In the recent past, the electronics and smartphone industry has experienced tremendous and revolutionary changes, with the establishment and growth of giant companies and in terms of technological changes and developments. Apple Inc. is one of the long-standing technology companies in the industry, performing very well over the last decade and continuing to provide its customers with high-quality products and services. Apple Inc. is one of the best performing technology companies in the world, making billions of dollars in profits and achieving customer loyalty in many parts of the world. The organization has been able to withstand the many changes that the industry has been experiencing, wading economic challenges and beating its main competitors such as Nokia and Samsung (Montgomerie and Roscoe 2013). Such industry success is not easily achieved. Therefore, it is important to carry out an assessment of various business strategies that the company uses to ensure that it remains on the path towards greater success.
The technology company has faced numerous challenges on its journey towards global success, as will be discussed in this paper. Most of the challenges that Apple Inc. has faced in the recent past have emanated from the company’s external environment i.e. changes in the industry. The ability of the organization to sail through all the challenges that face it is proof that the organization’s internal processes and business strategy are effective. The success of the organization is largely attributed to its unique ability to capitalize on its strengths to overcome its weak areas while exploiting all the available opportunities in the industry. In addition, the company’s culture of innovation and continuous improvement has enabled it to offer customers an exciting experience over the years. Through innovation and production of high-quality products and services, Apple Inc. is able to develop high-quality customized computer and smartphone software, smartphones, and other consumer electronics (Montgomerie and Roscoe 2013). The leadership of the company is also a key factor in the achievement of success. Some of the main challenges that the company has faced in the recent past are discussed below. In addition, recommendations on the improvement in the organization and management of the company are provided in the conclusion section.
Over the last decade, Apple Inc. has been facing cutthroat competition from its rival companies, companies that provide customers with similar products and services as those provided by Apple Inc. (Gobble 2012). The company has faced stiff competition in recent years from companies such as Samsung, Nokia, Blackberry, and LG. The increased competition and competitive rivalry that the company has faced in the past is mostly attributed to the increased level of aggressiveness of the companies in the technology industry and the decreasing switching costs in the industry. The technology industry has experienced increased aggressiveness in innovation and marketing, with companies coming up with new ways of advertising their services and products and developing new and improved products. With increasing brands and product varieties, the switching costs have decreased greatly, allowing customers to easily switch from one product brand to another. With the movement of customers from one brand to another, and customers changing their preferences, the level of competition in the industry increases as the companies in the industry compete to retain and attract customers.
In the last five years, Samsung, a key rival of Apple Inc., has introduced different smartphones under the Galaxy brand name in a bid to attract new customers, gain access to the global market, and increase its market base (Gobble 2012). Companies such as Nokia and Blackberry have been introducing new models of phones using different operating systems in a bid to win the customers. Apple Inc. has been able to remain ahead of the competition through its organizational culture and through the production of high-quality products and services. The company’s culture is based on innovation and continuous product improvement, enabling it to come up with new products that are compatible with the latest technology and that have unique features (West and Mace 2007). Apple’s products provide unique features such as improved security, neat user interface, and premium design, making them stand out from the other products provided by the competitor companies (West and Mace 2007). The company focuses a lot on its core activities, especially the innovation and marketing sections. The leadership of the former CEO of the company, Steve Jobs, propelled the company towards success by focusing on innovation and product quality.
The company has already built a strong brand for itself in the market and is popular across the world for its high-quality and unique products and services. The strong brand name enables the company to easily penetrate new markets and attract new customers. With a focus on penetrating new markets such as Africa and India, the company has been working hard to increase awareness of its products and their features. Through marketing, a company is able to increase the awareness of its brand in new markets. Apple Inc. is aware of this fact and is allocating funds to marketing and branding to increase public awareness. Recently, the company has been cutting the prices of some of its products in foreign markets such as China and India in a bid to attract more customers. Through vigorous advertising, the company is able to reach out to new customers and increase the awareness of its products.
Globalization refers to the complex interplay of management processes, such as culture, business practices, communication, and technology usage on a global scale. Even though globalization is commonly discussed in management forums and media platforms, its effect on business organizations is most of the time ignored. Globalization is not simply a change in the way a business operates. It involves the transformation of a business organization’s global view on the geographical and cultural differences in its markets and a change in the mindset of business leaders to open up their minds to global business approaches and perspectives. Through globalization, business organizations are able to utilize global resources seamlessly and coordinate business operations on a global scale. In order to benefit from globalization, business organizations have to make various management and operational changes. The organizational structure and the strategy of a business organization have to allow it to benefit from the global market and global resources.
