Apple Inc. is known worldwide for its successful management of the company in the competitive market of consumer electronics industry. Its innovative products have huge differences with similar products launched by other competitor companies: starting from the aspect of quality to the after sales service provided by the organization. Trusted third party suppliers are applied so as to outsource the services that are provided by the company. In the last few years the consumer electronic market has been growing rapidly when commoditization is being concerned and the prices of the products and their qualities have become the sole factors that are controlling the competitive market.
Based in America as a billion dollar multinational company, Apple Inc has its head quarters in Cupertino, California, the United States of America. The company made its market presence felt for the first time in 1976, Steve Jobes, the founder of Apple lunched the first product in the consumer market. In 1977 Steve Wozniak joined the company. Some of the best known products that have been developed by Apple include the personal computers under the brand name of Macintosh, i-Pod, and i-Phone. Some of most widely sold software products that were manufactured by Apple were the final cut studio a combo pack for video and music production suit, software professional photography, Aperture, iTunes (the most widely used media browser), the operating system used in all Apple-made personal computers: the Mac Os X and the software suit use for music production: the logic studio.
Apple Inc. is known throughout the world for its successful management of the high end technology and its continuous supply of innovative technologies in the competitive market industry of consumer electronics. The products developed by Apple are in general not only innovative but are considered as the pioneers in the domain of technology. Apple has this far been able to understand the pulse of their customers and launch innovative products accordingly: the quality of the products and the services provided by the company being unquestionable.
Technological advancements and innovative technologies are two of the most essential aspects involved in the production operation of any organization involved with the development of the electronic and/ or digital products. The incorporation of these processes enables the strategies applied so as to upgrade the technology that already exists. Keeping this in mind, every organization irrespective to industry in which it operates, is aimed at defeating its competitors; such that they can remain focused on customer retention. This being the circumstances, it becomes apparent that those organizations who hold competitive advantage through technological up gradation, can lead the society with adopting innovation on frequent interval.
While, industries are concerned about the management of the technology and its innovation, they also need to be put emphasis on the opportunities that are presented to them because of the anticipated technological advancement, besides considering the threats that are associated with such innovation. Technology and innovation management helps a company to grasp new opportunity, idea and process. Technological innovation is consists of two steps, invention and imitation (Tsai & Chang, 2013).
With the intensification of Apple’s effort in China, Apple was able to increase its number of customers as the number of the Chinese population who easily adapted the technologies provided by Apple reached as much as one million. Again, with the invention of Digital Crown which enabled the high end user to set date, time and to wind the mainspring, Apple gained some thousand of additional loyal customers. Digital Crown came with simple gesture along with responsive navigation. As a focal point of display, a retina display is the base for the primary interaction with the Apple watch.
However, the current market trends indicate that apple needs to extend its market intensely where its presence is dim yet (Dodgson, Gann & Salter, 2008). Apple should be allowing more and more innovations in their departments dedicated to designing and development of products and put much more efforts towards effective research so as to maximize the generation of new features that could be added to their products, besides developing much more attractive products to be launched in the market.
From the very beginning apple has been very secretive about their projects: the company depends on a chosen number of contracted partners to develop their products which indicates that the management is vulnerable enough to risk supply of product, which can seriously affect the production in an adverse way any time a disruption occurs (Frost & Burnett, 2007).
There are several illegal sites which give facilities to download the songs at free of cost, which in turn stops the potential customers of Apple from downloading songs from their itunes store where they need to pay(Apple, 2015).. Due to the global economic downturn customers have drastically changed their habit of spending much, which in turn caused low sales figure for the apple products. Despite of growing revenue of apple, it is a fact that should be considered by the management that customers generally prefer products that are cheaper and various other brands are actually providing cheaper alternatives. Another fact as a threat comes up when the company faces strong competition from the competitors, such as Samsung. As the companies with whom the apple is competing are established and also selling their product at a cheap rate (Frost & Burnett, 2007).
This being the current scenario, an analytical study needs to be conducted which would emphasize on the following empirical questions:
1. Analysis of the factors which play an important and integral role in the unique and highly productive work culture of the organization, which focuses on the creativity and the innovations produced by Apple.
2. Evaluation and analysis of the policies and strategies taken by the organization which has led to the success of the organization.
3. A technological evaluation of the products that have been launched by the Apple Inc and that of the technologies that have been used in developing these products.
4. The socio-cultural impacts of the innovations made by Apple Inc .
While organizations are concerned about innovation and technological management, they need to focus on the existing technologies which are in use and need to identify those required technologies according to the present market trend. Though the number of consumers buying apple’s product in the electronic market has been growing rapidly, as far as commoditization is concerned, and the prices of the products have become the sole point of competition among the companies who produce consumer electronics, the management of the company themselves feel that they need to incorporate some analysis approach so as to gather information about the possible risks that might be associated with the procedures that are used in the management of their products and their innovations (Apple, 2015).
