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Apple Inc. in 2012 Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1296 628 Words (2 Pages) David B. Yoffie, Penelope Rossano Harvard Business School : 712490
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

In Apple’s PC business, the position of the company was not sustainable. This was because of the inability of the company to determine its position in the industry. With PC manufacturers such as Dell, Acer, IBM, and HP, the company had faced tough competition in its PC sales. The company had adopted an operating system that run on the Intel platform, developed by IBM. This had not allowed the company to differentiate itself from its competitors. However, currently, the position of the company in the PC segment has been determined because of its innovation and distribution. Steve Jobs had developed a new distribution strategy that contributed to an increase in the sales of personal computers. However, the position of PCs is threatened by substitute products in the market. Apple has launched the iPad that is a compact and more integrated version of the PC. Also, smartphones have begun to replace the functionality of PCs. Even though Apple’s position in the PC segment has been established, the threat to the segment with other products is the only aspect of unsustainability in this market. Also, the company was compelled to innovate constantly because the basis of the product was a follower strategy. If it were an innovative strategy, the position would have been sustainable. 

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. How sustainable is Apple’s position in PCs, MP3 players, and smart phones?

Case Analysis for Apple Inc. in 2012

The iPod is the MP3 player produced by Apple. The launch of the iPad marked the initiation of a digital age. The company charged a premium for the product because of its innovativeness. Because the basis of the product was innovation, the sales of the product generated huge profits for Apple. The company did not need to differentiate from the competitors because the innovation itself was a differentiating factor. The company was enjoying a competitive advantage based on the blue-ocean strategy that it showcased in the case of iPods. Whereas, comparing the position of the PC segment, the company had to consistently innovate in order to maintain sustainability. In the iPod market, the position of the company was sustainable because of the strong foothold in the industry and the title of being the pioneers of a new segment and the initiators of the digital age. Also, the company had a cost benefit because of the company being a powerful buyer of the suppliers. This had led the company to develop low-priced versions of the iPod that enabled it to compete with the other mp3 manufacturers. This meant that the company offered iPods at all price levels strengthening its position in the market and making its strategy sustainable for the company. However, in the long run, the sustainability of this product line is challenged by the integration of mobile phones that include inbuilt music players. 

In the smartphone industry, Apple faced tough competition from established companies such as Nokia, LG, Samsung, HTC, and Motorola. The introduction of the Android software in the market by Google toughened the competition for Apple, and it resulted in Samsung becoming one of the major competitors because of their adaptability to the Android software. The Google play store was also a competitive basis for Apple since it provided a source for customers to download mobile phone applications.

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