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Apple Case Analysis

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Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple on April 1, 1976 in Santa Clara Valley, California. The two built the Apple I out of a garage and sold it. The first Apple I computer did not include a monitor, keyboard, or casing. Due to the high demand for the Apple I, Jobs realized that there was a market for small computers. He also realized that he could market the company's name and the computer's user-friendly look.

In 1977 Wozniak added a keyboard, color monitor, and eight peripheral device slots. Apple sales increased from $7.8 million in 1978 to $117 million by 1980, which was the year that Apple went public. Wozniak left the Apple in 1983 and Jobs hired PepsiCo's John Sculley as president. In 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh and bounced back from failed product introductions. Jobs left Apple in 1985 and founded NeXT Software, which is a designer of applications for software development. Microsoft founder Bill Gates' appealed for Apple to license its products and make the Microsoft platform an industry standard, but Sculley ignored his offer.

In 1986 Apple introduced its Mac Plus and LaserWriter printers. Shortly after, Apple formed the software company that later became Claris. By the 1980s Microsoft brought new competition with the Windows operating system (OS) which was similar to Apple's graphical interface. Apple sued Microsoft but lost its claim due to the 1992 copyright protection.

In 1993 Apple introduced the Newton handheld computer, but sale did not show much promise. Since earnings were decreasing, Apple had to downsize its workforce. Sculley was among the employees who left the company. By 1994 Apple started licensing clones of its OS, hoping to attract software developers. In 1996 Apple realized Mac clones were stealing sales and hired Gilbert Amelio as CEO, formerly from National Semiconductor.

In 1997 Apple purchased NeXT, but sales continued to decline. The company was forced again to downsize, cutting about 30% of its workforce. Many projects were canceled and research costs were cut, due to the downsizing of the company. Jobs and Amelio returned to Apple to work on a temporary basis. An alliance with Microsoft was formed, which was a Mac version of the Microsoft office software. Apple discontinued the cloning license from Power Computing to protect the company's market share.

In 1998 Apple introduced the Mac OS X, which is the company's first server software. The company also enhanced the iMacs with a colorful product line. Additional changes were made in its Claris unit by downsizing, shifting operations, and renaming it to FileMaker. That year there was a discontinued use of its Newton handheld device and printer products.

In 1999 the company followed the footsteps of Dell and began to sell built-to-order systems online, specifically in the portable computing area with its iBook laptop. By 2000, Jobs became a permanent executive for Apple. He turned the company's website around by focusing on consumer Internet services. He also revamped the desktop lines, by adding the G4 cube. Unfortunately, due to the poor response to the G4, by the end of the 2000 quarter profits started to decline.

In 2001 Apple upgraded product lines to include CD and DVD burners along with faster processors. The company also introduced the Titanium, which was an ultraslim version of the Powerbook. Apple purchased PowerSchool, which was a software maker designed for schools. This was to regain the loss of market share in its education market. The company then opened a small chain of retail stores in the United States. That same year, Apple purchased Spruce Technologies, a DVD authoring software maker. By October, the iPod was introduced as a digital music player.

In 2002 Apple redesigned the iMac look, the new look was a half-dome base and flat panel display with a pivoting arm. This new look was drastic compared to the original look since iMac's first introduction. That same year, Apple introduced the eMac, which was a computer similar to the iMac. The eMac was designed to regain market share from the education sector, it was only sold to students and educators. (Later the company designed a retail version) Apple continued to push new products by announcing the Xserve, which was a rack-mount server.

In 2004, Apple launched another iMac design which streamlined and included the G5 processor. The company also introduced the Xserve G5, iPod mini and the iPod photo. The iPod photo was an updated iPod that included the ability to store and display digital photos.

In 2005, the Mac mini was introduced into the low-end market. Apple also updated the Xserve G5 and introduced the iPod shuffle. The iPod shuffle was Apple's first launch into the market of low-end flash-based digital music players. Apple finally turned its attention to the low-end market, the only digital music market it had yet to dominate. The iPod shuffle was no larger than a keychain flash drive, and could be used as such in addition to playing mp3 and mp4 music files.

Business Strategies

Apple computer has engaged this new millennia with a sleek and eye catching iMac and iBook for consumers today. Thinking digital is the new idea behind the success of Apple. The operating systems include the OS X operating systems designed for high-end consumers and professionals involved in designing and publishing. Once the worlds top PC developer, Apple has fallen into the niche markets in an industry dominated by "Wintel" machines (computers using Microsoft Windows software and Intel processors), compared to the Apple, UNIX-based operating system. Steve Jobs, CEO and Co-founder of Apple Computer has long championed the importance of having a visually attractive, user friendly design for all the computers they manufacture. These features distinguish Macs from any other PC computer in the industry.

Apples new corporate strategy developed in the massive slowdown of technology which was to take advantage and add value to personal electronic devices. Jobs emphasize Macs as the centerpiece for digital devices such as cameras, video recorders, and music players. The idea behind this strategy was to develop MAC only applications in hope of making the MAC the "digital Hub", of the "Digital Lifestyle", to revitalize sales and guarantee long-term security of the company. In 2003 Apple created the itunes music stores that allow consumers to visit their website and purchase music from millions of titles for just 99 cents. Later the following year Apple and Hewlett-Packard announced a partnership that lets the PC giant resell HP-branded iPods; the deal calls for HP to preinstall iTunes



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