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Apple In Case Study

Case Details:


Case Code:BSTR396For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500 ;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Innovation / Strategy/ Leadership
Case Length:16 Pages
Pub Date:2011
Teaching Note:Not Available
Organization:Apple, Inc.
Industry:Computers; Consumer Electronics
Countries :Global; US; Europe


This case study is about innovation at Apple Inc. (Apple), one of the most valuable companies in the world in terms of market capitalization. Apple led the global technology market by developing innovative products such as the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad which redefined their respective markets. The case discusses Apple's approach to innovation which was driven by a passion for creating breakthrough products. Innovation was part of Apple's corporate DNA. Experts said that Apple was innovative because of its ability to iterate designs, devices, and functionality and create products that became a benchmark for customer experience.The case discusses Apple's founder Steve Jobs (Jobs) role as the chief innovator of the company.

Jobs fostered a culture of secrecy at Apple and inspired employees to come out with path-breaking products by thinking differently. According to experts, it was Jobs's vision of developing 'insanely great' products that had made Apple an icon of innovation. However, his death led to speculations whether Apple would continue to innovate and lead the industry. One of the biggest challenges facing Apple was to launch some ground-breaking products in the future and exceed customer expectations. This case is designed for MBA/MS level students, and is intended to be a part of their General Management/ Strategic Management curriculum.


» Study Apple's innovation strategy
» Analyze the key factors which have contributed to the creation of a unique culture focused on innovation and creativity at Apple
» Evaluate the strategies adopted by Jobs to foster a culture of innovation at Apple
» Understand the relationship between culture and innovation
» Discuss and debate whether Apple can continue to innovate and stay ahead of the competition without its founder Steve Jobs
» Explore strategies that the company can follow to maintain its focus on innovation.



Innovation, Innovation strategy, Disruptive innovation, Game-changing innovations, Creativity, Culture of innovation, Leadership, Product innovation, Customer experience, Customer centric, Steve Jobs, Strategic inflexion points, design and functionality, Apple, Master Innovator, Mater Marketer, Succession Planning, Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad

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A- Case Summary

Apple was by two college drop out students: Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs with themotto of “Think Differently”. In the early 1980s, Steve Wozniak left the company andSteve Jobs hired John Sculley as the President of the company. After facing manyfailures, Apple launched its Macintosh computers for house hold users. In mid 1980s,Steve Jobs had to leave the company because of his controversial relations with thepresident. At that time John Sculley rejected the offer of Microsoft‘s CEO, Bill Gates tolicense the Macintosh operating system to Microsoft.After this refusal, Gates developed DOS operating system and in late 1980s, thecompetition between DOS and Macintosh decreased Apple’s sale, workforce andresignation of John Sculley. So, Apple’s current CEO planned to purchase NextStepoperating system of Jobs in order to improve the Macintosh operating system. In late90s Jobs again became the CEO of the company and be started surprising relationswith Microsoft by developing a Macintosh version of office software.Apple also took cost saving measures like streamlining the product line, production of printers. Steve Jobs brought Apples’ focus on two concepts of consumer series with theprefix “I” for internet like iMac, iBook laptop and professional with prefix “power” suchas PowerMac desktop and PowerBook laptop series. Under Jobs, Apple againbecomes the innovator of computer market. His leadership leads the company to USBand Firewire ports, introduction of iPod and iTunes website put Apple in the digitalcomputing age.

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