Case Analysis

1. What are the core strengths of Apple Computers? How have they supported Apple’s ability to capture value? 

2. Use Porter’s Five Forces framework to conduct a dynamic analysis of the personal computer industry by comparing its early days (the mid-1980s) to later (2006, the end of the case). How has the PC industry changed? 

3. What were Apple’s critical problems in the PC market?


(1) Think of your case analysis as a consulting assignment that you perform for the firm in the case. Thus, your audience for the case analysis is your client (an executive in the case firm), and your analysis should take the form of an executive briefing.

(2) The context of the case is firm and time-specific. Therefore, the exact situation and information presented in the case are essential. You can supplement the evidence in the case using external sources as long as they are relevant to the time and firm in the case. To further enhance your report, you can compare a specific situation of the firm in the case to any other firm in different contexts and times. You will need to carefully argue why that comparison is relevant, what can be learned, and identify some boundary conditions to that comparison. 

 (3) Do not summarize the case. The audience (your client, executives of the firm) is very familiar with the situation and requires further analysis beyond the information presented in the case. 

(4) Avoid laundry lists. Focus and organize your analysis with theories, frameworks, and concepts—whether from our class readings (assigned with this specific case or used in previous sessions), other classes, and lessons learned from personal experience. 

(5) Provide real analysis, not your opinion. 

 (6) The best structure for your case analyses depends on the particular issues raised in the case you analyze. I wrote assignment questions for each case. Those questions should be a starting point for your analysis. We will use appropriate theories, frameworks, and concepts to develop comprehensive answers to those issues during our case discussion in class. 

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