The paper "Characteristics of the Apple Industry, Stages of Development" is an outstanding example of a business case study. An industry is a collection of productive businesses in a specific economy, region or field. In this context, we take a look at the Apple Company, an American multinational corporation, in the larger smartphone and the modern PC industry. Apple, incorporated in 1976, was the brainchild of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Betz 2001 p. 26). Initially, the company was initiated entirely as a computer-based company but later diversified its market to producing digital music players, developing and selling software as well as other digital devices such as iPhones, iPod, Apple TV, and now with their latest innovation being the iPad.
Today, the company is renowned for its personal computer, the Macintosh and its Mac OS X. Apple is one of the most distinguished IT brands in the world. Inarguably, Apple has over the years managed to maintain a very loyal customer base and the customers have consequently been great promoters of the Apple brand. Moreover, it has been able to retain its customer who comes for more products and in this way, has had the opportunity to introduce new products in their line.
Current market analysis rank Apple as the second-largest IT Corporation by revenue streams, closely following Samsung Electronics (Müller 2010 p. 95). In the smartphone market, Apple Inc. is also ahead of being the third mobile manufacturer after Samsung and Nokia. Characteristics of the Apple Industry. Apple Inc. has managed to be a stiff competitor in the rapidly dynamic Information Technology world. Essentially, Apple has many competitors largely divided into the smartphone and Personal Computers.
Samsung has proved to be their biggest competitor in the Smartphone business while in the Pc’ s Apple has been engaging in cut-throat competition with Microsoft OS and computer manufacturers such as HP, Dell, among others. Moreover, in the portable music devices, Microsoft’ s Zune has also been a big competitor of Apple’ s iPods (Shea 2013 p. 53). One of the major factors that have enabled Apple to remain competitive has been its unique brand reputation. Considering the fact that the IT industry is very innovative with new products being introduced into the market frequently, Apple has consistently pulled out great products into the market albeit at very high pricing rates.
As a result of its impressive brand name, it has achieved a staggering 550 million registered users in Apple’ s iTunes. Accordingly, Apple was among the most valuable brand names in 2012 achieving position 2, closely behind Coca-Cola(Shea 2013 p. 17). Furthermore, Apple has been a market leader across a wide range of IT products, ranging from software, hardware and services. This has been a major strength for the Company. It is beyond doubt that Apple’ s ecosystem is unrivalled in the modern world where consumers have a wide variety of goods to choose from.
Apple wittingly locks-up its users by providing quality products and maintaining unique designs that keep their customers loyal to their products. Besides, with over 300 retail outlets, Apple has been able to reach out the world over and made their brands accessible in most of the countries in the developing and developed worlds alike(Müller 2010 p. 86). Important also to note has been the pricing power of Apple. Both consumers and competitors alike will agree that Apple’ s pricing model is oddly surprising.
With its gadgets going for premium prices, it is obviously true that Apple rakes in significantly higher revenues than its competitors. If its financial records are anything to go by, Apple’ s gross profit margins stood at 44.1% in 2010 with a whopping 10 million dollars in cash and no debts at all with retained earnings accounting for 79% of shareholders equity (Lüsted 2012 p. 109). With this kind of financial strength, Apple has over the years been able to enjoy economies of scale and consequently concentrate on building more competitive and technologically advanced innovations in the IT industry.