Among the tech giants, the most apparent, leading, and trendsetting competitor is the American conglomerate Apple, Inc. The company has a forty-year history and dates back to a small garage cooperative that was organized by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 (Garg, 2020). From then on, all the company’s efforts were focused on achieving technological excellence. Throughout history, Apple has achieved this through the production of branded, unique computers, mobile laptops, personal gadgets, smartphones, tablets, and additional electronics. Apple was the company that gave the world several important innovations used every day today. These include using a groundbreaking aluminum alloy made from recycled materials, high energy efficiency, the development of the first color display, improvements in device cybersecurity, and the development of anti-tracking mechanisms to combat unwanted advertising.
By now, Apple is a global high-tech giant with a presence in almost every country. Its quality, attention to detail, ecosystem, and customer focus make it the most popular brand and the most expensive for 2021 (Swant, 2021). The company’s main product is probably the iPhone smartphone, without specifying a model. The popularity of this device is due not only to technical characteristics and design but also to the demand for phones in general. Anyone today has, as a rule, at least one smartphone with Internet access.
Apple leads the development categories through effective combinations of marketing, product specifications, and competitive pricing. The firm’s tablets and phones seem to be out-competitive in the creative industry because they give artists high performance and longevity. Using an ecosystem strategy solves most customer retention issues because having an iPhone or iPad is not mutually exclusive. Typically, one of these products is supplemented with a second one over time and Pencil, AirPods, and Watch. At the same time, the company has created an imbalance in the operating system industry, as macOS, iOS, and iPadOS are highly compatible, efficient, productive, and closed and secure: basically, everything that users expect. It is also essential for the company to understand the target audience. The company’s status as the most expensive is due, in part, to the high price of products (Swant, 2021; Jacobs, 2021). This helps to screen out low-income users and create an average image of a prestigious, affluent customer. Many of the people go to enter the circle of such a community, and Apple technology can be seen as a kind of gateway. It should also be emphasized that the company actively supports a value-added subcontracting strategy (Garg, 2020). The company actively invests in emerging startups, buys technology, and hires professionals responsible for specific production tasks.
Capabilities & Resources Analysis
The company’s core business model is focused on gaining a long-term advantage over emerging competitors. The organizational structure considers the requirements of automation and innovation, as well as the need to reward employees. A typical hierarchical organizational culture is prevalent at Apple while encouraging the exchange of opinions and consideration of ideas, not only from leaders (Dudovskiy, 2021). Among the competencies, the focus on technological leadership, ecosystems of platforms, development of innovative technologies, and increased accessibility stand out. The company needs to have a global presence, which is justified not only by the ethnic diversity of its employees but also by conquering foreign markets. The company’s critical human resources are engineers and designers, as well as programmers and administrative staff. At the same time, tangible resources include manufacturing plants, retail stores, purchased and absorbed companies, software, and materials. Intangible resources include Apple’s intellectual property and ever-present technology patents.
Description of Products/Service Offerings
Apple is currently offering products in the following areas: phones, tablets, notebooks, desktop computers, headphones, smartwatches, smart speakers, TV appliances, and accessories. Accessories include Pencil, cases, wireless chargers, watch straps, and computer accessories. Any electronic device always has different configurations of built-in memory and performance. The company has been actively developing cloud services in recent years, including disk space, music, video hosting, games, and news subscriptions.
Apple Value Chain of iPhone
Producing a smartphone requires dozens of different materials that blend efficiently. To do this, Apple works with hundreds of suppliers worldwide, ensuring an almost seamless supply chain. Part of the reason Apple was able to achieve record sales in 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions disrupted the global economy (Walsh, 2021). Materials from different suppliers are transported to a factory in China, where goods are distributed to orders through a network of warehouses. The price advantage is realized through the company’s commercial solid power over suppliers and the competitive approach to their management developed by Tim Cook (Lu, 2020). Apple uses cheap labor from developing countries, which means that it does not seek to own manufacturing facilities. As a result, this allows Apple to focus on its primary business objectives. Due to the short lifespan of the iPhone — in a year, it will no longer be the leader — the company tries not to accumulate inventory in warehouses, so the pricing policy changes throughout the year. Marketing is cross-platform: the equipment is sold through the Internet, in official and authorized stores, and in other branches.
Competitive Strategy for iPhone
The competitive strategy for the manufactured smartphone is based on unique combinations of design and engineering, which creates an image of a perfect, fashionable, and prestigious device in the eyes of consumers. The focus on quality, consistent brand promotion, and the desire to meet customer demands and expectations allows the iPhone to reach record sales peaks (Emem, 2020). At the same time, the company maintains a competitive periodicity: in the technological environment, new devices are released every year, so Apple must invest in iPhone development. Consumers already know for sure that every September, the company will unveil a new future sales leader with innovative technology, and the constant leaks of prototypes only provoke interest (Peckham, 2021). At the same time, to expand the consumer audience, the company is investing in product diversity: a few years ago, the iPhone was sold in only two or three colors; now, the devices can be purchased in any color from six to nine colors. Finally, the company often makes themed discounts and promotional offers, which keep current customers engaged and allows new users to come in.
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Jacobs, J. (2021). Why is apple so expensive? The Cold Wire.
Lu, C.(2020). Apple supply chain — the best supply chain in the world. The Quickbooks.
Peckham, J. (2021). iPhone 13 release date, price, specs, news, and leaks. Techradar.
Swant, M. (2021). The 2020 world’s most valuable brands. Forbes.
Walsh, J. (2021). Apple profit doubles on record revenue in second quarter as iPhone sales beat expectations. Forbes.