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Apple Computer, Inc case study 14 Apple has created a unique and powerful reputation and product line that continues to be innovative and fresh to the consumer for the last 30 plus years. Apple has continued to be an industry leader for hardware and in the recent years faces the extremely fast-paced market of media and software products including the global marketplace. SWOT ANALYSIS Strengths: * Having alliances with other strong and popular businesses is a major plus point for Apple Computer, Inc. as it helps bring in new customers and make business more effective. Being a market leader, as Apple Computer, Inc. is, is key to their success as it boosts reputation, profit and market share. * Riding high in the niche market in Electronics industry has helped boost Apple Computer, Inc. and raised reputation and turnover. * The services/products offered by Apple Computer, Inc. are original, meaning many people will return to Apple Computer, Inc. to obtain them. * Apple Computer, Inc. ’s marketing strategy has proved to be effective, helping to raise profiles and profits and standing out as a major strength. * Apple Computer, Inc. s innovation keeps it a front-runner in Electronics as it is regularly turning out new patents/proprietary technology. * Experienced employees are the key to success of Apple Computer, Inc. helping to drive them forward with expertise and knowledge. * Apple Computer, Inc. has an extensive customer base, which is a major strength regarding sales and profit. * Apple Computer, Inc. ’s reputation is strong and popular, meaning people view it with respect and believe in it. * Being financially strong helps Apple Computer, Inc. deal with any problems, ride any dip in profits and out perform their rivals. A strong brand is an essential strength of Apple Computer, Inc. as it is recognized and respected. * Apple Computer, Inc. has a high percentage of the market share, meaning it is ahead of many competitors. * Apple Computer, Inc. ’s distribution chain can be listed as one of their strengths and links to success. * High quality products/services are a vital strength, helping to ensure customers return to Apple Computer, Inc. * Apple Computer, Inc. ’s international operations mean a wider customer base, a stronger brand and a bigger chunk of the global market. * Development and innovation are high at Apple Computer, Inc. ith regard to their products/services, which is a sure strength in its overall performance. * Apple Computer, Inc. ’s position in the market is high and strong – a major strength in this industry as they are ahead of many rivals. * The online presence of Apple Computer, Inc. is strong, meaning it is ahead of many competitors. * Supplier relationships are strong at Apple Computer, Inc. , which can only be seen as strength in their overall performance. Weaknesses: * Not reducing costs in the same way as their competitors’ means Apple Computer, Inc. is outlaying more of their profits. Having higher costs than competitors is a major weakness. Over pricing, setting too high prices for Apple Computer, Inc. products/services makes them uncompetitive, which is a major weakness. * Apple Computer, Inc. ’s limited product line is a major weakness. Opportunities: * Changes in technology could give Apple Computer, Inc. an opportunity to bolster future success. * The changes in the way consumers spend and what they buy provides a big opportunity for Apple Computer, Inc. to explore. * New market opportunities could be a way to push Apple Computer, Inc. forward. * As the economic climate improves, so do the opportunities for Apple Computer, Inc. Apple Computer, Inc. has the opportunity to enter a niche market, gain leading position and therefore boost financial performance. * Reaching out into other markets is a possibility for Apple Computer, Inc. , and a big opportunity. * Grasping the opportunity to expand the customer base is something Apple Computer, Inc. can aim for, either geographically or through new products. * Expanding the product/service lines by Apple Computer, Inc. could help them raise sales and increase their product portfolio. * Expanding into other markets could be a possibility for Apple Computer, Inc. Forming strategic alliances and joint ventures is an opportunity for Apple Computer, Inc. to maximize profit and gain new business. Threats: * New products/services from rival firms could lead to Apple Computer, Inc. ‘s products/services being less in demand. * Changes in the way consumers shop and spend and other changing consumer patterns could be a threat to Apple Computer, Inc. ‘s performance. * Not keeping up with changes in technology could be detrimental to the future of Apple Computer, Inc. as they could slip behind their rivals. * Slow growth and decline of the Electronics market is a threat to Apple Computer, Inc. Extra competition and new competitors entering the market could unsteady Apple Computer, Inc. and be a threat. * The actions of a competitor could be a major threat against Apple Computer, Inc. , for instance, if they bring in new technology or increase their workforce to meet demand. * Apple Computer, Inc. could be threatened by the growing power customers have to set the price of their products/services. * Apple Computer, Inc. could be threatened by the growing power their suppliers have to set their prices. * Substitute products available on the market present a major threat to Apple Computer, Inc. ANALYSIS QUESTIONS: . Describe the key strategic challenges facing Apple Computer. The key strategic challenges facing Apple today are the integration of its privacy and security concepts to keep up with the continually growing exposure of their products and services in the world. Apple has to keep ahead of the growing and strong competition while maintaining their positive image. One of the most crucial challenges is the continued progress of Apple as Steve Jobs health deteriorates. The reflection of Jobs personality and intuition being the core of Apples strength will need to be maintained as they move on into the future with the company. . Describe the dimensions along which company success can be measured. Apples success can be measured as a business by their past and current sales results, market shares, company profits, and the ability to grow faster than the competition. Apple has also continued to be customer focused and has adapted to the requests of customers to keep the loyalty and dedication of customers with its products. Inside of the business, there needs to be continued structure and praise for the employees. The ability to be innovative, efficient, and “green” while continuing to value people is critical to success. . Describe the critical external and internal environmental factors that have strategic implications for Apple’s future. Every aspect of the internal and external environment has some influence on how Apple should adjust its strategy for a positive future. Some specific internal factors include strong marketing strategies for their entire product line, a large budget, strong management/ leadership, logistical process that helps them meet their orders and demands from customers, and high quality hardware and support.

