The following discussion highlights the performance of Apple Incorporated, with different perspectives of the applicable strategies and business models to deliver results achieved at the company today. Based on the current valuation and projected growth for the company in the near future, Apple stands as one of the most respected electronics and software producing companies. In August 2012, the company realized a milestone by attaining the tag of the most productive company of all time in American and global business. Since its inception in 1976 by its founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, initially as trading as Apple Computer, tremendous growth in product portfolio and technology propelled the corporation to unrivaled market domination that it enjoys today.
Despite the recent demise of the influential founder Steve Jobs, internal strength and accurate business strategies hoist the corporation high to guarantee top competitive advantage in a market obsessed with innovative products. The discussion captures Apple’s financial success as a product of disciplined strategic approach despite competition driven by market orientation to high-end technologies. Internal and external considerations such as employee motivation and possibility of operation alliances also comprise the deliberations of this report.
Performance vs Mission and Vision Statements
Apple’s controversial mission statement that captures the format of a presentation that mentions the product portfolio has met criticism due to the unconventional design. However, the emphasis of the clear areas of focus by the corporation in its business seems logical when the sharp performance on the various production lines generates the kind of results witnessed. In the items highlighted in the mission statement, production and concentration in the core business of the corporation stands out conspicuously as its guiding principles. Performance in terms of hitting production numbers as well as distribution to meet the ever-growing demand leaving an understandable gap of supply enough to generate a rare form of suspense for its products. Apple has built a market presence with a very strong brand name over the years, breaking several records including the most successful and most valuable company of all time. A decade ago, nobody would have imagined that a company would dislodge Microsoft from the top brand in the world, with a unique product attraction among the consumers but Apple is doing that every day (Jiang et al., 2009).
Production of the most recognized electronic device backed by its own software system including operating system and other applications defied the odds of the market such as experienced by Microsoft on a strong software front. Through a commitment on bringing the best computing package to specific consumer groups, the company takes care of its vision statement in several ways. The company captures the needs of scholars, professionals, ordinary consumers with innovative solutions to different needs. Perhaps one of the most complete and trendy products in the market that Apple specializes in, computer hardware capable of interacting with internet usage present the company as a pacesetter.
Strategic Goals vs Mission and Vision Statements
Apparently, Apples mission and vision statements collapse into the presentation of quality technology in the product portfolio dealt in the current operations and into the future. The two strategic statements complement each other in the sense that the highlight of the actual product scope in the mission statement obtains assurances of unquestionable quality in the vision statement. For instance, the mission statement lists the products lines ranging from computers including Macs (desktops) and laptops, software including operating systems and professional applications, entertainment products including iTunes and iPods as well as hand-held device technologies including iPads, iPhones and associated App Store solutions. Providing the precision that the overall market presentation of each of these products with impeccable quality has enabled Apple to deliver and surpass its strategic goals in sales and market presence (Bielak et al., 2010).
By hitting financial figures of revenues of over US$ 8 billion per operating quarter illustrates the compatibility and applicability of strategy in realizing market dominance as outlined in coverage and quality commitment in the strategic statements. Apple is perhaps one of the most complete business packages in the market by providing hardware and software products ready for the market, coupled with an exciting touch of sleek innovation and delivery of unmatched quality. In the wake of a market revolution leading to adaptation to needs of a high-end technology demand, Apple continues to find its mission and vision relevant than they would be without the technology hype in the market today. Keen leadership in the person of Steve Job and his successor Tim Cook prove to be an intangible strength translating strategy into results in a perfect way (Kaplan, 2009). It is a common opinion that the role of leadership at Apple since its inception is as invaluable as the valuation of the company in an industry where only quality players gain the attention needed.
Financial Figures vs Mission and Vision
In view of the recent available financial reports, it is evident that Apple handles significant and momentous revenues worth noting for a company with such growth patterns witnessed in the recent several operating periods. For the last operation period ended on 30th OF June 2012, Apple attained sales of US$120,542,000,000, a growth of 50.7 per cent from the previous period whose sales stood at US$79,979,000,000. From the same period of operation, net income reported amounted to US$33,510,000,000 up from US$19,299,000,000 from the previous period. In view of the balance sheet figures for the corporation for the past nine-month period from June 2011 and June 2012, total assets grew from US$116,372,000,000 to US$162,896,000,000, which is a representation of 40 per cent growth. Total shareholders’ equity also grew from US$76,615,000,000 to US$111,746,000,000, making a representation of 46 per cent growth. International sales for the corporation represented a huge proportion of the sales, which is a representation of about 62 per cent, indicating success in diversifying the market (Apple, 2012).
