Strategic Case Analysis of “Apple Inc. in 2012”
The Apple case starts out by stating facts about the death and accomplishments of their former CEO, Steve Jobs. This leads into the introduction of the new CEO, Tim Cook, and the battle he is facing to keep Apple at the level that Steve Jobs left it. After a brief history of the company from its founding in 1976 to its firing and eventual re-hiring of Steve jobs, the article goes into specifics of the personal computing industry. While keeping Apple as the main focus throughout this article, they detail events and products that were relevant to the technological race from the late 1970’s until 2012. This section of the article builds up the fact that the PC was the main player in the industry. It shows how Apple had to fight an uphill battle to keep innovating and gaining their way into a larger market share.
The article then goes on to explain Apple’s evolution from only producing Macs and Operating Systems, to producing massive amounts of mobile electronic devices. The article then explains the “digital hub” strategy that would integrate all devices at one “hub”, which would be the Mac. This lead into a discussion of the ideas that came along with this “hub”, which included iTunes, iCloud, iPods, iPads, and iPhones. The authors spoke about the ideas as compared to industry competitors’ products. The authors ended the article with a re-statement of the importance of Steve Jobs legacy at the company. The authors refocused everything back on the new CEO of Apple, and left him with the task of living up to the expectations of the previous CEO.
To analyze this case, I will perform a SWOT analysis with a basis in the five forces of competition. This analysis will gain insight from threats of entry, supplier power, buyer power, established rivals, and substitutes as determinants for each of the SWOT criteria. Strengths
To start off the strengths of Apple, they are a company that has been running for 37 years. They have seen the ups and downs and have made it through. They have seen the bottom and are now at the top. This strong history is what will keep them from making the same mistakes as in their earlier years. Throughout this history, Apple gained established rivals. These rivals brought out their strength of innovation through competition. In recent years, this innovation has sent their profits through the roof. With such large profits, Apple now has the advantage of now being one of the biggest companies in the world. They are able to spend as much money as they feel necessary on research and development. This fact shows that their ability to spend capital will reduce the threat of entry. The money they are able to spend cannot be matched by any newcomers.
The strengths Apple has in terms of suppliers are that they are able to set up manufacturing plants almost wherever they want. This allows them to get their products made at as cheap of a price as they possibly can. They were able to use their weight as a large player in the personal computer business to strike a deal with Intel and have faster microprocessors made for their Mac line of computers. This was able to be done even though Intel only usually worked with PC manufacturers. Apple was also able to get Microsoft to make a Mac compatible version of Microsoft Office. Microsoft was big enough to turn Apple down, but they realized the benefit of making a deal with this company.
Apple’s strength in terms of buyer power is that the buyer wants their product because what they make is seen as cool, new, and necessary. The products they make are useful in everyday life and the buyer feels that they need these product features to enhance their daily lives.
This leads into their strength in relation to substitute offerings. As of now, no other products tie together applications as well as Apple does. The interconnection between having iTunes on a notebook, connecting it to an iPhone,...
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