Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. The company’s hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the Apple Watch smartwatch, the Apple TV digital media player, and the HomePod smart speaker.
Apple’s software includes the macOS and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, and the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites. Its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store and Mac App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV+, iMessage, and iCloud.
Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in April 1976 to develop and sell personal computers. It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. in January 1977, and sales of its computers, including the Apple II, grew quickly. Within a few years, Jobs and Wozniak had hired a staff of computer designers and had a production line. Apple went public in 1980 to instant financial success. Over the next few years, Apple shipped new computers featuring innovative graphical user interfaces, such as the original Macintosh in 1984.
The Macintosh rapidly outsold its competition, but was soon eclipsed by the popularity of Microsoft Windows PCs. The company struggled unsuccessfully for many years to catch up with Microsoft in terms of market share. Jobs resigned from Apple in 1985 and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher-education and business markets. Apple acquired NeXT in 1997 for $429 million, bringing Jobs back to Apple as an interim CEO. Within a few months of returning, Jobs had completely reorganized Apple’s product line.
The first Apple Store was opened on May 19, 2001, in Glendale, California. Apple now operates more than 500 retail stores in 22 countries around the world as well as the online Apple Store and direct sales force. Apple is the world’s largest technology company by revenue and one of the world’s most valuable companies. It is also the world’s third-largest mobile phone manufacturer after Samsung and Huawei.
In November 2014, in addition to being the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, Apple became the first U.S. company to be valued at over US$700 billion in addition to being named the world’s most valuable brand. However, Apple received significant criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors and its environmental and business practices, including accusations of sweatshop labor, greenwashing, and anti-competitive behavior; these have resulted in a number of protests and government investigations.
As of June 2018, Apple is the world’s top mobile phone maker with a market share of 14.4 percent for all phones sold, ahead of Samsung (19 percent) and Huawei (10 percent). Based on an estimate of 1.4 billion active Apple devices worldwide as of March 2019, Apple also has the largest installed base of active devices.
The company has operations worldwide and employs 115,000 full-time employees. Its worldwide annual revenue in 2010 totaled $65 billion, growing to $127.8 billion in 2011 and $156 billion in 2012. Apple is the second-largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, with an estimated market cap of US$939 billion as of November 2018. Apple’s net income for 2018 was $59.5 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share of its common stock.
Apple ranked No. 4 on Fortune magazine’s 2018 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and No. 38 on the 2018 World’s Most Valuable Brands list. Apple has been involved in various court proceedings and reported patent disputes with other technology companies, concerning everything from microprocessors to user interfaces and power adapters.
Since 1976, Apple has stuck to a differentiation strategy. They have only veered from this path once when they marketed a computer towards the mass market but quickly went back to their original plan. This differentiation strategy was at one point backed by a promotion campaign strongly aimed at differentiating the Macintosh from its intense competition in the PC industry.
Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook, also pursues a differentiation strategy as he stated in an interview: “Our goal is to make the best products in the world, not to be the biggest company in the world.” Apple has been very successful with this strategy so far. It is reflected by Apple’s market share which grew from 3% in 2007 to 14% in 2016.
Differentiation is often pursued through product design and innovation. This can be seen as Apple’s core competency, which has led to many iconic products such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Apple has always put a strong emphasis on design and user experience. This is one of the reasons why Apple’s products have such a high perceived value. Apple’s products are also usually very easy to use, which is another important factor for many consumers.
Another key element of Apple’s differentiation strategy is its marketing and branding. Apple is known for its iconic and colorful advertising campaigns. Apple has also built a strong brand image over the years, which is reflected in its high brand loyalty scores. Apple’s brand is often seen as premium and stylish, which appeals to many consumers.
Differentiation can also be achieved through customer service and support. Apple is known for its excellent customer service and support, which is one of the reasons why it enjoys high levels of customer satisfaction. Apple’s Genius Bars are a great example of how Apple provides exceptional customer service.
Overall, Apple’s differentiation strategy has been very successful and has helped Apple to become one of the most valuable companies in the world. Apple’s strong product design, innovation, marketing and branding, and customer service and support have all contributed to its success.
Apple has always been a highly creative PC maker. Apple has a long history of launching innovative PC technologies on the market. Even though the goods exhibited flaws from time to time, their inventive function ensured that Apple received much attention. Apple created its devices from the ground up, utilizing proprietary chips, disk drives, and monitors.
Even Apple’s software was developed in-house. Apple avoided using standard MS-DOS, instead opting for a custom operating system called A/UX. Apple continued its tradition of innovation with the Apple Newton personal digital assistant and the Apple QuickTake digital camera.
Under the charismatic leadership of Steve Jobs, Apple regained its position as a market leader with trendsetting products like the iMac, iPod, iTunes Store, iPhone and iPad. Thanks to Apple’s recent success, many other PC manufacturers are now also trying to develop their own unique selling points. However, it still remains to be seen whether they will be able to achieve the same level of success as Apple.