Apple

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL formerly Apple Computer, Inc.) is an American multinational corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products are the Macintosh line of computers, theiPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Its software includes the Mac OS X operating system; the iTunes media browser; the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software; the iWork suite of productivity software; Aperture, a professional photography package; Final Cut Studio, a suite of professional audio and film-industry software products; Logic Studio, a suite of music production tools; the Safari web browser; and iOS, a mobile operating system.

As of July 2011, Apple has 364 retail stores in thirteen countries, and an online store. It competes with Exxon Mobile as the largest publicly traded company in the world by market capitalization, as well as the largest technology company in the world by revenue and profit, more thanGoogle and Microsoft combined. As of September 24, 2011, the company had 60,400 permanent full-time employees and 2,900 temporary full-time employees worldwide; its worldwide annual revenue in 2010 totalled $65 billion, growing to $108 billion in 2011.
Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired company in the United States in 2008, and in the world from 2008 to 2012. However, the company has received widespread criticism for its contractors' labor, and for its environmental and business practices.

Established on April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, California, and incorporated January 3, 1977, the company was named Apple Computer, Inc. for its first 30 years. The word "Computer" was removed from its name on January 9, 2007, as its traditional focus on personal computers shifted towardsconsumer electronics.
 
Apple was one of several highly successful companies founded in the 1970s that bucked the traditional notions of what a corporate culture should look like in organizational hierarchy (flat versus tall, casual versus formal attire, etc.). Other highly successful firms with similar cultural aspects from the same period include Southwest Airlines and Microsoft. Originally, the company stood in opposition to staid competitors like IBM by default, thanks to the influence of its founders; Steve Jobs often walked around the office barefoot even after Apple was a Fortune 500 company. By the time of the "1984" TV ad, this trait had become a key way the company attempted to differentiate itself from its competitors.

As the company has grown and been led by a series of chief executives, each with his own idea of what Apple should be, some of its original character has arguably been lost, but Apple still has a reputation for fostering individuality and excellence that reliably draws talented people into its employ, especially after Jobs' return. To recognize the best of its employees, Apple created the Apple Fellows program, awarding individuals who made extraordinary technical or leadership contributions to personal computing while at the company. The Apple Fellowship has so far been awarded to a few individuals including Bill Atkinson, Steve Capps, Rod Holt, Alan Kay, Guy Kawasaki, Al Alcorn, Don Norman, Rich Page, and Steve Wozniak.

Numerous employees of Apple have cited that projects without Jobs' involvement often take longer than projects with his involvement.[156] Another presents the image of Jobs "wandering the hall with a flame thrower in hand, asking random people 'do you work on MobileMe?'".

At Apple, employees are specialists who are not exposed to functions outside their area of expertise. Jobs saw this as a means of having best-in-class employees in every role. For instance,Ron Johnson who was Senior Vice President of Retail Operations until November 1, 2011, was responsible for site selection, in-store service, and store layout, yet he had no control of the inventory in his stores (which is done company wide by then-COO and now CEO Tim Cook who has a background in supply-chain management). This is the opposite of General Electric's corporate culture which has created well-rounded managers.

Under the leadership of Tim Cook who joined the company in 1998 and ascended to his present position as CEO, Apple has developed an extremely efficient and effective supply chain which has been ranked as the world's best for the four years 2007–2010. The company's manufacturing, procurement and logistics enables it to execute massive product launches without having to maintain large, profit-sapping inventories; Apple's profit margins have been 40 percent compared with 10–20 percent for most other hardware companies in 2011. Cook's catchphrase to describe his focus on the company's operational edge is “Nobody wants to buy sour milk”.  The company previously advertised its products as being made in America up to the late 1990s, however as a result of outsourcing initiatives in the 2000s almost all of its manufacturing is now done abroad. According to a report by the New York Times, Apple insiders "believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products".