Apple Hbr Case Study Questions

3689 Words May 18th, 2008 15 Pages
Apple Assignment 2007/2008


Historically, what were Apple’s major competitive advantages?

• Industrial design/Hardware design.
• Apples focus and vision.
• Integrated approach with software, hardware and service.
• Patents covering technology, “look and feel”, interfaces and methods.
• Strong legal team to enforce the above.
• Dedicated market shares.
• Ease of use.
• Strong brand.
• Brand loyalty.
• Marketing.
• Steve Jobs.

Analyse the structure of the personal computer industry over the last 15 years. How have the dynamics of the PC industry changed?

At the beginning of the 1990s the structure of the personal computer industry changed dramatically after several decades of relative
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Previously, companies relied on creating technology that increased consumers’ productivity and lines of communication, PC makers are now entering the consumer electronics industry as a means to sharpen their competitive edge. Their theory is based on the grounds that they already have sophisticated distribution channels and currently compete in an approximately related industry.

Analysis of PC Industry using Porters Five Force Model

Degree of Rivalry
• The top manufacturers are engaged in intense competition to produce the most efficient machine at the cheapest price.
• Result is that companies have no room for errors or inefficiencies.
• There is little differentiation between most products.
• It is costly to leave the industry (high exit barriers), so manufacturers fight to stay in.
• Consolidation may seen by manufacturers as a means to stay in e.g. HP-Compaq, Lenova-IBM.

Supplier Power
• Certain suppliers, if they are the only one or one of few e.g. Microsoft, Intel, do have strong position and may dictate terms.
• Particularly so if there is high switching cost for manufacturers.
• Manufacturers hold a power over hardware suppliers. Suppliers are in direct competition with each other to obtain exclusive contracts with manufacturers.

Buyer Power
• Consumers have a wide range of similar options, to attract new customers; manufacturers must

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