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Apple INC.: Business Strategy Analysis


Apple Inc. is a company that specialized in the production of high technology consumer electronics, computers, and software. Established in the United States in 1976 the company essentially increased its sales only during the last ten years. Among the products of the company, almost every consumer in the world knows Macintosh computers, iPod, iPhone. Among software, the computer users designate Mac OS X, iTunes, iLife, iWork, etc. The company has a rather competitive and profitable performance among its closest rivals. Its management strategies include the multinational approach throughout the subsidiaries of the company in different countries. The global perspectives of Apple include the reliability of alliances with relative companies, such as IBM. Moreover, the partnership in the development of new technical decisions considers also such companies as Acer, Hon Hai, and other huge enterprises in the sphere of high technologies and supporting appliances. All in all, the research in the paper is dedicated to the analysis of the company’s business representation and its strategic initiatives at the time. The wholeness of the information props up against the authoritative sources and contemporary databases as for the Apple Inc.

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Business level Strategy

The world of constant competition provides companies and corporations with new management methods. In this respect, the fields of product quality, price, and attractiveness for customers are taken into account by the administrations of major players in the market. Computer producing companies like Apple need today more attention from customers. It is because in Apple high quality of production is widely acknowledged throughout the world today. However, the board of directors in the company work out, first of all, the successful models of business plan for the short and the long run. Ireland et al (2008) analyze in their study the most perfect business strategies of the American companies and admit that “a more recent advantage for Apple in marketing strategy is its retail stores” (C-25). This idea is major for the company. On the other side, the customer-related approach is vital for the company today. Being a leader in computer technologies the company uses the most progressive ways, other than traditional ones, of contact to customers. Advertising production via the official web page and using the Internet, the company makes great success for customer relationship management (CRM).

Another approach of the company is concerned since the foundation of it with the product platform. Developing from the Apple I platform until today the company went through decades of failures and successes (McGrath, 2001). The company began making its production line more attractive and original in contrast to the competitors’ products only at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Today the company makes more emphasis on the brand policy. The spread of iPods, iPhones, and MacBooks is enormous worldwide. Barlow & Stewart (2006) note with an extent of professional subtlety:

It is a lot to ask of service representatives, but if the Apple Corporation were to take full advantage of its brand proposition (“insanely great computers”), every person who spoke for Apple would display the same consistent degree of style, excitement, and user-friendliness (37).

Selling and providing services for customers are two major points which the company successfully uses. The only thing which makes Apple Inc. original in this respect is the ability to implement strategic ideas with high enthusiasm.

Global Strategies

The process of globalization did not miss Apple Inc. The huge perspectives of today’s work in terms of international dimension promise great incomes for a company. In this case, the company intends its activity on the exporting process. The parent company has more than 200 retail stores (Ireland et al, 2008). This is why it is vital to have facilities for the company in some countries. However, when looking at the perspective of franchising, this idea seems to be difficult. The thing is that franchising of Apple stores is an expensive initiative which presupposes along with buying $999 MacBook also operational system, programs, and another supplement applicable for the Apple product line (Knight, 2001). Nonetheless, the company has great positions today in the Asian market cooperating with Taiwan, in particular. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. is one of the leading computer companies in this Asian country. Hence, in the year 2009, it won the Apple franchise in China (Hi-Tech Taipei, 2009). This provides additional force by Apple on the world hi-tech market. The Apple Company cooperates also with other Taiwan’s computer company Acer in terms of outsourcing (Albaum & Duerr, 2008). In other words, Acer delivers its products and supporting details to Apple but under the buyer’s brand label. Thus, the major spread of the company’s production in the United States was not enough. The international concernment of the company’s administration touches mostly upon the Asian market where the levels of contracted deals among companies are rather higher than somewhere else. To say more, the policy of the company is American constitutes the follow-up of the US Treasury Department’s requirements. Thus, the export of Apple products is prohibited to such countries as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria (Apple, 2009).

Strategic Alliances

Since the creation of the company, the idea of strategic alliances with related companies was at the core of decision-making in the company. This means that Apple attempted to promote higher standards of quality of its products using allying with another well-known corporation in the field. In terms of Apple’s success in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the strategic alliance with IBM helped the company to launch its products (Thompson & Martin, 2005). Contemporary evaluation of Apple’s strategic alliances presupposes Apple-HP partnership to deliver digital music player based on iTunes (Apple, 2009). The point is that the platform of the iPod is used today in the digital music players for HP. This makes two enormous corporations work together for the attainment of more music lovers around the world.

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Mergers and Acquisitions

Producing original goods in the sphere of computers and electronics, Apple also differs due to its philosophy of mergers and acquisitions. Thereupon, the company intends to acquire small companies, so that to quickly integrate them into the production platform of Apple (Bryer & Simensky, 2002). The company is apt in making agreements with producers of software and computer supplements all over the world. Such a global approach provides stable development of current products with subtle innovative approaches. Among the company’s most significant acquisitions are: NeXT, Silicon Grail Corp-Chalice, Propel Software, Emagic, Proximity, and P. A. Semi (Apple, 2009). Such position of the company is considered with the peculiarities of the production and changeability of the market trends in this segment. Besides acquisitions, the company has stakes with Akamai Technologies, Imagination Technologies, and divestitures with SCI Systems, Microsoft, and others (Apple, 2009). Thus, the company dynamically elaborates its representation due to a rational approach in the sphere of mergers and acquisitions.

Diversification strategies

Producing several versions of Macintosh computers the Apple Company was successful in the last ten years to diversify its product line into the sphere of cell phones. The invention of the iPhone was a successful decision in this respect. Due to the retail stores of the company customers can get closer to the products’ assortment of the company. Furthermore, the consultations and check of the products like iPod, iPhone, and others are possible and convenient for the customers. Due to the Akamai Technologies Apple moved into the online trend of business. All in all, the credibility of the company’s initiatives to represent something new to the market is high enough.


To sum up, the performance of Apple Inc. in the world is very high and profitable. The historical development of the company and its core values made it possible to yield innovative products like MacBook, iPod, iPhones, Mac OS, etc. The flow of Apple’s growth is stable. For recent few years, the revenues of the company increased, notwithstanding the fact of the economical crisis. The whole observation of the financial situation of the company can be compared with previous years. Maxcer (2009) admits that the company announced: “revenue of US$8.34 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.23 billion, which is up compared to revenue of $7.46 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion in the year-ago quarter” (1). Thus, the financial success of Apple is inevitable in terms of the current tendencies of high technologies.


Albaum, G. & Duerr, E. (2008). International Marketing and Export Management (ed. 6). London: Pearson Education.

Apple. (2009). Official web page. Web.

Barlow, J & Stewart, P. (2006). Branded Customer Service: The New Competitive Edge. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Bryer, L. G. & Simensky, M. (2002). Intellectual property assets in mergers and acquisitions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

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Hi Tech Taipei. (2009). “Hon Hai Wins Apple Franchise in China.” Web.

Ireland, R. D., Hoskisson, R. E. & Hitt, M. A. (2008). Understanding Business Strategy: Concepts and Cases (ed. 2). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Knight, D. (2001). “Not Franchising Apple Stores.” Low End Mac. Web.

Maxcer, C. (2009). “The iPhone’s Not the Cause of Apple’s Success – It’s the Effect.” Mac News World. Web.

McGrath, M. E. (2001). Product strategy for high technology companies: accelerating your business to web speed (ed. 2). New York: McGraw-Hill Professional.

Thompson, J. L. & Martin, F. (2005). Strategic management: awareness and change (ed. 5). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning EMEA.

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