Apple Inc., also commonly referred to simply as Apple is one of the largest corporations in the global consumer electronics industry. The company is headquartered in Americas Silicon Valley and the main products that it trades in include computer software, computer electronics, portable computer devices, and personal computers. Apple Inc. was founded by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak in April 1976 and it was incorporated in1977. In 2007 the company shifted its focus from computers and operating systems into the general consumer electronic market. By the end of August 2012, Apple had 393 retail stores distributed across 14 different countries (Xiaoyi et al., 2012). This study explores Apples business-level strategies in the context of its global business environment.
Business-level strategy refers to the actions that organizations engage in with the aim of accruing consumers with added value and as a result provide the organization with competitive advantages (Birdir, 2012). It is arguable that business-level strategies usually exploit existing competencies in the product and or service market to achieve its objective of providing organizations with competitive advantages. Through business-level strategies, organizations are able to curve a niche for themselves in the market (Vitez, 2016).
According to Xiaoyi et al. (2012), the level of effectiveness of business-level strategies is based on how well they are able to set and achieve specific targets which contribute to an organizations continued growth and profitability. The authors explain that this means that business-level strategies have to be integrated to an organizations goals and objectives for them to be effective. Consumer satisfaction is the core value of Apple. In line with this value, the main goals and objectives of Apple include:
Optimizing the efficiency of competent employees in providing consumers with high quality services
Achieving positive user experience through utilization of innovation new technologies
Designing and development of efficient hardware, operating system, services and application software
Increasing the volume of sales through launching of new products, opening of new outlets and stores, use of smart marketing tactics and streamlining of all the production processes
Currently Apple competes in various different market categories of consumer electronics. Some of its most innovative products and services include the iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple computers and MacBook as well as Macintosh and iOS operating systems. Some of its main competitors in the software market include Microsoft and Android service providers. This is while in the computer category its fiercest competitors include Sony, HP, Dell, Toshiba, Asus, and Acer. In the Smartphone category, Apples main competitors include Samsung and Blackberry.
In the different market categories, Apple usually experiences price wars. Most of the competitors in the market categories focus on offering the consumers with high quality products at affordable prices. One of the significant aspects that the company focuses on through its business-level strategy is product differentiation through providing the consumers with consumer electronic products that have additional functions and features. The company also focuses on ensuring that it provides the consumers with products that have longer life-spans.
In line with its business-level strategies, Apple provides the consumer market with affordable high quality products. The company also ensures that its products have additional features which differentiate them from the products offered by competitors. The company achieves its differentiation strategy through constantly analyzing the market to identify consumer needs, and then incorporate the consumer needs to its new models which it launches on a regular basis. This quick innovation approach ensures that there is constant demand for its products because consumers are always interested in finding out what additional features have been added to its new designs. From another perspective, it is arguable that this approach has enabled the company to build brand loyalty.
Apples business-level strategies effectively ensure that the company achieves product diversity and as a result it serves the needs of different consumer segments. By constantly evolving its products, the company is able to ensure that its products always remain relevant in the market. Furthermore, the strategies that the company has developed will ensure that it gets to preserves its image as a leading producer and seller of computer related products and electronics.
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