Apple Inc.’s Markets, Industry, Major Competitors

Apple Incorporated

Apple Inc was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976. Steve Jobs would go on to design the Macintosh, a personal computer that could be operated without a mouse. Jobs left Apple and founded NeXT before returning to Apple in 1997 after his company (NeXT) was acquired by Apple. He was instrumental in transforming Apple into one of the most successful companies in technology. In August 2012, Apple was declared the most highly valued public company (The New York Times 7). Apple’s success has largely been due to the uniqueness of its products. Apple does not only focus on usability but also on the aesthetic qualities of its products. Apple designs manufactures and markets, mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players (The New York Times 7). Over the last few decades, Apple has managed to create many unique and popular products to serve diverse markets. Apple has managed to outdo most of its competitors in a very competitive industry.

Apple is responsible for many of the popular products in the market today. The iMac computer was apple’s first major invention (Nocera 4). It has now been re-engineered and refined into a thinner, all in one computer (Apple Inc 2). The iMac was followed by the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. Apple’s iTunes supplies music to the iPod. This is a digital program that allows the public to buy music online. Over ten billion songs have thus far been downloaded from the iTunes store since its launch in 2003 (The New York Times 8). Recently, Apple allowed the public to access the music using wireless technology (Apple Inc 3). The iPhone redefined the cellphone business and continues to do so, as evidenced by the recent launch of the iPhone 5. The iPad has also redefined the media industry, as evidenced by a large number of news anchors, journalists, and reporters using this device. The iPad combines portability with computing power. With these products, Apple has managed to rule the world of computing, music, and cellphones.

Apple has many major competitors in its different fields of operation. In the computing world, it competes with Microsoft, a computer software provider, and Dell and Hewlett-Packard, two of the leading hardware providers. In the music business, iTunes faces stiff competition from Amazon.com in the distribution of digital music. The iPod also faces competition from MP3 players. The iPhone, however, faces the largest competition because it is Apple’s biggest product, with an income of over 13.3 billion dollars in 2011 (The New York Times 8). Google became one of Apple’s biggest competitors when it launched its Smartphone that runs on Android software. It has benefited from Google’s wide distribution network, not to mention that it has more hardware choices and is more affordable. Other major competitors in this sector are Motorola, Samsung, which offers Samsung Galaxy, and Nokia.

China is Apple’s fastest-growing market, accounting for one-sixth of the company’s global sales (The New York Times 8). Other Asian and European countries are also viable markets for Apple products. Apple has done so well that its revenue for the last fiscal year was more than Microsoft’s, Google’s, and Facebook’s combined (The New York Times 8). The New York Times reports that the last quarter usually records low sales as customers hold off on buying as they wait for the next release of the iPhone, which is usually in the first quarter.

In such a cutthroat industry like IT, Apple has to keep coming up with new products and improving on the existing ones. The company has moved into every aspect of the industry, including maps, electronic books, TV, and internet radio. This industry requires secrecy before a product is patented. Apple has been involved in many lawsuits, one of which was with its biggest competitor, Samsung. Samsung, the biggest maker of Android smartphones, lost the lawsuit that claimed that it had wrongfully used patents related to the physical design and software functions of Apple’s iPhone and iPad (The New York Times 8). Disagreements in the industry sometimes affect customers, as evidenced by Apple’s and Google’s rivalry. Their disagreement led to the removal of Google maps and YouTube from the iPhone (The New York Times 9). This was replaced by Apple maps, which did not meet public approval.

Apple is a technology company that designs, manufactures, and markets, mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players. Its main products are the iMac, a personal computer, the iPod, a music player, the iPad, a portable computer tablet, and the iPhone (Apple Inc 3). Apple faces competition from Google, Samsung, Nokia, and Motorola in the phone industry, Microsoft, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard in the computer industry and Amazon in music distribution. Apple is the most highly valued public company. It sells well in the US, but a sixth of its global sales are from China. It also sells in other Asian countries and all over Europe. Apple is the leader in one of the most competitive and rapidly changing industries. It has had to face many lawsuits, some of which it has won. Disagreements with other players in the industry have also adversely affected Apple’s products.

Works Cited

Apple Inc 2012. Web.

Nocera, Joe. “What Makes Steve Jobs Great. “ New York Times. Web.

The New York Times. “2012 Earnings: Fiscal Fourth Quarter.” The New York Times 30. Web.