Apple Inc. has been able to effectively respond to globalization through the adoption of an effective business strategy and through the use of an efficient organizational structure. The company faces increased global competition, with technology firms sprouting in all parts of the world and achieving immense growth in recent years (Yoffie and Kim 2011). Foreign technology firms such as Huawei and Lenovo have grown significantly over the years, posing a huge threat to Apple Inc. For this reason, the company adopted a “one-size-fits-all” strategy to achieve global business success (West and Mace 2008). The company’s culture is built on innovation, which plays a huge role in ensuring that the company remains relevant in the global market and that customers are excited with the products that the company produces every year. The innovations of the company have contributed largely to making the world a global village. The technology industry is one of the most significantly affected industries by globalization.
In addition, the technology industry lacks sufficient legal frameworks to manage or control the various issues that it faces, such as counterfeiting and piracy. Therefore, the company has put in place various standards and quality management systems to ensure that its products are unique and not easily counterfeited. Apple’s products are unique and provide unique security and design features. This way, the company is able to protect itself from product counterfeiting. The company has been able to establish an efficient product distribution channel reaching almost every part of the world. By 2014, the company’s iPhone 6 product was availed in more than sixty countries (West and Mace 2008). Through the “one-size-fits-all” business strategy, the company ensures that its products are the same design in all regions and countries.
The company’s designs are standardized across all regions, which means that they are the same for all countries and are not customized or localized. Through this, the company has established a global brand that has a strong identity and a reputable image. The organizational structure of the company also contributes to success at the global level. The company maintains the traditional hierarchical structure, with a few elements of divisional and matrix structure. The divisional structure comes in with the product-based division within the company, while the functional matrix structure comes in where there is a collaboration between the various company divisions. The hierarchy is, however, maintained. The highly customized organizational structure allows for rapid innovation and product development, which are key to the achievement of the company’s success. In addition, the company takes advantage of the global resource pool to minimize its production costs. Various overseas assembly and production centers have been established to take advantage of readily available resources such as cheap labor. This is one of the most important benefits of globalization of operations.
Apple Inc. has been able to achieve immense market success in almost every part of the world. It is currently among the most profitable technology companies in the world. With such huge success, an organization cannot avoid finding itself spending a number of days in court. The company has faced various lawsuits related to how it carries out its business operations. Some of the lawsuits that the company has faced involved millions of dollars and the company has not found an effective way to stay out of court, even with its highly effective and profitable business strategies. In the year 2009, Apple Inc. was taken to court by rival company Nokia (Chen et al. 2013). Nokia claimed that Apple Inc. had been benefiting from technology that it (Nokia) had invented without paying for it. Apple Inc., in retaliation, sued Nokia on the use of its (Apple’s) patented technologies without paying for them. the claim was that Nokia has used a total of thirteen technologies patented by Apple, without paying Apple.
The lawsuits continued, with Nokia filing a complaint with the U.S International Trade Commission claiming that Apple’s products were infringing on Nokia’s patents. The lawsuits were resolved and settled after Apple Inc, agreed to pay some licensing fees to Nokia. In 2012, Proview Electronics, a Chinese electronics company, sued Apple Inc. for using the iPad brand, claiming that the American company had infringed on their trademark (Hu and Guo 2015). According to the Chinese company, Apple Inc. had bought the trademark form them but had not paid for it when written in Chinese. The lawsuit was estimated to be over a billion dollars but was settled out of court where Apple Inc. paid $60 million and bought the trademark written in Chinese. The company is able to resolve the lawsuits that it faces amicably, settling disputes with companies outside the court to protect its brand image and reputation. The good leadership of the company has enabled it to get past the lawsuits that it has faced in the past and remain on the path towards success.
In conclusion, the technology company has faced several challenges in the years that it has been in business, including facing various lawsuits, facing cutthroat competition and competitive rivalry, and adapting to the globalization of operations. However, it has been able to overcome them and remain on its success path through effective leadership, an effective organizational culture, a highly effective and efficient organizational structure, and through organizational changes such as security improvements (Amit and Zott 2010). The leadership of the company focuses on its employees and on innovation, which enables the company to develop premium quality and unique products that are able to attract new customers, resulting in company growth and market success. It is no surprise that the company has achieved immense global success, becoming the most profitable technology company in the world and enjoying customer trust and loyalty. Through proper leadership, adopting an effective business strategy, and innovation, Apple Inc. has become a reputable and successful technology company, beating its rivals to achieve global leadership in the industry.