Apple is an American High-tech Company
Apple is an American high-tech company headquartered in Cupertino, California. It is considered one of the Big Four of technology, including Amazon, Google, and Facebook (Ritholtz, 2017). According to statistics of 2018, there are more than 500 Apple retail stores in the world and had approximately 123,000 full-time employees. At the beginning of its founding, Apple focused on developing and selling personal computers. By 2014, it was committed to designing, developing and selling consumer electronics, computer software, online services, and personal computers.
Apple had a history of the instability of the company. Apple was founded on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and rarely mentioned third partner Ronald Wayne. They cobbled together their combination of a microprocessor, a video screen, and keyboard. The inventors called it the Apple I personal computer kit, designed by Wozniak, which seems simple but opened a new page of microcomputers. Millionaire Mike McCulla provided $250,000 during the founding of Apple. On January 3, 1977, Apple was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. without Wayne, who left Apple and sold his shares to Jobs and Wozniak for $800 after having co-founded Apple (Simon, 2010).
Apple II, also designed by Wozniak, was introduced in 1977 at the first West Coast Computer Faire. It included a floppy-disk drive, it differs from its major competitors who still used the cassette-tape drive. Apple II also included graphics and colors and it became the first kind of widespread microcomputer made by Apple Inc. In order to compete with IBM and Microsoft in the business and enterprise computing markets, Apple introduced Apple III in May 1980 (Staff, 2015). Unfortunately, thousands of Apple III computers were recalled due to quality issues. The first GUI computer, Apple Lisa was introduced in 1983, but because of its high price, Lisa failed to enter the commercial market. In 1984, Apple launched Macintosh, the first personal computer without a programming language.
The first Mac was launched through a famous Super Bowl advertisement, imitating after Orwell’s 1984. The sales of Macintosh remained difficult until the launch of laser printers and PageMaker software. In 1985, a power struggle broke up out between Jobs and John Scully, who had been hired two years ago. In the same year, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT Inc. Wozniak also left the company and he continues to represent the company at events or in interviews. Apple has launched a series of Mac products including Mac Plus, Mac SE, Mac II, Mac Classic and Mac LC from 1986 to 1990. At the same time, Apple tried its first portable Macs: the failed Macintosh laptop in 1989 and more popular one PowerBook in 1991 which marked the beginning of real Apple notebooks. It was targeted at the professional market and received numerous awards.
Year 1989 to 1991 was “first golden age” of the Macintosh. On February 19, 1987, Apple registered the “Apple.com” domain name, becoming one of the top 100 companies register the .com address on the early Internet. Soon afterward, Apple has launched several new brands to sell identical machines at different prices for different markets. These are the Quadra, Centris and the Performa series. However, the performance of these new products in the market is not good due to there are too many models, and customers do not understand the differences between different models, which confused many consumers and damaged Apple’s reputation. In the 1990s, Apple also tried other unsuccessful consumer-oriented products, including digital cameras, portable CD audio players, speakers, video consoles, eWorld online services, and TV appliances.
None of these products worked, and Apple’s market share and share price continued to decline. In 1997, Apple bought the NeXT for its NeXTSTEP operating system and brought Steve Jobs back. With Jobs coming back, Apple began to restructure. On November 10, 1997, Apple introduced the Apple Store website, which linked to new order-based production strategies. On August 15, 1998, Apple launched an all-in-one computer: iMac. The iMac design team was led by Ive, who later designed the iPod and the iPhone (Wilson, 2007). In 1998, Apple acquired Macromedia’s key GRIP software project, marking its entry into the digital video editing market and it was renamed Final Cut Pro when it was listed on the retail market in April 1999 (GR Reporter). In October 1999, Apple released the consumer video-editing product iMovie (Matt & Mark, 2002). iTunes was purchased and renamed in 2000 and was released by Casady & Greene in 1998, then called SoundJam MP. On May 19, 2001, the first official Apple Retail Stores opened in Virginia and California. On 23 of the same year, Apple launched the iPod portable digital audio player.
The product has achieved amazing sales, with sales exceeding 100 million in six years (Cantrell, 2006). iTunes Store has quickly become a market leader in online music services. Two years later, the iTunes Store became the largest music retailer in the world. Jobs announced that Apple would start producing Intel-based Macs in 2006. On January 9, 2007, Jobs announced that Apple Computer (Inc.) would later be called “Apple Inc.” because the company had shifted its focus from computers to consumer electronics (Forbes, 2007). The iPhone, iPad and Apple TV have quickly become fashionable and mainstream, they have achieved extensive success.
With the popularity of the iPhone, Apple has become the third largest mobile phone supplier in the world. From 2011 to 2012, Apple released the iPhone 4S and 5, including improved cameras, a smart assistant named Siri, and cloud-synced data with iCloud and iPad 3, 4 and mini, which all achieved success and good reputation. In January 2016, 1 billion Apple devices were announced to be in use worldwide (Statt, 2016). Apple may have received some criticism or some scandals in the past, but it is constantly improving its products and services. From 1976 to 2019, Apple has occupied an important position in the consumer electronics market for more than 20 years, and it is still one of the most famous brands and has truly become the most valuable technology company in the world.
Products and Services
According to their online store, the company’s hardware products include the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Apple Watch, the Apple TV, the HomePod smart speaker, Software, and electric vehicles. The online services include App Store, Apple Card, Apple Music, iBooks Store, iCloud, iTunes Store. Apple offers various customer services including web support, App and live chat and phone support. Apple sells its products directly through Apple retail stores and Apple online store or through a variety of indirect distribution channels. Such as the third-party wholesalers, retailers. You can even find Apple products at Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target. That’s why Apple retail stores increased dramatically and become so successful.