Professor

Introduction

Apple Inc. is a company that majors on the design and marketing of consumer electronics, personal computers and computer software’s. Some of the best known hardware products for the company are Macintosh, iPhone, iPod, and iPads. The software products of the company include the iTunes, iLife suite, Mac SO X operating system as well as the creativity software. Apple operates a number of stores world and they have a wide reach on consumers through their online store where they sell their software and hardware products. The history of Apple is full of lows and highs and this is an aspect that is mostly associated with highly innovative companies. Apple Inc has evolved over the years and today it is an organization that is much of a representation of the leader Steven Jobs. Over the years Apple has made huge and successful product introductions but in some instances they have failed. The company most trying moments was while Steven Job left and was no longer a part of the company and during this time the survival of Apple was uncertain. But time changes and years later the company was ranked as a top performer in the year 2008 and since then though their performance have not been constant they are among the top performers and mostly in their industry. Over the coming years Apple is poised for much greater heights and they need to continue to out-innovate, out-think and out-execute their competitors in the industry and this will in away act as a great source of competitive advantage for the company.

Discussion

Reasons for Apple Ongoing success and growth

The ongoing success of apple can be greatly attributed to three main aspects that is opportunity, innovation as well as execution. In relation to innovation, they relied more on a key lesson that the Founder Steve Jobs that it was essential to skate to the place where the puck will be and this idea was borrowed great from hockey and it boils down to the idea of anticipating the key action to take so as to avoid being found unaware (Jeffrey et al. 2005). Instead of Apple focusing much on what the customers say they want through the use of market research surveys, Steve encouraged the definition of needs that the consumers did not realize they had (Gustin 2012). For instance, though a great number of Americans might have been greatly satisfied with their Sony Walkman but this was when the iPods and the iTunes never existed and when they were came into the market they changed the music industry in a drastically way and it also changed the manner in which people interacted with the music players. Another concept that is closely related to innovation so the Motorolla Rarz flip-hones were also effective until the iPhone was introduced and it demonstrated the use of smart phones beyond businesses to the use by the everyday users who in turn gained access to mobile rowing ad emails. Consumers used their mobile and undertook activities that were previously possible on the computers. Over the years the iPad had introduced a new pc in the market and ity has been very effective in that it has reshaped old tradition of the paper based reading. This is clearly evident in that people now have access to newspapers and other articles that were paper based on their mobile phones with much ease and on a timely manner (Gustin 2012).

Another reason for Apple ongoing success and growth is related to the opportunities that are available. There are three major trends that are available and they have a played an essential and productive environment for Apple to achieve success and these three aspects are the tablets, smart phones and Asia. Over the years the sales of smart phones have outnumbered the sales of the basic mobile phones. Due to the uptake of technology, a great number of people now own smart phones and this shift have in a way fueled a totally new industry and it has also reinforced the industry (Gregg 2012). In the interim, the sales of tablets have also increased over the years. When the tablets were initially introduced a great number of people were not comfortable with them but over the years this has changed greatly and a millions of consumers are now lining up to purchase the tablets. Apple has taken note of the changing tide and positioned itself at the high end of this market so as to achieve it success in the electronics industry. Additionally, the Asian market and other developing markets have been essential for the success and growth of Apple since the markets are booming and business potential of Apple is beyond doubt staggering. The Asian market and the emerging markets have millions of possible consumers who are likely to make purchases of Apple products. In 2012, the sale of Apple Inc. countries such as China had tripled and these figures were not inclusive of the sales of the new iPad which Apple had decided to hold back since they could not produce enough pieces at the time. About 55% of the sales were from their foreign markets (Gustin 2012). Based on this aspects Apple need to keep up with their innovation for them to continue achieving success and growth in the coming years and this will enable them to be optimistic and mostly in relation to the growth of their sales figures internationally.

