Apple's Mystique: The Dark Side

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG112
Case Length : 22 Pages
Period : 2008-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Apple Inc.
Industry : Consumer Electronics
Countries : US; Global

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Stephen Gary Wozniak (Wozniak), and Ronald Gerald Wayne (Wayne) on 1st April 1976. Working at Jobs' garage they designed a personal computer (PC) that was sold as Apple I. The company was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. on January 3, 1977...

The Mystique Surrounding Apple and its Products

Experts felt that Apple had achieved unprecedented success with its products not solely due to its technological prowess, but because of its culture that fostered innovation.

It was considered the most innovative company and also topped the list of 'Most admired companies in 2008 and 2009 (Refer to Exhibit III for a list of world's most admired companies; to Exhibit IV for industry rankings of Apple; and to Exhibit V for the list of top 10 most innovative companies in the world)...

How a Culture of Secrecy was Maintained

Employees and Developers
Apple placed a number of constraints on its employees and developers. The implications of not complying were severe as Apple was known to take strict action against employees who violated the company's edict on not sharing information. Employees were fired for leaking news to outsiders...

Excerpts Contd...>>


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