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This case study from Harvard Business School dated from April 13, 2010 speaks about the history and the strategy of Apple.
The author deals with the evolution of the company and it majorinnovations (Macintosh, Ipod, Ipad).

About the history, Apple computer was founded in April 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. At the beginning, Apple computer known a great success with the AppleI and the Apple II computer (They sold more than 100,000 Apple II by the end of 1980). But the dismissal of Steve Jobs in 1985 put the firm in an important recession during the Sculley yearsbetween 1985 and 1993. After that, Mr Spindler and Mr Amelio (1993-1997) tried to reduce the costs and acquire new software to reinforce the workforce of the company. When Steve Jobs was nominated asnew interim CEO in 1997, Apple known a new success with many innovations.

The strategy of Apple by Steve Jobs is to stake on differenciation, to reinforce the image of the brand and to bet onnew technologies. Apple wants to control it distribution, to the manufacturers to the retailers, to impose their own strategy. Then, the company invest a lot of money in marketing campaigns tosell their products. About the differenciation, Apple has launched a new range of products to confront the large competition. The Ipod permits to create a new type of MP3 and the Iphone "reinventthe phone". The successfull of Apple’s products is that the company is able to create new products with a large range of services (Itunes, Safari, Keynote,...). That ‘s why the company invest a lotof money in R&D to find new innovations.

To conclude, despite some failures like Mac mini or Apple TV, Apple Inc. is a model in term of success. For example, Apple’s share price pass to USD100 in 1980 to USD 5 000 in 2008. In 2010, Apple Inc. revolution the world with it third major innovation, the Ipad. And it seems that in the next years, Apple will launch new revolutionnary product.