Another aspect that had led to the success and growth of Apple over the years is execution. After Steve Jobs left the company Cook took up the role of the CEO and he inherited a good thing form Steve Jobs. Based on the fact that Cook had worked as the COO of Apple he played a key role in honing the production as well as the supply-chain success of Apple. Cook was also of great importance but at the same time an extremely focused as well as driven operational thinker and thus he proved to be a major and the perfect replacement for the visionary leader Steve Jobs (Passemard 2000). After the demise of Steve Jobs the mostly tasking role that Cook had to undertake was to execute the vision that had been articulated by Jobs in the three decades and so far he has been successful and this had made the company to be in an enviable and unusual position of being a global corporate giant. In this regard Apple accurately cannot meet the high demands for their products. Cook has provided the much needed levelheadedness and this have been beneficial to Apple after the mercurial and brilliant of Steve Jobs. Cook have dealt well with queries related the supply chain working conditions and more importantly in the Chinese industrial giant Foxconn(Tam 2010).

Factors that contributed to Apples success and ongoing viability

A major factor that can be attributed to the success of Apple and its ongoing viability is the ease of use of the devices that it provides to the consumers. Despite the fact that industrial design seems to be an essential component to a great number of products that Apple provides to the consumers, it would be of no use when the devices are not easy to use and therefore they may be considered worthless of the consumers (Adam 2013). This aspects is what have driven Apple user interface design since their inception and even to date it is still a mantra that have been used to the software and hardware engineers in the company as they develop new devices. All of Apple’s products need to be intuitive and at the same time easy to use, understand and learn. The task of keeping the design and the user interface simple seems to be difficult due to the technological advancements and users therefore need and are provided with a more features to interact with. Apple also makes a great number of producers for the rookies and the power users and this translates into a broad range of the ease of use issues (Adam 2013). Apple seems to be at the front line at making their products easy to use and thus more emphasis is made to this aspect as opposed to the product itself. This seems to be an issue that most consumers tend to look at for and mostly especially the older ones.

Another major success factor is their customer service. Consumers are essential components of a business and for a business to achieve success it need to treat the consumers well and through this the customers will always act as advocates for the products and also refer the brand to their heir friends and families (Adam 2013). The founder of Apple was well aware of the major mystery of technology and he noted that despite creating products with ease of use there are wide range of things and consumers want to use the technology for and this in a way creates complexity. In relation to these aspects, the consumers of products need some guidance from time to time and a place where they can raise concerns, queries and complaints. People thought it was crazy and unrealistic for Apple to go into retail since over a considerable period of time the tech retail stores have been on the decline and their products are sold in big-box stores who majors only on the price. This retail strategy applied by Apple seemed to be a successful one since Apple makes use of the conundrum for its own advantage. This is based on the notion that it keeps the product simple and also the sales people who are based on the stores are well aware of the products they are selling. Their customer service at their stores is also excellent and instead of asking the consumers what they should e assisted with they instead them what they would like to do. By doing this, they go in the heart of the technology user (Laugesen & Yuan 2010). A great number of Apples products are simple to use and understand but in instances when a consumer experience a problem ones issues are addressed on spot or over the iPhone leaving the customer satisfied with the product as well as with the service given.

Another success factor of Apple Inc. is that it only majors or products when they can offer the consumers with better options that the ones that are available in the market. For sure Apple invented the first ever PC for commercial sale and at the same time it also invented the Mac which improved the PCs with a mouse input and user interface (Dyer, Kale & Singh 2004). Bit after these products, the subsequent products are recreations of already existing products. For instance Apple did not invent the MP3 player and as a matter of fact it reinvented it and made it better than the previous model. Subsequently Apple was not the inventor of the Smartphone but it reinvented it and made it better as compared to the initial one. This is based on a notion that Apple holds greatly that their main goal is just simple which is to design and make better and improved products. Based on these, if Apple cannot make a product is than it is currently they see no need to doing it. This thinking was applied at Apple for their iPods, smart phones and also on their iPad (Johnson et al. 2012).

Additionally, Apple always stays ahead of their competitors in the market with at least two years and this mainly scares their competitors in the industry a great deal. For a company to be competitive and reap the benefits it needs to be ahead of the competitors always (Clulow, Gerstman & Barry 2003). This will for a considerable amount of time remain a major nightmare for Apple competitors. Another success factor is that the company has available cash that they use to invent components, manufacturing processes and this further makes it impossible for the competitors to be ahead of Apple. Though android has been termed as the number one smart phone operating system the real measure of success iOS based on profits and Apple seems to be ahead on this aspect. Another factor that has contributed to the success of Apple is their advertising and differentiation prowess. Throughout the company history, Apple is widely recognized for their advertisements which are usually planned with the main intention initiating a set up of marketing of its brands to the consumers. A good example of a successful marketing campaign by Apple is the 200os iPod people campaign. Most of Apples advertising efforts focuses more on the special events and other keynotes such as seminars for example the Mac World Expo and the Apple Expo (Bajarin 2012).

