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Apple Computer Inc. Case Study

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Essay title: Apple Computer Inc. Case Study

Apple Computer Inc.

Executive Summery

Apple’s main business is in the design, manufacture, and marketing of personal computers and related software worldwide. It also designs, develops, and markets a line of portable digital music players along with related accessories and services, including the online distribution of third-party music and audio books. Prior to 2004 Apple’s earnings were relatively small compared to its two top competitors, Microsoft and Dell. In 2004 the company enjoyed an explosion in net income with the help of the increased popularity of its Ipod. According to the annual report net sales in the America alone went up 26% because of Ipod sales.

There are several key issues facing the company this next year. First, they have to find a way to keep increasing sales. Apple has introduced a new Ipod that plays video clips, which may be their attempt to capture more sales. I do not know how effective this strategy will be because I do not think Ipod users will be willing to pay the steep price of $300 plus. Also I do not think the new video Ipod will have the same attractiveness because what made the original successful is the ability to copy music compact disks to the Ipod. This new invention does not have that capability and I am skeptical of whether consumers are willing to pay for the Ipod itself and for the videos. In order to bring out the video Ipod Apple joined forces with Disney.

Another key issue facing Apple is the fact the company could not come to an agreement with Samsung over a potential investment in factory that Samsung plans to build. Apple uses micro-flash chips that Samsung produces in one version of their Ipod. There is speculation that Samsung gave Apple illegal discount on these chips and if that turns out to be true than that will not help Apple’s future endeavors.

By looking at Apple’s three year financial ratios the overall health of the company seems pretty good. Over the three year span Apple has been a very liquid company with current ratios for 2002, 2003, and 2004 of 3.25, 2.49, and 2.63 respectively. Those numbers may be a slightly higher than expected but they high because the company’s liabilities are lower compared to its current assets. In 2002 the firm had $2.2 million in short term investments, which is more than their current liabilities. In

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