Step 4: Formulating Strategy
When Apple’s Chief Executive – Steven Jobs – launched the Apple iPod in 2001 and the iPhone in 2007, he made a significant shift in the company’s strategy from the relatively safe market of innovative, premium-priced computers into the highly competitive markets of consumer electronics. Apple remained a full-line computer manufacturer, supplying both the hardware and the software. Apple continued to develop various innovative computers and related products. Early successes included the Mac2 and PowerBooks along with the world’s first desktop publishing program – PageMaker. This latter remains today the leading program of its kind. It is widely used around the world in publishing and fashion houses. It remains exclusive to Apple and means that the company has a specialist market where it has real competitive advantage and can charge higher prices. Apple’s strategy of keeping its software exclusive was a major strategic mistake. The company was determined to avoid the same error when it came to the launch of the iPod and, in a more subtle way, with the later introduction of the iPhone. The product that really took off was the iPod – the personal music player that stored hundreds of CDs. And unlike the launch of its first personal computer, Apple sought industry co-operation rather than keeping the product to itself. By moving into consumer electronics, Apple can correct their weakness of keeping their technology to themselves, and instead, shared the technology to other competitors making their rival competitors to follow what they are doing. Apple learned from the past experience where their non-co-operation strategy turned out to be a major weakness. It is because when Apple is the only organization with technology different than other organizations the applications compatible for those technology other than Apple’s is not usable for Apple’s products. The good part of this strategy is that with the technology Apple has, Apple are...
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