Strategic Business 59-620B
February 12, 2015
1. What are the chief elements of Apple’s overall competitive strategy? How well do the pieces fit together? Is the strategy evolving?
It is very clear that Apple employees a system of differentiation as its competitive strategy. Not only is Apply continuously improving its current products by releasing new generations with new features, they are constantly creating new products that meet emerging needs as technology continuously evolves. They occupy a space in the market in three major products lines: phones, personal computers, and media players. These products work together to create a connected experience for the end user as they connect their devices together to access the same material on all of their devices. Apple has also created its own user-friendly iOS operating system to set itself apart from other technologies that are out there.
Apple’s strategy is focused mainly on these three areas of technology, continually adding new products and elements to existing products to continuously evolve themselves with the times. The success of Apple’s current products are evidence of their growing and evolving strategy. Apple’s strategy has paved a clear path for the long-term development of its current, and future, products to keep itself ahead of competition and ahead of the wants and needs of an ever changing technological user-base.
2. What are the key elements of Apple’s strategy in computers, personal media players, tablet computers, and smartphones? Have its strategies in its core businesses yielded success? Explain.
1) Product Differentiation
2) New and exciting operating system (vs. Microsoft)
3) Unique appearance and style
4) Product Diversification
5) First mover benefits
6) Updates to products that keep loyal customers coming back
All of these elements have come together to help Apple remain consistent and stay among the frontrunners in this profitable category. Consumers have come to love the products offered by Apple and often remain brand loyal across their devices because of the unique style as well as the unprecedented user-friendly operating systems.
Apple’s business strategies continue to bring the company success. Apple is one of the biggest competitors within the market as they continually bring new features to the market. Apple has also launched software that is available to users of another type of PC to allow them compatibility with Apple’s media players, which are basically the only ones on the market (though many phones have essentially replaced the need for a media player). While Apple was not the first to market with their media players, their innovations have certainly made up for this fact, as they remain one of the only players in this market.
Though Apple made some decisions that hurt their distribution of the iPhone at first, they have since made up for those blunders. If we all remember, the iPhone remained exclusively with AT&T until just a few years ago. Apple has positioned themself as one of the leading smartphone manufactures, being one of two major operating systems of all smartphones. Apple has done well to stay ahead of the competition as well as place them in a great position to meet the needs of business, education, and recreational users of their products.
3. What does a competitive strength assessment reveal about Apple’s computer business, as compared to the leaders in the computer industry? Use the methodology in Table 4.4 to support your answer. Does it appear that the company’s competitive positions in personal media players, tablet computers, and smartphones are stronger or weaker than its position in computers?
Looking at Apple’s current place in the market, you could almost consider them untouchable. Stock prices keep climbing, as they continue to release bigger and better versions of their products to further meet the needs of their ever-growing