The death of Jobs in 2011 has left Apple’s stakeholders, its many avid followers, and the business community in a state of uncertainty about the company’s future and its ability to sustain continuous innovation as it had under Jobs.
The dissertation aimed to examine the marketing strategy and related systems that are responsible for the success of Apple, Inc. since 1997. The objectives included an assessment of the fundamental changes in Apple under Steve Jobs, the marketing systems and corporate strategy supporting its most successful products, the analysis of Apple’s competitive strategy compared with that of Microsoft, its longest running and most important competitor, and an analysis of the likely prospects of the firm moving forward.
A review of academic literature was undertaken on market strategy and the related topics of strategic management and planning competitive strategy, innovation management and change management. Its purpose was to explore theoretical frameworks which may support an analysis of Apple’s case relating to these topics and market strategy in particular. The theories aided in the assessment of the secondary data gathered from reports and online sources dealing with Apple’s market performance in the period 1997 to 2011, with particular attention given to the market success of the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad in the period 2005 to 2011. Attention was focused on corporate strategy, specifically the Digital Lifestyle vision of Jobs which gave rise to the Digital Hub strategy in its innovation management.