Company Name – Apple
Founder – Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne
As the largest revenue earning Information Technology Company, Apple Inc. is among the Big Four technological bodies with Google, Facebook and Amazon. This American multinational company has its headquarters in 1 Apple Parkway of Cupertino in California. As of 2018, Apple has 500 worldwide retail stores. Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple while Arthur D. Levinson is the Chairman.
How It All Started
From 1st April in 1976 to 1984 was the era of building foundation and incorporation of Apple by the three masterminds –Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak. Wozniak singlehandedly built the first Apple product –Apple I, which was a hand-built computer with motherboard consisting of CPU, RAM along with basic text-video clips. At USD 666.66, it was launched publicly in July of the same year at Homebrew Computer Club.
After Wayne sold off his shares to Jobs and Wozniak, on 3rd January in 1977 the incorporation of Apple Computer Inc took place and it also owed to Mike Markkula for huge funding and business expertise.
On 16th April in the same year, Wozniak came up with Apple II at West Coast Computer Faire and it was chosen for VisiCalc due to it open architecture, cell-based graphics and Disk II as storage devices. By then, sales had hiked with average 533% growth rate annually.
In May of 1980, Apple II was introduced in competition with Microsoft and IBM with the help of production line and computer designers. Xerox had granted Jobs, a few Apple employees along with Jef Raskin, the human-computer expert interface to visit Xerox Alto in Xerox PARC.
Jobs then started working in development of GUI for Apple Lisa but in 1982, he took over Macintosh –the low-cost project of Raskin and Wozniak due to infighting. In the race between Lisa and Macintosh, Lisa was shipped first but failed commercially due to costliness. On 12th December, 1980, Apple was introduced to public, generated huge capital and immediately created 300 millionaires.
Macintosh, the 1st personal computer without programming language was launched in 1984 followed by the CNN acknowledged “masterpiece” advertisement. It performed well initially and due to limited software title range and high price, its sale went down. With LaserWriter and PageMaker, the condition was addressed properly and Macintosh GUI created a milestone in desktop publishing industry. In 1985, due to conflict between the then CEO John Sculley and Jobs, Wozniak and Jobs resigned and after a few struggle with Macintosh products, the Macintosh LC, Macintosh Portable, Macintosh Classic etc were introduced by Apple and the “first golden age” (1989-1991) was experienced by Macintosh.
During 1991 to 1997 was also an era when several brands like Centris, Quadra, Performa along with various experimental electronics products and followed by sale decline and appointment of Michael Spindler as new CEO, Apple created alliance with Motorola and Alliance to introduce Power Macintosh. Gil Amelio replaced Spindler and made numerous changes in 1996 including purchasing NeXT with NeXTSTEP OS by Jobs to bring him back to Apple.
Apple’s marketing strategy and reasons behind its success
-At Macworld Expo in 1997, Steve Jobs made announcement of Apple’s partnership with Microsoft for releasing latest Microsoft Office versions for Macintosh and in the same year on 10th November, Apple Online Store was introduced. So long working as advisor, Jobs was appointed as interim CEO once Amelio became ousted and Jobs started working with Jonathan Ive to come up with iMac or Macintosh 128K in the following year and iPod and iPhone came followed by as designed by Jonathan.
-As the largest music store, iTunes was launched by Apple in 2003 and in 2006, Jobs launched iMac and MacBook Pro by using Core Duo CPU from Intel. In the same year, Boot Camp was launched to help customers install Vista or XP of Windows alongside Mac OS on Intel Macs.
-Apple Computer Inc was renamed as Apple Inc in 2007. Jobs decided to emphasize on consumer electronics and launched iPhone –the “game changer”, Apple TV and iPod Touch and App Store for Apple was launched in 2008 to sell the third-party apps to these products. After quite a round of speculations iPad was released in 2010 as a tablet device.
-iPhone’s newer versions are regularly updated. iPhone 4 in 2010 introduced multitasking, video calling along with uninsulated stainless steel buildup acting as antenna. Even after Jobs’ death and end of a golden era for Apple on 5th October in 2011, Apple’s journey didn’t stop as iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPhone 7 and the latest iPhone XR with newer and greater features keep on ruling the market in spite of the cost.
-Mp3 players were upgraded to iPod Nano with multi-touch, iPod Touch having FaceTime, iPod Shuffle etc. in 2010 while MacBook Air laptop with iLife and mac OS X Lion was introduced in the same year.
-In 2011, Mac App Store came into being and by 2012, the market was triggered by 3rd and 4th gen iPads having Retina displays, 3rd gen MacBook Pro, upgraded iMac, Mac Mini etc.
-In 2017, HomePod, a smart speaker in competition with Amazon Echo and Sonos was introduced. By the end of 2017, Apple acquired Shazam to bolster the Apple Music.
Uniqueness in advertising and simplicity in reaching out to audience is the main campaigning strategy of Apple. By stating the product details to customers in straightforward way and moving away from too much digital advertising, Apple makes users understand the products by using easily understandable terms like ‘retina display’, ‘edge-to-edge glass’ and ‘LED Backlight’.
The first campaign for Macintosh – “1984” was a sensational commercial aired on 22nd January during 3rd quarter break in Super Bowl XVIII where the “rainbow bitten” logo was first seen. The “Lemmings” in 1985, “What’s Your PowerBook?” in 1990s and infomercial of “The Martinetti’s Bring Home a Computer” in 1995 was also notable campaigns.
For Apple computer, with a tagline of “Think Different” the print advertisements and television commercials were launched during 1995 to 2000. From 2001 till date, the “Switch” advertising campaign to urge people from switching to Mac from Microsoft, iPod and iTunes commercials, 24 advertisements regarding “Get a Mac” campaign, Genius advertisements during 2112 Summer Olympics broadcasting, iPhones multiple campaigns with tagline of “Hello” and Apple music advertisements featuring celebrities like Taylor Swift, Lil Buck etc have been successful.
As the brainchild of Jobs, Wayne and Wozniak, Apple since 1976 has been designing, developing and selling consumer electronics, computer hardware and software, semiconductors and various other services like digital distribution, fables silicon designing etc.
While iPhone became the 3rd largest mobile brand after Huawei and Samsung, the iTunes has been the largest music retail brand. In spite of criticisms, Apple’s brand loyalty has been the reason of its success.