Please write a memo addressing the following question: 1. What is the breakeven for Microsoft when they develop a new computer operating system? 2. What is the breakeven for Apple? 3. What challenges does this raise for Apple? How have they overcome those challenges? 4. What are the sources of Apple’s competitive advantage? 5. How does Apple’s financial performance compare to rivals? 6. What does a DuPont formula analysis tell us? 7. What challenges does Apple face moving forward? 8. What moves should Apple consider moving forward?  9. Check stock performance of Apple and be prepared to discuss it.

Additional Historical Online Information and Questions:

10. One area where Apple’s differentiation strategy is apparent is in its approach to retail. See this video interview with Steve Jobs on CNBC on the opening of the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York City in 2006: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6BFhRkUJEI&mode=related&search=

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For fun viewing, here are links to the various Mac vs PC TV commercials, and the original “1984” Macintosh commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtvjbmoDx-I

How does Apple’s retail strategy support its overall approach to competitive strategy?


11. Here is a multimedia time line of Steve Jobs’ impact on Apple (contains a concise photographic overview of Apple’s product development): http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/01/22/technology/20090122_JOBS.html Many believe Steve Jobs is a true visionary leader: See Snell, J. “Steve Jobs on Mac’s 20th Anniversary.”


12. Here is video containing an analysis of Steve Jobs’ affect on Apple’s stock, reported in January of 2009:


How important, really, was Steve Jobs to Apple’s future?

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