Apple computer has experienced both good and bad times as a major player in the computer industry.

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Introduction

Apple computer has experienced both good and bad times as a major player in the computer industry. It has been a leader in computer technology in the past but has struggled lately in keeping pace in the rapidly developing computer industry. Developing technology and evolving computer applications have contributed to a business environment that is extremely competitive. Survival in this industry requires the ability to anticipate changes and to effectively respond to market demands. This industry has experienced tremendous growth over the last two decades with the popularity of personal computers. Many households now have personal computers, making them a household item. This market is no longer confined to the business and educational environment; computers are a consumer good world-wide. Every day, new uses for personal computers are developed including information dissemination, world-wide communications and entertainment. Apple Computer, Inc. must respond to this business environment if it is to survive in the future. Apple Computer, Inc. developed as a major player in the computer industry in the early years. This company started as a garage operation in 1976 and grew to a publicly traded company by 1980.

Middle

Apple also underestimated the growth potential of the computer industry. In an effort to exercise control their products, Apple decided not to allow "cloning" of their product. They felt they could effectively protect their technological competitive advantage by keeping tight control over manufacturing of their systems. When Microsoft successfully introduced their version of "windows," Apple now had a new competitive threat. IBM chose to allow the cloning of their computer systems and this spawned a tremendous boom in PC based computer companies. Apple has paid a large price for this decision by losing larger and larger portions of the market share. This trend needs to be reversed if Apple is to survive as a major player in the computer industry. The result of these ineffective strategies required Apple to begin a series of Defensive Strategies. Apple Computer, Inc. began to initiate a Retrenchment Strategy to protect the company from large losses by laying off 1,500 employees in 1993 and another 4,100 employees in 1997. These layoffs were needed to reduce their operating costs as the company experienced larger than expected losses in those years. This was an attempt to reverse a trend of operating losses and to try to reorganize the company to improve its financial performance.

Conclusion

Revenues would be generated from the licensing agreements. This could result in quickly establishing this new technology in the industry and re-establish Apple as a leader in technology development. * Develop better marketing and distribution of their products. Apple products are not as available as PCs to the retail market. For example, I cannot purchase an Apple product in Greenfield, Mass. where there are several retailer of PCs. I must travel to approximately 20 miles to the nearest Apple retailer. * Develop an integrated and easy-to-use computer system. This system could be targeted to young children and older individuals that would be interested in using a computer but do not want the hassle of setting up equipment. Although there are many different strategies to consider, Apple's future success will depend on their future strategic decisions Apple has experienced some recent success from the introduction of the iMac, the G3 processor, OS 8.5 and recent cost cutting. The iMac was a major player in increased revenues. This new product was highly advertised by Apple and produced in bright primary colors as an effort to differentiate form other systems. It is a self contained system that emphasizes ease of use and appeal to consumers that want a simple computer. Apple had also decided to counter declining sales by concentrating on customers in the graphics, advertising and publishing industries.

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