For example in the case of phone, there are five iPhones launched (3gs, 4, 4s, 5, 5s) in Apple but Samsung has numerous kinds of cellphones. It will be very hard to take care of many kinds of product lines. Third advantage is integration. Apple has a well-made integrated system which can be utilized among the Apples products. For example, all the pictures, music, apps can be shared among the Apple devices through the iCloud and iTunes. So customers can get much synergy effect by buying Apples products rather than others. This system directly leads people to buy Apples product once they bought any product of Apple.
2. Analyze the personal computer industry. Why did Apple struggle historically in PCs? Apple sticked to their horizontal and vertical integration. They didnt allow other parties to license its hardware and didnt want to accept OS from others.
On the contrary IBM used a relatively open system by accepting Microsofts OS and a microprocessor from Intel. This flexibility led to gaining more market share and made Apple struggle in PCs.
3. How sustainable is Apples competitive position in PCs, MP3 players, and smart phones? Because all the features of iPod are absorbed in iPhone, I am going to consider only two; PCs and smartphones. I think Apples position is sustainable enough for the next few years. According to Exhibit 8, the OS market share of iOS in 2011 is 18.9% which is quite large and it is growing until now. And the unique design of products and the comfortable integrated system like iCloud and iTunes makes hard for people to change their Apples products to others and even make them loyal customers.
Once tasting the convenience of Apples system, its very hard to switch the product and adapt to other system. And in the case of PCs, many applications and programs, which were compatible for windows only, are getting compatible for Apples PCs too. We can see many Macbook users who were very hard to find a few years ago. These can be the evidence I would like to say Apples position is quite sustainable.
4. What are Apples long-term prospects for the iPad?
Apple is already providing some iPad applications like MS office. It looks like that Apple want to replace notebook computers. In todays classroom we can see many students who are taking notes with their iPads. They dont print or copy materials. They just download the materials and take notes on the slide right away. I felt that Apple made iPad a trend. By providing integrated systems and comfortable apps they are making people to think iPad is a vital device. Cellphone was one of luxurious goods. Smartphones are also one kind of it. But they are vital these days. Just like the phones, iPad is being considered as vital. With various kinds of applications and large market share in tablet PCs, Apple can forward more on the iPad. The iPad is very prospective.
5. What advice would you offer the new CEO Tim Cook?
Originally Apple started its business with manufacturing computers. Its name was Apple Computer Inc. at the beginning. But think about todays Apple. When it comes to Apple, people bring up I-pod, I-phone, I-pad to their minds rather than Macintosh. Apple did not settle for its PC business but always tried to seek for other prospective business area. Our job is to figure out what theyre going to want before they do Jobs said. Constant efforts to be always being innovative led to the innovative image of Apple and that image made people to believe there is always something different in Apples product. I think this belief is the key factor of peoples loyalty towards Apple. I just want to tell him just not to betray on that belief. Otherwise Apple can be successful as it were.