The case study “Apple Inc., 2008” explains why the company requires new strategies and competencies in order to remain competitive in its industry. The best approach towards remaining competitive is embracing the power of strategic management. Strategic management “is a powerful practice aimed at analyzing the factors associated with a company’s clients, competitors, and its internal environment” (Mello, 2014, p. 39).
Strategic management offers the best ideas for making a company successful. Strategic management focuses on every issue affecting the performance of a company (Mello, 2014). Apple Incorporation should reexamine its strategic approach in an attempt to emerge successfully. Every manager should identify the best incentives that will ensure the company realizes its goals.
A Brief Analysis of the Situation
Apple used to produce quality PCs that delivered the best experiences to different users. The iMac and the Mac mini “presented the best design and ease of use” (Yoffie & Slind, 2008, p. 4). The compatibility of the iMac with other devices made it profitable. Steve Jobs also promoted Apple’s research and development (R&D) in order to produce cutting-edge devices (Yoffie & Slind, 2008). The release of the Safari browser was also critical towards the company’s success.
Apple also “decided to produce non-Macintosh products such as the iPod, the iPhone, and Apple TV” (Yoffie & Slind, 2008, p. 10). The creation of the famous iTunes Music Store made it possible for Apple to market most of its products. The production of “the iPhone portrayed the company’s prowess in designing user-interface technologies” (Yoffie & Slind, 2008, p. 14). In 2008, several competitors emerged and produced new products that threatened the iPhone 3G. Apple made profound changes throughout the 2000s. Steve Jobs created new products, thus promoting Apple’s performance. According to this case study, the biggest question is whether Apple is capable of retaining its powerful, innovative edge.
The Major Issues Surrounding Apple Incorporation
Apple Incorporation has encountered numerous challenges within the past three decades. In 2007, Apple realized that most of its products, such as the iMac were becoming unsustainable. This situation led to the production of new products such as the iPod and the iPhone. Apple TV failed to succeed after its release. Apple Incorporation is currently facing numerous challenges, such as continued competition and lack of revolutionary ideas. Cheaper devices from Samsung and other Chinese Companies are threatening the company’s revolutionary products such as the iPhone (Yoffie & Slind, 2008).
Most of the leaders are unable to have a clear strategy for this company. The company has been planning to cut down its expenses and business lines (Yoffie & Slind, 2008). The company is not sure if it will maintain its revolutionary designs and innovative technologies. The fact that Steve Jobs is no longer at the helm of the company makes it impossible to achieve most of its goals. The managers at Apple Incorporation are wondering how they revamp their company in order to make it successful. The “biggest challenge is how the company can change the rules in an attempt to become a leading industrial player” (Yoffie & Slind, 2008, p. 15).
Alternative Courses of Action
Steve Jobs “wanted to make Apple Incorporation a superior cultural force” (Yoffie & Slind, 2008, p. 4). Apple Incorporation can formulate new organizational strategies in order to emerge successfully. The first approach is redesigning its strategic management plan (SMP). A new SMP will ensure the company produces better products that can compete in the global market. Such devices should also have the best designs and features. A better Sales and Distribution Strategy (SDS) will make it easier for Apple Incorporation to achieve its goals. Apple has not been marketing its products in different parts of the globe. Apple must market its cutting-edge products in different continents such as Africa, Caribbean Latin America, and Asia (Mello, 2014).
Apple “should formulate a better organizational structure” (Mello, 2014, p. 23). This approach will make the company profitable because it will have new managers to oversee every business operation. Apple Inc. should also allocate more funds to its research and development (RD) department. The company needs to hire a competent CEO who can revolutionize its operations. A good corporate strategy is capable of redefining most of the company’s goals. These courses of action will ensure Apple addresses the issues affecting its performance.
Recommendation for Action
Apple Incorporation can use the above courses of action to define a new strategic approach. The strategic approach must identify the right managers who understand the challenges affecting the company. The strategy will promote “better practices such as business planning, decision-making, problem-solving, and marketing operations” (Mello, 2014, p. 47).
Apple Incorporation needs to innovate and produce powerful devices that can compete in the global market. Such devices should also be availed in different corners of the world. The prices of the devices should be in accordance with the expectations and capabilities of the targeted customers. Appropriate organizational changes will eliminate wastes and every unprofitable business line. A qualified CEO should also replace Steve Jobs.
Mello, J. (2014). Strategic Human Resource Management. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Yoffie, D., & Slind, M. (2008). Apple Inc., 2008. Harvard Business School, 1(1), 1-32.