What Are the Chief Elements of Apple’s Overall Competitive Strategy?

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1. What are the chief elements of Apple’s overall competitive strategy? How well do the pieces fit together? Is the strategy evolving?
Apple has done an excellent job of developing a very distinct strategy through industry leading innovation. This strategy has allowed them to be the frontrunners in new product introductions and the improvement of existing products. Apple has employed a differentiation strategy in an attempt to meet the needs of a global market by offering customers innovative new products and improved existing products. An important part of their strategy involves meeting the needs of the evolving digital electronics and computer markets. Apple has chosen to implement its strategy by designing and developing its own operating systems and software technologies. This has allowed them to be very flexible in developing new products as they have complete control over the software and hardware.

I believe Apple’s strategy is still evolving in an effort to keep up with evolving technology. Initially, Apple sole focus was on the computer industry as they were introducing innovative products. Apple continues to introduce innovative products in the computer industry, but recently has focused a great deal of strategic attention and resources on entering into the digital electronics and computer markets. This, along with the successful entry into the personal media player industry, marks a clear evolution in Apple’s strategy. Also, Apple’s entry into the tablet computer industry with its iPad and the mobile phone industry with its iPhone are evidence of a further evolving strategy.

2. What are the key elements of Apple’s strategy in computers, personal media players, and smartphones? Have its strategies in its core businesses yielded success? Explain.
As mentioned above, Apple’s has implemented a differentiation strategy and utilized it to create a profitable business in the computer, personal media player, and smartphone arenas. I believe there are three key elements in regards to Apple’s strategy in computers, and they are style, limited selection, and proprietary capabilities. When it comes to style, Apple is an industry leader, as it has been able to attract customers due to its products’ appearances. Apple has chose to go with a limited product line, so there are only a few number of computer models to choose from. Also Apple computers use technology and programs that are unique to Apple.

Apple’s current strategy should enable it to continue to increase its sales because of the number of customers it has gained with their iPods and iPhones sales. These same customers will buy Apple’s computers because of the seamless integration. However, Apple has a long way to go to catch HP and Dell because of Apples high price tags, its lack of customization, and its limited number of business applications compared to HP and Dell.

The key components to Apple’s strategy in personal media players are once again its style, its online music store, and its first to market innovation. Apple has been able to turn its personal media players into a fashion statement, and it has been able to convince customers it is just more than just a music player. Its online music store is like none other in the industry and can be pointed to as the most integral part of the success it has experienced in this industry. Also, Apple has managed to leave its competition behind, as it has always been the first to bring new features to the market.

Apple’s success in the personal media player industry can be attributed to its ability to create loyalty from a huge customer base, the relationship it created between the iPod and iTunes, and its decision not to become content by what is has already accomplished. Apple continues to bring new features to the market and develop relationship with other key businesses that it has benefited from. Apple wasn’t the first to the market with it’s personal media player, but it is...
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