SWOT analysis is a tool used by the management when planning and the potential investors to evaluate the performance of an organization. SWOT analysis indentifies the organization’s internal factors, which are the strengths and weaknesses, and external factors, which are threats and opportunities (Ferrell, & Hartline, 2008, p. 17).
SWOT analysis helps the organization to indentify its present position in comparison to its competitors so that it can define its position in the market. This enables the management to plan for the company’s future. The management should therefore be as realist as possible when determining the SWOT factors to avoid any ambiguities.
The multinational corporation Apple Inc formally known as Apple Computer Inc has its headquarters in Cupertino, California. Its incorporation took place in 1977. Initially the company dealt with computer hardware only but later expanded its product line to include consumer electronics, software and digital distribution.
The company has a huge consumer base in America and around the world. It is popular for its Macintosh Computers and its authenticity in advertisements. The company has two subsidiaries Braeburn Capital and Filmmaker Inc and in addition, it has over three hundred retail shops worldwide and an on line store.
Apple Inc SWOT Analysis
According to Ferrell, & Hartline (2008), when determining the strengths of a company, the management should identify internal factors that give the organization a competitive edge over other companies in the industry (p. 18).
Apple has a huge customer base that is loyal to the company and its line of products. When Apple is launching a new product into the market or opening a new store it is able to draw huge clouds of consumers who wait in lines for hours to purchase the product. This in fact, evidences the customers’ loyalty to the company; gives it a competitive hedge over other players (competitors) such as IBM.
Apple Inc uses authentic and creative designs to advertise its products. This has created a wide awareness of its products. As a result, the adverts have given Apple’s products good reputation worldwide. In fact, Apple has become a household brand all over the world. The market has known Apple’s product commercial for its success in catapulting celebrity musicians into overnight stardom.
Apple corporate culture encourages individuality, which creates a good environment for creativity. Apple also launched a program that recognizes the best employees for their creative effort and contribution to the company. This has kept the Apple’s products to the current standards of technology.
Apple has wide range of products and services, which range from hardware, commercials and software to services like eBooks, apple stores. Due to creativity in these products, the company’s financial performance continues to move in an upward trend over the years despite the effects of the global recession.
Apple Inc has a very high competent design and innovation team that has enabled the company to become the market leader in technological devices. For example, Apple Inc was the first company to launch computers that use the Intel core dual in their processor in 2007. It was also the first to launch the iPad in 2010.
Weaknesses are internal factors, which put a company at disadvantaged position relative to its competitors (Ferrell, & Hartline, 2008, p. 18). Such factors reduce the company’s competitiveness.
Apple Inc uses a logo of a bitten apple on all its products. The company has been involved in a multitude of lawsuits with Apple Corps Ltd over the logo. The media attention given to this matter caused tension between the two companies. Such information tarnishes the image of the company to the public and is likely to cause reduction of customers in favor of its competitors
The company’s criticism for infringement of employee rights creates a negative image to the public. Critics accuse Apple Inc for exposing its employees to hazardous working environment without informing them of the health risks likely to arise out of such conditions. These conditions, as critics observe, include poor working conditions and long working hours. This gives the company a bad public image and therefore putting its competitiveness at stake.
Apple Inc initially used its research and development team to create new product into the market and did not adopt market standards. This made the company to suffer great losses when the new product failed to gain popularity in the market after its launch.
The company has been involved in lawsuits accused of using modern art in its commercial without obtaining copyrights from the owner of the art. This further creates bad public image of the company.
Threats are external factors (of organization) that threaten the survival of the company in the market (Ferrell, & Hartline, 2008, p. 18). Environmentalist has accused Apple Inc of using environmentally unfriendly chemical when producing its products. The environmentalists have portrayed the company badly- as a company that does not care for the environment.
According to these environmentalists, Apple Inc has not taken any initiative to formulate programs that help to dispose its non-recyclable hardware in a manner that is less harmful to the environment. Apple Inc therefore faces a threat of closure from the environmental authorities.
Opportunities are factors external to the organization that present a platform for the organization to improve its position in the industry (Ferrell, & Hartline, 2008, p. 18). Globally, organizations have adopted technology to stimulate economic growth. Apple Inc’s products such as computers have been instrumental in human transition from manual to technological way of doing things.
To overcome the advanced challenges of the 21st century, technological products (Apple’s) are critically essential. Technology is however very dynamic and becomes obsolete very fast. This gives Apple Inc an opportunity to increase its sales through innovation of real time technological products.
Invest in Apple Inc
When accessing which company to invest in, return on investment is the key factor for consideration. Before determining whether to invest in Apple Inc, the prospective investor should critically assess its internal factors such as profitability trend. This enables the investor to determine the company’s ability to perform profitably in future and provide a return on the investment.
The fund manager should also access the threats, which could be a probable cause for the failure of the organization in future. The investor should also assess the Apples Inc weaknesses to determine whether they could lead to failure of the organization in future or whether the company is in apposition to mitigate their effects by transforming them into strengths.
Apple Inc Stakeholders
Stakeholders are internal people/individuals to an organization who are capable of influencing the organization either positively or negatively (Freeman, 2010, p.136).
Apple Inc internal stakeholders include the management, the employees, the owners of apple Inc and board members.
Apple Inc ensures strict adherence to the employees’ rights by ensuring that all its affiliate companies adhere to the corporation’s established employees’ rules and regulations. The organization has also established a corporate culture that fosters growth for employees by providing good environment for creativity. The corporation has also incorporated a program that recognizes employee’s creative efforts and contribution towards the success of the corporation.
Management of the organization has the autonomy to decide which strategy the organization should implement for the success of its operations. Any body who engages in activities out of the best interest of the organization, such as launching very expensive creations into the market without testing them, faces expulsion from the management.
The board members of Apple Inc have the mandate to partake the major decisions of the corporation through information on all issues that are crucial to the success of the organization. For example in case of power struggle at top management, they intervene and solve the problem without attracting so much public interest, which could be detrimental to the corporation.
Apple Inc is a publicly owned company. The owners of the corporations enjoy good returns on their investment because of the exemplary financial performance of the corporation
Apple Inc external stakeholder includes the corporation’s consumers, the government, the society, the environmentalists and media.
The consumers of Apple Inc have the opportunity to enjoy new technology from the organizations, which the corporation launches in the market on a regular basis.
Apple Inc has taken the initiative to launch programs that help in proper disposal of the corporation non-recyclable hardware products. The organization is also using less hazardous material and chemicals in the manufacture of its products to conserve the environment. Although the initiative has not quelled the environmental concerns about the corporation’s contribution to environmental degradation, it has lessened the attention on the corporation’s activities. Apple Inc should be more vigilant in environmental conservation by funding programs aimed towards the noble course.
The corporation employees are close to fifty thousand employees providing the society with employment opportunities worldwide.
Apple Inc internal environment exhibits more strengths than weakness. The transformation of weaknesses into strengths of the organization is quite easy. The Corporation’s external environmental environment presents the corporation with opportunities that once exploited will enable the organization to continue being the market leader in the industry. Furthermore, it will enhance transformation of the threats into opportunities.
The corporation addresses well the needs of the internal and external stakeholders’ needs.
Ferrell, O. C., & Hartline, M. D. (2008). Marketing Strategy. New York: Thomson Learning Inc.
Freeman, E. (2010). Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach. USA: Cambridge University Press.