What are Apple’s core competencies?

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What are Apple’s core competencies?

Core competencies allow a company to gain and sustain a competitive advantage, so what should Tim Cook do to extend Apple’s competitive advantage? Be specific.



Core competencies of any Organization are the assets or expertise which are rare, difficult to imitate, unique and valuable for customers. In this article, I will cover the core competencies of an IT related Organization Apple.
People love to buy the products of Apple despite of the high prices. The products Apple offers in the market are more valuable for the customer as compared to its prices due to the following reasons.

  • Apple invests heavily in research and development to make its products different from others.
  • Attractive design and simple usage attract people towards Apple Products.
  • All the Apple products are based on latest technology.
  • Apple Knows when and where to market its products.
  • Innovative and domain expert human resource.
  • When customer thinks about Apple the first things come in mind innovative and unique design.
  • Apple always utilizes the opportunity available in the IT Industry.
  • iPhone, Store, iPod and iPad has been doing well in terms customer acceptance, revenues and profits.

In summary, Apple products are unique so it’s difficult for competitors to imitate. Human resources are innovative and expert in different domain are rare in the market and latest use of technology, powerful architecture, attractive design, latest software’s and easy to use products are valuable and unique for the people.


Apple a revolutionary company in the minds of all variants of consumers having core competencies and competitive advantage.We will discuss these sources of Apple’s competitive advantage in this article.

Brand equity:

One major source of competitive advantage for Apple is brand equity. The company has built a very high level of trust in the market. It is known the most for its technology and great quality products. Its high-level popularity is a sign of a strong brand image and the reliability of its technology and technological products. Apple has always brought innovative products to the market that are unique and outstanding as well as very different from the rival products. Apart from technological innovation, its products are remarkable in terms of design and style. Millions around the world eagerly await new releases of iPhones and Macs. Nearly all of the products it has released until now have become major hits. However, both in terms of quality and innovation, Apple is considered matchless around the world. Its users are willing to pay a premium price for Apple products which is a sign of strong brand equity. Strong brand equity translates into higher equity and better sales and revenue. Today, Apple is the world’s leading technology company. However, its biggest asset is the trust, people place in its name.

Product Range :-

Apple has improved its product range a lot in recent years. A larger product range has translated into higher revenue and popularity. From Macbook to new versions of iPhones as well as Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac Mini, the brand has brought several technologically innovative and attractive looking products to the market. iPhone is the best selling product in the entire range of products Apple offers. Apart from that, iPads and MacBooks are also major sources of revenue for the brand. Its product and service range also includes iCloud, Apple Pay, digital content, and services. A large and hit product range is a leading source of competitive advantage for Apple.

Premium Pricing:-

While premium pricing can often become a weakness for a brand especially during times of economic fluctuations, it is a strength and a source of advantage for Apple. The company has maintained the image of a premium brand. It will not compromise on quality and technology. It is why Apple invests a large sum in research and development every year. Premium pricing has also helped it maintain a distinct image that is very different from competing brands like Microsoft, HP, Huawei, and Samsung. Premium pricing in the case of Apple could not become an impediment to growth which was because it never compromised on technology and product quality. Moreover, it has a distinct marketing strategy which has helped it retain the uniqueness of its brand and products. All of these factors have resulted in high-level popularity and sales. So, the premium pricing strategy of Apple is a source of competitive advantage for the brand.

Financial Performance:

Apple’s financial performance over the last several years has remained strong. While many industry analysts believed that its position s a technology brand was weakening, Apple made a strong comeback with its new iPhone, Mac, and iPad models. The result was a performance better than expectations. Apple’s revenue took a sharp jump in 2018 rising from 229.3 Billion dollars in 2017 to 265.6 Billion. iPhones were the largest source of revenue for Apple in 2018, fetching a total revenue of 164.9 Billion dollars. Services were another major profitable segment for the brand, fetching 39.75 Billion dollars in revenue. In this way, the financial performance of Apple as continued to strengthen over the past three years. This allows it strong leverage since the brand can invest more in R&D as well as marketing. In 2019, Apple’s revenue was less than 2018 mainly due to lower unit sales of iPhones.


Leadership is also a major strength of Apple. Since the time of Steve Jobs, the brand has benefitted from strong leadership. Jobs was a visionary leader and under his leadership, Apple saw a lot of growth and international expansion. Now, Tim Cook is leading Apple and he has made several strategic changes inside the company. However, Apple is also enjoying a lot of growth under his leadership. It is perfuming well financially and has also brought new products to the market. Apart from that Apple’s position has improved in other areas too including R&D as well as HRM. leadership can be a major source of competitive advantage and it has been proved in several cases including Starbucks, Microsoft, Google, Ford, and several more brands. In the case of Apple too, it has proved to be a distinct advantage.


