Apple's 4 C's: Company, Competition, Collaborators, and Customers Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1534 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Education - Computers

Apple Inc. 4C's

Apple is one of the oracular companies of Silicon Valley that rose up as the icon of personal computing and in the recent years has seen tremendous success since the return of Steven P. Jobs who opened it up for horizons far beyond the desktop. With its kind of following, the company can be deemed to have cast something similar to a spell on both investors and consumers alike through its coveted gadgets. In the music and smart-phone industries the iPod and iPhone have been major forces. The computer software giant, Microsoft, was passed in stock value by Apple in May 2010 making it the most valuable technological company in the world. With the change of guard by Mr. Jobs, Apple's business history witnessed an amazing turnaround for the previously almost dismissed for dead. A significant cultural shift which entails the prominent factor shaping technology being consumer tastes rather than business needs was herald by the swiftly rising value of Apple.

The Company

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Apple is a multinational corporation which originated in America and is involved in the manufacture and design of software products and consumer electronics. It is renowned for its various hardware products like the iPhone, Macintosh computers and the iPod. The PC industry has been defined by the company according to various computer users. It is also perceived as a pure innovation oriented in the technology realm which can be credited for the change in the personal computing perception (Kumar, 2006). There has been witnessed reinvention in the company several times over since 1971 related to the development and enhancement of Macintosh and this has incessantly affected the computing world. Since the introduction of Mac in 1984, it is a personal computer production line which Apple has designed developed and marketed. Apple Inc., is an American multinational corporation, which designs and manufactures consumer electronics and software products and best-known for its hardware products include Macintosh computers, the iPod and the iPhone.

Competitors

Term Paper on Apple's 4 C's: Company, Competition, Collaborators, and Customers Assignment

The competitors of Apple are varied depending on the type of focus in the technological sphere. PC manufactures like Dell and Alienware were the rivals for apple in the previous years and also factoring in Microsoft due to its Operating system. However with the diversifying of apple into arena like online media (e.g. iTunes, iPhones) makes Gmail, Hotmail, Blackberry and Samsung are some of its competitors.

Apple is run completely different to its competitors like Microsoft and this is one of the outstanding differences why Microsoft is leading in the computer industry and Apple is following closely. One of the reason that may be prevents Apple from growing is because it rarely changes its leadership which is characterized by Steven Jobs who held the position since 1998. There is an interesting phenomenon with Apple's competitor Microsoft which also is a stumbling block to the growth of Apple. A significant amount of Apple's stock is owned by Microsoft in controlling interests and this is attributed in the development of various departments of Apple.

With regards to the structure of Apple in comparison to its competitors, it has been organized such that if the company is to be purchased, each of the divisions would need to be purchased and one big sale could not accomplish the acquisition (Carlton, 1997, p.47). This in not common in most companies and also gives the apple the competitive edge and an advantage to its employees. The possibility of Apple being dissolved after being bought in the near future by larger companies and also competitors like Microsoft are thus minimized by this structure.

The computer world is very competitive but what makes Apple thrive in this environment is its diversified nature with multifaceted focus on the technological market. In the technological industry larger companies like Dell and Microsoft buy up most hardware and software companies. Through the involvement of disparate sections of technology, Apple has been able to evade the acquisition. This pattern is also adopted by other competitors like Google and their existence under the initial leadership.

Collaborations

To enable the company thrive in the competitive environment, several collaborations have been undertaken by apple so as to be relevant. One of the fascinating collaborations involves Apple and Google. Apple has developed an iTV which will be used with the set top box developed by Apple. Though the TiVO / Elgato, an iTunes store movie downloads has DVD potential, but a collaboration with the world's largest search engine surely promises more on the offing. Google currently owns YouTube which is well endowed with mass movement of large video files technology of which if it's delivered to iTV, it will be a significant combination.

Another interesting collaboration involves the German automobile maker BMW and apple whereby the latest models of the automobile will support the iPhone. This is a pursuant to the earlier collaboration whereby the iPod was integrated in its luxury models in 2004. Controls through Bluetooth will be possible apart from just making the voice calls.

Consumers

The degree of organization and size of the consumers following for Mac products can be debated and in some cases overstated. However in the technological industry there is no doubt that the users of Macintosh are the most passionate supporters of their products. This passion is considered outstanding and even moving it can in some cases be quite disturbing. Fanatical brand loyalty is enjoyed by Apple Inc. As can be witnessed by instances of consumers sleeping outside store so as to be the first individuals to obtain an iPhone.

The zealot nature by the apple users can be traced back to the day apple had financial difficulty and when other computer users ridiculed those who worked on the Mac. In the corporate world ten years ago, the Mac users were perceived as rubes who were not serious in getting real work done and there were plenty of people to remind them that revolution promised by Macintosh in the 1980's was being realized by Microsoft software (Jeffrey, 1988, p.259). The response from Apple was to change the conversational tone through a chosen spiritual motif -- Guy Kawasaki whose purpose was to rejuvenate the Macintosh cult. It can be recalled that a group of 44,000 hardcore users were signed to act as evangelists. An affinity is hence felt by the Mac users to both their fellow users and their machines which are not shared by the rest of the world. Emphasis on design in both software and hardware is what attracts some users while others it's the way the applications are focused by apple that they ease their creativity.

However sheer luck or factors beyond the control of Apple cannot be attributed to such brand success rather a well thought out and executed plan to develop an Apple culture and develop strong products. For instance there are stores which are dedicated solely for Apple purpose. This approach serves the customers well because previously they were facing problems with staffers in the general stores who were not well informed about Apple products and this made the company face challenges in differentiating its disparate products from other computing companies. An excellent customer loyalty is created by this move by eliminating this problem. The apple users are encouraged to explore and play with the technology that the company offers making them a friendly place.

Another appealing factor to the consumers is the variety of products available from Apple offering to satisfy the disparate needs of the consumers. If the consumer is not willing to buy an apple computer, then they can try out gadgets like iPhone or iPod. New users are introduced to Apple through the sales of products having lower entry costs. The other factor influencing the strong advocacy by the apple users is the products produced by apple actually do deliver (Linzmayer, O. (2003, p.138).… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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