Technological innovations, new products, opening new stores and maintaining existing stores are all part of the internal environment that effect the strategic plans of Apple’s future. They must maintain these factors and continue to keep their company vision in mind, to provide the best possible products at the most reasonable price possible. Some of the external factors are concerns of their customers, employees, shareholders, and members of the general public, competitors, legal issues, social concerns “greening of the company”, technological advances impact on product design. . Describe how Apple’s strategy stands up against industry rivalry. Apple’s goal is to provide customers with the “best personal computing…experience” by offering products with “superior ease-of-use, seamless integration, and innovative industrial design” and a “high-quality sales and post-sales support experience. ” (Apple Inc. ) Apple’s forte is not time-to-market or introducing breakthrough technology. Apple makes quantum leaps by using new platforms to delivery next level user experience where the existing choices are stalled.

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They weren’t the first MP3, cell phone or tablet manufacturer. What they did in each case was crystallize a platform that raised performance and competitive expectations to a new level. (Meyer, 2010) This explanation of Apple’s strategy is very strong against industry rivalry. They have managed to stay ahead of their competitors in releasing great innovative products and continue to strengthen their reputation with the new products and post-purchase customer service. 5.

Describe the recommendations you would make to enhance the effectiveness of the company’s strategy or to change its strategic approach for better results. There are a few suggestions I have for Apple’s strategy to achieve better results. The first is the implementation of more Apple Stores. This has proven to be a positive for Apple’s retail market and it would help increase the accessibility of getting the hands-on services and for many more to experience the newest products. Another suggestion is that Apple should consider the opportunities with other cell phone carriers.

This could increase exposure greatly in the smart phone market. Emphasize more the comparison of the quality and value of Apple product compared to competitors. REFERENCES Apple Inc SEC 2009 Form 10-K Filing Page 1. Retrieved from http://phx. corporate-ir. net/External. File? item=UGFyZW50SUQ9MTg1OTB8Q2hpbGRJRD0tMXxUeXBlPTM=;t=1 Meyer, Christopher (11/14/2010) Apple Business Strategy 2011: Milk the iCow for Growth ; Cash. Retrieved from http://www. workingwider. com/strategic_innovation/apple-business-strategy-2011-milk-the-icow-for-growth-cash/

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