Apple Inc In 2010 Harvard Business Case Study

 

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I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Incorporated by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1977, Apple Computer, Inc. wasincorporated with a net worth of US$250,000. It has since grown leaps and bounds to theApple Inc. of today, employing close to 50,000 employees worldwide, with a net worth of US$209,379 million in 2010, placing it 56

th

among the Fortune 500 companies. From theiPod revolution in 2000, to the iPhone in 2007 and most recently, the iPad in 2010, Apple hasintroduced, amidst much fanfare, ground-breaking products that revolutionized the marketssince the start of the 21

st

century.

This report serves to provide some insight of a firm that has been named Fortune magazine‟s

most admired company in the world for three consecutive years from 2008 to 2010. Astrategic analysis of the firm will examine the opportunities and threats in the general

environment and the firm‟s strengths and weaknesses.

Apple operates in many aspects of consumer electronics, such as personal computers (PCs),mobile communication devices, digital music and video devices. The industry presents thefirm with ample growth opportunities such as the emerging economies, the shift towards themobile era and increasing consumer digital lifestyle. However, global markets for consumerelectronics are highly competitive

as Apple‟s competi

tors are quick to respond to its majorproduct launches. As Apple operates across many geographical locations, the firm is alsoexposed to international operation risks and risk of product imitation.

Apple‟s strengths put the firm in a prime position to t

ake advantage of the opportunities andminimize the impact of inherent risks. With its commitment to research and development,

Apple‟s Digital Hub strategy, coupled with strong brand marketing and retail efforts, has

resulted in the success of many Apple p

roducts. An integral ecosystem is also one of Apple‟s

competitive advantages. However, many industry observers believe that Apple may be too

Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2010 (Revised July 2014)

Apple Inc. in 2010

David B. Yoffie and Renee Kim

On April 4, 2010, Apple Inc. launched the iPad, the company's third major innovation released over the last decade under its iconic CEO Steve Jobs. Apple's strategy of shifting its business into non-PC products had thrived so far, driven by the smashing success of the iPod and the iPhone. Yet challenges abounded. Macintosh sales in the worldwide PC market still languished below 5%. Growth in iPod sales was slowing down. iPhone faced increasing competition in the smartphone industry. And would Apple's latest creation, the iPad, take the company to the next level?

Keywords: Technological Innovation; Product Launch; Product Positioning; Competition; Corporate Strategy; Computer Industry; Electronics Industry;

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