Challenges that Apple have overcome over the years

Despite the success that Apple has received over the years they have faced a number of challenges in their operation. One of the major challenge is that Apple has faced is that at the fact rate at which technological advancements are taking place, it is really tasking to keep up with the technological advancements and also the prices at which the products are sold at. Apple faces constant rivals and mostly in regard to price since some of their competitors offer lower prices which are in a way affordable in the current economy where everyone is interested in a way of saving money (Singh 2012). Apple needs to take note of this challenge and provide products that are of highly quality and consumers will be willing to pay higher prices for high quality products.

Another major challenge that Apple Inc. faces is that at times it fails to meet the demand of the consumers. Apple seems to be having a hard time in balancing their production and the demand of their products so as to meet the needs of the consumers. This is more likely to lead to a shortage of their products. in an ideal world, Apple need to be in a position where they are being able to manufacture enough devices so as to cater for the high demand, since when consumers wait for a longer period of time it is more likely that they may decide to do away with the purchase or purchase products from their close competitors. This need to e addressed in the most appropriate manner for Apple to meet their sales projections over the years.

Another challenge relates to their the various accusation that they are facing such as vendor lock-in practices, iTunes, collusion w record labels, Adobe Flash prohibition on IOS and the Google voice controversy. In this regard Apple have faced a lot of controversy and mostly in relation to the closed ecosystem that they used in its music store (Thompson 2007) and this led to court battles since they were accused of antitrust violations and most specifically on the iTunes and the iPods (Kroll 1999). Additionally, Apple faces a challenge of growing beyond the iPhone. As of today Apple can be considered as the IPhone Corporation since the company greatly relies on the iphones. In relation to these, Apple revenues derived from the sales of iPhone was at 46% in 2012. The sales grew to almost 63% in the year 2015. Apple also missed the projections which had been set by the Wall Street for their last quarter and this was not the norm as Apple always met the projections. Though the iPhone is selling well much of the can be attributed to the new markets and most especially to their market in China. When everyone who is in need of an iPhone gets ones the sales figures will decrease. Based on the product lifecycle products undergoes through the process of birth, growth as well as decline. Apple has already undergone these with two of its products. At the present the iPhone seems to be at its growth stage but with time the sales will decrease and they need to take note of these. Based on the product lifecycle, Apple Inc. need to have another product that will replace the iPhone in the market. This will be beneficial to them in that with the new product they can target the same group of customers who are already using their products (Warf & Stutz 2007).

Another challenge that that Apple needs to deals with is that they need to improve the quality of their software. In 2015, Apple released updates that were very Buggy updates in comparison to their earlier releases. IOS 9 made use of devices that had worked well and them frustrating to use. This seems to be a major blow for their customers and they feel frustrated in that they have paid high dollar for the products and they should not be dealing with such issues. This makes Apple appear shoddy and most especially due to their tight control on their hardware. In this regard, Apple need to develop software that if of high quality when this is coupled with their ease to use interface they are likely to attract a great number of customers and mostly those who were making use of devices from their competitors (Thompson 2007). For Apple to succeed it need to address the various challenges and this will in a way act as a source of their competitive advantage against their core competitors in the industry.

Conclusion

Based on the above discussion it is evident that Apple has experienced good times and bad times over the years. The bad times occurred when the founder Steve Job died. The ongoing success of Apple can be greatly attributed to three main aspects that are opportunity, innovation as well as execution. Apple made use of these aspects and thus they attained success y increasing their revenues which determined their success in the global market. The constructed success of Apple can be attributed to a great number of factors such as the ease of use of the devices that it provides to the consumers, good customer service which seems to be essential in retaining the already existing customers and attracting new ones since the loyal customers are more likely to act as advocates for the company products. For Apple to succeed it need to address the various challenges and this will in a way act as a source of their competitive advantage against their core competitors in the industry.

References

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