The proposed research will thorough analysis of the entire product range of the Apple Inc and their innovative technology which is used in all their products, such as, iMac with Retina 5K display, that has generated a great response in the market. The research will indulge in finding out the strategy that needs to be implemented in order to sustain in the present market of consumer electronics (Chambers, 2004).
As an area of research, unique factors are needed to be indentified which have been used in order to make Apple products innovative. Even the strategies that had helped in achieving the innovations need to be evaluated (Apple.com, 2015).
As indicated by the primary research conducted and the survey of the existing literature, in order to sustain in the competitive market, apple needs to follow the following steps:
In order to make a successful exposure, a company needs to have foundation of well planned technological and innovation management along with several key factors. A key factor for successful technological development lies upon the organization’s ability to efficiently and rapidly align the present market scenario and requirement. The solutions, which are developed in context of innovation and technological development, synchronize the research and the process of technological and innovation development. Hence all it requires is the development and implementation of various technologies and/ or innovation strategies, increments in the innovation capacity of the organization, a thoroughly organized R&D (research and development) effectively using a lean process and investing in intellectual ideas for the purpose of innovation (Tsai & Chang, 2013).
The proposed research aims at finding out the various strategies, plans and technicalities that have been implemented by the Apple Inc in order to find out how the organization has met up the various requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to retain the pioneer position in the electronics market.
In today’s world, executing research on technology and innovation management helps intellectual committees to bring out the opportunities to grasp the present market scenario. Hence, it can be possible to draw the current picture of the technological advancement. In this context, information is fetched on Apple by conducting survey on the current employees of apple to some extent and also research is done on the internet provided information.
As there is the requirement to gather primary data, this is the scenario where the sampling technique also helps in gathering data from the respondents by conducting the internal and external survey. In this method a proper candidate should be chosen in order to study the related and appropriate data with a proper data collection method. There are two sampling methods, such as, non-profitability sampling and profitability sampling. In this case study non-profitability sampling is chosen in order to reduce the deviation of responses collected from the working staffs of the organization. Hence primary data collection can be done.
An initial research has already been done: for this purpose, 90 respondents are selected, among from those 72 people have replied to this survey. This may help to obtain desirable conclusion from the survey. There are 5 top level staffs who were are chosen from the organization for the qualitative data collection. While going through the research, loyalty of the customer has been a big limitation since the loyal customers refrained from furnishing true information in many cases. Loyal customers have the tendency to provide the fake data so that flaws can remain hidden and only the glorious side of the company can reflect during the survey.
In the next step of the research, an analysis operation will be performed on all these data that have been collected through the survey to find out the primary reasons behind the enormous number if loyal customers that the organization has.
Once the primary reasons behind the popularity of the brand has have been marked out, some more surveys will be conducted in order to collect specific data regarding the factors that have been pointed out in the previous stage of the research.
Analytical tools will be used on every bit of data that are gathered through the surveys conducted. It is expected that the exhaustive usage of analytical tools on the survey data will be able to fetch the information we need so as to pinpoint the strategies and policies used by the organization that has led to its success.
To make the project in an effective manner, research methodologies are adopted, in order to bring the whole research process done, research analysis can be classified into two parts, such as Quantitative and Qualitative. The analysis of quantitative factor helps in conducting a huge number of respondents along with questionnaire survey. On the other hand Qualitative analysis helps to improve the quality of the product (Grashey-Jansen, 2010).
If there is an introduction of new technology or there is new technological advancement in apple, then before its introduction manager of the company should count the number of respondents, who are for the technological advancement or not for the advancement. This can be done only with the quantitative analysis. Qualitative analysis helps to understand the impact on the product quality due to the technological advancement in apple (Hunter & Tan, 2010).
In the research design researchers interpret the outcome on the analysis of the discussed objectives and purpose of the study. Based on the topic, the whole research provides the scope for the author to determine the research design. The basic research designs are explanatory, descriptive and exploratory. Exploratory design keep focus on the background information on the identified problem statements. Descriptive design allows relating the objective of the study with the obtained findings. Explanatory design helps to find out the reasons behind the problem occurrence. With the help of research designing purpose, researchers can be able to find the background information so that the person can build the problem statement and objectives required to be fulfilled, according to that ('Intelligent Energy's portable power Upp at Apple Stores in UK', 2014).
As there is the requirement to gather primary data, this is the scenario where the sampling technique helps in gathering data from the respondents by conducting the internal and external survey. In this method a proper candidate should be chosen in order to study the related and appropriate data with a proper data collection method. There are two sampling methods, such as, non-profitability sampling and profitability sampling (Kolker, 2010). In this case study non-profitability sampling is chosen in order to reduce the deviation of responses collected from the working staffs of the organization. Hence primary data collection can be done (Wilburn, Goonan, Bleiwas & Rodenburg, 2001).
