It was one thing to succeed in the technology sector, but Jayson Werth, product development manager at Apple Inc. (Apple), felt particularly satisfied that Apple’s innovation engine had been able to achieve incredible success with its range of consumer products, all possessing CEO Steve Jobs’s singular sense of style. In addition to laudatory reviews about the ease of use his company’s products offered, many reviewers and analysts had been particularly complimentary of how the Apple aesthetic had bolstered the firm’s value.
The company had developed and refined the form and function of the iPhone and iTouch, and the release of the iPad had already had a huge impact on mobile computing, winning converts from laptop users to business-class road warriors to users looking for a better e-reader. Over and over, Apple had designed products that achieved a look of effortless grace, and as a result, consumers had been willing ...view middle of the document...
In addition to Werth’s development responsibilities, Jobs had recently directed him to leverage some of his success in mobile devices back toward the desktop market segment and provide some recommendations. What should be done with Apple’s line of desktop PCs—long a small player in the overall PC marketplace? Werth began to wonder if the type of branding and functionality that had been so successful for the iPod and iPad was simply irrelevant for PC consumers because the product might not integrate with consumers’ social lives in such a powerful way. If so, which direction to take the flagship Mac brand? And whatstrategic approach should Apple pursue to gain market dominance and escape niche status in PCs?
Live Case Instructions
Analyze Apple’s current situation—the state of the company today. What can you discern about Apple’s strategy? What should Apple do with its PC business? Is the PC business an attractive segment? Why or why not? Does Apple have a competitive advantage in PCs?
In the real world, all relevant case facts and information will not be handed to you. Analysis of this case requires the collection of data and information from public sources. In doing research, you will cultivate your skill in making sense out of a tremendous amount of information—or lack of it—and determining what is relevant data that ought to guide your strategic analysis. The ultimate test of your skill as an strategic analyst is whether you have the tools and judgment to make sense of the information available and to make strategic decisions in the face of a great deal of uncertainty.
Preparation should be neither more nor less time-consuming than that for a typical case discussion. Good places to start collecting information include the company website, its annual report and financials, and comprehensive databases such as Hoover’s and Bloomberg. If you think that a particular piece of information is relevant to our discussion of Apple’s strategy, come prepared to discuss it. That said, do not spend an inordinate amount of time on simple “case facts.” Instead, employ the tools you have learned at business school to do some analysis of Apple.