Introduction

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Products and Services. Apple Inc. is a technological company with headquarters in Cupertino in California. It is an American multinational corporation (MNC) that develops, designs, and sells computer software, online services, and consumer electronics. It also deals with hardware products which include HomePod smart speakers, iPad tablet, iPhone smartphone, iPod portable player, Mac personal computer, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. Its consumer software includes iOS and macOS operating systems, Safari web browser, iTunes player. Its online services include iCloud, iTunes Store, iOS App Store, Apple Music, and Mac App Store (Apple Inc. 1).

Foundation. The founders of Apple Inc. were Ronald Wayne, Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak (O’Regan 25). They found it in April 1976 with the primary aim of developing and selling personal computers (O’Regan 25). In January 1977, they incorporated it (O’Regan 25). The result of this was significant growth in revenue and sales. It went public in 1980 (O’Regan 26). Over the next few years, it experienced financial success that no other company of the time rivaled. It began to feature new computers with graphical user interfaces and implemented marketing strategies that received a wide acclaim.

Status. Apple Inc. is the largest technology company in the world by revenue. On the other hand, it is the second-largest manufacturer of mobile phones (cellphones) in the world after Samsung (O’Regan 27). In 2015, it became the first American company to have the value of over $700 billion (O’Regan 28).

Following is a table that shows its net sales growth history between 2002 and 2012. The graph shows that between 2002 and 2012, its sales grew by over 180,000. The sound financial performance indicates that the company enjoys favorable performance in the contemporary technological market.

Apple has over 120,000 employees and maintains over 500 retail stores in over 22 countries (Apple Inc. 1). Its average worldwide revenue is over $220 billion (WSJ 1). It enjoys brand loyalty. Even though it experienced critical criticism over its labor and environmental practices, it continues to be one of the best-performing companies in the global market.

Present Position
Revenue and Sales. In May 2017, Apple Inc. announced its latest results. According to Apple Inc. (1), its first-quarter revenue was $52.9 billion with $11.03 billion in profit. According to the company, it sold 50.7 million iPhones, 4.19 million Macs, and 8.92 million iPads. The figures show its new products. In comparison to the previous year’s second-quarter results, the firm announced that it underwent a loss. Last year’s second-quarter results revealed that it had $78.4 billion in revenue and $17.89 billion in profit (WSJ 1).

The following figure shows a visual representation of the company’s present position. The graph shows that the net sales of iPhone mark the largest source of revenue and profit for Apple Inc. (graph in color red). It also indicates that the Mac sales are stagnant. According to it, between the third quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, the firm experienced a drop in revenue.

Other Financial Imperatives. The organization predicts that in the fourth quarter, its revenues will fall to between $45.4 billion and $42.4 billion (Apple Inc. 1). The reason for this is because of an increase in competition from Samsung. In addition, it is due to the launch of the lowly-priced iPad 9.7. With the company planning to launch its latest iPhone X, which will be the most expensive brand of iPhone in history, its view is that it (the new iPhone) will improve its revenue and sales. Nonetheless, its earnings per share (EPS) rose from $1.42 to $1.67 (WSJ 1). Its gross margin also improved from 38.02% to 38.51% (WSJ 1). Other financial imperatives are operating expenses, which were $6.72 million, increase in iPhone sales from 2% to 3%, iPad unit sales up 2% to 15%, Mac sales up by 1%, and service revenues up by 22% (WSJ 1, and Apple Inc. 1).

Summary and Conclusions
Current Position. The latest report by Apple shows that it is the most valuable company in the world by premium positioning, financial performance, and influence. According to WSJ (1), it holds this position for the fifth consecutive year. It commands secure earnings and premium prices for its shareholders and customers respectively and has the most influential brand in the world. Its superior products and functionally-integrated model are better than the ones that belong to its competitors. For the past 40 weeks, the company saw an increase of its overall revenue by 5% to $176.66 billion (WSJ 1). Its net income also increased by 3% to reach 37.64 billion (Apple Inc. 1). The revenues are a reflection of the growth of its operating segment in its domestic market, which is North America.

Reasons for its Current Position. The person that is mainly responsible for the financial success of the company is Steve Jobs because of his innovation prowess and leadership skills. However, the firm focuses on the products that have more values than the ones that do not. It shifted its focus to consumer products such as iPhone (Plus) to capture a significant share of the global market. Its concern is more quality than the price. The brand loyalty that it commands is primarily responsible for its growth in recent years. It also focuses on software, hardware, and operating systems, as well as services, which significantly contribute to its success. The recommendation is that if Apple Inc. desires to maintain its market competitiveness, it should employ the same strategies. However, its focus should be on the development of software products and its services because of the changing nature of the technological market.

    References
  • Apple Inc. “Apple Inc. (AAPL) Balance Sheet – NASDAQ.com.” 28 Sept. 2017, www.nasdaq.com/symbol/aapl/financials?query=balance-sheet. Accessed 28 Sept. 2017.
  • O’Regan, G. “Apple Inc.” Pillars of Computing, vol. 1, no. 5, 2015, pp. 25-30, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-21464-1_5.
  • The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). “AAPL Financial Statements – Apple Inc. – Wall Street Journal.” 28 Sept. 2017, quotes.wsj.com/AAPL/financials. Accessed 28 Sept. 2017.