The technology industry has grown highly competitive. Companies have to invest a lot in research and development to remain ahead of their competitors. Apple is known to be a highly innovative company right since its foundation. It has brought several innovative products including Mac OS, iOS, MacBooks, iPhones, iPads, iTunes, and others. In this way, it has brought an entire range of innovative products to the market that set itself apart from the competition. Research and development is primary driver of growth at Apple and in the entire technology industry. Apple invests a large sum each year in R&D. It invests 5% of its net sales each year in R&D. Its research and development costs rose to 14.24 Billion dollars in 2018 from 11.6 Billion dollars during the previous year. In just three years, its research and development costs have increased by more than 4 Billion dollars. The reason is a fast rise in Apple’s revenue as well as intense competition in the technology industry. However, Apple’s focus on research and innovation is also bearing great results. Its financial performance has grown strong and the brand is enjoying unprecedented growth.

Global Presence:-

Apple is a global company and operates in a very large number of countries throughout the globe. It manages its business mainly on a geographic basis. The reportable segments of Apple include the Americas, Europe, Greater China, Japan, and Rest of Asia Pacific. Americas includes both North and South America. Europe includes European countries, and apart from them India, the Middle East, and Africa. Greater China includes China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The rest of Asia Pacific includes Australia and other Asian countries that are not a part of Apple’s other reportable segments. Although the company sells similar hardware and software products and similar services in each of these segments, it manages each one separately. This is done to align with the location of the customers and distribution partners and the unique market dynamics of each geographic region. There are a few factors that are unique about each of these geographic segments including economic and social conditions and government regulation. the company’s presence in several countries leads to higher sales and revenue. Americas are the biggest source of revenue for the company followed by Europe and Greater China.

Customer loyalty:-

Customer loyalty can be a major advantage in the 21st century. Every brand works to retain its existing customers and to create customer loyalty. The technology industry is marked by intense competition. each brand is aggressive about grown and apart from marketing uses several more methods of customer engagement and retention. However, the premium quality of Apple products is a major strength that has helped it build strong customer loyalty. Its products enjoy a very high level of popularity despite their premium prices. iPhone, Mac, iPad, etc are quite popular and the Apple customers are highly loyal. They buy most of these products from Apple which is because of their inter compatibility as well. Apple’s Mac OS and iOS are not compatible with other bands. These products offer a distinct experience which is also a reason behind their popularity. Apple is a customer-centric brand and its customer orientation is also a reason that its customers love it so much.

Tim Cook Credits Apple’s Success to THREE Basic Principles

Tim Cook sits at the top of one the world’s most valuable and recognizable companies, but his decisions are powered by two simple things: a respect for Steve Jobs’s principles and a focus on consumers, if not people. In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, the Apple CEO discussed multiple ways he and Apple remain rooted in a vision of a brighter future–through people.

Here are three ways Apple has managed to excel–and you can too.

1. You don’t have to be first to succeed…

Cook identified the importance of the quality of user experience as one of Steve Jobs’s guiding principles–and one that Apple has continued to hail. While the phone maker’s products have been revolutionary, Cook noted that none of them were the first of its kind: the iPod was not the first MP3 player, the iPad wasn’t the first tablet.

“We invest for the long term,” Cook said to Businessweek. “We don’t feel an impatience to be first. It’s just not how we’re wired. Our thing is to be the best and to give the user something that really makes a difference in their lives.”

This idea extends to the HomePod, Cook said. Apple’s smart home speaker, unveiled last week at WWDC, comes after Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home, but Cook is banking on it being the best experience to justify the price tag of $349.

“It’s actually not about competing, from our point of view,” Cook said. “It’s about thinking through for the Apple user what thing will improve their lives.”

2. …But you do need to plan ahead.

Sure, Apple isn’t the first to come out with things like MP3 players or tablets. That doesn’t mean that the Silicon Valley tech giant doesn’t stay ahead of the pack. The company just recently revealed that it’s working on a self-driving car, and previously it had disclosed that augmented reality would be a key component in its iOS down the road. Cook explained further that his idea of staying ahead involved helping support the growth of different industries. By focusing Apple’s resources on, say, advanced manufacturing, he’s helping the company and the country.

Cook told Businessweek that he felt responsible for creating more jobs in the United States, and he offered the company’s recent $1 billion fund to boost advanced manufacturing as exhibit A. “Apple builds so many components here. That’s lost to a lot of people because they only look at the final ­assembly.” By helping improve the manufacturing process, the company (and the country), he says, can stay at the forefront of the industry. “we can do the most in advanced manufacturing.” Its first recipient, which got $200 million from the fund, is glass manufacturer, Corning.

3. Focus on (all of) your customers.

For a long time, Windows was the operating system of choice for many enterprises. Not anymore, Cook said, and that’s because of Apple’s acute focus on the consumer. Cook claims that most enterprises prefer the iOS system for mobile use, because of its user compatibility and the ability to connect to consumers directly. It’s about realizing what all consumers want and need–even enterprise customers, said Cook. “When you care about people’s happiness and productivity, you give them what brings out the best in them and their creativity,” he told Businessweek. “And if you give them a choice, they’ll say, ‘I want an iPhone’ or ‘I want a Mac.’ We think we can win a lot of corporate decisions at that level.”