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Apple's Advantage Essay

2495 words - 10 pages

Apple: Leveraging IT to Gain a Competitive Advantage

March 14, 2011

Contents
1 Introduction 1
2 Background 1
2.1 Products and Selling 1
2.2 Competition 1
3 Competitive Advantages 2
3.1 First-Movers 2
3.2 Marketing via the Internet 3
3.3 Think Different 4
4 Closing 5
5 References 6

Introduction
From the newest consumer gadget to the explosion in communication capacities, technological innovations continue to enhance the lives we live and provide us with new tools to perform everyday tasks. The technology breakthroughs of the past thirty years are truly remarkable thanks to the technological innovations of many companies. Currently, technology companies are ...view middle of the document...

The Company sells its products in a variety of outlets. Globally, Apples uses its retail stores, online stores and direct sales force. Apple also uses third-party cellular network carriers, wholesalers, retailers, and value-added resellers. As of September 25, 2010, Apple had opened a total of 317 retail stores; 233 in the United States and 84 internationally ("Apple Incorporated," 2011).

* 2.2 Competition

The technology industry is extremely competitive with new ideas, products and services being introduced everyday. Each company is striving to be the first mover, getting their new gadget out before their competition; while others are trying to go a step beyond what the competition just launched. It is important for these companies to distinguish themselves from their competition, whether it is through the capabilities of their product or something as simple as a low price.
Apple Inc.’s Competition |
Apple’s Products | Competition |
| Companies | Products/Software |
Mac | -Hewlett-Packard-Acer-Dell | -Various computers or laptops |
iPod | -SanDisk -Creative | -Sansa player-Zen-Other MP3 Players |
iTunes | -Nokia-Independent subscription services | -Nokia Ovi Store-Napster-Spotify |
Apple TV | -Netflix-Comcast/Verizon-Recording programs | -Video On-Demand-DVR/TIVO |
iPhone | -Samsung-Motorola-Nokia-Sony | -BlackBerry -Android-Other Smart Phones |

Apple is a very diverse company with a wide variety of products; however, this in turn creates many different competitors. The table to the right, Apple Inc.’s Competition, displays five of Apple’s top products, their corresponding competitors and popular products or software that directly competes with Apple.
This table includes only a few of the many competitors for the Apple product or service listed. With such a high number of competitors, Apple must differentiate itself and gain a competitive advantage in order to beat out the competition.

Competitive Advantages
Technology companies often have difficulty standing out against their competition. The most successful companies find their own unique ways to create a competitive advantage in order to edge out the competition. Apple does a superb job of finding a way to stand out and keep the customers coming back time and time again.

* 3.1 First-Movers
In today’s competitive world, companies cannot just compete based on the price of their products. The introduction of new products or new product features has become very important in the fight to gain a competitive advantage in the market place. Apple does very well leveraging IT to achieve a competitive advantage by developing new products that are available first in the market. The IT involved has really helped them become so successful. One innovative product that Apple makes is their iPod. For a while, Apple was struggling to stay alive in this technologically advanced world. Windows was taking over and Apple needed to make a move to stay...

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