The report focuses on Apple's strategies in Smart Phone Industry through their product iphone. The report first throws some light on Apple and its products, and then it discusses the smart phone industry, highlighting the reasons of its selection. Then a five force analysis of the industry is provided along with dominant and driving forces behind it that gives a clearer picture of the industry with respect to apple. Then it gradually discusses its competitors and its current market share along with key success factors (mostly customer oriented), competencies, and value chain analysis. Various strategies covering financial and strategic objectives accompanied with competitive strategy have also been identified and discussed in detail. SWOT analysis is also presented in detail which gives insight into strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to Apple's iphone. Finally future recommendations are provided that will help apple to emerge as market leaders in this tough competitive market segment.
Apple Inc. is an American MNC engaged in designing and manufactures consumer electronics and computer software products. Apple was founded in April, 1976 by Steve Jobs and Woz. The company's best-known hardware products are Macintosh computers, the iPod, and the iPhone. Apple software consists of Mac OS X operating system, the iTunes media browser, the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software, the iWork suite of productivity software, Final Cut Studio, a suite of professional audio and film-industry software products, and Logic Studio, a suite of audio tools. Apple is gaining access to the customer's living room through its iTunes, iPods and iPhones rapidly. The company has more than 250 retail stores in nine countries, and an online store where hardware and software products are available.
Smart Phones are basically advanced wireless communication devices that have phone and internet capabilities. The main appeal of smart phones is the wealth of data available in these portable devices - a smart phone is essentially a stripped down computer in one's pocket. However, this data is dependent on a number of factors - technical limitations of hardware and software in the phones, and infrastructure limitations on the part of the telecommunication carriers. As a result, smart phone adoption in American has lagged that of other developed areas, such as Japan or Europe, because of convenient infrastructure installation and consumer demand for style.
According to estimates by Canalys, Nokia had slightly more than 50% world market share for smart phone units sold in Q4 of 2007 and almost 19MM units sold. In second place was competitor Research in Motion (RIMM), with 4MM units. No other single competitor commanded more than 10% share in that quarter. This documents why the Symbian O.S. does so well internationally.
KEY SUCCES FACTORS
An industry's KSFs are those competitive factors that most affect industry member's ability to achieve success in the marketplace, these include the particular strategy elements, product attributes, resources, competencies, competitive capabilities, and market achievements that spell the difference between being a strong competitor and a weak competitor and eventually between profit and loss.
Although apple has been successful in its strategies so far in smart phone market but However, to become a key rival and leader of the industry, Apple need to deploy more strategic plans and choose a right competitive strategy for its future business.
Strategies for competing in rapidly growing markets:
Driving down costs per unit so as to enable price reductions that attract droves of new customers.
Pursuing rapid product innovation, both to set a company's product offering apart from rivals and to incorporate attributes that appeal to growing numbers of customers.
Gaining access to additional distribution channels and sales outlets.
Expanding the company's geographic coverage
Expanding the product line to add models/styles that appeal to a wider range of buyers
A detailed analysis of apple in smart phone industry was presented by using tools like five force model, SWOT analysis, identification of core competency, key success factors etc. All of these analysis showed that strategies currently deployed by apple have been indeed successful, but this is a difficult market to compete in. It is still far behind RIM and Nokia and it has almost zero presence in corporate customer segment. It need to constantly innovate and set right pace in order to succeed in future. Product differentiation, cost leadership and quick response would be essential in setting the future course.
Apple is known for its style statement and innovation; apple has to maintain this stature along with its core competency of best user experience. Apple has faced many downfalls previously also, so now it has become very important for it to take right strategic decisions in order to leverage upon its innovations.