Apple Inc, in 2012

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Whether “Apple Computer” or “Apple Inc”, the company’s competitive advantage has historically always been innovation mixed with secrecy. Their superiority arises from being the first and furtive. They broke new ground with the first usable “personal computing devices”. They created a Mac OS and refused to license it out. They changed the way we listen to music, the iPod, and what we want our cell phone to do, iPhone. Job’s theory was to tell people what they want and this idea made Apple a leader in innovation. Conversely, other companies, be it PCs or mobile device producers, are more reactionary and simply give the people what they want. Unfortunately for them, companies lose the lead and are sometimes years late to the game. With all their success today, it’s hard to imagine a time when Apple products didn’t dominate the market, however in the early 1990s, the company struggle in the PC industry. Initially, Apple struggled to keep net income high because the 1984 Macintosh had a slow processor speed and lacked compatible software. Once the Mac’s software became more compatible, they were fighting a pricing war. Competitors’ prices slashed, while Apple was sitting on a 50% profit margin, which while envious, did not make for great quantity sales. Furthermore, before the Job’s turnaround in 1997, Apple was lacking the new wave of operating systems which incorporated Intel chips. In 1995, more than half said they would rather purchased an Intel-based PC than the Mac. However, this struggle with the PCs came to an end when Jobs retook the company and delivered a new OS and a new chip architecture. Steve Jobs turned a company on the brink of bankruptcy into a billion dollar brand however the sustainability of Apple’s current position in the market with respect to PCs, MP3s, and smartphones is questionable. The company cannibalized itself (on purpose) with iPod sales decreases each quarter and the iPhone is facing increased competition from...
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