Concerning the absence of Steve Jobs and the speculation of inferior company strength, the company is beyond replacement plans; however, the company has an option of deviating from the Steve Jobs’ debate and reference in their future dealings and instead brands itself afresh. This will be difficult given Jobs skills in creating external links, interpersonal prowess of the former CEO among other qualities. However, the top executives must balance between branding the company on its own basis, without appearing as denying Jobs, his due honor and respecting his contribution, incorporating his culture while escaping the Jobs phenomena. The executives and Tim Cooks must prove their worth without trying to appear impressive. The strategy is to focus on the Apple brand and the ‘I’ phenomena, the company must also insist on superior products; this will fend off skeptics who believe in Apple’s failure due to Job’s death (Eaton & Robischon 2010).
Concerning their products issues, Apple has a relatively easy time since these are internal aspects; the engineers need to respond promptly to security issues on vulnerability issues. There is also a need to proof that its Mac OS X is superior in all aspects, intrinsic or in follow up matters. On the application market and the Android market competition, Apple can review its strategy and come up with a unique market not a copy cat of Android but one whose concept is uniquely the same as Google’s (Eaton & Robischon 2010). The other strategy is to pursue its direction but reduce the downloading bureaucracy of vetting. The reality of Androids popularity and its control of over 50% market share should be a consideration; otherwise the popularity of iPhone may slip of its fingers. Another strategic option regards the backup system adoption. Apple has an option of adopting the Time Capsule approach; in this case, the company must have a program that makes synchronization of iPhones to the Macs easy. The other alternative involves the introduction of virtual storage or Cloud Computing way (Linzmayer 1999).
Given its small market share and competition from strong competitors with bigger market share and diversified products, Apple may engage in high quality exchange linkages for it to gain access to business market or enterprise (Kendrick 2011). Apple must keep in mind its competitor’s strategy and motive. Google employs a low cost and outsourcing, competitive approach and aims at competently monetizing adverts. Its strategic move is deployment of moves through AdMob; this move is not dependent on Androids failure or success. RIM controls 19.4%, employs a vertical integration and provision of best costs as a competitive approach, motivated by the need to take away Nokia’s share through investment in research and development. Nokia controls the biggest market share of 44% with the lowest cost strategy and vertical integration. Its motive is high end products through research and development. However, Microsoft is of most concern because apart from its best cost competition strategy, it is taking competition to Apple’s backyard. Its strategy is motivated by a need to oust Apple in computer Smartphone integration, through integrating the desktop OS with the mobile OS. High linkages access is the recommendation of this paper, as the best plan towards safeguarding Apple’s share and diversifying its reach (Kendrick 2011).
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It is evident that Apple faces limitations in the product line, low capabilities for diversification and introduction of similar products such as LG Dare and Google’s T-Mobile G1 (Kendrick 2011). To achieve its market diversification and expansion dream, Apple has two strategic choices. The first strategy involves opening the market for the service provider. This means walking out of the deal that grants AT&T sole rights as iPhone distributors and sellers. This would allow pairing with any service provider at the consumer’s choice and attraction of more powers. This is the long-term solution that guarantees strong and long term revenues. There will be an expansion in consumer base and revenues, additionally, iPhones value will go up, since studies indicate that the availability on broader service range will increase speeds beyond what AT&T is offering. The second strategy involves diversification and customization of the iPhone; this will eliminate the threat of ousting by imitations and similar products. This paper recommends it to assure long-term results and to be complementary to other positive pursuits (Fisher 2008).
It is vital to recall that Apple ranks highest on many scores of innovativeness, usability, divisibility, financial capability and expendability; however, its score below the market average of reliability against its peers. The weighty issue bringing Apple’s strategy into sharp focus is its low battery life, leading to shipping costs and sending time back to the company. Apple has an option of adopting, either China phones strategy of two batteries, or deciding how they have to deal with stronger battery without compromising the sleek look of the iPhone. Apple should also void any attempt any replication of the iPod and iTunes concept, in these two cases Apple forced users to buy products that manufacturers, a repeat of this on the iPhone will fail. The company should ensure stronger battery without negating it’s already advancements, and allow users to buy non Apple programs, as well (Eaton & Robischon 2010).
It is the overall recommendation that the corporation should focus on its intrinsic advantages, majorly its excellent brand name even in the future. The current team steering Apple should work within the belief of being the best, it is upon this that Apple should develop superior products either in single or diversified lines. The bottom line should remain the same – the best. Concerning Jobs’ demise, Cook may never achieve the mammoth reverence and veneration that Jobs had and the recommendation is to make this the least of his problems. His focus should be to prove forecasters of Apple’s arrival at the tipping point wrong. He must refer to Jobs in motivating the employees and making his culture alive and healthy in his absence. There must be a focus on restoration and sustenance of the conviction that Apple is the best, the leader at all times and costs (Lai 2010).
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Apple must look beyond the US market too, the Asian countries will count, and contributions made by some companies such as Taiwan’s electronics companies must be kept in mind, these companies are determining the rise of the tablet industry too through their critical role in supply chain of touch screen panels. Cook and his team must also recall the image destruction in China arising from previous environmental concerns. He should be bullish in taking a stand different from his predecessor and perhaps this is a chance of making himself less of a grey man. The relations between Apple and formerly aggrieved parties should exceed formal commitments to mutual agreements of correcting previous evils. It is a recommendation of the author that Apple embraces CSR beyond the dimension of reputation, it must understand that CSR is a way of gaining a competitive advantage and formation of ties with local societies; this understanding should guide its pursuit of CSR goals. This way, Tim Cook will prove his worth and the worth of his leadership (Groeger 2012).
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Coupling all the issues facing Apple, from the falling charm of the iPhone, to the loss of its leader, then there might be a temptation to predict that Apple is approaching tipping point. Indeed, Tim Cook and his team might have to rethink their approach to the market, with less than 10% market share and rival products closing in on Apple. However, this depends on the managerial approach to market dynamics, employee motivation and reorganization. Apple has a need to streamline its internal operations to alleviate structures weaknesses.
It is the conclusion of this paper that Apple Inc. needs to harness its potential and add upon its existing structures and goodwill. A good name will not guarantee Apple market leadership, dodging CSR commitments will attract dire consequences and non-diversification of products will be an expensive price if pursued along the same line. It is the high time Apple thought of coming up with a new product, updating the iPhone is not good enough; there is a need for a whole new concept. Apple’s fortunes depends Jobs’ discipleship consumers and Tim Cook must be convincing that he is equal to the task. Apple is build upon euphoric reception products; it is imperative to acknowledge their fading effects and build its products upon concrete bases. The challenges notwithstanding, Apple is still a healthy company capable of sustaining intense competition and combination of core competencies to respond to market demands.
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