Can you help me with some Apple History?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by viperguy, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. viperguy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    #1
    It's for my college "homework"
    It's a huge thing and I decided putting Apple on it... So I have a few questions, if you can help me I'd be grateful :D

    *When and Why Apple almost went bankrupt???
    *What were the changes needed in order to make it stand up again, turn the table and become the company it is today?

    And, most important:
    *What was it's old Position that didn't work and what's the new Postion of the company?

    I have to talk about "Positions" , the term created by Al Ries e Jack Trout.
    Of course I will put Microsoft in the mid of this mess and I think it will be great :D
    If you have any sources where I can look for info, please tell me!
    Thnks!
     
  2. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #2
    Apple never "almost went bankrupt" - at their lowest point I believe they still had hundreds of millions, almost a billion in cash reserves. They were deeply in the red though, meaning their cash reserves were getting smaller instead of bigger, which is never a good thing.

    Changes including discontinuing Mac clone licenses (yes other companies were allowed to make Macs other than Apple for a time), cutting much of Apple's product line to simplify it into a few major products (there were dozens before). A good laptop (the PowerBook 3400c) was key, since PowerBooks were a big part of Apple's claim to fame, yet they had gotten very lousy with the 5300, 2300, and 1400 offerings. The new G3 chips, and especially the new iMac, with an emphasis on industrial design, and finally the *new* PowerBook G3 (as opposed to the 3400c-based one), really helped boost Apple back into the black.

    Much of this came about with the return of Steve Jobs, who had left the company in 1986, but returned with Apple's purchased of Steve's other company, NeXT, in 1996.
     
  3. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a

    Cameront9

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #3
    The saying goes that Apple has been going bankrupt since 1977. Someone has ALWAYS claimed they were on the verge of bankruptcy, even though financially they never were.

    Really what turned the company around was Steve Jobs and NeXT, which laid the foundations for OS X and has reinvigorated the company. The iMac was another very important product, and of course the iPod...

    I would suggest checking out Apple Confidential 2.0. It's a great book that can answer many of your questions.
     
  4. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    My house!
    #4
    And don't let anyone tell you that Microsoft owns Apple, or even part of Apple. Yes, at one time, Microsoft purchased a large amount of Apple shares, but Apple has since bought them all back. So Microsoft has no say in what goes on at Apple like some people like to suggest.
     
  5. 748s macrumors 6502a

    748s

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    Tiger Bay
    #5
    Part of a deal for apple to drop a lawsuit against microsoft was for microsoft to buy (memory is hazy) i think, $150 million in non voting shares, sign a 5 year deal to keep MS Office for the mac happening and access to each others code/tech for a few years. after the 5 years was up microsoft sold their shares.
     
  6. joe50000 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #6
    1997. Apple was not making a profit and almost went bankrupt - i.e. the shareholders were ready to dump their shares and the company was going to be sold off. Market share is as low now as it was then but the problem was no one was buying Apple products. With the clone program, everyone who wanted to use a Mac just bought a cheap clone - they were competitively priced. Their product line was also bloated to hell with sometimes almost NO difference between two different product lines specs wise.

    It all boiled down to poor management. Cue Steve Jobs' return to Apple in 1997 - and drastic changes happened. First of all, he streamlined the Mac line into two lines - one for the consumer and one for the professional. Then he made their product visible in the public eye and easily recognized. That's how Apple has always found success - marketing their computers as consumer products.

    Then, cue the iPod. Apple had a hit and the money started rolling in. It was a backdoor way of getting the Apple name into the household for a new generation.

    What was the old position? selling a computer people wanted. Then going to a computer that was totally irrelevant to the general public. Then selling a computer that was attractive to College students, light home users, and one for professionals who needed a powerful computer that could handle robust photo/video editing software. Regardless, it all boils down to them selling consumer products, which in the minds of most computer companies was not a possibility.
     
  7. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #7
    As stated above, several times actually, Apple never "almost went bankrupt." Low share price does not = Bankruptcy. Way to read a thread before posting.

    He didn't just "return" at his whim - Apple had tough decisions to make, juggling buying Be, Inc. or NeXT. They went with NeXT thankfully, and with NeXT came Steve.

    Three, including the PowerBooks.
     
  8. joe50000 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #8
    Apple indeed faced bankruptcy. Do your homework and don't trust people on a thread. Well, maybe not everyone.

    I know Steve Jobs didn't suddenly just return to Apple but they didn't have to make him interim CEO just because of the NEXT purchase. He was the one who really reshaped the company's direction.

    The Powerbook was billed under the "pro" line for Macs. The laptop market for the consumer would later be filled with the iBook.
     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #9
    Not even close. Apple's cash reserves at the bottom of their fortunes 1996-97 were over $1 billion, with no significant debt. Very few companies are even close to being this well-off, even when they are making money, which Apple was not during these years. Do not confuse red ink with bankruptcy. Even if Apple had exhausted their cash reserves (which they were never really in danger of doing), they could have created debt by selling corporate bonds.

    Take a look at General Motors and Ford as two examples of companies currently losing money big time. These companies are in serious trouble but hardly anybody is seriously uttering the "b-word" about either one. They'll survive -- as smaller companies -- but they will survive.

    Apple has never faced bankruptcy. Full stop.
     
  10. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #10
    Every company worries about *facing* bankruptcy. Apple was never in imminent danger of filing for bankruptcy, if I recall correctly at their lowest point they still had enough reserve cash to operate for a year or so...

    This is the idea I came away with after reading Apple Confidential. Maybe you should do the same.

    I would disagree... again after reading the above book, that he was the only one that reshaped the company. That isn't a fair assessment.

    This designation didn't come up until the 1999 introduction of the iBook (3 years after Steve Jobs was brought back to Apple and the company was already well within profitability). Before then, there wasn't a "Pro" portable line, because there was only one portable line... the PowerBook.
     
  11. Macmadant macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 4, 2005
    #11
    Apparently it almost went bust in 1984
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_computers

    Under Financial Problems, i'll second the Apple confidential 2.0, it's a brilliant book, and i think it's safe to say steve jobs saved the company, and turned it around
     
  12. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    Illinois
    #12
  13. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #13
    Don't you know, Wikipedia is the new font of all wisdom? ;)
     

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