves amounted to around 250 billion US dollars (Zhang, p. 45). These features or attributes show that Apple Incorporation is a profitable organization that investors should follow keenly.
Apple has been focusing on the most appropriate initiatives to achieve its potential and remain a global leader. Its total equity for 2018 was 107.1 billion US dollars (Zhang, p. 44). Its assets for 2018 amounted to around 365.7 US dollars (Zhang, p. 44). Experts acknowledge that this company will continue to record positive financial performance in the future. A detailed analysis of these ratios and measures can make it easier for many investors to formulate their decisions and eventually realize their goals.
The above research has identified Apple Incorporation as a profitable company that innovates and produces exemplary products that resonate with the changing demands of its customers. Within the past three decades, this organization has been innovating premium apps and devices that are marketed using a superior model. Different departments work synergistically to ensure that every innovative practice is aimed at delivering a desirable consumer experience and ensuring that Apple remains a leading competitor in the global digital, software, hardware, and computer industries. Firms that want to emerge successful can, therefore, study and imitate Apple’s business model.
- Aljafari, Abdulla. “Apple Inc. Industry Analysis Business Policy and Strategy.” International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, vol. 7, no. 3, 2016, pp. 406-441.
- Kim, W. Chan, and Reéne Mauborgne. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant. Harvard Business Review Press, 2015.
- Zhang, Qian. “Research on Apple Inc’s Current Developing Conditions.” Open Journal of Business and Management, vol. 6, no. 1, 2018, pp. 39-46.