Apple Computer Case Study

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Date Submitted: 04/29/2012 02:37 PM

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Alexander Schultheiss

Apple Computer Case Study

1. During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Apple had a few different major competitive advantages that helped it grow to become one of the most profitable companies in the computer industry. One of the greatest competitive advantages that Apple had early on was its combination of superior software, such as Aldus, PageMaker, and peripherals, such as laser printers, which gave the Macintosh unmatched capabilities in desktop publishing. What Apple had in the early days was the ability to bundle all of its unique software and hardware into one ready to use system that could be used right out of the box. Apple practiced vertical and horizontal integration greater than any of its competitors. By creating products from scratch, Apple had unique chips, disk drives, monitors, as well as unusual shapes for its computer chassis. Apple also has its own proprietary operating system which it bundled with the Mac. Even by 1990 when Microsoft released Windows 3.0 and closed some of the gap that Apple computers had for advantages, Apple still maintained a big lead in core software technologies such as multimedia. As other personal computers increased in quality and reduced in price, Apple attempted to compete on a low cost scale. However, with decreasing profit margins Apple began to lose its profitability by 1993.

2. The structure and dynamics of the personal computer industry have changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Apple entered into the computer industry at a time when there was little competition, and with its early mover advantage they were able to gain a large market share relatively quickly. By the end of the 1980’s Apple had lost most of its market share as new personal computer companies such as IBM and Microsoft entered the market. One of the greatest changes in the personal computing industry came about in the early 1990’s when Windows based computers using technology from Intel replaced...