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Apple Inc. Case Study

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Apple Inc.

Group field project

Prepared by:

  Tomas Maldonado

  Adrian Naidu

  Arjeta Ndreko

  Bhaskar Shrestha

  Frank Stencer

  Jordi Vargas

Submitted on:

June 4, 2017


1.0 Executive Summary/Company Overview         3

2.0 Company Overview (FRANK)        3

3.0 SWOT Analysis (Jordi)        3

3.1 Strengths        3

3.2 Weaknesses        4

3.3 Opportunities        4

3.4 Threats        4

4.0 Company Strategy (Adrian)        5

5.0 Supply Chain sustainability        6

5.1 Manufacturing:  integrated circuits (Bhaskar)        6

5.2 Aluminum (Frank)        7

5.3 Water Pollution (Arjeta)        7

5.4 Scope 3 (Tomas)        8

6.0 Recommendations (TBD)        10

7.0 Conclusion (TBD)        10

8.0 Exhibits        10

Bibliography        11


Figure 1 - SWOT        10

Figure 2 - Apple’s share price and profit margin        11

1.0 Executive Summary/Company Overview


Apple, Inc. previously known as Apple Computer, Inc. was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in 1976.  The headquartered out of Cupertino, California, this multinational company, consist of 496 Apple retail stores in 12 countries.  

Apple’s product strategy consists of designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players, and sells a variety of related software, services, accessories, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications. The Company’s products and services include iPhone ® , iPad ® , Mac ® , iPod ® , Apple TV ® , Apple Watch™, Apple Pay™, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X ® operating systems, iCloud ® , and a variety of accessory, service and support offerings (SEC, 2015).  Apple offers digital content and applications through the iTunes ®, App ™, iBooks ™, Mac App Stores, and third-party resellers, worldwide.  These marketing channels permit Apple the ability to reach customers that consist of small to mid-sized businesses, educational institutions, various enterprises and domestic and foreign government agencies (Wikipedia, 2017).

The company’s innovative hardware, software, and services provides the customer with an exceptional user experience that has become synonymous with the Apple name.  The company’s unique business strategy provides customers solutions through their products by virtue of seamless integration and ease of use.  The business strategy provides a competitive advantage through product and service differentiation while achieving a price premium.  In addition, Apple’s estimated 116,000 full time employees are committed to providing outstanding products and services in the industry while protecting the world environment (Apple, 2016).

Apple’s second quarter ended April 1, 2017 posting a revenue of $52.9 billion with a quarterly earnings of $2.10 per diluted share, compared to this time last year with a quarterly revenue of $50.6 billion and an earnings of $1.90 per diluted share.  The company continues to see great customer acceptance to the Apple’s special edition iPhone 7 and services business division, producing the company’s highest revenue for a 13-week quarter (Newsroom press release, 2017).  

3.0 SWOT Analysis (Jordi)

Apple has a wide variety of products and services and their sales channels include retail stores, online store, direct sales force and cellular carriers. Their major customers are business, individual consumers and educational institutions. Apple has penetrated many different market segments and continues to strive with their products in different segments of different industries where it competes.  The SWOT analysis will differentiate Apple’s presence in the market.  

3.1 Strengths

Apple has a strong international presence, in 2016 domestic sales only accounted for 35% of their sales while international sales accounted for 65% of their sales (Apple, Annual Report, 2016). Apple has a strong brand image with a market cap of $750 billion, the most valued company in the world (Pullen, 2017). Google follows Apple with a market cap of $600 billion. In 2016 Apple’s revenue was $215.6 billion with a net income of $45.6 billion a 21.15% profit margin (Apple, Annual Report, 2016). Apple’s profitability allows them to have a large budget for research and development.

Apple supply chain has been ranked as one of the greatest supply chains in the world according the Gartner (Lu, 2017). Apple’s supply chain is highly effective; they turn their inventory every 5 days while Dam and Samsung turn their inventory every 10 days and 21 days respectively (Lu, 2017). Apple has a great communication between its central warehouses and their stores which allows them to understand their customer needs and not create any disruptions in their operations (Lu, 2017). This helps minimize the “Bull-Whip” effect where minor demand fluctuations are amplified as it ripples upstream in the supply chain resulting in misalignment between supply and demand.

3.2 Weaknesses

Apple prices are much higher than its competitors. The iPhone 7 32GB is priced at $650 USD, 64 GB is priced at $750 USD and 128GB is priced at $850 USD. The iPhone competitor the Samsung Galaxy S8 with a 128 microSD costs around $670 USD, making it $280 USD cheaper than the iPhone with the highest specs (Eassa, 2017). This is the case for all the other products that Apple offers compared to its respective competitor. Apple has over-dependence for selling iPhones and iPads. Each year iPhone and iPad sales account a much higher percentage of Apple’s total revenue. Apple sales decreased by 8 percent between 2016 and 2015, primarily due to the decrease of iPhone sales which decline 12% in the same time period (Apple, Annual Report, 2016).  



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