Apple Inc. was formerly known as Apple Computer Inc. and was started by Steve Jobs and his friends Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in the 1970s. The company is well-known for the best designs, mobile-phones and computers. The most famous hardware products of the corporation are the Macintosh line of personal computers, the iPhone and the iPod (portable media player). Software provided by Apple Inc. include the iLife, the Mac OS X and the iTunes media browser.
As it has been already stated the organization works in the computer industry. There are some of the characteristic features associated with this sphere. Firstly, it is highly competitive with the recurrent introduction of new products, peripherals and accessories. Moreover, computer companies demonstrate aggressive pricing practices that results in downward pressure on gross margins. Additionally, there are a lot of industry standards and patents. Finally, all makers apply strategies of continual improvement in terms of product price and performance.
Apple Inc. runs under a collaborative structure which encourages ideas and innovation from its employees and, thereby, leads to more technological advancements. Apple`s success is based on both internal and external factors that are likely to impact its business potential, the direction of operation and future market. Some of the outside forces include political and economic ones. With regard to political factors, there have been many problems which cannot be controlled by the company such as war against terrorism, geopolitical uncertainties, permission to operate in certain states, and also the healthcare hurdles which can adversely influence the sale of Apple products worldwide. If the countries where the corporation outsources to reduce costs such as China, Ireland, Cork, Korea, and the Czech Republic experience political instability, it will suffer from serious delays in the manufacturing of products thus leading to incurring losses (Reilly, Sirgy, & Gorman, 2012).
Speaking about the economic factors, based on the high unemployment rate in many countries, Apple has experienced a decrease in the sale of its products. Another aspect is the increased price of oil which has led to inflation in the world’s economy. As a result of the two mentioned forces, the people’s purchasing power reduces significantly and can highly affect the sale of the corporation to the higher price of its products.
While conducting its activities, Apple Inc. takes into consideration the interests of the key stakeholders with the most primary ones being the buyers, investors, the company’s workers and those of the suppliers and distributors that influence the profits of the corporation. The mentioned groups of people can affect the financial operation of the company in various ways. Consumers make decisions on whether to buy or not to buy the products and services of Apple Inc. based on the prices. If the corporation satisfies the interests of the customers, there is a likelihood of a rise in purchases resulting to the increased profits. Furthermore, workers also make choices on whether to share their innovative ideas or not. In fact, they can even decide to defect to competitor (Lindgreen, 2012). Therefore, if employees are treated well, paid decently and given job security, they are likely to stay in the company and demonstrate more initiative in coming up with products that are competitive in the market. Additionally, if communities find it good, they can allow firms to operate in their locations which is important since businesses can manufacture their goods and, in return, make profits. Another way to prosper is to earn investors’ confidence in the company (Lindgreen, 2012). If they trust the organization, there is a possibility that they will invest more in the business, and the company will have more funds for its operations. Lastly, the stakeholders can also impact the finances of Apple Inc. through adopting a good management system which will reduce potential liabilities and thus increase public consumer perception of the brand thereby resulting in the increased purchasing behaviour.
Moving on to the CSR, one should state that in general, Apple has performed well in addressing it. However, the reports released by the Economic Policy Institute indicate that despite the well-polished CSR policy in the corporation, there is still abuse of labour rights in the factories where the company’s products are manufactured (Lindgreen, 2012). One of the violations is long working hours that exceed the normal legal limits. Another problem is the non-compliance of a number of its supplier factories with the CSR guidelines. As a result, there are issues with the juvenile worker protection, the environmental health and the prevention programs. Thus, Apple has to take some measures to deal with the mentioned above issues. One of them is to force its suppliers to follow the Supplier Code of Conduct.
To summarize, while one sees Apple as a company that has a strong foothold in the market based on the quality of goods it produces and creativity, the corporation needs to consider the feedback from all the stakeholders in order to improve its public perception in its journey to further globalisation. Moreover, the company has to fight the issues of the violation of the labour rights and ensure the safety of the working environment. If Apple comes up with better CSR programs and initiatives through educating its employees, offering them support, and respecting the labor rights, it stands a chance of earning more profits.
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