Strategy and Competition
Final Exam: 50%
Students are required to read the “Apple Inc. in 2010” case study and answer FIVE (5) of the
following questions. They are required to submit their answers within the stipulated time frame.
1- What, historically, have been Apple’s competitive advantages?
Apple’s competitive advantages are its innovation, strong brand and rapid growth.
In the Sculley years, Sculley pushed the Mac into new markets, most notably in desktop
publishing and education. Apple’s desktop market was driven by its superior software
and peripherals. In education, Apple grabbed half the market. Apple’s worldwide market
share recovered and stabilized at around 8%. By 1990, ...view middle of the document...
Apple has strong customers/buyers in the market. Apple has strong suppliers who
would give them good deal. Apple has specific complementors such as its own printers
and software – iPhoto, some are free, upgradable and downloadable online. The rivalry in
Personal Computer Industry is only Dell because it invests 1% of revenue to R&D. It is
hard to compete with Apple Computer and Apple products because for personal
computers, Apple can function both Mac OS and Windows. SamSung has become
Apple’s rival in terms of mobile phones, laptops, notepads, and touch panels. The entry to
the market is not easy, otherwise it could be beaten out easily by strong market players in
the market or easily taken out by acquisition.
The internal analysis tool – Apple has a strong brand name so, it has value. It is rare to be
like Apple. It is easy to imitate like Apple. However, there are copyright laws and all so it
cannot be all exactly identical. It will be costly to imitate. The organization is a solid
organization formed by Steve Jobs so it is hard to fall apart. That’s why, Apple can have
a sustained advantage if there is R&D and innovation keep on going. The economic
implications are above normal.
2- Analyze the Personal Computer industry. Are the dynamics favorable or problematic for
It was Apple which pioneered first usable personal computing devices. It was IBM that
brought PCs into mainstream in the 1980’s. Growth was driven by lower prices and
expanding capabilities. Revenue growth failed to keep pace with volume growth. New
PC Products emerged as well. More expensive laptop computers gained traction. Portable
PCs represented 57% of worldwide PC shipments and were expected to reach 70% by
2012. Desktop costs $544, lower price led to higher sales volume. A new subcategory,
net book arisen sold for around $400.
The dynamics have led Apple to produce Apple Desktop, Macbook Air, Macbook Pro.
Even in Macbook Air and Macbook Pro, there are certain 13”, 15”17”, 19”. To compete
with netbook, it has produced ipad, and use peripherals such as small keyboard and
mouse along to function as a small notepad. Apple may produce smaller size that can
compete with netbook in the future.
Dynamics are favorable for Apple because it has led apple to expand its own market. It
has led Apple from mature industry structure to emerging industry structure. Apple was
in mature industry structure, which is slowing growth in demand, technology standard
exists, increasing international competition, industry wide profits declining, and industry
exit is beginning. Steve Jobs has refined current products, improved service, and process
innovation. Hence, it has become emerging industry structure. In emerging industry
structure, new industry based on break through technology or product –ipod, iphone, and
ipad, no product standard has been reached, no dominant firm has emerged yet. The only
rivals that come to Apple are Dell because it has put...