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  1. From a historic perspective, what were Apple's major Competitive advantages?
  2. Analyze the structure of the personal computer industry over the last 15 years. How have the dynamics of the PC industry changed?
  3. Evaluate Apple's strategies since 1990
  4. Has Steve Jobs finally solved Apple's long-standing problems? What impact has the iPod had on Apple's success?

It's a tough task for companies to accomplish if asked to develop a competitive advantage into a sustainable competitive advantage. If companies need to satisfy this criteria, it could mean that the designated company should not possess qualities such as a value creating ability or capability. By companies not possessing qualities of value creation, there is less scope for duplication or implementation by others firms (the concept of ?competitive dependability'). On a careful scrutiny, the thought of duplication does not dominate the competitive dependability scene. However, the fact that the development might be considered as redundant in the environment is of prime consideration. Now let us study the Competitive Advantages available at Apple.

[...] As well as inspiring its employees, he was very tough with them and this is what Apple needed. He was also tough enough to continue the restructuring policy. New project plans were reduced by headcount continued reducing as well as plant facilities. Internally, Jobs worked to streamline the operations and reinvigorated innovation. He also increased R&D expenditure to of the net sales. For Steve Jobs, the renewal of the company also happened through the internet. By 2001, Apple's online store accounted for 40% of the company's overall sales. [...]

[...] But in 1990, Apple realized that it had lost the war of the operating systems against Microsoft. Indeed, in 1990, Microsoft launched the Windows which was a great success. Around the same time (in 1991), Apple presented the operating system 7. To counter the success of Windows Apple, with the help of Novell, developed Mac OS, the Macintosh operating system. Then, with the help of Intel, Apple launched the Star Trek project. The project was a great success. At the same time, Apple launched the new Power PC CPU but it was too complicated to manage both projects at the same time so Apple decided to abandon Star Trek. [...]

[...] In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to lead Apple fom the helm. It was not long before he undertook the first changes. He first announced that he had concluded an agreement with Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft would acquire of Apple's shares and would continue to support the development of products such as Microsoft Office for the Mac for the next five years. This was a very big step in Apple's strategy and I think this was one of the most powerful moves by Steve Jobs to promote Apple. [...]

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