Clearly, Apple is trying to demonstrate to the global public that they have a firm stance on constant issues such as underage labour and wages and benefits, by attempting to eradicate such problems. Following audits completed by Apple, results showed that 97% of suppliers were in compliance with the prevention of underage labour. Apple has a vast amount of suppliers in different areas of the world; it recently published a complete list of production suppliers.
Despite the home-country, America, being highly advanced in this particular industry, Apple still has suppliers in countries such as China, in order to try and gain a competitive advantage over other competitors with innovative ideas and product development. For example, there is a supplier factory in Shanghai where the MacBook Pro is just one of the recent advancements in technology that is produced. It is product differentiation such as this that ensures Apple stays ahead of rival competitors, and often this cannot be achieved by using suppliers from the home-country.
In January 2012, Apple released a list of its major suppliers for the first time, revealing some big name companies such as Intel and Nvidia who both produce chips for Apple’s Macintosh range of computers. Furthermore, Samsung Electronics, Toshiba and Panasonic are listed as suppliers, although they are also major competitors in the same industry Apple operates in. Customer-country Features: In order for a company to remain successful in the market it operates in, it must appeal to, and satisfy the target customer.
As Apple was entitled to 40% of any revenue made by O2 customers using the iPhone, Apple essentially pleases customers through O2. Any loyalty bonuses or incentives handed out by O2, Apple takes a cut. Furthermore, Apple offers customers the chance to customise any product they buy in the Macintosh computer range, from internal memory size, to display monitor size. This gives the customer a sense of responsibility for their own product. They may also, personalise any product, be it an iPod or iPad, with engravings.
Apple attempts to get personal with the consumer, so they feel valued and remain loyal to the brand. A company’s mode of entry is the method they employ in order to gain access to a new, international market. In Apple’s case, they have exported, in this instance, to the UK, with the iPhone. This movement has meant Apple has increased in size on a global scale, launching stores all across the UK. It can sometimes be difficult for an overseas company to make an impact abroad, but given Apple’s reputation and status, it was inevitable that the UK population would welcome the company’s arrival.
By using O2, and their large customer base, Apple made sure of their entry into the market. Conclusion: In conclusion, Apple truly is an enormous global corporation that has been successful over a number of years, and has indeed managed to achieve global competitive advantage over its competitors. This is down to a number of reasons. Firstly, the strategies the company employs, such as the strategic use of suppliers in different parts of the world, such as China and Japan, allows them to stay ahead of rivals and consistently come up with new innovative products and ideas.
Secondly, Apple has a solid base upon which to build in its home country; America. The USA is a wealthy nation, with a highly skilled work force and the ability to train and teach workers too. This has helped greatly to propel them into foreign markets, ensuring they are not just successful on a domestic basis. Overall, Apple is a highly successful organisation that has shown how to be dominant in foreign and domestic markets, with their migration into the UK with O2. Perhaps the statistic that, at the end of June, 2011, the U.S Government had an operating cash balance of “$73. 8 billion”, while Apple had “$76. 2 billion in cash and marketing securities”.
Porter, Michael E. , “Competitive Advantage”. 1985, Ch. 1, pp 11-15. The Free Press. New York. Wray, R. (2007). O2 wins Apple iPhone deal – at a hefty price. Available: http://www. guardian. co. uk/technology/2007/sep/17/mobilephones. apple. Last accessed 3rd Mar 2012. Apple. (2012). Apple Suppliers 2011. Available: http://images. apple. com/supplierresponsibility/pdf/Apple_Supplier_List_2011. pdf.