History of Apple iPhone Assignment
The report would basically look at one of the very burning issue of the fact there is a dilemma between business sustainability and ethics. The company Apple Computers would be designing its Apple iPhone 5 with the new connector. Thus it becomes imperative that it should look at the ethical agendas in its complete. The report looks at this from a 360 degree perspective. This is from the point of view of the customers what it means to them, from the view of Apple as a company, from the perspective of the each every stakeholder that would come to the domain of the customer as a whole. Hence it becomes imperative and we conclude that for long time business sustainability the whole picture actually needs to be considered.
Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple Inc. has experienced many challenges throughout its business history. In 1997 Apple’s share price was $3.30. In 2011 its share price had risen to $339.87. For the past four years, Apple has earned first place among Fortune magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies. To millions of consumers, the Apple brand embodies quality, prestige, and innovation. The brand is valued at more than $153 billion, making it the most valuable brand worldwide.
Although companies have tried to copy the Apple business model, none has been able to discover what it is that makes Apple so unique. Many believe that Apple’s success stems from a combination of several factors, including the remarkable leadership skills of CEO Steve Jobs, a corporate culture of enthusiasm and innovation, and the high-tech products for which Apple is known. These combining qualities have allowed Apple to revolutionize the technology and retail industries.
The concept behind the design of the Apple iPhone was to design a phone which would be very powerful and remarkably thin as a well as light in design. The dilemma in front of Apple during the design stage of the phone was to design a phone which would be thin and light as well as have the features which would be the best in the competitive market of smart phones with the cut throat competition that is in place throughout the market as a whole.
The company promises the fact that there has been a lot of sweat that has been put behind the design of the phone. They wouldn’t have compromised on the fact that the phone would be compromised on features would work on reimaging the smallest of components possible so that the phone is best phone at least in terms of the features perspective that is possible. There is a lot of Innovation that has gone into the design and production of a product which is sets apart Apple as the company with the phone and best features as a whole.
iPhone 5 is just 7.6 millimeters thin. For a phone to be as thins as the Apple iPhone 5, Apple engineers had to think small, component by component. The engineers have thought out of their skins to create a nano -SIM card, which is 44 percent smaller than a micro-SIM.A unique cellular solution for specially the Apple iPhone 5. Usually, the typical approach which we may say as the conventional approach to building LTE into a world phone uses two chips — one for voice, one for data. On iPhone 5, both are on a single chip.
In case of Apple iPhone5 smaller is the better and that is the name of the game actually. The intelligent, reversible Lightning connector is 80 percent smaller than the 30-pin connector. The 8MP iSight camera has even more features — like panorama and dynamic low-light mode — yet it’s 25 percent smaller. And the new A6 chip is up to 2x faster than the A5 chip but 22 percent smaller. Even with so much inside, iPhone 5 is 20 percent lighter and 18 percent thinner than iPhone 4S.
The Apple iPhone 5 is a product which would be launched as the flagship product for the company in 2013. With this the company as a whole would like to capture the market share that it has lost out to companies like Samsung and other Android phones. The dilemma in front of Apple would be to create new technology which would ultimate create business opportunity which would actually help Apple as a company to garner in revenues as well as money which would actually help Apple as a company which is one of the most cash rich companies of the world to generate cash and look forward to its long term sustainability as a whole.
A business cannot be called as ethical business if t uses practices to produce goods and services using unethical practices. The customers in the age of Marketing 3.0 are very much concerned about this fact and go to any extent to actually bridge this gap. Customers would take this upon them to look at the end of sustainability of businesses which would practice unethical practices. The concern in this case is the fact whether Apple which is one of the strong Brands is practicing the business ethically. Are they draining customers out and spoiling the relationship or are they exploiting the customer fanfare for Apple products. These are the questions that the new technology as has been put by apple to reduce the connector to a 19 Pin connector is in front of the customer. Whether customers in spite of being duped to an extent by the Apple as a company would still hold on to the legendary apple brand is a question that would be answered in the tough times that we would see ahead of us in the very recent future. (Andrews, 1993)
Companies are more and more moving towards brand building wherein they prove to the world who would buy their products that the way in which their products are being manufactured is one of the most ethical ways both in the way that they are treating the environment as well as the way in which they are treating the people and the employees who actually working for them. This is a phenomenon which needs to be addressed because more and more customers would like to be associated with a brand which actually is adding value to the world. Many companies see it as a method to sell their brand. Companies provide testimonials of the benefit that they are providing to the work as a whole and the brand building measures are taken step by step in this manner.
The ethical issues from the customer perspective would be whether the company Apple outsourcing it to many companies is it the ethical responsibility of every employee to ensure that customers are treated fairly and that no harm comes to customers as a result of using the company’s products or
services. (Cantrell, 2006)
Customer actually would be looking at the fact whether the product being produced for the happiness that it is bringing to them, would it bring the same overall happiness to the world like support families the way they intend the world to do. This is even not true for the Apple iPhone .
The positive way in which consumers can support the way in which business is done is by actually not supporting the unethical businesses so that they don’t any more remain to be businesses which are sustainable as and die out.
