Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology giant that specializes in research, design, manufacture, and sale of a wide range of electronics, computer software and supporting online hosted services.
The global technology trend setter was founded in 1976 by entrepreneurs Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. It is famous for the development of some of the most grandeur electronics and software in the world. Today the company proudly stands at the pinnacle of innovation and creativity in the dynamic competitive sector of the global technology industry.
Originally founded to develop and sell computers, the company was named Apple Computer Inc. upon its incorporation in 1977, before the name was changed from Apple Computer Inc. to just Apple Inc. in 2007. This name change was the initial indicator of a company that would later aggressively penetrate into various technology market segments, especially consumer electronics, in an incredible commanding and dominant way that has set it out as the leader of world technology.
The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange as a part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in March, 2015. In 2014, Apple Corporation became the largest publicly traded company in the world based on market capitalization reviews, at the same time holding the spectacular record as the first American company to be valued at over 700 billion dollars.
It currently remains the largest information technology (IT) company in the world in gross assets and has grown to be the world’s second largest mobile phone manufacturer after Samsung. The company has entrenched itself into the global culture and cemented its penetration in nearly every country.
It currently boasts a total of 66,000 employees directly around the world, with additional 627,000 jobs created indirectly to support its iOS ecosystem project. Additionally, it has another 30,000 people employed in its 478 Apple stores around the world to retail Apple products and services.
Moreover, Online Apple Store and online music service ITunes, by far the largest music retailer in the world, are brainchildren of Apple. In the fiscal year ended September 2015, the Apple Corporation posted annual revenue of 233 billion dollars.
With consistent improvement and innovation, Apple enjoys near cult-level loyalty among its numerous global customers and clientele. For half a decade now, the company ranks as the most valuable corporate brand in the world according to Interbrand’s Best Global Brands Report, and Apple stock value is a proof to that. This statistics comes as no surprise given the fact that there are around one billion Apple products in the world today.
Despite having cemented its place in the corporate world, Apple has come a long way and surmounted numerous obstacles on its remarkable journey to the top. A single most strategic move that has set the stage for the steady rise of the company was its unique, revolutionary introduction of the Macintosh operating system in 1984, which literally transformed personal technology.
Today some of the most recognized Apple products include the Apple Mac series of computers, the iPod media player series, iPhone smartphone series, iPad tablet series, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Furthermore, the company has a thriving line of software and online services that consists of its four software platforms – the iOS, watchOS, macOS and tvOS, as well as other hosted online services like App Store, iCloud, Apple Music, and Apple Pay (which has brought about a new era of Apple Financing).
What is the special ingredient that drives a company from humble beginnings of lowly individuals with no college degrees to a powerful dominant force on the global stage with the ability to influence the life to an extent of almost defining it? On top of the list is out of this world quality management.
The now late charismatic and pioneering Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is rightly billed as one of the most transformative, pragmatic, and effective leaders in modern history. He successfully imparted his likeable image and personality to the company and its products as the long standing CEO until his exit from the company on 24th August 2011, to be replaced by Tim Cook.
As one of the greatest minds and most highly rated CEOs of the last four decades, Jobs gave Apple a rare advantage of being led by its own founder, actively spearheading its product designs, innovations, marketing, and brand positioning. Thus, the company enjoyed intimate and pragmatic management with its leaders taking particular interest in running virtually all its operations, from invention to customer service initiatives, thanks to someone who understood it in every way as a life- long project.
Apple Company owes its long-standing success to innovation, uniqueness, and creativity. Over the years the company has been maintaining an edge in innovation and top notch designs way ahead of its competitors. Its iPhone, for example, was a revolutionary breakthrough that completely transformed how people interact with their phones.
It is widely viewed as the influence behind most current phone technologies. In fact, most economic and technology commentators attribute Apple’s survival in the turbulent markets that preceded most of its launches to superior quality, innovations, and unique products that were meant not to sell, but to transform lives. The corporation survived the Windows driven PC with its light and sleek Apple Mac computer, despite Apple computer prices being considerably higher at the time. It also launched iPod into a market almost monopolised by Sony’s Walkman products, and iPhone into an apparently saturated cell-phone market at the time.
This, surprisingly, is despite the fact that Apple products, given their advanced and constantly improving technology, cost relatively higher than other brands. Consequently, adoration of Steve Jobs and prestige that consumers put into Apple products has resulted into a sort of personal attachment that transcends other endeavors to create a vast and passionately loyal customer base. In fact, a study by Bloom Television established that as many as slightly over 50 per cent of Apple product owners would not swap their devices and services for any other whatsoever, and it is one of the highest brand dedication rates in the world.
As Jobs would later admit, the policy to designing any Apple product is consistent – keep products simple and user centred but never compromise on quality. It is undoubtedly the reason why Apple Corporation is one of the largest net spenders on research with over 10 billion of financing allocation in 2016 alone. In addition, there is at least a two year gap between design and launch to ensure the product conforms to quality standards and meets the intended performance expectations.
The Quality Assurance team also ensures that a new product complements the existing products and does not render them as obsolete or less desirable. For instance, any prospective customer might not mind high Apple computer prices as advances in technology will most likely be complementary to the current machines and not a replacement of the present technology.
Quality and diligence that Apple customers expect do not end upon the purchase of an Apple product. The company understood that even with simple designs, technological variations and customer needs always create complexity. Thus, despite its size and far apart facilities, the company went into retail of its products and services.
Apple has ensured direct resolution of problems with hundreds of Apple Stores around the world. With this strategy, the company lives true to its philosophy of not working for just sales, but for customer experience. While most companies concentrate on aggressive marketing, Apple has largely marketed itself with the help of its own services and products.
As a leader in technology, Apple has a bright future with revenue forecasts of up to 78 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2017. The tenacity of the system established by Steve Jobs heralds good tidings for the company long after his death. Evidently, Apple’s share price has doubled under Cook. The original stock price of Apple at the IPO in 1980 was 22 dollars.
In 2016 Apple share price is worth around 115 dollars, rising by over 7 per cent in 2016 and is expected to close the year significantly higher with market rallies and investment in technology expected under Trump Presidency. It is also important to understand that with better security ratings and features Apple products are likely to provoke higher demand with increasing concern over cyber security.
With increasing ability to collect data, the company is set to produce more user specific products and bring in new solutions to long term problems. From all indications, therefore, it is perfectly logical to conclude that the company can face the future with confidence and expectation of even better prospects with equally positive outlook for the stock price of Apple.