The above given financial information illustrates a clear reflection of the corporations’ mission that highlights a commitment to present quality innovation through a wide product portfolio including Macs, OS X, iLIfe, iWork, iTunes, iPods, iPhones, iPad and App Store. The vision of dominating the technology market is gradually but surely taking shape at Apple as backed by its market successes in the recent operations and performance details. With a successful experience in providing a variety of quality products to the market as captured in the mission statement, Apple finds it possible to realize the growth figures recorded. Being a leader in the highlighted mission objectives explains the kind of success that the corporation enjoys in hardware, software and entertainment products characterized by a specialized higher-end market (Arthur, 2010).
In terms of the competitive environment that Apple finds in its operations, a number of players with a gigantic market presence make it a tough experience over the years. From hardware to software production, Apple finds substantial competition than many successful companies today. It therefore implies that the current state of success at apple is hard won through tough strategic approaches and spirited commitment to deliver what the consumers want. Among the most dominant competitors in the tough market, the software market presents Apple with Microsoft and Google whose images would be worth of notice from any global player among many others. From the hardware front, the market presents apple with competition from IBM, Dell and HP among many others from around the world. Tough software and hardware competition in emerging product segments such as Samsung and Huawei partnership with Google’s Android systems and applications cast a shadow of the extent to which competition would lead the market. As an illustration, Samsung and Apple have had a series of court cases in different continents with different outcomes indicating how confusing the competition continues.
Apple’s strengths to cater for the steep competition perhaps have enabled the company to record growth over the years despite the discouraging nature of such an environment. Withstanding the recent global and current European financial challenges requires extra effort since growth would appear like a gamble. However, Apple manages growth in these difficult times due to a number of strengths including uncontested brand name. Customer loyalty at Apple is monumental in several perspectives, such as witnessed in the following of developments at the corporation, particularly with its pricing strategy and new product launch that attracts a popular and impressive following. A unique attachment to engineering of products that respond to market interests of high-end innovation for the electronics industry, making it possible to obscure performance that was traditionally reserved for companies such as Sony and Matsushita.
Accurate and competitive management functionalities for the company props up the development agenda in ways that few companies would struggle to attain. Consistent innovation breakthroughs that correspond with the market trends of sleek technologies, making the company unbeatable in providing the technology frenzy in the market with products beyond expectations. As an illustration, Apple’s unique product launch attracts a rare attention around the world with anxiety and expectation that the product will hit a new level of innovation. As illustrated before in the product portfolio at Apple, it enjoys the strength of vertical integration and complementarity of different product packages, which make it self-sufficient. Presentation of Apple’s products assumes a stylish and attractive design that amasses a rare consumer interest to back up its growth.
In view of the weaknesses at Apple that cast a shadow of doubt on its sustainability with a market full of competition. Apple’s products are not compatible with other products from rivals, locking out interoperability channel that would increase market performance. Stiff competition launched by rivals targeting market segments in which Apple performs poorly appears to block a significant growth opportunity from the corporation. Perhaps its low interest on the education market that presents a bright future for the industry shows lack of preparedness to venture into new markets. The nature of incompatibility that Apple’s products have makes it difficult for the company to launch sales numbers across networked systems. Lack of concentration in a specific segment such as the professional or education segments makes Apple’s marketing concept ambiguous in the long run. Overreliance on research and development for continued innovation for various products at Apple makes the company’s growth a function of R&D outcomes, which would impact growth if delivery fails (Appeldorn, 2008). The pricing strategy of Apple leaves many customers out of reach of its products, while growth trends in the modern economics targets the middle and low markets where numbers make the difference.
