Apple’s history begins in 1976 when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer. The Apple II was released in April 1978 which sparked a computer revolution. Apple launched its IPO in 1980. Apple was the leader in computers and computer programing until IBM entered the PC market in 1981. Within 4 years, Apple’s net income fell 62% pushing the company into a crisis. Steve Jobs was replaced by John Sculley in 1985 who helped push the Mac into new markets. By 1990, Apple was the most profitable company in the world primarily because of the Mac.
Between 1993 and 1997, two different CEOs ran Apple, Michael Spindler, and Gilbert Amelio respectively. Neither CEO had the ability to forge Apple into new markets. It was not until Steve Jobs returned in 1997 that Apple made a dramatic turnaround. The i-Mac was redesigned to support various products only previously used for Widows machines including printers. Apple saw their profits soar. In 2001, Apple introduced the iPod, followed by the iPhone in 2007, and finally the iPad in 2010. Apple dominated the MP3 market with the iPod primarily because of iTunes software which allowed customers to purchase any and all music easily. The iPhone gained huge success and popularity because of the Apple App Store which debuted in 2008. This allowed customers to purchase free or low priced applications for their iPhones.
The case addresses one key problem; can Apple continue its huge success and profitability after 2010? Apple has continued to grow rapidly since 2007. It is important for Apple to examine whether or not they can sustain this type of growth. In addition, Apple introduced several new products in 2010 including the iPad and another version of the iPhone. It is too early to tell if the iPad will be successful and how the new version of the iPhone will be received by consumers.
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