Assessment of Current Strategic and Leadership Challenges for Apple Inc.
Apple’s Past Performance
Apple Computer was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, a pair of 20-something college dropouts, starting off by offering Macintosh personal computers.
The new formed company managed to revolutionize the “domestic life and subsequently information storage and consumption” of generations to come. Despite its impressive rapid growth and high profits in late 1980’s, the company had to later transform itself, in early 2000’s into Apple Inc., offering a wide range of innovative high-tech non-PC products.
Over the last 10 years Apple transformed itself from a ‘Good’ to a ‘Great’ ...view middle of the document...
The goal of Apple became to differentiate its products among the intense PC and mobile device industry competition by imposing a premium-price differentiation strategy and promoting itself as a ‘hip alternative’ solution. Nowadays, the company’s mission is to “design Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software.”
Thanks to its continuous delivery of cutting-edge products and creative marketing campaigns, Apple announced a total of $35 billion revenue and a net quarterly profit of $8.8 billion in the third fiscal quarter of 2012.
The last fiscal year has also been significant for Apple TV sales, as the company sold 4 million units so far "It's still at a level we would call a hobby, but we're still pulling the strings to see where it takes us" - Cook says.
As Apple shifted towards a digital-hub strategy with a diverse product line, competitors arose from both the PC industry as well as from the mobile industry.
Even though continuously developing their software, introducing sharp quality design and implementing marketing savvy strategies, the well positioned company is threatened by competing companies using new technologies and keen web presence.
Positively world-wide known brand
“First comer” innovative company for cutting edge products such as Macintosh computers, iPod, iPhone, iPad, AppStore
Exceptional design and light-weighted products
Loyal customer base
Impeccable designed retail stores with interactive customer platforms
Strong R&D department
Use of environmentally conscious materials
Own accessory market, high-priced products, but appreciated by Apple users
Possibility to store paid applications on more than one Apple products Weaknesses
Replacement of known visionary CEO
Fluctuations in foreign currencies make profit predictions in foreign markets doubtful.
Historically incompatible software.
Lower market share than Microsoft products
Decreased possibility for non-American users to use the voice-activated technology “Siri”
Expensive products (in the same time it is a company trade-off)
Usually Apple products fail the inimitability test (thus increased patent lawsuits)
Apple Maps when compared to Google Maps
Joint venture strategies
Expansion to Asian and African markets
Increased demand for iCloud services
Growing market for efficient energy (“green”) products
Constant growth for high-tech devices
Possibility of successfully reentering the TV market with Apple TV
Change in population age structure Threats
Android fast expansion
Samsung strikes as a fast innovator in telecom industry
Release of Windows 8
“Open Handset Alliance” consortium
Similar cross-platforms offering more free storage...