Prepare an in-depth analysis of four case studies during the semester. Here are some guidelines: •This is an individual assessment, which is a part from your course score. It requires effort and critical thinking •Answer all the questions listed below f
Case Study 1: Apple Merging Technology, Business, and Entertainment
Why are data, information, business intelligence, and knowledge important to Apple? Give an example of each type in relation to the iPad.(1 Mark)
Explain how Apple achieved business success through the use of information, information technology, and people. (1 Mark)
Evaluate how Apple can gain business intelligence through the implementation of a customer relationship management system. (1 Mark) Case Study 1: Apple Merging Technology,Business, and EntertainmentThis might sound hard to believe, but a bitmore than a decade ago, Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy. Apple ComputerInc., now back from near oblivion, is blazing a trail through the digital worldwith innovation and creativity that has been missing from the company for thepast 20 years. The unique feature of Apple’s competitive advantages is that they come from customers and users,not Apple employees. That’s right; the company welcomes products created byconsumers to sell to consumers, a trend new to business.Capitalizing on the iPodWith millions of iPods in the hands ofconsumers, many people are finding ways to capitalize on the product. John Lincreated a prototype of a remote control for the iPod and took his prototype to Macworld,where he found success. A few months later, Lin’s company had Apple’sblessing and a commitment for shelf space in its retail stores. “This is howApple supports the iPod economy,” Lin said. In the iPod-dominated market,hundreds of companies have been inspired to develop more than 500accessories—everything from rechargers for the car to $1,500 Fendi bags. EricTong, vice president at Belkin, a cable and peripheral manufacturer, believesthat 75 percent of all iPod owners purchase at least one accessory—selling over30 million accessories to date. With most of the products priced between $10and $200, that puts the iPod economy well over $300 million and perhaps as highas $6 billion. Popular iPod accessories include:■ Altec Lansing Technologies—iPod speakers andrecharger dock ($150).■ Belkin—TuneCast mobile FM transmitter ($40).■ Etymotic Research—high-end earphones ($150).■ Griffin Technology—iTrip FM transmitter ($35).■ Kate Spade—Geneva faux-croc mini iPod holder($55).■ Apple—socks set in six colors: green, purple,blue, orange, pink, and gray ($29).■ Apple—digital camera connector ($29).Capitalizing on the iPhoneLooking at someone using an iPhone is aninteresting experience because there is a good chance they are not making aphone call. They could be doing a number of things from playing a game totrading stocks, watching a TV show, or even conducting business with a mobileversion of salesforce.com ’s customer-management software. In a brilliantstrategic move, Apple let outsiders offer software for the iPhone and in lessthan six months, more than 10,000 applications had been created. In fact, morethan 15,000 applications are available at its app store section of iTunes, andthey have been downloaded a total of 500 million times. Now, many of the iPhoneapps are available for the iPad. The iPhone and iPad app store market isgetting so huge relative to other smartphone markets that some developers arguethere is little point adapting applications for Google’s Android or any otheriPhone competitor. According to Jeff Holden, CEO of Pelago Inc., when hecreated his social networking company he fully intended to follow theconventional wisdom for how to build a sizable, fast-growing software company:Get your programs on as many platforms and devices as possible. But when hecrunched the numbers he came to an interesting business conclusion: The 13million iPhone owners had already downloaded more applications than the 1.1billion other cell phone owners! To entrepreneurs, developing a program for theiPhone automatically provides a significantly larger market—almost 94 timeslarger than its competitors. “Why would I ever build for anything but theiPhone?” Holden askedCapitalizing on the iPadApple’s latest release, the iPad, is alightweight, portable, tablet computer, similar to the iPhone, that allowscustomers to download applications, check email, and play music all at thetouch of a button. Both the iPhone and the iPad can multitask, allowingcustomers to read a web page while downloading email in the background overwireless networks. The arrival of the iPad brought a simultaneous expansion ofthe network of accessories. Because the iPad was designed with an exposedscreen and without a camera, separate keyboard, memory card slots, or expansionports, one might say it was specifically built for accessories. Many ownerswill modify it in some way, whether for mere decoration or hard-coreprotection. A few of the new accessories include:■ iPad Clear Armor screen protector—$35.■ iPad Antique book case cover—$40.■ iPad wireless keyboard—$99.■ iPad overcoat sleeve—$35.■ iPad Joule luxury stand—$130.Apple has consistently outperformed its keyrivals through the development of its MP3 player, the iPod, and continues tomake its products smaller and less expensive, while providing complementaryfeatures such as games and applications. For the iPhone, Apple developed aunique application called Siri, a voice-activation system that is capable ofrecognizing voice commands. Siri can perform all kinds of functions fromdialing a contact and creating an email to location services such as “Find myPhone,” ensuring lost phones are found quickly.Apple’s latest offering is a new servicecalled the iCloud. The iCloud has the ability to collect allof the content, including videos, photos, songs,books, etc., from customer devices such as iPods,iPads, and iPhones in one secure location in“the cloud.” Apple customers no longer have to worry about backing up theirapplications or data because everything is automatically uploaded and stored inthe iCloud when using an Apple device. In a fast-paced, technology-drivensector, with competitors quickly following suit, Apple is constantly pressuredto develop new products and product extensions. Luckily Apple stays ahead ofthe pack by focusing on the following key competitive advantages:■ Customer focus: Apple is driven by customer satisfaction andensures customers are deeplyinvolved in product development andapplication development.■ Resources and capabilities: Apple continues to invest heavily in researchand development to take advantage of new technologies, improved facilities, andcloud infrastructures.■ Strategic vision: Apple has a clear alignment of its vision,mission, and business leadership and goals.■ Branding: Apple is the leader in brand loyalty as it hasachieved cult status with its authenticproduct image.■ Quality focus: Apple has an outstanding commitment toquality.24
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