Course: Management and Leadership—Strategic Management Submission date: 02-23-09 Case Background and Problem Statement Synopsis of the case situation This case is set in 2007, when Apple Computer Inc. just dropped the last word in its name and become Apple Inc.. This action is a remarkable milestone which indicates that Apple was no longer just a computer company. It moves into digital music, with the IPOD and with ITunes, and mobile devices, with the IPhone. Apple, Inc. Apple is really involved in two businesses: the computer market and the entertainment and media market. Its approach has been to integrate its new products around its core industry in an effort to construct a digital lifestyle that encompasses not only its line of computers but its new products such as the iPod, the iPhone and online services such as iTunes. Apple Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries design, manufacture, and market personal computers, portable digital music players, and mobile communication devices and sell a variety of related software, services, peripherals, and networking solutions. Overall, the case offers ample materials about Apple’s history, current stage and future directions. Statement of the issues facing Apple This case-write up will focus on the central issue: how can Apple achieve or maintain sustainable competitive advantages. Specifically, the various models are presented and then applied to the market that Apple inhabits. Additionally, since the Five Forces are dynamic and because Apple’s responses are dynamic, an assessment of Apple’s opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses is presented in light of those threats to its markets. It is important to understand the impact of the external forces in light of some of Apple’s internal responses and mechanisms so that an appreciation of the dynamic is understood. Finally a conclusion is offered in light of the result of the forces assessment. Attention is paid to several outstanding issues and to what...
References: Curless, Cathy (2009), lecture notes on “Analyzing the External Environment of the Firm,” and “Assessing the Internal Environment” Porter, Michael (1998), Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. Daye, Derrick and VanAuken, Brand (2008), How Far Can A Brand Stretch? URL. http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2008/06/how-far-can-a-b.html
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