Apple is a multinational corporation that has its headquarters in Cupertino, California. Apple Inc. is best known for designing, developing and selling consumer electronics, personal computers and computer software. IPad, tablets, iPhone Smartphone, iPod and computer Mac line are its best hardware products. IWork and iLife product suites and creativity, Safari browser, iTunes browser, operating systems of iOS and OS X are its software products. The company has been present in several countries globally and has several factors that affect its operations (Entner, 2009). This paper will carry out PEST analysis in the context of Apple Company using iPhone as a case study. Further, it will carry out a general environment analysis of Apple Company.
General Environment Analysis of Apple Company
The political, Economic, Social, and Technological (PEST) are some of the four main factors that actually play a major role in the operations of Apple. The political factors that include widespread red tape, corruption, as well as poor state of infrastructure have hindered the operation of Apple. However, Apple as a company does not have control over these factors. It is the government of the country that can act on this. Further, the economic factors have been taken good care of by Apple through their product f affordable communication devices such as iPhone. The introduction of iPhone into the wireless industry was marred with complaints by consumers in regard to its high prices. However, currently the device is relatively affordable hence changing prices of other cell phones within the wireless industry. The original version of iPhone was sold for $499 for 4GB model and $599 for 8GB model. However, currently 8GB iPhone 3G can be purchased for $99, 16GB 3G(s) can be bought for $199 and 32GB 3G(s) at $299. Further, Apple dropped the 8GB with the release of the iPhone 4 and consequently priced the 16 and 32GB at $199 and $299 respectively with the AT&T contract. The refurbished 3G and 3G(s) models are also available through AT&T for from $50 to $150 depending on the model. This move by Apple has completely revolutionized the pricing of cell phones in the wireless industry, since other companies must also lower their prices in order to compete favorably (Entner, 2009).
In the context of social and technological, the company has improved its technological standards and has been producing communication devices that are socially accepted among a larger population. In the year 2003 Steve Jobs had a prediction that despite the public demand for the new tablets and PDAs, the cell phone was bound to become the next important device in aiding portable access to information after the use of notebook computers. In the fall of 2005, Steve Jobs tasked 200 of the Apple’s top engineers to come with a revolutionary cell phone (Vogelstein, 2008). After several months of public speculations rumors, and gossip by fans and journalists, Steve Jobs announced the invention of iPhone on January 9, 2007. The press was able to review the hardware of the device before its release and they were so impressed (Vogelstein, 2008)
Since the release of iPhone in the year 2007, there has been two major revision carried out on its hardware. The first revision was focused on the speed of the device, storage size, its movement from the edge data network to a more improved and modern network called 3G. This model was therefore referred to as 3G. The second revision was basically focused on GPS navigation, boasted improved processor speed, video capabilities, and voice control. This second revision was referred to as 3G(s). The latest version of iPhone is the iPhone 4. Apple has improved almost every feature of this device. The latest version has camera, improved processor speed, video recording, and sound quality for phone calls, signal reception and wifi detection, memory, motion sensing, size and weight and screen resolution. Further, the device has features like front facing camera which can be used to facilitate face to face phone calls and an operating system that can allow multitasking. These changes have completely blown up the wireless industry with reported 1.7 million sales within the first three days of being opened up for sales (Wauters, 2010).
The process of innovation is a comprehensive one which requires the close attention of the companies implementing the aspect. Through the innovation of the product into the market, the companies are able to lure the consumers in the market by appealing to them with new features that increase the levels of satisfaction (Merrill, 2008). The innovative process involves a series of steps which allows the company implementing it to realize the desired outcome. The question that needs to be addressed in this light is: did Apple Inc follow the guideline of innovation in the launch of the iPad into the market? The intention is to analyze the guidelines that were followed and how effective the future innovations could be implemented judging from the already existing innovations. The first step in the innovation process is the idea generation and shaping. This is usually the initial stage that is usually driven by the needs that are identified by the company in the market. At this point, the company seeks to evaluate the needs of the consumer that needs to be met and thus identifies the product or service that may be introduced in the market so as to meet the existing needs (Foray, 2001). The aspects of the new product or service that is to be introduced in the market will thus be motivated by the needs of consumers in the market.
The executive team of Apple is charged with the responsibility of setting and subsequently implementing the environmental policies. This team of senior executives of Apple is advised by various teams from across the company that includes product development, environmental engineering, facilities, as well as supplier responsibility. The climate change strategy of Apple is built into the development plans of facilities and consequently playing significant role in the process of product development (Eaton &. Noah, 2010). In the year 2009, at the direction of Executive Team, Apple is reported to have been the first company within the electronic industry to make a report of the entire footprint that includes the impact its product has on the environment through its use by the consumer. Furthermore, it provides the consumer with the unprecedented level of transparency and detail on which to base their decisions to make purchases, measuring the carbon footprint of the company and consequently helping the company in identifying the different areas where significant reductions can be made (Drucker, 2007).
It is has been reported that the enormous majority of the greenhouse gas emissions of an estimated 98 percent come from the life cycle of the product. This is why the decisions concerning the environmental attributes of Apple products are actually an integral aspect of the decisions that relates to the manufacture and design of the products.
This also applies to the environmental decisions of the Apple products. The integrated approach of Apple Company simply means that the decisions made concerning the environment are reviewed at the top of the organizational structure (Walrus, 2011). The structure has actually been significant in the success of Apple, specifically in the context of environmental responsibility. The executive team members carry out regular reviews of the new products during the development of the product with focus on the supply chain, design and material choices, packaging, as well as the energy efficiency of the products. Each of the areas above has an impact on the environmental footprint. The strategy has been utilized by Apple for over two decades is reported to have resulted to environmentally forward looking product designs within the industry (Trott, 2008).
Every product that is produced by Apple is reported to meet the energy star guidelines that is meant for the energy efficiency, is made of materials that are highly recyclable, and is subsequently free from any of the harmful toxins. The operation and facility teams make regular review of the programs as well as investments in order to reduce the carbon emission with executive members of the team. The results of the reviews that are carried out include the new technology investments, increased use of power, conservation, and commute programs. The efforts made by the teams have resulted to the highest rate of product recycling within Apple Company (Eaton & Noah, 2010).
Apple Company delivers significant environmental attributes across the products as well as the product families of the company. Apple has not only delivered in areas where other company’s within the industry have only promised to deliver in the future. Apple has actually delivered within the areas where it is meaningful. The executive team if Apple has a commitment to the environmental strategy of removing toxins, reducing the carbon footprint, as well as reporting on the environmental impact of each and every product that is made by Apple in order for the customers to be able to measure the progress (Eaton & Noah, 2010). Moreover, Apple also reports annual global corporate emissions and at the product level whenever any new product is introduced. Apple has adopted life cycle assessment which is a practice of evaluating the impact a given product whether iPad or iPhone has on the environment through the whole of its life cycle. The main objective of completing full cycle analysis is improve the efficiency of resources while making a reduction of the environmental impact of the various activities required in the manufacturing, distribution, use, as well as disposal of the product.
Conclusively, Apple effectively applied the innovation process in the launch of the iPad in the market. However, in the future the hitches realized have to be avoided. The only way to achieve this is through the effective evaluation of the features of the new product before it can be introduced in the market. Moreover, the company should been in constant talks with the governments of the countries they operate in so as to ensure that political factors does not hinder their operations.
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