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Submitted by to the category Business and Industry on 03/24/2013 03:17 PM

Apple Computer, founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976, gained its competitive advantage through continuous innovation and successful differentiation of Apple products from competitors. Apple’s decision to restructure the company was the key point in time that pushed them to become the leading innovative technology company. There are two main problems Apple should take into consideration.

By 2010, Apple’s market cap surpassed tech giants such as IBM and HP; however, with external competitors constantly developing a similar product, the main question is how long Apple can sustain its competitive advantage. This issue was observed in 2007 where 99% of customers who had bought Apple products clones were existing Mac users, thus cannibalizing Apple’s profits. After the release of the iPad, competitors announced their plans to produce tablets, which having to produce many different products leads to our second issue.

The second issue is continuously having to reinvent their products to gain a competitive advantage while maintaining a high-cost structure. Apple was able to successfully create higher perceived value and command a premium price. But, as computers become more commoditized, the competition shifts to price rather than value creating. While Apple was the first to create usable “personal” computing devices, Apple holds only 4.2% of PC Manufacturers worldwide market share, whereas, HP and Dell hold 20.3% and 13.1% respectively.

Vision Quest believes that they should continue to innovate while having low-cost process in their operations to develop the products, without having to lower prices. This will allow for customers to maintain the perceived high cost with high quality. Subsequently, they could successfully use an integration strategy because Vision Quest believes Apple meets all the metrics needed to be successful and achieve a competitive advantage through this strategy. Reasons include higher perceived value than other competitors....

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