Apple has always been one of the most admired companies of the world. But it has also fallen into never ending troubles with its ethical issues. The company has been known to be letting out the production to FOXCONN in China which is a company which is well known for its horrible working conditions which portray the message that Apple is not actually concerned about the welfare of its employees where in they have treated like animals who have been out into prisons which have held them and made them responsible for no fault of there. It has been portrayed number of times that FOXCONN the manufacturers of Apple iPhone 5 have put on the employees on the edge of their seats so that they remain agile and have no chance of resting and sitting back on their asses. This has more than a number of time has actually laid back apple into trouble. Thus ahead of this the company has taken an initiative to probe into the matter and summon FOXCONN for any unhealthy working conditions that they may be having. They have employees. Concerns like the following would be taken up by the company as a whole.(Chole, 2010)
Excessive Working Hours: Cutting out excessive hours would entail additional costs. For example, a reduction in the average working hours from the current 60-70 hours per week to 48 hours per week would entail approximately a 30 percent + increase in the labor force to maintain the current rate of output. To accommodate these workers, the factory would need to build extra dormitories and related infrastructure, such as kitchens, security guards, laundry, healthcare, and transportation facilities. The capital investment could be quite substantial and yet “non-productive,” i.e. it would not add to production capacity, or manufacturing efficiency, and thus would be reflected in higher production costs.
Overtime Hours: In general, workers do not like fewer overtime hours because it lowers their income. Factory owners love to keep regular wages as low as possible so as to incentivize workers toward overtime work. From the factory owners’ viewpoint, the real cost is the average wage per hour, and the distinction between regular and overtime wage rates is a tactic to make workers put in more hours.
Health and Safety Pertaining to Production Facilities: These issues are also embedded in the prevailing manufacturing system and occur for reasons that are similar to wages and working hours. Improving physical factory conditions, e.g. better air filtration system, better work stations, and provision of safety equipment would require additional factory space, which is “non-productive” capital, and would increase operating costs without commensurate increase in the number of units produced per worker, per hour, per machine, or other measures of productive efficiencies and cost controls.
Apple has tried to ensure that its employees and those with which they work display appropriate conduct in all situations. It bases its success on “creating innovative, high-quality products and services and on demonstrating integrity in every business interaction.” According to Apple, four main principles contribute to integrity: honesty, respect, confidentiality, and compliance. To more thoroughly detail these principles, Apple has drafted a code of business conduct that applies to all its operations, including those overseas. It has also made available on its website more specific policies regarding corporate governance, director conflict of interest, and guidelines on reporting questionable conduct. Additionally, Apple provides employees with a Business Conduct Helpline that they can use to report misconduct to Apple’s Audit and Finance Committee. (Angwin, 2011)
Many of Apple’s product components are manufactured in countries with low labor costs. The potential for misconduct is high due to differing labor standards and less direct oversight. As a result, Apple makes each of its suppliers sign its “Supplier Code of Conduct” and performs factory audits to ensure compliance. Apple may refuse to do additional business with suppliers who refuse to comply with Apple’s standards. To emphasize its commitment toward responsible supplier conduct, Apple releases an annual Apple Supplier Responsibility Report that explains its supplier expectations as well as its audit conclusions and corrective actions the company will take against factories where violations have occurred.
Apple as a company is nurtured as one of the most favored brands in the world wherein the customers are actually very loyal to the brand as a whole. So it becomes imperative that the company actually lives up to those expectations of quality per se and create the brand value that would be required in the case of Apple. Apple computers have always been a respectable company. They have been looked up to as a company which would be come up with the most innovative of products. So it became imperative that they would suffice the expectations of the customers and live up to the brand that they have created.
One issue requiring consistent oversight is product quality. Apple’s brand hinges upon product quality, so mistakes can create serious ethical dilemmas. The iPhone-5 is no different. It has been designed by apple as a brand that has would be the number one selling mobile in the recent future with its state of the art features and profiles. In the fast-paced electronics industry, where several new products are introduced every year, mistakes can become hard to detect before product introduction. After Apple introduced the iPhone 4, consumers began to complain of reception problems. The problems were caused by antenna interference that occurred when users held the phone a certain way. Public relations experts have criticized Apple for appearing to minimize the problem rather than reacting quickly to remedy it. After Consumer Reports would not endorse the product, Apple provided free bumpers and cases for a certain period of time that resolved the reception problems. This product issue did not stop millions of consumers from purchasing the iPhone 4, but it does reiterate the great care Apple must take regarding product quality. Consumers view product quality as inseparable from Apple. Hence, a mishap in this area could damage the brand’s strength.
The ethical issue in front of the accessory vendor would be outlining the fact that designing of products that would need the perspective of the vendors as a whole. The ethics behind the new connector design in the shrink form would lead to a design wherein they would be able to make accessories which would help them sustain their own business. Sustaining of the business of the accessory vendor would in directly mean that the vendor actually would be supporting the families of the concerned people and making them more a keen of the fact that they would be providing and generating employment for the same people.
The main consequence to the customer is the fact that they would lose out in the expenditures they have put in for apple speakers and other accessories like docks that they would have bought and which would actually not fit with the apple iPhone 5 socket connector design. Hence it becomes imperative that Apple looks after its customers so that we could actually help them to be more brand loyal to the already existing number one brand portfolio for Apple.
As we can see from the above discussion, that it becomes imperative that companies like Apple when they are designing the new products should not only be providing for the best products but they should also work towards building a portfolio for ethics where they would be considered to be a company which is ethical in the way they manufactures their products as well as be proactive in meeting the needs of the customers The dilemma as discussed with in the introduction is not a small one but due to the company that Apple is and the respect that it commands in the market wherein it could be working out to be the number 1 brand in this world, it becomes imperative that it sets an example wherein the consumers ultimately not only buy products for the features that apple provides but look towards actually buying from Apple for its all round benefits and quality.