1. * What, historically, have been Apple's competitive advantages? Apple’s mission is to make products that were cutting edge, designed beautifully, and easy to use. They have been able to keep this competitive advantage not only by relying on its own proprietary designs but also by refusing to license their hardware to third parties. They tend to be a leader in new technologies such as the first desktop solution, mp3 player, and touch screen cell phone. Jobs believed deeply in focus while the previous CEOs sought to broaden Apple’s products. Apple had one of the narrowest product lines of any company of comparable size. Jobs also believed in extreme practices of secrecy, “closed door policy” in which key cards accessed only certain areas and dummy positions for new hires until they could be trusted. Jobs wanted Apple to be a cultural force.
2. * How sustainable is Apple's competitive position in PCs, MP3 players, and smartphones? PCs: Looking back on how the PC industry developed, Apple was the original innovator, but they became overshadowed by IBM and Microsoft who would sell their rights to manufactures who could make a cheaper and almost comparable device to Apple. As we have seen in the past few years, Apple has been able to cash in on developing new technologies before anyone else has. Jobs’ idea of creating a digital hub allows him to monopolize the consumers experience because all devices such as the iPod and iPad, which are highly sought after, can only be used if you purchase add-on through Apples store. Apple also has made their PC’s more compatible with other PC’s by working with Microsoft and providing the capability to use applications such as Microsoft Office, which is the most widely used creation software. They also cooperated with Intel which allowed them to make their computers faster and more energy efficient. I believe that Apple’s competitive position is sustainable as long as they continue to come up with products that are...
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