Colin Cieszynski, who is analyst with CMC market, Canada, informed that there were the indications of company of being vulnerable and in the bubble. Hence many investors believe that the company can continue for a while. According to him the ability of company on the context of successful launch of products may determine the interest of the share holders to maintain their support for a long time.
In the 1984, the Macintosh proved itself as a foundation laying product. There was desktop publishing revolution begin with Macintosh with its rich GUI and the capability of the leaser writer printer. In this modern era Apple continues to lead industry with their award winning products and outsourcing services. Apple is also for the revolution led by the digital media, revolution with their iPod portable video players and music. With the entrance in the world of mobile computing, it altogether gave apple a new business strategy with the innovation iPhone .In last few years Apple is committed to give the best personal computing experience to creative professionals, educators, consumer and students across the globe through its innovation in service of giving software, hardware and internet offerings. When the context of downloading the large volume of music comes, Apple is the market leader which is just behind its competitor Dell and HP. Slow growth in economy experienced in different market is key turning point where the Apple performed well to increase the revenue over the years. According to new chief Executive officer of Apple, Tim Cook, there are 250 million devices contained of iOS software have been sold while apple apps are downloaded every month in an huge amount. The apple app developers are paid out with $3 billion and more than 60 million customers addicted to apple approach the company to have 23% market share of the PC industry, as of August, 2011. In the context of iPhone’s market, it has gained the growth of 125%.
Thus the Apple Inc can be considered as an organization which has gone through many ups and downs and yet has managed to retain its prime position in the consumer electronic industry. The research proposal to evaluate and analyze the various aspects of this industry is justified solely due to the success it has gained in introducing innovative products in the market and retaining the loyal customers even in midst of the global economic downfall.
Apple, (2015). Apple. [online] Available at: https://www.apple.com/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].
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Apple.com, (2015). Apple (United Kingdom) - iPhoneÂ 5s - Technical Specifications. [online] Available at: https://www.apple.com/uk/iphone-5s/specs/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].
Chambers, C. (2004). Technological advancement, learning, and the adoption of new technology. European Journal of Operational Research, 152(1), pp.226-247.
Continuing the trend of innovation & technological advancement at the annual IEEE International Conference on Communications - [Conference report]. (2009). IEEE Communications Magazine, 47(8), pp.12-13.
Dixon-Woods, M., Yeung, K. and Bosk, C. (2011). Why is UK medicine no longer a self-regulating profession? The role of scandals involving â€œbad appleâ€Â doctors. Social Science & Medicine, 73(10), pp.1452-1459.
Dodgson, M., Gann, D. and Salter, A. (2008). The management of technological innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Frost, S. and Burnett, M. (2007). Case study: the Apple iPod in China. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 14(2), pp.103-113.
Grashey-Jansen, S. (2010). Pedohydrological case study of two apple-growing locations in South Tyrol (Italy). Agricultural Water Management, 98(2), pp.234-240.
Hunter, M. and Tan, F. (2010). Technological advancement in developed and developing countries. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
Intelligent Energy's portable power Upp at Apple Stores in UK. (2014). Fuel Cells Bulletin, 2014(12), p.8.
Kolker, E. (2010). A Vision for 21st Century U.S. Policy to Support Sustainable Advancement of Scientific Discovery and Technological Innovation. OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, 14(4), pp.333-335.
Ma, Y. (2011). Research on Scientific and Technological Statistics& Technological Innovation Management. Management & Engineering, pp.46-52.
Oncioiu, I. (2013). Business innovation, development, and advancement in the digital economy. Hershey, Pa.: IGI Global (701 E. Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 17033, USA).
Press, S., Harman, A. and Nerlove, M. (1975). Methodology for subjective assessment of technological advancement. Santa Monica, Ca.: Rand.
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO LTD v APPLE RETAIL UK LTD. (2015). Reports of Patent, Design and Trade Mark Cases, 132(1), pp.42-58.
Tsai, P. and Chang, S. (2013). Comparing the Apple iPad and non-Apple camp tablet PCs: a multicriteria decision analysis. Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 19(sup1), pp.S256-S284.
What do Apple, IBM and P&G know?. (2011). Strategic Direction, 27(3), pp.29-31.
Wilburn, D., Goonan, T., Bleiwas, D. and Rodenburg, E. (2001). Technological advancement, a factor in increasing resource use. [Reston, Va.]: U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Dept. of the Interior.
Zantuck, S. (2013). Cultural change must accompany technological advancement. Nursing Standard, 28(7), pp.35-35.
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