Niche Operations Strategy
In order for Apple to ensure that sustainable operations remain achievable for the long-term projections, it must embrace a particular strategy in capturing the operations strengths achieved so far. The application of niche market operations strategy will facilitate the elimination of the vague product presentation to markets that do not match its valuation and pricing. As an illustration, Apple must concentrate in the high market end for corporate computing solutions that correspond with its expensive units that would revolutionize corporate computing in a perfect way. Alternatively, continuing with the current product portfolio requires a sharper market characterization for a more accurate product presentation using accurate pricing and compatibility. As illustrated in the weaknesses of the company, a wide market with a wide spectrum of products makes it hard for such a characterization. It therefore implies that a niche operations strategy targeting appropriate market segmentation for different products must facilitate maximization of opportunities available for the company. The strong brand name and market presence across the world must also be complemented by efficient supply channel to cater for the niche market that has evolved over the several operating periods. Paying a specific attention to the high end market niche with unique pricing and a tighter supply network to achieve more market success would enhance quality strategies.
Apple-IBM Merger Proposal
Based on the history of Apple’s operations and partnerships, the most practical merger proposal would involve the traditional partner IBM, whose role in provision of computer chips cannot be ignored in the attained success. A merger would not take a long time to deliver results since the two companies have worked closely together for a long time in the chip partnership. Alternatively, the role of IBM in hardware and software production in the middle and lower market segments would facilitate penetration of the company into market segments that have proved difficult to venture. Such a partnership will also facilitate Apple to break its exclusive vertical integration that locks out compatibility with other product producers. Such a partnership would also allow the definition of the products across several market segments captured by IBM and Apple separately, thus allowing synergies in market penetration (IBM, 2012). Joint operations would perhaps enable the companies bring together their production expertise and lower cost of production.
Additionally, reliance on research and development at Apple would be reduced progressively as IBM’s traditional production culture would complement apple’s style of production. Distribution and supply logistics attained by IBM would also add flair to the market experience that Apple has not achieved thereby increasing marketing potential (McKinnon, 1991). The benefit of such an alliance would be the extension of the market opportunities in diversified product range on software and hardware products that both companies have not dealt with in the past.
Employee Motivation & Ethical Treatment
Apple’s employee motivation takes a sensitive feature due to the global operations presence that creates a unique interaction with different corporate environments. Cultural demands and interaction with corporate practices presents the company with difficult human resource management functionality, taking an international complexity. In view of the employee rewards systems that would fit in the sustainability of employee motivation and commitment, targeting work-life balance attributes for enhanced performance outcomes. Apple would be in a better position to implement a motivation system that targets individual employee interaction with general life as well as work duties to create a harmonious experience favoring productivity. The most practical work-life balance reward approach must employ the total rewards program that comprises of the four phases namely assessment, design, execution and evaluation (Coyne and Heneman, 2007). In every operations functionality, Apple will ensure that the most important life and work issues are highlighted in eliminating stressors in an individual’s performance. Appropriate rewarding of productivity including commensurate pay package, allowances and paid leaves would sustain the overall employee motivation.
To highlight the most talked about failure of apple to deal with employee motivation is perhaps the Chinese operations at the Foxconn plant where inhumane treatment of employees led to suicide cases due to difficult working environment. Failure of the management at the plant to come to terms with the work-life balance demands for the individual employees led to unprecedented bad image of the company in Asia and around the world (Paik and Vance, 2006). The focus of teams in modern business practices compels every organization to give every team player the attention that they deserve. In view of the contribution that the employee makes to the overall team, the company must not assume external forces on the concentration of the employee in delivery of services. It therefore implies that total reward system must find a way of introducing a comprehensive motivation across all plants in different global jurisdictions to avoid the Foxconn experience.
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- Mission Statement: Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
- Bielak, M., Henriquez, W., McNeil, S., Ogozaly, A., Rubino, E., Sullivan, K. (2010) Apple- India, Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/102923001/Apple-India
- Apple (2012). “Apple Reports Third Quarter Results: 17 Million iPads Sold,” Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2012/07/24Apple-Reports-Third-Quarter-Results.html
- Vision Statement Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings
- IBM (2012). “Report: IBM Named Market Leader in Middleware Software,” Retrieved from http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/37376.wss
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