Apple Computer, Inc.: People and Design Create Apple’s Future

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CASE 1 APPLE COMPUTER, INC.: PEOPLE AND DESIGN CREATE APPLE’S FUTURE Apple Computer paradoxically exists as both one of America’s greatest successes and one of its greatest failures to achieve potential. It ignited the personal computer industry in the 1970’s (1), bringing such behemoths as IBM and Digital Equipment almost to their knees. At the same time, Apple is an example of opportunities lost. It represents a fascinating microcosm of American business as it continues to utilize its strengths while reinventing itself. Corporate History (2) The history of Apple Computer is a history of passion among its founders, employees, and loyal users. A pair of Stevens, who from an early age had an interest in electronics, started it.…show more content…
It remains locked in constant boom-or-bust cycles, dependent on its ability to turn out a stream of new product hits. What Does the Future Hold? Apple is faced with a stark reality: Can it continue to offer both hardware and software solutions in a rapidly changing technology environment? Its early decision to keep its technology proprietary, as opposed to IBM’s decision to support an open architecture system, has proved to be a costly strategy to support in the long run. Some argue that Apple should reinvent itself once again, and this time it should concentrate on software. Apple is gradually admitting that it can no longer afford to fight the Wintel system, the combination of Microsoft’s Windows operating system and the Intel processor. Apple’s new product introductions fail to attract many present non-Mac users — just 15 per cent of its revenues come from Wintel customers. (5) Apple is betting that its new operating system, the Mac OS X, will be a big hit with computer users. It is the largest update in the operating system since it was first released in the mid-1980s. Recognizing the need to attract new Mac users rather than just recycle present Apple enthusiasts, Apple is emphasizing the compatibility of their system with Windows. “The transition to a Mac is easy in part because you’ll continue to use the same

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