You have been hired by Apple as a consultant to analyze the current strategic position of the operation. Your contract stipulates that you must provide appropriate recommendations that pertain to the marketplace growth, operations, and decisive strategy against imports. Your firm has been empowered to furnish critical information and data to the corporate decision process.

The following questions need to be addressed as a result of your analysis:

  1. What are the chief elements of Apple’s overall competitive strategy? How well do the pieces fit together? Is the strategy evolving?
  2. What are the key elements of Apple’s strategy in computers, personal media players, tablet computers, and smartphones? Have its strategies in its core businesses yielded success? Explain for each segment.
  3. What does a competitive strength assessment reveal about Apple’s computer business, as compared to the leaders in the computer industry? Use the methodology in Table 4.4 to support your answer. Does it appear that the company’s competitive positions in personal media players, tablet computers, and smartphones are stronger or weaker than its position in computers?
  4. Does it make good strategic sense for Apple to be a competitor in the computer, personal media player, smartphone, and tablet computer industries? Which of the four products lines – computers, tablet computers, personal media players, or smartphones – do you think is most important to Apple’s future growth and profitability – please explain?
  5. What is your assessment of Apple Computer’s financial performance the past three years? (Use the financial ratios in the Appendix of the text as a guide in doing your financial analysis.)
  6. What recommendations would you make to allow Apple to strengthen its position in its most important markets? What steps should it take to ensure that the iPad becomes a major contributor to the company’s overall performance?


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