APPLE COMPUTER, INC.: A CASE ANALYSIS
SWOT analysis and recommendation
According to Apple Computer's 2007 10-K Annual Report, "The Company is committed to bringing the best personal computing, portable digital music and mobile communication experience to students, educators, creative professionals, businesses, government agencies, and consumers through its innovative hardware, software, peripherals, services, and Internet offerings." The company's 2005 Mission Statement reads:
Apple Computer is committed to protecting the environment, health and
safety of our employees, customers and the global communities where we
operate. We recognize that by ...view middle of the document...
Its strategic moves into mobile communication devices and portable entertainment downloading places the company in stiff competitive conditions from every angle. New competitors, low-priced rivals, and potential substitute products all threaten to reduce the perceived value of Apple products and the success of its strategy.
Apple is also challenged to maintain its core competencies - marketing, innovation, relationship building, and brand management - as it manages a broader range of products and navigates more markets. Its customer base is now more diverse, and new sets of competitors have a wider variety of strengths and strategies. The technology and entertainment industries are constantly and rapidly changing. It is uncertain whether Apple will be able to sustain its brand's reputation for innovative design, continually release technological breakthroughs, and launch new products that will "hit the consumer mark". In addition, the company's suite of products is no longer based on its internally developed hardware and software, but depends upon the ability to secure media content, which has its own competitive forces, dimensions of entertainment value, and proprietary issues.
With Apple's success and growth, balancing stakeholder demands has become increasingly difficult. Managing the sometimes-conflicting expectations of customers, investors, suppliers, partners, legal/governmental entities, and other stakeholders puts an increasing amount of pressure on Apple's management team. And the company's dependence on Jobs' charisma, vision, and public communication and relationship-building skills puts Apple at risk without a reliable succession plan and a pool of equally-talented brand champions.
Apple's continued success lies in careful and thoughtful strategic management of these complex issues and challenges.
A balanced use of financial and strategic controls will help ensure that Apple Computer both benefits from feedback on past performance and communicates the important drivers of future performance. The following criteria provide a set of measures to effectively determine the company's success.
Financial Revenues by product and region
Cash flow - amounts and sources
Customer Market share
Internal Business Processes Cost management for pricing flexibility
Learning and Growth New product introductions
Research and development investments
Training and cross-organization sharing programs
One of the most important stages of the strategic management process is the situation analysis, which involves an in-depth assessment of forces in the external and internal environments that can...