Over the last ten years, Apple sales have increased from $5bn to $65bn and profits have soared to $18 billion. In 2011 sales revenues will exceed $110 billion, thanks to the tremendous success of the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. In 2001, Apple sales fell by a third and the company reported an operating loss of $350 million. The company was thought by many to be in trouble. In that year, the the iPod was launched, the concept of the digital hub emerged. The company went from strength to strength. This is the case study of Apple in the digital age.
I have always been something of a computer geek. My first computer was a Commodore Pet in 1978. It had 8k of RAM and a cassette player for storage. Programmed effectively, a two dimensional pencil sketch of a rocket would take off and zoom off screen. Beyond that and a few simple games, I don’t recall it did much at all.
My first experience of Apple was the Apple II in the early 1980’s. The combination of Apple and a Visicalc spreadsheet, greatly enhanced financial and business plan modelling. Business models were more easily produced and what-if simulations were available at the click of a button. It was a great step up from the pencil and calculator.
Seven years ago, I abandoned Microsoft and converted entirely to Apple. Apple Macs, MacBooks, MacBook Air, iPods, iTouch, the iPhone and the iPad, I had to try them all and never looked back
I have just updated my Strat Man case study on Apple in the digital age from the iPod to the iPad. I shall be guest lecturing at Salford Business School next week and so a copy has been posted on the pro.manchester web site to share with all.
The case study covers the years from 2000 to 2010. The great era of the iPod, the discovery of the digital hub and Apple’s move into the mainstream consumer market with the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. It has many great examples for enthusiasts of marketing, leadership, organization, financial analysis and strategic management. I hope you enjoy the case study.
Students of strategic management will be familiar with the BCG Growth Share Matrix with dogs, cows, stars and question marks. This is basis two dimensional strat man analysis. In the case study Steve Jobs outlines, 3D strat man analysis in preparation for the launch of the iPod. From 3D I have now expanded corporate strategy analysis into four and five dimensional analysis deriving technique from contemporary architecture and engineering methodologies. Download Apple Case Study 2011
The full presentation includes charts, slides and some great video clips.
First Dimension Relative Market Attraction
Second Dimension Relative Market Share
Third Dimension Relative Financial Strength
Fourth Dimension Relative Economic Position
Fifth Dimension Relative Financial Management
An extract of Apple Case Study was published in late 2010 in the 9th Edition of Exploring Strategy Johnson, R. Whittington and K. Scholes, Pearson, 9th edition 2010.
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JKA is CEO of pro.manchester, a director of Marketing Manchester and a visiting professor at MMU Business School, an economist and specialist in Corporate Strategy, educated at LSE, London Business School with a PhD from Manchester Metropolitan University. The views expressed are my own and in no way reflect pro.manchester policy. In no way should the comments be considered as investment advice or guidelines or reflect political bias. UK Economics news and analysis : no politics, no dogma, no polemics, just facts.