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Apple In 2018 Looking Back Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1984 577 Words (3 Pages) Scott Duncan, Dominic Houlder London Business School
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

Initially, IBM was a much bigger force within the PC industry. While Apple developed a much more user-friendly and easy to use a computer. Apple’s Graphical User Interface (GUI) (Duncan & Houlder, 2015) was a game-changer and much more superior than the command-driven application software used by IBM's computers. Yet the company was quickly surpassed as Windows was developed by Microsoft, and this became the standard application software for most computers, aside from the Mac. Apple did everything in-house, hardware as well as software, which meant that it had loyal customers, but it also meant that it was more expensive. IBM, on the other hand, was able to capture a larger market share and lead the industry by outsourcing the components and programs. Despite entering the market for personal computers in 1981, after Apple, IBM became an industry leader, while Apple was held unto a niche part of the market.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What factors explain IBM and Apple’s different fortunes in the PC sector up to 1990? 

  2. What challenges did Apple face in the 1990’s, pending the return of Steve Jobs? 

  3. What challenges did Apple face in the 1990’s, pending the return of Steve Jobs? 

  4. From your reading of the case, what challenges might Apple face today?

Case Analysis for Apple In 2018 Looking Back

2. What challenges did Apple face in the 1990’s, pending the return of Steve Jobs? 

Apple Inc. suffered in the 1990s as the Macintosh was a much more expensive option compared to the alternatives available in the market, like Dell, IBM, and Compaq. At the same time, it failed to keep up with the fast-improving technology being introduced by its rivals as a result of its unwillingness to source components from parties other than its regular suppliers, Motorola. To compete in such circumstances, the new CEO, Michael Spindler, attempted to cut costs, break into the international market, and team up for a joint venture with IBM. This, however, backfired as all these steps went against the brand image that Apple had carved for itself. It failed to get new customers and lost touch with its loyal customer base.

3. How well did Steve Jobs’ first successor, John Sculley, address those challenges? 

To salvage Apple’s reputation and compete in an increasingly cut-throat business environment, John Sculley, Apple’s CEO who succeeded Jobs, teamed up with Novell and Intel to improve upon the Mac OS. The Mac could not multitask and reached the processing speeds of the latest PCs in the market.

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