Example of a Critical Analysis
In this example of a critical analysis, Apple Incorporation will be analyzed. Critical analysis refers to close consideration as well as evaluation of something. In academic writing, critical analysis comprises of two aspects. First, one must engage in critical reading and then critical writing. Before writing this critical analysis, information about Apple Inc. was gathered and analyzed carefully.
The first part of this Example of a critical analysis is the introduction
Apple Inc. is a technology company that specializes in designing, manufacturing and marketing media and mobile communication devices, digital players, personal computers and related software, services and products, peripherals, third-party applications and digital content as well as networking solutions. Apple Computers was founded by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1976. The headquarters of this company are in Cupertino, California. Some of the products of this company include Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, OS X and iOS operating systems, consumer portfolio, software applications, support offering, iCloud and different accessories.
After inception in 1st April 1976, Apple became incorporated on 3rd January 1977 and in the first 5 years it recorded a growth rate of about 700%. Its revenues doubled every 4 months. Towards the end of the 70s, Apple had computer designers as well as a product line that was increasingly becoming popular. In 1980, Apple introduced Apple II that was aimed at competing with Microsoft and IBM. Over the years, the company has been producing a wide range of products on the basis of the dynamic needs of customers.
The body of example of a critical analysis
While conducting research for this example of a critical analysis, several performance challenges that Apple Inc. has been facing since its inception came out clearly as indicated by this section. Since 2000, the global electronic computer sector has been facing challenges due to the weakened economy. According to the Census Bureau in the U.S, computer shipments decreased from $64.7 billion in 1999 to 62.9 billion in 2000. This trend continued and in 2001 the shipments were at $49.3 billion. This has affected the economic performance of Apple Inc.
The Iraq war combined with rising unemployment also reduced the sales units of Apple Inc. The decrease was further caused by terrorist attack of the Twin Towers and Pentagon. Many companies went bankrupt at the beginning of 2000s and this made equipment available at relatively low costs. According to IDC, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Compaq and Dell controlled more than 40% of the global PC shipments in 2001. As such, Apple In. was facing fierce competition from these technology giants making its operating environment very challenging- slideshare.net.
Another challenge that Apple Inc. faces is the high prices of its products. Apple needs capital to produce superior products. As such, it sells some of its products at higher prices than those of its competitors. Some people are not ready to pay high prices yet there are other relatively low cost products from competitors with almost the same features and capabilities. For this reason, Apple competes for customers with other brands such as Samsung, Lenovo and Hewlett Packard.
Acquisition and innovation
The information that was gathered before writing this example of a critical analysis of Apple Inc. indicates that innovation is the secret behind the success of this technology company. Over the years, apple has engaged in innovation that has enabled it to come up with quality products for the target markets. Through innovation, the company has introduced different models that target different markets with their innovative features. Some of the products that the company has produced over the past years include Mac OS X that was released in 2001 and iPod which was released the same year.
In 2003, the company introduced the iTune Store. In 2007, Steve Jobs stated that the company would shift emphasis from personal computers to mobile devices. This was followed by the announcement of new products that included Apple TV and iPhone. In the years that followed, Apple continued its production of new products including iPad and iPod Touch which were basically the innovations of mobile phones, personal computers and music players. The company launched Apple Store in 2008 which allowed iPod Touch and iPhone owners to purchase third party applications online.
Basically, the major innovations of Apple Inc. include:
- The iPod
- The iPhone
- Apple Store
- The AppExchange
- Apple Watch
These innovations were the main game-changers for this company- hbr.org. Additionally, Apple Inc. has engaged in mergers and acquisitions over the years. For instance, in 1997, the company joined Microsoft in releasing a new Microsoft Office version for Macintosh. In 1998, the company acquired Macromedia and later Asterte, a German company.
According to the research conducted before writing this example of a critical analysis, Apple has made several achievements. Generally, Apple products have recorded significant success in the market. This can be attributed to its branding strategy whose focus is on emotions. The brand personality of Apple is about imagination, lifestyle, liberty, passion, hopes, innovation, aspirations and dreams as well as giving people power through technology- slideshare.net. The brand personality of this company is about making people’s lives easier because the products of this company are people-driven.
Additionally, Apple has established itself as a leading innovator that adheres to high quality standards. This can be seen from how it keeps releasing new, innovative products. For instance, even after the demise of Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, Apple released a new product, the Apple Watch under the leadership of Tim Cook. This is a fitness device that is beautifully constructed, smart and compact. It is packed with features, fitness software and apps. Using this watch, owners can receive and send calls through their iPhone- cnet.com.
Apple Inc. has also established an excellent customer support. Through Apple Apps store, customers can find applications for their devices. Apple also provides live support through its website. It also has local stations where customers can inquire more about its products.
The innovative products coupled with customer support have led to the development of brand loyalty. Due to the positive experience that most customers have had with Apple’s brand, they buy its products and recommend them to friends and family members over those of other companies. This has led to an increase in the number of individuals who have bonded with the brand identity of this company. Thus, the positive experience that Apple Inc. has given its customers has made it possible for them to resist any lure from its competitors including price cuts.
The information gathered before writing this example of a critical analysis indicates that it is hard to predict the future of Apple Inc. According to an article published by Forbes Magazine the future of Apple Inc. is uncertain- forbes.com. This can be attributed to several factors including Steve Jobs’ death, stiffening competition, maps debacle, new, innovative product launches and the declining trend of the earnings report of this company.
Another article published by The Economist, Apple is turning into a different company- economist.com. However, some analysts are worried that being a dominant technology firm in America, Apple is slowly losing its market share to competitors. Its customers are being lured by competitors such as Samsung, Lenovo, LG and Huawei which manufacture cheaper phones. Google is also luring Apple’s customers with its Android OS which is run on almost 71 percent of global smartphones.
However, it is still early to determine the future of Apple Inc. For instance, although Apple stocks were declining over the recent past, they have started recording an increase reaching the highest price of $103.74. Additionally, most of Apple products target wealthier customers. As such, iTunes, App Store as well as other businesses of this company have been generating majority of the revenues of this firm. Apple is also partnering with other companies such as IBM in order to produce more innovative products such as business applications.
Mr. Cook is also more open and he is now employing the executives of other companies such as Nike, Yves Saint Laurent and Burberry with an aim of expanding the expertise of Apple Inc. in wearable technology and retail among others. This is helping in easing the tension between opening up and keeping control.
Going by the research that was conducted before writing this example of a critical analysis of Apple Inc. several recommendations can be made.
- More promotions
Apple should be more aggressive in promoting its products. Currently, it is hard to find an Apple product ad on television. Therefore, apple should be more aggressive in promoting its products on such platforms.
- Price reductions
Though innovative, apple products are unaffordable to some people. Reducing prices will enable Apple to attract more customers and increase its revenues.
- Increase Apple outlets
Apple depends mostly on online, retail and direct distribution. By increasing direct reach via retail stores that are situated in reachable districts such as in residential areas, Apple will increase its sales and revenues.
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