Apple Inc. has a unique leadership established by Steve Jobs that ensures its products do not get licenses to third parties. For instance, the firm practices horizontal and vertical integration and due to this it denied IBM the opportunity of licensing its software to be used on Apple computers. Apple’s leadership ensures loyalty to the consumers. According to Yoffie and Baldwin (2015), Sculley’s leadership has enhanced research and development through devoting to it 9 percent of sales as compared to IBM that spent 1 percent in 1990 (p. 2). Sculley’s leadership between 1983 and 1993 ensured collaboration with major competitors such as IBM that Steve Jobs did not want. For instance, Sculley and IBM operated as two joint ventures whereby the two rival competitors worked together to develop a new operating system that enables multimedia functions (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 2). Moreover, Sculley cooperated with Intel which helped in improving the speed of the Macintosh slow processor. The leadership of Sculley led Apple to failure due to drop in the gross margin by 34 percent. In 1993, Spindler stopped the idea of incorporating Intel processor in Macintosh. The collaborative joint venture between IBM and Apple ended (Yoffie &Baldwin, 2015, p. 3).
In August 1997, Steve Jobs started reshaping the company’s leadership. Steve Jobs leadership was adaptable to the changes in the computer market. He invested $150 million in Microsoft and signed a five-year contract to ensure that Microsoft would improve Mac (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 3). Moreover, Steve Jobs developed a new working culture with an ethical core value in Apple Inc. Unlike Sculley, Spindler and Amelio, who focused on broadening the company’s product line, Steve Jobs maintained his leadership focusing on the company objectives (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 3). The leader developed confidentiality in Apple Inc. through practicing closed door policy, and anyone found disobeying the policy was terminated. The leadership of Steve Jobs ensured that even hard-working individuals who did not fit into the organization's culture got fired. However, the leader learned from mistakes. Initially, in 1990, he refused to sign a contract to collaborate with IBM. However, in 2006, he shifted to using Intel processors to enhance the speed of the Macintosh. Steve Jobs expanded the company’s popularity; for this he started opening Apple retail stores which allowed provided direct contact with consumers and popularizing Apple software.
The Apple innovation began in 1976 when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built a computer circuit board named Apple (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 2). The invention was released in 1978 and revolutionized the computer industry. The company faced stiff competition from IBM that used Microsoft operating system. In 1984, Apple Inc. came with the innovated Macintosh that resulted in a drop in the income by 62 percent due to its slow processor and limited compatible software when compared to IBM (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 2). In 1998, under Steve Jobs leadership, Apple Inc. developed an iMac computer that was the first among Apple’s computers supporting the use of “plug-and-play” equipment designed for computers with Windows operating system (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 3). Steve Jobs knew that to overcome stiff competition between Mac and Windows-based computers, he had to lessen the difference between IBM and Apple products. In 2001, under Steve Jobs leadership, Apple developed OS X (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 7). In 2001, Apple Inc. shifted to “digital hub” innovation strategy (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 7). The company innovated the iPod in 2001, iPhone in 2007 and iPad in 2010 (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 7). The innovation of iTunes helped in creating brand awareness and identity of Apple iPod among other similar on the market. The iTunes Music Store and its desktop software formed the basis of entertainment hub of Apple Inc.
Steve Jobs was an innovative leader. He expanded Apple’s vision of the Macintosh through the introduction of the “digital hub” strategy (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 8). The introduction of iTunes increased the sales of the iPod from 78,000 units to 304,000 units (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 8). The company developed a competitive edge in selling music online by implementing a pay-per-song concept. Music downloaded from iTunes could be played on the customer’s computer, iPod or burnt a CD. In September 2013, Apple Inc. launched its next innovation - iTunes Radio (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 8). The release of iPhone in 2007 faced competition from dominant mobile phone manufacturers such as Nokia, Motorola and Samsung. The invention was functioning on the base of the adapted OS X – iOS, and had a 3.5-inch wide screen that made it unique among mobile phones (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 14). The 2011 innovation of Apple was marked with the launching of iCloud that allowed Mac users to synchronize their information on the Apple cloud (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 13). The innovation of iPhone 6 increased the profit earned by the company in the holiday quarter of 2014 through selling 75.4 million units.
Financial Position of Apple between 1979 And 2014
In 1978, Apple Inc. realized a total of one billion US dollars sales after introducing the powerful computer. However, in 1984, the company experienced a 62 percent drop in income due to launching slow processors in the Macintosh that faced stiff competition from IBM (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 2). By 1990, Apple Inc. had one billion US dollars after Sculley presented Mac on new markets. With the development of iMac under the leadership of Steve Jobs, the company realized an increased profit of $309 million USD in 1998 (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 4).
Between 1991 and 1996, under Sculley leadership, Apple Inc. experienced a drop in its financial position from $6,649.9 million to$2,598.5 million (Yoffie & Baldwin, 2015, p. 16). Under Spindler leadership and Amelio, Apple’s financial situation improved reaching $5,539.7 million in 1998. Steve Jobs started leading the company in 1997, when the enterprise experience drops in its finance to $4,996.2 million. However, after 2002, Apple Inc. has experienced a constant increase in its financial position. For instance, in 2002, the financial position was $5146.4 million while in 2014, it reached $647,506.9 million. The rise in the financial situation of the company occurred due to innovations that Apple Inc. has experienced over the years.