The company started off as “Apple Computer,” best knownfor its Macintosh personal computers (PCs) in the 1980s and 1990s.
Despite a strongbrand, rapid growth, and high profits in the late 1980s. Company has as risesup as failures and almost bankrupt situations. One of such situations stands in1996, so Jobs went to work, transforming “Apple Computer” into “Apple Inc.
“. Let’sidentify the core competences till 2008. The first core competence that we could distinguish wasApple’s software. The company sticking to its rule of developing everything ontheir own created special software iOS operating only on their devices, likeiPhone. Also iTunes can be included in this category as it gave them advantageover competitors by the possibility to synchronize iPod with computer and itwas used as music library. The second Apple’s core competence was design of itsdevices. It contributed to the uniqueness of the product and high final valueof the product for a customer. Its products featured for example rather smallsize in comparison to products of their competitors, as well as interfacesimple in use.
The third core competence of Apple was its App Storeintroduced in 2008. After just 2 years from its release iPhone was alreadycomprising 30% of Apple’s revenue, being the biggest growth story globally,capturing more than 14% of the market. App Store extended its range of usageadditionally contributing to the success. In2008 the second iPhone model was released. It owned 3G networks. Apple renewedthe pricing model under a new agreement with AT&T.
The price for it was 199dollars. And it owned two-year guarantee. An unsubsidized iPhone could cost$599 for the same version.
Value Rarity Imitability Organization Result Software Yes Yes Yes Yes Sustained competitive advantage Design Yes Yes Yes Yes Sustained competitive advantage App Store Yes Yes No Yes Temporary competitive advantage Pricing model Yes No No No Partly competitive advantage Value -> is it valuable?Rarity -> is it rare?Imitability -> is it difficult to imitate?Organization -> is company organized in a way that fully uses its potential?Apple’s software was crucial, unique feature that attractedcustomers which is why it had high value, and also it could be defined as rare(it did change the world somehow). The same goes to imitability withcompetitors not able to recreate that, as the company worked really hard todevelop it and fully use its potential. As Apple was innovative in everyaspects, such as MacBook, iPod and iPhone, the design of its products was rareand unique, it cannot be imitated by the competitors, which was also veryvaluable for both Apple and its customers. The products stood out and each newmodel had some improvements and its potential was broadened. As for the AppStore it was the first product like this on the market, the value of thisfeature was important and rare. As Apple tried to do everything to the fullest,the potential of the App Store was well-managed. The pricing model was also thecrucial part in Apple’s aim to gain the respect from customers as it wasinnovative and customers didn’t know what to expect.
The contract with ATin which, for example, iPhones were subsidized by telephone companies to reachbigger audience. It’s was not rare and was easy to imitate because competitorscould use the same model. How do you assess Apple’s core competences for thefuture?We strongly believe that the company should keep on developing andbroadening its resources of high technology, as this is what helps themmaintain their advanced position, as well as high quality of goods.
Lookingfrom the perspective of 2008 pricing model would not be anymore Apple’s corecompetence because constant improvement of the products would increase theirdemand and price. Then App Store would be temporary competitive because itsadvantage would be that it’s the only platform where users could get appscompatible with Apple’s devices. However, with time other companies would alsolaunch their own App Stores which is why it would not be so rare anymore. Asfor design and software they would continue to be their core competenciesbecause its their unique feature that the company would keep developing.