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Case: “Apple, Inc. in 2010”
1) Compared to its competitors, Apple has a clear decisive advantage of differentiation. Apple’s products are more expensive than competitors’, as customers perceive more value and they are willing to pay a premium price. Products are very user-friendly and have a unique eye-catching design, while the product line is not excessively wide. Apple’s competitive advantage can be explained by several different factors. The figure of Steve Jobs, founder and former CEO of the corporation, is probably the most important one. It is clear that, after he was forced out in 1985, Apple did not get the same profitability as in the past and, even worse, it went almost bankrupt in 1996. Jobs’ return in 1997 signaled Apple’s turnaround with his extraordinarily effective decisions. In the last few years Apple has also increased its investments both in R&D, in order to develop the best technologies and get advantage from being the first mover in the market, and in promoting its brand, which has become an icon, especially among young people. As a matter of fact, brand loyalty can be considered as one of the key factors of Apple’s advantage, especially for a corporation that has strongly increased its market share during the years. Apple’s retail strategy is surely a huge success: stores are located worldwide in key places and customers have the chance to experience Apple’s products. Employees too play a crucial role in the firm’s success: they are carefully selected, in order to have the best-in-class in every position.
2) The personal computer industry is characterized by a large number of competitors, with lots of manufacturers who build PCs around standard building blocks from Microsoft and Intel. The entire industry has faced a boom, especially in early 2000’s, thanks to lower prices and expanding capabilities. Price rivalry in PC industry has become particularly intense during the years, as computers have spread both in developed and...
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