Apple is one of the most renowned names in the history of PC industry. It has pioneered the direction for innovative products in contrasts to its competitors in the industry these days. Apple has had a history of both dominance and irrelevance in the computer industry, excessively marked with ups and downs. It has survived the toughest of its time when its revenues and market share were significantly falling. The PC industry has evolved significantly ever since mid 1975 and Apple played a great role in the industry's evolution. Even in the 21st century, Apple's products like iPod, iMac and iTunes etc has driven a passion for innovation on manufacturers in the market. Apple has seen several leaders in its short history of thirty years. Under different leaders, the company took different strategic moves and adopted various strategies to sustain its position in the market. However, the return of Apple founder Steve Jobs as a CEO of the company put a great impact on the company.
This paper will analyze on the various aspects of PC industry as well as Apple's position, strategies, competitive advantage over the last few decades. It also discusses the impact of Steve Jobs' second time at Apple on the solution of old problems of Apple and the impact of iPod launch on the success of Apple.
[...] Nature of Competition Competition became more severe in the 1990s as several new manufacturers and clone-makers entered the market causing the market shares of Apple and IBM to drop. IBM lost its dominance in PC industry to Wintel, Compaq and Dell and various other no-name clone makers. Implications for Positioning Market positioning at this time was based heavily on the product's ability to satisfy consumers at low prices. In the late 1990s, the prices of computers greatly started to fall down. [...]
[...] Versatility In the early 90s when Apple had known severe competition from the IBM machines, it derived its competitive advantage from its ability to provide customers with a diverse range of products. This was especially true of the software side of the PC industry, such as Multimedia software. This large variety of products enables Apple to win market share in the face of tough competition from IBM-compatibles. Innovation Innovation has remained to be one of the key competitive advantages of Apple that has enabled the company to survive and compete in the PC industry. [...]
[...] In the same period, Apple also formed alliances with Intel and Novell with an objective to make Mac OS run on Intel processors. Move towards User Friendly Software In the early 1990s, John Sculley insisted on their ability to produce easy to use and user-friendly software. The company launched user friendly software named Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) for consumer market. This strategic move was planned to enter consumer markets at the time when PCs were also moving into consumer electronics. [...]
[...] Some of the most important competitive advantages of Apple that have enabled it to survive tough competition are its ability to design and innovate, versatility of its products and ease of use. Steve Jobs led to great strategic changes including the efforts to enhance Apple's longstanding image concerning its designing capabilities, its innovative and first mover approach and introduce products such as iPods, iMac and iTunes to “refresh” Apple's revenues and market share. iPod greatly added to the success of Apple computers by increasing its revenues and redefining its market image as a manufacturer of innovative and designer products. [...]
[...] Companies like Dell, Hewlett- Packard and Lenevo led the industrial competition whereas Apple once again challenged its competitors with the launch of hit products in the beginning of 21st century such as iPod, iTunes and iMac. Implications for Positioning 21st century is also marked with some important changes with respect to positioning. Market has become much matured and consumers have become more knowledgeable about computers. This all has driven a passion for innovation in the market. The products are increasingly being positioned as innovative and low priced. [...]
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