Apple Inc Strategic Audit: Analysis of Situational Factors (SWOT)

Strengths of Apple Inc

1. Technology

Apple Inc utilizes its big technology strength where it emphasizes innovative research and development of viable projects through the small-group principle. This yields a powerful innovation base sustained by its outstanding and talented design teams. It owns a self-developing operating system for the mobile devices and personal computing products. This translates Apple Inc into unrivaled organization riding on an intelligent digital platform. It has strategic cooperation alignment with its primary suppliers in China and Taiwan to offer customized components whose quality exceeds the quality anticipated by rivals(Salerni, 2013). This enables it design and deliver the best hardware products in beauty and software yielding superior user experience.

2. Apple Inc Brand Power and Innovative Spirit

Apple Inc success results into the unmatched brand reputation of leading innovations both in computing and mobile devices technology. The superior functionality of its products generates an attractive force that locks the customers to its subsequent generation of offerings(Lashinsky, Lev-Ram, & Kimes, 2008). As a leader in unique product designs in both electronic industry and networking solutions, it sustains the tighter relationship with its loyal consumers desirous of its post-sales experience.

3. Apple Inc Ecosystem

Apple Inc strong market positions arise from the consumer trustworthiness that continually increases its competitive advantage. The interlink in Apple Inc variety of hardware products, software and services are interlinked, enables its subsequent offerings maintain each other in a full unit(Gupta & Prinzinger, 2013).

4. Apple Inc Brand Awareness

The company operates a distributed network of knowledgeable salespersons working in its fully-owned retail stores. Here, customers experience high-quality services through direct conversations with the well-informed staff(Montgomeriea & Roscoe, 2013). The good rapport created through the buying and post-sale experience proves an invaluable feature to sustain high customer loyalty rate.

Weakness of Apple Inc

The primary weakness of Apple Inc exists in the compatibility feature between its offerings that confines its software sales to the amount of hardware products sold. Secondly, failure to license third-party developers to utilize its operating system, denies the entire company operability features that rival companies such as Android operating system have gradually embraced to erode its market shares(Jinjin, 2013).

The company faces stiff competition in the wake of price-sensitive consumers. This places its high and premium pricing unsuitable as rival players convince Apple Inc consumers with products performing similar functions at lower prices(Jinjin, 2013). This switching has seen its market share decline as more quit its closed ecosystem of products to experience the free peer-to-peer services.

Apple Inc has at times become a victim of disobedient entity violating patents of other players. This results in legal proceedings that it has lost, resulting in damaged reputation. The emergence of Tim Cook to succeed Steve Jobs marked a loss of the feeder channel to its decade of success. This reveals in the realignment of its mechanistic structure to a collaborative approach upon which, John Browett and Scott Forstall left the management(Muehlhausen, 2013). Finally, its high gross profit margin will lose in the tougher competition as other operators initiate price wars and rapid product introductions.

Opportunities of Apple Inc

The increasing demand for its iPad generation and iPad mini tablets will translate to an improving market share, thus a competitive advantage for its subsequent offerings. The release of iTV will directly increase the Apple TV sales, thus fostering its financial results. As the digital population secures employment opportunities, they will attain higher disposable incomes that would sustain the growth in the smartphone and tablet segments(Gupta & Prinzinger, 2013). This presents growth opportunities for Apple Inc mini-tablets.

Apple Inc projects to recover more damages from companies violating its patents, to which it may use to damage the rival image besides increasing its cash reserves(Williams M. , 2014). The demand for mobile advertisement platform destines Apple to generate huge revenue through its iAd advertising channel. Lastly, as the global business community turns to cloud-based services, Apple has an edge to enlarge its iCloud and support software(Whitney, 2014).

Threats

The rapid product introductions supported by rapid technological changes, poses the trickiest threat to Apple as experienced players broaden their offerings. The sensitive customers becoming technology-lovers every day would want new products, thus yielding pressure to Apple Inc previous generations(SEC, 2013). This implies organizations that fail to withstand the rivalry will shortly become unsuccessful in the competitive market.

Samsung demand for more pay in the supply of their application processors presents a challenging task to Apple Inc as there exists no feasible substitutes that it can purchase to counter the supplier bargaining power(Dilger, 2013). The power of the Android operating system may soon dominate the iOS, leaving Apple Inc at the losing frank as it lacks other alternatives besides the untested sapphire technology. As other multinationals diversify their lines to offer music stores such as Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Sound Cloud, it threatens the dominance of the Apple music store.

Strategic Alternatives and Recommended Strategy

The stiff competition and rapid technological release that threatens its future financial operations mandates a continuous implementation of a hybrid approach comprising cost leadership and differentiation strategies. Cost leadership would enable Apple Inc to process its value chains efficiently and lower its production costs without jeopardizing the superior functionality of their offering. This will assist the company counters the declining gross profit margin. Further commitment to the differentiation strategy will mandate Apple Inc to explore alternative innovations in technologies besides Sapphire Technology. This would offer diversity in solutions that will counter the emerging influence of the Android OS. It should not only lever its core competencies, but should build new competencies as supportive edges to fight for dominance in the consumer electronics segment. For instance, it can invent new designs accelerating the self-enhancement experience for its other products besides the iPod generations.

Committing an integrated platform that illuminates the collaborative organizational approach in the switcher campaign mandates an aggressive advertising. This will entail embracing a customer-focused service strategy to drive targeted users away from the Microsoft and Android myth to its ecosystem. However, this would demand Apple Inc to accommodate the local resellers and third-party developers as a support network of its fully-owned retail stores. Winning the competitive computing market, intersects at the embracing tighter collaborations with local resellers and developers who link manufactures to the entire marketplace community. For example, it could utilize the local connection to initiate immediate closer relationship with host governments an educational institution given their potential to constitute a major market for a profitable PC segment. In this light, if Apple Inc is to in the revolution initiated by experienced competitors, then it should act differently besides levering its past strategies.

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