Apple Inc. is a global technology company that designs, manufactures, and sells smartphones, personal computers, tablets, wearables and accessories. Apple Inc. is listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol, AAPL. Some of its main products include the iPhone, the Mac line of personal computers and laptops, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. The company also has a fast-growing services business that includes its iCloud cloud service, and its digital content streaming services such as Apple Music and Apple TV+.
Since its founding in 1976, the tech giant has grown into a diversified technology behemoth. When it comes to acquisitions, Apple's strategy has been to purchase small tech companies that it can easily integrate into its expanding line of products.
Apple faces numerous competitors including smartphone manufacturers Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and LG Electronics Inc., computer manufacturers Lenovo Group Ltd. and Dell Technologies Inc., streaming-content providers Spotify Technology S.A. and Netflix Inc., and other technology companies like Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc., and Amazon.com Inc.
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Apple's Latest Developments
- Apple has drawn widespread attention over multi-million-dollar pay raises for its senior executives, including CEO Tim Cook, as announced in its 2021 notice of annual meeting and proxy statement. While this is newsworthy, a more significant revelation in that proxy statement is Apple's indirect acknowledgement that potential antitrust action against the company has become a major business risk. This is the first time that Apple has discussed antitrust risks in its proxy statement.
- Apple is reportedly developing an electric vehicle (EV) with an advanced battery that will deliver a significant boost in range at much lower cost than current battery technology allows while also offering self-driving capabilities. Apple's so-called Project Titan is said to be targeting the start of production for 2024, though pandemic-related delays may push production into 2025 or beyond. If Apple succeeds, this represents a challenge to Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) in the market for advanced electric vehicles.
- Apple has completed a preliminary investigation into a large-scale worker riot at an iPhone assembly plant in India run by a key subcontractor in its international supply chain, Taiwan-based Wistron Corporation. Unpaid wages have been a major grievance among workers. As a result, Apple has announced that it will monitor Wistron closely and not send it any additional orders until it demonstrates that it can properly manage and pay its rapidly expanding workforce.
- Apple is facing a disruption to its international supply chain as a result of a large-scale riot at an iPhone assembly plant in India owned by one of its major subcontractors, Taiwan-based Wistron Corporation (3231.TW). The incident, which occurred on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, reportedly was sparked by contract workers' grievances over unpaid wages and working hours.
- Apple announced the release of AirPods Max on Dec. 8, 2020, calling them "innovative wireless headphones that bring the magic of AirPods to an over-ear design with high-fidelity sound." Key features of this product, per the company, are "high-fidelity audio, Adaptive EQ [i.e., equalizer], Active Noise Cancellation, and spatial audio [i.e., surround sound]."
- Apple reportedly has been receiving growing numbers of complaints about the iPhone 12, commencing soon after its release in November 2020. Key problems include quick battery drain, ineffective wireless charging, display issues (flickering, green or gray glow, and other unintended lighting variations), and unexpected network connection drops.
- Apple is reportedly working on redesigns of the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, with key features being mini-LED displays and the use of Apple's internally developed and produced M1 semiconductor chip. Two new MacBook Pro models are in the works to debut in 2021, also offering a new form factor (i.e., new look and size) versus current models.
- Apple has reached a second settlement in the United States designed to end lawsuits over what has come to be known as "batterygate." Earlier in 2020, in response to a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of iPhone users, Apple reached a $500 million settlement. The latest "batterygate" settlement will cost a reported $113 million, payable to 34 U.S. states whose attorneys general had launched consumer fraud suits against Apple.
- Apple has announced that, starting Jan. 1, 2021, small app developers will see the standard commission that they pay to Apple cut in half, from 30% to 15%. Apple promises to release further details in early December 2020, but the basic qualification is that a developer's total proceeds from the App Store in calendar year 2020 must be less than $1 million.
- On Nov. 10, 2020, Apple announced that new models of its MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini will be manufactured with its own internally developed M1 semiconductor chip. The company calls this chip "revolutionary" and promises that it will be "the first in a family of chips designed by Apple specifically for the Mac."
- Apple reported record September quarter revenue of $64.7 billion for Q4 FY 2020, which ended September 26, 2020. Growth was driven by all-time records for Mac and Services, said CEO Tim Cook.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Profitable Is Apple?
Apple, Inc. is indeed profitable. In its most recent earnings release, the company posted net income of $11.3 billion on revenue of $59.7 billion for Q3 of its 2020 fiscal year, which ended June 27, 2020.
Who Owns the Most Apple Stock?
The biggest individual insider shareholder of Apple is Arthur Levinson, who has been the company's chairman of the board since 2011 and a co-lead director since 2005. By the most recent count, Levinson owns 1,133,283 shares of Apple stock, representing 0.03% of all outstanding shares.
The biggest institutional shareholder of Apple is Vanguard Group, which owns 336.7 million shares representing 7.8% of total shares outstanding, according to the company's most recent 13F filing for the period ending March 31, 2020.
Who Invented Apple's iPhone?
The late Steve Jobs, co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Apple, Inc., invented the iPhone with his team of engineers and designers in the early 2000s. The iPhone beta version was created in 2004, and the first iPhone was released to the public in June 2007.