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Apple Inc. : Case Study with recommendations

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  1. Introduction
  2. The release of the iPhone
  3. The release of the iPad
  4. Some criticisms
  5. Strategy implementation
  6. Porter's 5-Forces analysis
  7. Conclusions and recommendations

Apple had been a very successful company since its foundation in 1976. It has been a leader in the computer and mobile technologies field since its first release of the Apple- I to the most recent revolutionary product, the iPad. Through its core competencies innovative design, advanced technology, ease of use, and premium pricing strategy; the company has always positioned itself as a quality leader. Despite their disadvantage in pricing, Apple has seen consistent success throughout its history, specifically since the release of its new mobile devices, as is evidenced by the 15-fold increase of its share price since 2003. Since its early years, Apple has had a drive for innovation and excellence, striving to release new hit products every six to twelve months. This strategy has been greatly successful for the company, as their new products are redefining the industry every year. These products can continue to be refined and perfected to appeal exactly to the company's target market.

However, Apple can still improve its positioning by targeting solely towards the home consumer and by staying ahead of its competitors in its product innovation.

With the release of the iPod in 2001 and the subsequent introduction of the iTunes Music Store in 2003, Apple had created a dominant position for themselves in the sale of mp3s and mp3 players. The iPod, like all of Apple's products, had a significantly higher price than the mp3 players of its largest competitors. However, the iPod's sleek design, simple user interface, large memory, and most importantly, unique compatibility with iTunes, the world's largest music library, all but guaranteed its success in the consumer marketplace. Profits from music sales remained low due to a high cost structure. Though as song sales numbers boomed with low profits, iPod sales rose alongside. Sales through the iTunes Store provided a loss leader for the much more profitable iPods. Though new products have become available in recent years, the iPod remains an extremely effective business segment as Apple made over $12 billion in 2009 on the iPod and other music products.

[...] Another Apple innovation would come in 2007 with the release of the iPhone. The company spent years of research in secrecy ?recreating the phone? and took the difficult to enter industry by storm. The iPhone was similar to many other modern smartphones with the exception of its 3.5 inch touchscreen technology. The iPhone appealed to the home consumer due to its intuitivism, matching Apple's core competencies to the home consumer's perceived value. AT&T, the sole provider of the iPhone to consumers, would not issue a subsidy on the phone which ran at an average of about $200 more than competitors' versions of the smartphone. [...]

[...] With more competitors poised to jump into the computer tablet industry, Apple needs to take a stand to differentiate their product from the competitors. I suggest that Apple does this by combining the three of their products into one, well-rounded, all-inclusive, entertainment hub that captures your original vision. The new premium iPad would offer phone capabilities with the assistance of a new hands free headset designed to be similar to the Bluetooth. This new wireless headset would allow the user to remotely control the phone and music aspects of their premium iPad. [...]

[...] Conclusions and recommendations After analyzing the company and looking at its strengths, weaknesses, core competencies and strategic positioning, I feel I have been able to identify some problems as well as some opportunities for Apple Inc. in the short and long term. My recommended action plan focuses on improving the already thriving markets of the iPhone and iPad, as well as maintaining their market share and differentiating them against the competition. Also, I have suggested that Apple Inc. should revisit a project they have experimented with in the past and try to capitalize on the next unstoppable trend in today's society. [...]

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