Apple Inc. was started by Steve Jobs and is one of the most successful companies in the world. Apple Inc.’s success is a big of our world. Apple infiltrates the news and media, its sales in the billions for the past decade. Apple’s contributions to the computer field and cell phone industry have made it a company to be reckoned with, as its competitive edge has withstood the test of time. Updating its products constantly and predicting what customers wants makes Apple a good company to invest in. This paper will highlight different aspects of Apple’s business, such as trends, its business environment, sustainability, impact, alignment, and ethics. The paper will explain some negative aspects of Apple, such as its outsourcing of jobs, treating its workers bad with low wages and subpar working conditions. However, Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 is sure to create some buzz and keep the company as the ultimate leader in the cell phone market.

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I. Trends

Business Environment
Apple Inc. is one of the most successful companies in contemporary society. This paper will describe the company’s history, sustainability, ethics, alignment, business environment, and impact and will feature much description on its iPhone products. Founded by Steve Jobs over 30 years ago, most of its products coming from its iPhone products. Apple has the edge in the computer and cell phone products (Apple Inc., 2011). Apple Inc.’s history shows how the company has been able to stay on top of its game. In 2007, Apple released its first iPhone that had a camera, virtual keyboard, and Wi-Fi. The iPhone was so popular that Time magazine signified it as Invention of the Year. In 2008, Jobs’ company released the iPhone 3G on the market. Created for busy corporate business people, the 3G version had Microsoft Exchange capability. A speedier internet connection and a new GPS feature put it a step above the rest of the competition. In 2009, the 3GS iPhone burst onto the scene. The new phone quickly signed onto the internet. However, Apple Inc. did not stop there. Its iPhone 4 came out a year later and had an advanced 5-megapixel camera, a better battery, and a gaming system .

Within the past couple of years, Apple Inc. has updated its iPhones several times. The multi-million dollar corporation released the iPhone 5 in 2013. Its new features were a longer battery life, a bigger screen, and a quicker A6 processor. The iPhone 5 also had a more intelligent Siri, a wallet app for gift cards, tickets, and boarding passes, more space, and a lighter weight for easier carrying .

One key reason for Apple Inc.’s success has been the company’s ability to maintain its competitive edge by updating its cell phones quicker than other companies. The iPhone 6 is thinner than models that claim to be better, such as the One Plus 2 model from Samsung. The iPhone 6 has better data transfer and output than other cell phones, its target market appearing to be people between the ages of 20 to 45. Business people who need a fast internet and are always on the go can benefit from the iPhone 6 and the iPhone6 Plus, the plus version 5.5 inches versus the regular version’s 4.7 inch size an improvement. Other cell phone companies have not been able to match Apple’s creative innovation. Their research and development department works diligently all year round and is constantly working to improve Apple’s products .

One thing that Apple has been able to do is convince investors that its products are profitable and that the business is still worth it. Apple, Inc. offers many products and has many sources of income coming in from all over the world. In 2011, Apple Inc. made close to $110,000 in total sales in 2011(Apple Inc., 2011). Apple Inc. keeps getting stronger and is one of the most lucrative companies in the world with a market value of $623 billion .

II. Ethics
Although Apple, Inc. has been a major leader in computers, iPhones, and tablets, some of their ethics concerning workers has been debated. Much of Apple Inc.’s manufacturing takes place outside of the United States. Many of the plants are located in China. One company called Foxconn employs close to 250,000 workers. They are subjected to bad work conditions and low pay. These workers only make under $17 per day. Many of these employees work about 6 days per week of at least 12 hour shifts. In addition to this, the facility is overcrowded and not well ventilated, the smell of smoke and stale air thick. Foxconn also has facilities in Asia, Europe, and Mexico. The company also creates about 40% of the electronics that other organizations buy products from, such as Dell, Hewett-Packard, Nintendo, Samsung, Amazon, and Sony. Is it right for a company that makes millions of dollars to treat it workers so poorly? Furthermore, should we be supporting Apple, Inc. and other companies that buy from Foxconn that subject its workers to such horrible pay and working conditions? In spite of Apple’s unethical treatment of workers, the success of the company is likely to overshadow any maltreatment in foreign countries, customers still purchasing products from them in droves .

The increased use of manufacturing plants outside of America also brings up other ethical issues. Outsourcing of jobs has decreased the number of middle skilled manufacturing positions that increased the power of the middle class. With the shrinking of the American middle class and more people falling into poverty, it seems as if Apple, Inc. is acting unethically. Even if cheap labor and workers are available, Apple Inc. should not be using them. That is taking advantage of workers .

Fortunately, Apple has established itself as a credible company that stock market holders feel safe and comfortable in investing in. Apple has one of the best financial resources, the corporation’s stock value per share having risen exponentially. Apple Inc. possesses the revenue and money for researching new product lines that cannot easily be replaced by other companies. In 2011, Apple Inc. spent about $2,500 million on Research and Funding (Apple Inc., 2011). As you can see, Apple has devoted much capital to Research and Development. This has served as a major business strategy and tactic for Apple Inc. which has worked well (Apple Inc., 2011, p.36).

Apple, Inc. has also been able to predict what consumers want in an iPhone. Its newest models always seem to create some anticipation and buzz around its latest release. For instance, Apple’s iPhone 7 is scheduled to be released on September 16, 2016. In addition to this, the iPhone 8 has already been rumored to be in the process of being designed and it said to be a radical shift in what cell phone users are accustomed to in a phone .

Over the past 20 years, Apple Inc. has performed consistently well in distinctive competence, in terms of product innovation (Thompson, Evaluating a company’s resources and ability to compete successfully, 2013). Even after the death of founder Steve Jobs, Apple has continually created new products to sustain its competitive edge. It has been able to stay ahead of its biggest competitor, Dell (Thompson, Evaluating a company’s external environment, 2013, p. 35). While Apple Inc. has captivated customers with fresh new products. Apple has been able to predict customers’ wants well. It has also adjusted prices when necessary, such as lowering it iPhone 6 price from $300 to about $99. Therefore, consumers who are on a budget can still buy the latest products without putting oneself in a financial hole. Companies that care about the consumer are more apt to stay in business for a longer time, its success increasing every year.

As you can see, Apple Inc. has been a smash success in the cell phone and computer industry. It has created products that cannot be easily substituted and have made products that customer love. Investors enjoy putting stock in the company and have benefited from Apple’s billion dollar sales. Knowing how to satisfy customers and continually upgrade products has kept Apple, Inc. a lucrative company. However, some ethical issues such as outsourcing, paying workers low wages, and subjecting workers to bad conditions has been an issue. However, the upcoming release of the iPhone 7 has created some excitement, Apple Inc. most likely keeping its competitive edge for a long time.

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