With the technological development, the demand in buying gadgets and many other technological devices has increased. Today many companies are fighting for the market share and the potential customers. The most powerful companies in the field of technology production are Apple Incorporation and Microsoft Incorporation. The major similarity in both is their will to obtain the leading position. Therefore, the paper examines both companies in terms of their main strengthens, weaknesses and competitive strategies.
Apple Competitive Strategies
Currently, Apple Incorporation is an American multinational corporation, which designs and manufactures electronics, software and personal computers. There are many factors that allowed Apple to be as successful as it is right now. The company`s main strength is the use of innovative technologies and approaches, due to which it has its own niche in the market. The company is known to be the one with the lowest debt among the others. Due to its technologies and professional staff, Apple has a controlled sales atmosphere. What is more, variety of products provides Apple with the numerous customers of different age groups. Thus, the company has much extended target market. Another advantage is that Apple`s products are easy and very comfortable to use. The invention of the iTunes Music Store also became one of the advantages (Lashinsky, 2011). The creation of iPod, especially the one with the Windows operational system access, became one of the most profitable inventions. Apple computers are the expert in the software development, and none of the electronic producers can compete with it. All these strengths have allowed the company to obtain one of the highest ranks of the annual profit. In addition, it has many prospects. The main opportunity of the company is its collaboration with other manufacturers. In addition, due to its big market share, the company has an ability to be expanded to other areas of the market. Currently, Apple develops the system of antivirus programs, which will be in demand due to the constant process of the invention of new viruses. The fast development of the Apple online store is very promising due to the fact that the number of computers sold online is increasing each year. The variety of products sold online will be one of the main opportunities in the future (Fisher, 1989).
>Apple Competitive Strategies
Apple was one of several successful companies that broke grounds assuming that the corporate culture should look like the organizational hierarchy. Initially, the company’s corporate strategy was opposition to the competitors` strategies. Apple did not want to follow the IBM default. The interesting fact is that Steve Jobs often walked around the office barefoot even after Apple became on the list of Fortune 500 companies. Thus, the main Apple`s strategy is to be unique and original. According to this, Apple has created the list of strategies to overcome competitors (Kim, 2012). Firstly, it is its marketing strategy, which include positioning, differentiation, USP (unique selling proposition), PR, advertising and other tricks helping to change the consumer `s consciousness about buying Apple products. Apple divides products into two types: for those who understand (and therefore are willing to pay for this “understanding”), and for those who think differently searching for comfort. Apple positions its products as elitist and branding. Due to this, the company sells the products at a higher price than if they were not positioned as the one of such category. Secondly, for a long time, Apple’s products were designed for a narrow circle or so-called “elite”. Historically, Apple has worked in a segment of “creative professionals”. Today, the company’s products are popular, because of their content creation, graphic design, publishing business, education and architectural design. In addition, the Apple customers are people who think differently. Due to this strategy, Apple has been a developing company for the last thirty years. It is moving into the premium segment of the computer market (Lashinsky, 2011).
Microsoft Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis
Microsoft is also not the last company in producing technologies. As for now, it is the major competitor to Apple. According to the report for 2012, Microsoft has got the profit of $73,7 billion during 2012. The major company`s goal is the constantly increasing profit. In addition, Microsoft market share has dramatically increased within the preceding year. With the increased market share, the process of increasing productivity can be observed. The great example for this can be Microsoft Office Pack, which is developed each year. This product has 2/3 of the general profit of the company as it is installed in the offices, universities, hospitals and many other organizations. Microsoft from year to year demonstrates its increased capacities of the organizations. It not only establishes new products, but also increases the amount of its offices all over the world. It designs and manufactures the product and technology, which are updated to the needs of the society. Its Windows 7 has become the most rentable pack in the world. Finally, Microsoft is very good at working with customers. Due to its online resources everyone has the possibility to read the details about the particular product or to ask about it in online support (Cope, 1996).
It is obvious that the company has perfectly set goals, sticks to the chosen direction, grabs the market (80% of sales of operating systems in the world falls to Microsoft) and capitally controls the shareholder (the state of Bill Gates currently estimated at more than 85 billion dollars). A remarkable episode in the annual meeting of the largest partners of Microsoft, engaged the products sales (Hormby, 2006).
To conclude, the major company`s strengthens are a very good reputation in the market, large market share, good staff, secret technology, good advertising, and its product. The main weaknesses are the unfinished products, relatively low wages (65% of the average) and monopoly (Hormby, 2006).
Microsoft Competitive Strategies
The main strategy that the company follows is monopoly. The company is dictating its terms to the market and the consumer. Secondly, another competitive strategy is the aggressive advertising policy. The aim of it is to convince the consumer that the product manufactured by the company, is exactly what the customer needs, and can fully meet his or her needs. The third step in Microsoft competitive strategy is that Microsoft makes its own product standard. The result is that the lion’s share of the personal computers running on Microsoft operating systems and uses the software is only compatible with these operating systems. Consequently, the competitors produce the software that is compatible with the Microsoft operating systems. In addition, it is quite naturally that the competitors cannot compete with Microsoft, because the software codes used for writing operating systems are kept in secret (Cope, 1996).
To conclude, both companies have their own strengths and weaknesses. As a perfect competitor, Apple has set high prices and managed to make people interested in paying for its unique products. Apple has brand loyalty and sustainable increase in its market share. Microsoft is oriented on the majority of people. Its products are usually accessible to people of all the layers of the society. In addition, Microsoft focuses on the corporations. The main Apple`s opportunity for the future development is the collaboration with the other companies. In addition, due to its big market share, the company has the ability to be expanded. Finally, the differentiation of products sold online will be one of the opportunities in the future. Microsoft is gaining the best position in the market with an existing product. The company develops and markets those products that have the potential to develop new products, expanding through the production of technologically related products and find new markets.
However, recently it can be observed the tendency to similarity in Apple and Microsoft strategies. Today Microsoft`s main strategy is aimed to find the particular customer for the particular product. If few years ago, Microsoft has produced easy to use devises for cheap, now its aim is to develop the better devices and for better price. This strategy is similar to Apple`s. However, Apple has implemented Microsoft ideas in its further development too. For example, Apple started to work on creating new techniques and approaches to their devices. Even though the companies have some weaknesses, they are very powerful, and are going to be developing in the future.