The purpose of this report is to identify a firm that is widely considered to be innovative. It will include the business environment and how it impacts upon the firm and it’s opportunities for innovation, the sources of competitive advantage and the strategic options that are available to the firm. From the declared strategic options, an evaluation of the risks of implementing strategic change will be made to achieve this option. 1.1 Background to Apple Inc.
Apple Inc. is a multinational corporation that designs, creates and sells goods of the computer, music and mobile-phone industries. Apple’s core product lines are the iPhone, iPad, iPod and MacBook. The company provide us with highly advanced technology, simplicity and design and the sense of luxury in their products. Apple was founded in 1976, and like most companies, the business started small and was not successful straightaway, but now it’s one of the most admired companies in the world. Founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak’s, it was their dream job as they both shared an interest with computers and wanted to try building their own. (Lusted 2012) 2.0 Why Apple is an Innovative Firm
“Innovation involves the conversion of new knowledge into a new product, process or service and the putting of this new product, process or service into actual use.” (Johnson et al. 2011 p. 296) Innovation is a sustainable source of competitive advantage; it is the application of novelty for economic benefit. It isn’t just all about technology but creating new ideas to solve problems. People who buy products and service’s use it and appreciate it; this is why it is an innovation. Apple can be defined as an innovative company as they build novelty products like the iPad and iPhone that are unique, simple to use and provide you with the most amazing experience. They are known as trendsetters, taking out products before anyone else, for example Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 and shortly after Samsung took out the Samsung Galaxy. However the iPhone has brought smartphones into the mainstream and changed the way people use their mobile phones by integrating them into everyday life. Although Apple was a late entrant into the mobile phone market with the iPhone, it still makes more money than any other handset. Apple has a wide spread target audience appeal and as they grow their needs grow. The company enjoy taking risks and entering new markets with the iPhone and iPad and create new business models e.g. iTunes. (Al-Rubaie 2010) Apple has seen product development in a different way from its competitors. They have taken existing products, studied them, then reinvented them in a unique way to create must have products. An example of this would be when they introduced the iPod, bringing an end to personal CD players and MP3 Players. (Hashem 2011) Apple has not always been successful, they brought both success and failure in the 90’s but when Steve Jobs returned his business strategy embodied the iMac, the all in one desktop computer that brought Apple back to profitability. With each new product, Apple has shown itself to be the heart of innovation. Companies like Intel and Microsoft integrate their products with other companies so that the software work together, for example, Microsoft produce products that work with intel and intel produce products that work for Microsoft. However, Apple has their own unique software and hardware that is not compatible with any other company’s products. For example, the Apple iPhone’s OS runs only on Apple iPhones and all third party applications must be approved by Apple before they are released. This shows that Jobs is able to fully control and streamline the hardware and software design and benefit from profit maximisation. (Hashem 2011) Apple therefore deserves the place in today’s market by its uniqueness, innovative products, services and business model. This is why Apple has been named the most innovative company in the...
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