The Apple Inc. company is one of the world’s leading electronic companies which operates in many countries around the globe. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started the company in 1976. The company has had to undergo and overcome many challenges since its inception to be the dominant company it is now. The company has a unique innovative management structure that tries new ventures and comes up with new products. The financial position of the company gives it an added advantage as they are able to invest in innovative ventures hence outwit its competitors. The company has different economic and social responsibilities handled through its social and economic environment. Apple Inc. has had its fair share of legal problems and it handles most of them before it can reach the courts. The company has an efficient operation workforce that enables it to come up with new ideas and stay on top of the competition (Wheelen & Hunger, 2002).
The company has been in existence for the past three decades, and it achieved its flourishing performance in the market due to the inventive and innovative spirit of its management team. The Apple’s boards of directors are in charge of the chief executive officer and the senior managers all over the company. They focus on the ethical and competent procedures of the management in order to make sure that everything is done according to the strategic plans of the company. The board requires its directors to take a down to business and focused stand in making their decisions and guiding the other workers on the right path to achieve the set standards. Steve Jobs who had steered the company to its current state of success used to be the head of the top-level management. He used to be the CEO of the company, and he was famously known for his perspective and optimistic nature in driving the other managers to work hard. Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011; he was succeeded by Timothy D. “Tim’ Cook who is the current CEO of the company. Ten other assistants under Tim Cook are the vice presidents in the company. All these vice presidents serve different departments in the organization; and they are the chief operations officer, chief financial officer, retail and general counsel, global product marketing and industrial design (Lashinsky, 2012). Those in charge of engineering are the company hardware engineering, IOS software and software engineering. These are the top-level managers in charge of different operations throughout the company and its worldwide branches. The other management levels under the ten vice presidents are the home market management, business market, government educational procedures and international sales. There are administrative departments that help in the daily management of the low-level managers and workers. It should be noted that the current success of the management team was acquired by the efforts of Jobs who was keen on the management arrangement. This is why he has the nickname “micromanager’’.
However, the company has had its fair share of problems with the top managers resigning and others coming in. The top level managers often have problems with their teams due to lack of cooperation. This was at its worst in the 1990s when the company had to practically do everything in its power to retain the competent managers (Grady, 2009).
The company has had legal problems in the different countries of its operations. The company uses the litigation methods to handle most of its business issues before they are taken to court. This is to try to avoid the long times spent in court proceedings that can take up to ten years before a verdict is made. However, the company has not been able to avoid going to court in all its legal problems. Apple has been to court over customer issues, commercial unjust trade performance suits, corporate spying, slander accusations, antitrust claims and property disputes (Scott, 2008). The consumer and trust issues came about due to technological errors in its products reaching the consumers. The legal case of antitrust issues came up with the case filed accusing it of maintaining a monopoly in the processing of iTunes. This was also the case in the UK where they were taken to court because they were charging higher prices in the country as compared to the same tunes in other countries. The company is also famous for its legal action to promote itself aggressively in the intellectual property benefits. The technological cases include the copyright issues, battery life cases, Cisco systems, trademarks and domain name disputes.
The company is keen on maintaining a clean picture in the corporate social responsibility aspects. They make possible by maintaining a strong regulatory tie with the suppliers to ensure they act according to the Supplier Code of Conduct. This provides an in depth detail on how the suppliers are to behave when dealing with the human right issues and labor, health and wellbeing, the environment, ethics, and administration systems. Regulating the auditing processes, change procedures and future social responsibilities are other areas that Apple Inc. focuses on. The company detaches experienced employees to different sites to monitor the actions of the suppliers and to check whether they act in accordance with the code of conducts. The change implementation process requires a training course where the employees get financial management tips, stress management and conflict solving techniques. The company has been changing its production techniques to reduce emission of carbon in an effort to support environmentally friendly actions. They are also using recyclable material to wrap their products. The energy consumption capacity of the latest products in the market shows its efforts to minimize energy consumption (Linzmayer, 1999).
Economic Environment and Financial Issues
The economic challenges, which faced the European and American continents during the economic recession, did not affect the Apple Inc. economy as such. The reason is that it has markets in different parts of the world and, as a result, it withstood the hard economic times. The company has a strong financial standing because of the increasing sales and the new technologies that help them come up with goods that reach the market and get good reception. The net sales have been in the rise over the last five years with the sales increasing by 35% in 2008. This is evident in the net income statements of the third quarter of 2012 where the chief financial officer announced that they had a net income of $41 billion and $50 billion cash flow. The sales of iPhones in 2012 were 26.9 million and iPads - 14.0 million. This represents 26 percent and 25 percent increase in sales respectively. There was one percent increase in the sales of the Macs. The economic environment deals with competition, consumer decisions and the supplier demands. This affects the business operations and the gross margin income. The company deals with economic factors affecting the consumers using the price mix. Apple Inc. depends on the sole or limited services to run most of its operations, and this may affect the costs of the products manufactured and sold (Carlton, 1997).
Impact of Potential Change Factors
The change that may influence the performance of Apple Inc. is the production of iPads and iPhones by Samsung Company. This is the first ever real competition for Apple Inc. that may change the way they perform most of its marketing and production issues. The competition is the first one in many years, and this may pose a challenge to top management on how best to counter the new competition. Samsung uses different strategies to do its marketing. They go into populated markets and create innovations that outwit the existing ones. This means that Apple has to up their marketing skills if they are to retain the 72percent market dominance they have now. The other change that may influence their performance is the potential supplier disruption due to the increasing competition from the Samsung group. The rising competition threatens the safe haven the Apple Inc. has existed in the past three decades.
The company has a large market, and despite the challenges it faces especially in China, where most of its production takes place, many customers still buy their products. The evolution in technology has led to a lot of changes in the operations of the company, and the management has had its fair share of challenges dealing with the turnover of its top managements. The company focuses on the social and environmental responsibility to help create a good relationship with its market. This faces major setbacks from some social groups who claim that they are not doing enough to support the society by offering grants and donations despite the huge income and profits they register every year. However, the company counters this by focusing on safe productions and environmentally friendly actions. The financial and economic environment in the company is growing as shown in the previous press release on the profits and net incomes. The company has to deal with many legal cases where they are either the defendants or the respondents. Apple Inc. has made a name for itself in the market, and it has few threats from its competitors.