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Apple Computer History

Essay by   •  September 5, 2011  •  Essay  •  947 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,196 Views

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Company History

The company started off as "Apple Computer" by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, a pair of 20-something college dropouts in 1976. Despite a strong brand, rapid growth and high profit in the late 1980s, Apple almost went bankrupt in 1996. Jobs then went to work and transformed "Apple Computers" into "Apple Inc" with innovative and technologically sophisticated non-PC products in 2000's. By 2010, the company also viewed itself as a "mobile device company". Apple became the third -largest PC vendor in the US market with an 8% share by the end of 2009, left behind Acer. Its market capitalization went to $220 billion in spring of 2010. Through multi-million dollar marketing campaigns such as the successful "Think Different" ads and catch slogan, Apple promoted itself as a hip alternative to other computer brands. It also highlighted its computers as the world "greenest lineup of notebooks". The goal of Apple is to differentiate its products amid intense competition in the PC and mobile device industry.

Target Market

The target market for Apple falls into the following categories: Home users, small and medium sized business, education segment, younger generation and creative individuals call the "Mac users". Apple retail store concept helped consumers to look at the eye-catching products as well as directly use and experience Apple's software.

Products

The successful product line of Apple Inc. consists of Macintosh, iPod series, iPhone series, iPad, iMac. Apple had two notable products that failed to live up to expectation namely Mac Mini and Apple TV.

Competitors

Jobs viewed Apple's control of both hardware and software as strength. Apple has a highly innovative product line that aims to deliver a cutting-edge, highly integrated user experience. Since Apple Inc. has a diverse product line, it faces competition from mobile industry as well as PC industry.

Products Competitors

Macintosh and iMac IBM, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, HP

iPod series Samsung, SanDisk, Creative, Microsoft's Zune, Napster Amazon.com, Napster, internet radio sites like Pandora, Spotify

iPhone series RIM's blackberry, Nokia, Google, Motorola

iPad Amazon's kindle , Dell, HP, Samsung

Operating system Microsoft Windows, Google's Android OS

Critical factors for success

I believe that a major part of Apple, Inc.'s success fell on the fact that the introduced new, innovative products. No one in the digital entertainment market had any products even close to the iPod and iTunes technology that Apple introduced. And having such innovative product also created product differentiation for the company as well. People associated upscale and advanced products with the Apple brand. Making their products compatible with other computers besides Mac was a critical factor. Then people who didn't necessarily have the Mac computer but had an iPod could still use the product. The opening of the App Store allowed 3rd-party developers to create applications for purchase just for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Apple, Inc. also worked with other companies, such as Adobe, to make Mac-compatible programs. And making Apple software available for download to any computer platform was also a factor for success

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

1. Pioneer of innovative and high-tech quality products like iPod, iPhone, iPad and Mac

2. Globally recognized brand name

3. Large segment of loyal customers of "Apple culture"

4. Strong Research & Development Department

5. Retail stores providing the eye-catching products and experience of Apple's software

6. Strong

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