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

1585 Words Sep 3rd, 2012 7 Pages
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.
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This set the stage for one of the most famous returns in corporate history.

Jobs’ Return After leaving Apple, Steven Jobs started NeXT computer, an advanced personal computer with a sleek, innovative design. However, with its proprietary software, the device never caught a large following. Jobs then co-founded Pixar computer-animation studios in the late 1980s. It co-produced a number of movies with Walt Disney Studios, including the popular Toy Story. (3) In late 1996, Apple announced the purchase of NeXT and Jobs returned to Apple in an unofficial capacity as advisor to the president. However, when Gil Amelio resigned, Jobs accepted the role of “interim CEO” (i CEO) of Apple Computer and wasted no time in making his return felt. Jobs announced an alliance with its former rival, Microsoft. In exchange for $150 million in Apple Stock, Microsoft and Apple would have a 5-year patent cross-license for their graphical interface operating systems. He revoked licenses allowing the production of Mac clones, and started offering Macs over the web through the Apple Store. In addition to many new product offerings, Jobs introduced the iMac, with a revolutionary see-through design that has proved popular among consumers. This was followed shortly by the iBook, a similar-type portable computer. Apple once again was viewed as an industry innovator, with its revolutionary designs and innovations.

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