Apple Technology Company is one of the greatest technology companies in existence today with a desirable household name all over the world. The development of Apple computers is traced back to Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak who came together to develop the first product of the company in 1976. To date, the company has developed a great brand name through an ingenious competitive strategy that has seen it survive the technology world. Technology development has proved to be a very lucrative field in the 21st century with technology companies competing to roll out the latest products on the market. The paper will examine the strategies employed by Apple Company Technologies in its quest to conquer the technology market.
Chief Element of Apple’s Competitive Strategy: Innovativeness
Apple Technology Company has developed different competitive strategies that have placed the company on top of the table. The company has invested in different areas that have given it a unique outlook in the market. Apple has used innovativeness of ideas and products to its advantage since inception. The company is credited with inventing ground-breaking technologies and bringing them to the market. Apple introduced the Macintosh computer to the market way back in 1984 and it was hailed as a great step in personal computer technology (Carlton, 2015, p. 12). The Macintosh computer came with a graphic user interface, which was an innovative idea then. Subsequent products like the iPod, iPad and the iPhone have stood out in the market as innovative products in the technology industry. The success of the iPod as a portable digital music player helped strengthen Apple’s name to date. Apple products were differentiated to capture different specific market needs. Different personal computer models like the Mac pro, I Mac, Mac mini and the Mac book were designed to capture different market segments.
Key Elements in Apple’s Strategy
Apple Company developed unique products for each segment. The personal computer segment had different products to serve specific purposes in the market. Apple’s personal computers were designed for professional use, education use and consumer use. Although other technology companies had similar products, Apple locked its products to use the iOS only (Carlton, 2015, p. 13). Therefore Apple products only use the operation system and software developed by Apple. Besides this move, Apple adopted a premium pricing strategy that makes its products cost more than similar products in the market. The move allowed the products to attain a high-end tag by being unique, thus giving its users class (Carlton, 2015, p. 13). The emergence of other strong players in the market poses a great risk to Apple’s existence because they provide popular and affordable products that are user-friendly.
Competitiveness of Personal Media Players and Smartphones
Apple’s other products have become more competitive than personal computers which were the company’s original product. The personal media players with the iPod being specific have brought the company more sales than the computer business. On the other hand, the iPhone has become the company’s poster child due to its success in the technology market. The tablets market has also grown due to the gadget’s compact ability and a wide range of use. Apple has been left with a dilemma to solve on how to improve the shrinking personal computer market. The Ability of smartphones and tablets to access the internet and perform other computer related activities have made them a preference to computers (Carlton, 2015, p. 23). Apple ranks second in the smartphone shipment market behind Samsung according to figures for the years 2012 to 2014. Its average market shipment share is about 15% of the global production in the smartphone market.
Apple’s Competitiveness in Different Segments
Apple remains competitive in all the segments where its products are found. The computer segment remains viable because it has a loyal customer base that is always ready to buy anything Apple. Whereas Apple is not the leader in this market, the captured client base is still profitable and worth pursuing. The biggest difference appears in the smartphone segment followed by the tablet segment. The smartphone segment has become the most popular because it allows the user to have most of the other services on the smartphone (Carlton, 2015, p. 25). The compact ability of the smartphone has allowed it to carry some programs found in the computer and the media player. Therefore, the iPhone remains the most important player in future because the advancements of the smartphone are making other products obsolete.
Apple Financial Assessment in the Period 2010-2014
Apple’s financial assessment indicates that the company has been on a steady rise in net income, cost of sales and total liabilities. The company has been spending more money progressively on the cost of sales to achieve a higher net income for all the years between 2010 and 2014. The liabilities of the company have been rising significantly during the same period. This means that the company is spending more money to achieve relatively low profits.
Strategic Issues in 2017
Growth in the sale of Apple Inc.’s products over the years has been mainly due to exploration of new markets. With its products now accessible globally, growing the company’s sales may prove tricky. Tim Cook and the company’s entire leadership face the challenge of figuring out the right strategy that will ensure a sustained growth in sales. The degree of innovation in the absence of Steve Jobs, who was the company’s leading innovator, should be of concern to the firm’s leaders. They have to ensure continued growth in the company’s capacity for quality and innovation
Apple as a technology giant faces the same challenges as other companies in the industry. The industry’s dynamism has allowed the company to ride the wave as it taps into its deep vaults of innovations. However, the competition remains high to the hilt and only time will tell the future of the industry and its players.
Carlton, J. (2015). Apple: The inside story of intrigue, egomania, and business blunders. New York, NY: Random House Inc.