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SWOT Analysis for Apple.<br />Apple is a very successful producer of computer software and hardware that leads in its competitive industry. To evaluate the progress, success, and faults of the company, the SWOT analysis is used. The SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the organization. This model is used to help it identify internal and external areas that need improvement and internal and external areas that prove to be successful.<br />Strengths:<br /> Over the years, Apple has grown by offering superior products compared to competitors. Apple has positioned itself to be a pioneer in the personal computer industry. It is one of the original hardware producers in the market that controls both the manufacturing of its products as well as its operating system. Apple is self-sufficient and creates its own internal components for the core of its computers. Apple has set standards for high quality products in order to meet customer satisfaction. It is dedicated to research and development in order to create new products, which are expected to make Apple’s products more efficient and feasible to use. As a result of the company’s commitment to excellence, most of its products are compact and simple to operate.<br /> Apple is known for its loyal consumers who purchase its products for quality, regardless of price. Apple has ascended to a brand of distinction in the computer industry, which yielded a successful net income. In addition, the company’s stock price is the highest in the personal computer industry. Apple is financed mostly by its equity. In fact Apple does not have any debt, so investors would bear less risk by holding Apple’s stocks. The company is well-endowed and capable of acquiring any firm that could enhance the value of the company. Its customer service department is monumental and highly respected by consumers. Apple plans to maintain its status through organizational stability and creativity<br />Weaknesses: <br />Advanced technology is being developed and produced for customers; therefore, Apple is faced with the difficult task of ensuring consistency and quality within its products. For example, the iPod, which is a global success, had many glitches and technological flaws including battery life and screen faults that plagued iPods when they were first released. Currently, these flaws have been resolved in newer models, though the products are still not perfect. With many other companies creating similar products, it is imperative for Apple to remain competitive by solving technological errors in devices. It is advantageous that Apple continue to invest in its Research and Development department to remain competitive. Apple is a seemingly financially stable organization; its lack of debt is a potential weakness for the infrastructure because it creates potential risk for stock acquisition by other corporations.<br />Opportunities: <br />The employees at Apple are sufficient in their expertise because they predict the target audience for the latest technology. Because of their originality, Apple is known for its innovative thinking. It has developed a product line that is both functional and attractive. The organization is spreading beyond the confines of its products and into the lives of its consumers. The Apple iLife applications allow users to connect to multiple programs through one package. ILife provides a well-integrated elegant interface that enables users to tie into iMac, iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand and YouTube accounts. The current opportunity for Apple is the development and campaign of the new iPod shuffle - the world’s first talking MP3 player. Apple has proven its quality by packing 4 gigabytes of memory into a device half the size of the original Shuffle. Another area that Apple is pursuing is the use of Intel chips. The Apple Intel chips will allow new machines to run the Windows Operation System and could also be used to develop iTunes and music player technology that can be applied to a mobile phone. Apple must continue to create opportunities through new, innovative software markets and strive to introduce its groundbreaking hardware into these markets.<br />Threats: <br />The computer technology industry is a consistently transforming and highly competitive industry. There are more competitive companies entering the market that Apple has saturated. Microsoft is Apple’s historic rival, and has managed to maintain its competitive status. In the computer hardware division, there are many competitors such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell. Dell produces low-budget computers and products that appeal to economically cautious consumers. Apple has a higher stock price than Dell and HP but Apple’s market share and total revenue are significantly lower. It is imperative for Apple to consistently create new products that set financial and technological standards for the computer industry. Apple has a growing international market, specifically in Asia. The exchange rates challenge the organization and create a shift in supply and demand. With the depreciation of the US dollar, the international revenue is declining. The global economy threatens most industries in the global market, which presents a revenue obstacle for Apple.<br />Apple’s Porter Model <br />The Porter Model is a study of the company in question compared to its competition. Apple differentiates itself from the competition by creating products that are unique and lead to innovation among the industry. Apple’s major competitors are Dell, Hewlett-Packard Company, and Microsoft. In comparison, Apple excels in quarterly revenue growth, earnings per share, price per earnings ratio, price earning to grow in a five year expectancy, and purchases and sales which describes the margin of future traders. For the third straight year, Apple has overwhelmed competition and led Fortune’s list of Most Admired Companies for innovation mainly for the development of the iPod, iPhone, and iMac.<br />Apple has led the industry in an entirely different direction and, because of its original products; competitors have now followed with their own versions of several Apple products that model the iPod, iPhone, MacBook and iPad. The creation of the iPod has stimulated the evolution of MP3 players and encouraged competition and advancement. For example, Microsoft created the Zune, an MP3 player to rival the iPod with FM radio, sharing and syncing capabilities, and a larger video screen. To compete with iTunes, Microsoft also has the Zune Marketplace where customers can purchase their MP3 files.<br />Dell has offered a$100 rebate program if potential customers would exchange their iPod for Dell’s DJ MP3 player. The creation of the iPhone has sparked a demand for touch screen development in most rival companies. To contrast, Samsung has developed the Samsung Ultra Smart F700 which has a slide out QWERTY Keyboard, and resembles the iPhone when closed. The Samsung Ultra Smart also has a 5 megapixel camera with auto focus, and the phone also supports the High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) network. Another famous Apple product is the MacBook, a compact thirteen inch portable laptop. <br />To counter the MacBook in the market, Toshiba has created the U405D-S2874, a thirteen inch laptop that is less expensive than the $1,299 MacBook but has a slower AMD processor, a smaller hard drive, and mediocre integrated graphics. As companies develop their own style of Apple products, it is apparent that none can compete against the innovation and creativity that Apple has established. Through Porter’s Model, Apple functions as a differentiator among its rivals and rival products.<br />With the creation of the iPad Apple made a niche market where they have a large market share and only now are competitors trying to catch up companies like Samsung, Motorola, Dell and HTC were all caught unawares. This proves that apples innovation cannot be matched and is in fact their greatest strength<br />Apple’s International Growth and Operations<br />Apple is growing rapidly not just in the United States, but also overseas. It has more than 250 stores in 10 countries, Apple is giving credit to its International Operations for its 134% jump the international sales represented 47% of total business profits.<br />Right now is a great time to expand into the international market. Apple’s stores average 4,000 square feet and the organization is opening up new “mini-locations” that will be between 1,500 to 2,000-square-feet. They will hold mainly “grab-and-go and impulse-buy products like iPods and accessories”. These stores would be a great investment overseas to sell the popular items that Apple is famous for.<br />Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer planned on opening 35-40 new stores and a large percentage of these would be international. For early August, Apple made definite plans to debut stores in Germany, Switzerland, France and Mexico. With all of these plans Apple is showing universal strength. By being competitive internationally and within the United States, this company is setting standards other competitors have to match.<br />