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Apple Company: Strategy and Problems Analysis

Historical Major Competitive Advantages for Apple

Apple’s historical competitive advantages included: development of easy-to-use personal computers; innovative industrial design in the development of the computers such as the use of graphical user interface (GUI); technical elegance; development of superior software, and; employment of horizontal and vertical integration.

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Analysis of the Personal Computer Industry

Extreme competition over the last decade has seen many players in the PC industry restructure their operations by reducing costs by using contract manufacturers, laying-off staff and minimizing R&D expenses; improving efficiency and reducing product development circles; using just-in-time delivery strategy and build-to-order/configure-to-order approaches to reduce inventory costs and enhance customer satisfaction; employing innovative ways in manufacturing and distribution to achieve competitiveness, and; using technology to enhance direct sales of their products.

Apple Strategies

In the 1990s, Apple put much focus on cutting operating costs by laying-off staff and reducing spending on R&D; improving efficiency and cutting product development circles; rebuilding cash reserves, and; diversifying into high-margin segments. In the new millennium, the strategy shifted to establishing partnerships with other companies to boost market share; developing products with cutting edge technology; conducting aggressive marketing campaigns; streamlining business by shutting down unprofitable divisions; improving operating efficiency by reducing costs, and; revamping the company’s distribution system through direct sales via the internet.

Solving the Problem

Steve jobs did well to give Apple a lifeline when the company was on the verge of going under. As such, it can be argued that his strategies worked well for the company. However, organizations operate in a competitive and ever-shifting business environment, hence the need to develop new strategies. Under the current business environment, Steve would have done well to allocate enough resources to R&D to ensure the company develops innovative products that meet today’s needs. The company could also attain competitiveness if more streamlining is done to weed out unproductive divisions while cutting down on operational costs.

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