Apple Inc

Topics: Steve Jobs, Innovation, Strategic management Pages: 10 (2648 words) Published: December 1, 2010
Features of Apple Industry:2
Evaluation of Steve Jobs as a strategic leader4
Strategic Innovation5
Reflection of our group work9

As the first of the World’s Most Innovative Companies (Business week, 2010) and the 17th of the Best Global Brands (Interbrand, 2010), Apple has succeeded in strategic leadership and innovation, which has drawn attention from the world recently. This essay focuses on some key issues of Apple’s innovation. It begins with analyzing the key features of Apple Inc by Porter’s five forces and Kay’s distinctive capabilities. Then, the evaluations of the CEO Steve Jobs as the strategic leader and explanations of Apple’s strategic innovation are involved. The final section is our recommendations to Apple.

Features of Apple Industry:

In the stage of analyzing the key features of Apple industry, the first method is the Porter’s five forces model. It divides into five parts, threat of new entrants, threat of substitutes, bargaining power of buyers, bargaining power of suppliers and competitive rivalry within an industry (Assen, Berg and Pietersma,2009).

Firstly, for Apple, there are some new entrants have disruptive power. For example, some online services which are similar to iTunes. However, there are numbers of high requirement for new entrants to get in the market, for instance, time and cost of entry.

In the part of substitutes, nowadays, large amount of substitutes have good performance, they cost lower, are easy to switch, but only few of them have same quality as Apple’s products in the same price.

In terms of bargaining power of buyers, it is an influential trouble for Apple. Although Apple has vast and loyal customers, every buyer and retailer all want better stuff in lower price. Moreover, they may reduce spending on Apple’s products if their economy downturn.

Furthermore, Apple can ignore bargaining power of its professional suppliers, such as Inter, and strategic alliance, like Microsoft.

The last part is the existing rivalry; Apple has a lot of powerful competitors, for example, HP and Lenovo. They pressure into Apple in every technological area and attract buyers by different products. Nevertheless, to be the most innovation company of the world, Apple industry is competitive all the time.

Another method used in analysing key features of Apple industry is Kay's distinctive capabilities. This model consists of Architecture, Reputation and Innovation.

Architecture: in the internal part between firm and employees, Apple industry has owns special corporate culture and a spiritual leadership. Apple corporate culture is featured in intense works and being pursuit of perfect works under a casual atmosphere and with sharing spirit. For a spiritual leadership, Steve Jobs' role in Apple is motivating employees to bring employees' creative talent into full play and not involving in the employees' work. In the external part and net works of architecture, Apple only choose strong suppliers having professional advantages to cooperate, such as Intel, it always cooperate other firms with its own purpose. For instance, the apple chose the Google to take advantage of its maps and video features for phone.

Reputation: Apple has a great reputation that is built up on the basis of the quality signals and consumers' own experiences. Apple pays attention to quality of products.

Apple keeps a trial and error on every product to prevent any quality problems from happening in future. Moreover, Apple's production is always based on consumers' experience. For example, Apple offers a free trial for consumers to feel their products.

Innovation: Apple is famous for its innovation that can be demonstrated by technological innovation, product innovation and management innovation. Technological innovation means a perfect integration between hardware and software and Apple also keep updating...

References: Assen. M.V., Berg. G.V.D., Pietersma. P. (2009) Key Management Models, Prentice Hall
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McGregor. J.(2008). The world’s most innovative companies. Business week, April 17. Retrieved Oct 27th, 2010, from
Palmer, D. and Kaplan, S. (2007). A Framework for Strategic Innovation, Innovation Point LLC, PP.1-24.
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