Apple Inc Research Paper

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. APPLE INC. - WIND OF CHANGE
FIELDS OF ACTIVITY & PRODUCT PORTFOLIO
THE IPHONE AND ITS COMPETITORS - SAMSUNG & NOKIA
RECENT CHANGES WITHIN THE WORLD ECONOMY & POLITICS
IMPACT ON APPLE INC

II. GLOBAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
PESTEL ANALYSIS FOR APPLE INC

III. FORECAST & SUMMARY

IV. APPENDIX
NEW PATHS FOR APPLE INC. - SWOT ANALYSIS

V. REFERENCES

I. APPLE INC. - WIND OF CHANGE

The story of Apple Inc. started in 1976 and has been characterized by a long line of successes, especially in recent times. However, the news that Apple’s Managing Director Steve Jobs has had to resign caused Apple stocks to drop by 5% (down from $400), which shows how great an impact cofounder Steve Jobs had on the company and its destiny. Nonetheless, Apple continues to be the world’s most valuable company.1

Apple Inc. is an American multinational company which provides personal computers, software and especially consumer electronics. Today, the company has 49,400 employees worldwide and managed to increase annual sales to $65.23 billion in 2010.2

Apple’s winning mixture of extraordinary products, great style and design, grand strategy, innovative marketing, and inviting communications is basis of this paper’s analysis. Apple owes its overwhelming success in the last years to the iPhone, iPod and iTunes product combination.3 Apple’s success is inextricably linked to Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs has been the great mind behind the company and one of the cofounders who turned Apple in one of the most innovative and successful companies.

Until his death he remained closely involved in all key aspects of running the company and its major strategic decisions. “Jobs and Apple are so intricately intertwined that it is difficult to imagine the future of Apple without him at the helm.”4

In order to prepare the company and its staff for a future without him, he has developed certain values, which are supposed to guide Apple and make the company less reliant on one person. Employees received clear directives and supervision to make sure his vision is being followed. Steve Jobs had a strong impact as a media person and marketing head. It is now vital for Apple to maintain the ingenious marketing strategy. In fact, its customers expect nothing less. Apple lovers, and those to be, are continuously waiting for the next “hit”.

As a matter of fact, it is crucial not to change any of the strategic plans despite the brain behind it all having had to resign. Steve Jobs’ strategy was extremely successful and he has managed to prevent Apple from failing on several occasions.

Steve Jobs left the company in a strong position. His successor, Tim Cook, has been put forward for the role of CEO. He has 13 years of experience with Apple, where he was in charge of global sales and supplier relationships.

Therefore, Apple is well-advised to strengthen the company’s image without Jobs or to find a similar charismatic leader.5

FIELDS OF ACTIVITY & PRODUCT PORTFOLIO

The most pristine product fields are the Mac computers including accessories.

The matching computer accessories range from its own operating system Mac OS to consumeroriented iLife software such as iDVD, iMovie, iPhoto, iWork, Safari, iTunes, Garage Band, and iWeb but also professional software titles.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Graphic 1 - Apple Info graphic 20116

In 2010 Apple presented their much desired media tablet the iPad, which combines interaction with multimedia formats including newspapers, magazines, eBooks, textbooks, photos, movies, TV shows videos, music, word processing documents, spreadsheets, video games, and apps. The product portable music player line consists of the iPod Shuffle, Nano, Classic, and Touch and was originally introduced in 2001. It is now market leader in the portable music player branch. Apple lovers waited until 2007 until Steve Jobs finally introduced the iPhone, a smartphone which features the most popular Mac software.7 The following paper will mainly focus on the IPhone and its direct competitors Samsung and Nokia since they are the immediate smartphone competitors with most of the market share.

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1 http://www.macnews.de/newsticker/steve-jobs-rucktritt-apples-aktienkurs-bricht-ein-239783

2 http://phx.corporateir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9Njc1MzN8Q2hpbGRJRD0tMXxUeXBlPTM=&t=1

3 www.apple.com

4 http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2011/09/01/247769/Apple39s-future-without-Steve-Jobs.htm

5 Steve Jobs: Die autorisierte Biografie des Apple-Gründers von Walter Isaacson et al; Bertelsmann Verlag 2011, S. 63ff

6 http://agbeat.com/gadgets/birds-eye-view-of-apples-success-by-the-numbers-infographic/

7 www.apples.com

The paper tackles the problem of teaching AI to recognize objects using simulated images, which are easier to use than photos (since you don't need a human to tag items) but poor for adapting to real-world situations. The trick, Apple says, is to use the increasingly popular technique of pitting neural networks against each other: one network trains itself to improve the realism of simulated images (in this case, using photo examples) until they're good enough to fool a rival "discriminator" network. Ideally, this pre-training would save massive amounts of time and account for hard-to-predict situations that don't always turn up in photos.

This doesn't mean that Apple is suddenly an open book. It could take years before it's clear how transparent Apple has become with its scientific findings. However, this is a big step -- if also a necessary one. AI is an increasingly competitive field, and Apple's past reluctance to contribute to scientific knowledge may have scared away potential hires who wanted their discoveries recognized. If papers like these become relatively commonplace, Apple might have an easier time attracting the talent it needs for self-driving car platforms, Siri and other AI-based projects.

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