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Apple Computer - How Can Apple Sustain Its Spirit of Innovation and Design Leadership?

Essay by   •  July 31, 2011  •  Case Study  •  966 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,243 Views

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Introduction

The company actually started its namesake (Apple) on April Fool's Day in 1976 by two very young electronic guru's named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. With the support and help of other individuals, Apple Computer began making and selling computers in 1978. Through the years that followed they focused on the PC industry and developed their own applications for the Macintosh computers. They were innovators with the development of portable laptop computers called Macbooks in 1994 and eventually entering the musical arena by offering their iPod brand of products in 2001. Through those profit making years, Apple has gone from being the largest producer of PC's with annual sales over $200 million in 1980 (Hill, Jones 2009) to introducing a product called the Apple III, which was a complete failure. But what was keeping the business afloat was the fact that their most successful product, the Apple II was a standard in American classrooms, where it was valued for its intuitive ease of use. (Hill, Jones 2009)

How can Apple sustain its spirit of innovation and design leadership?

Apple Computer is a corporation rich in design history and innovation. At no time in its history did it lose its ability to think outside the box, but to set the record straight, let's look at some of the misconceptions regarding Apple's ability to be innovative. For example, the graphical user interface (GUI) and the concept of the Mac were actually invented at Xerox Parc. (Bajarin 2011) What Steve jobs did was package it and combined it to some important products such as printers and graphic software. What Apple does best is take current ideas and make them better. When MP3 was invented, it was Apple that took this idea and reinvented it with the iPod. (Bajarin 2011)

Is this spirit inextricably linked to Steve Jobs

To some in the computer industry, Steve Jobs is simply irreplaceable at Apple. From his early visions of what quality is, to how a successful corporation should be run as CEO, Steve Job is forever linked to this corporation. But the company has many talented designers and manager, and Jobs has been with Apple long enough for his spirit to infuse the company at all levels. (Wagner 2009) The company has shown that it can survive and still remain profitable in his absence.

5 Forces Analysis of the Computer Industry

The true task of any manager is to analyze competitive forces in the industry environment to identify opportunity and threats. (Hill & Jones 2009) Some people call this analysis a SWOT analysis, where you identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity, and Threats. Michael E. Porter created a framework called Porter's Five Forces Model. In his model, he identified the five competitive forces that have the ability to mold every industry and market to help managers analyze their particular industry.

Risk of Entry by Potential Competitors

Currently, more than 60% of the available market share is controlled by HP, Dell, Acer Lenovo and Toshiba. (Wiki 2011) Brand identity and a substantial supply chain is a large enough obstacle to prevent new companies from entering

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