Businessweek provides a very interesting look behind Apple's supply chain and how they have managed to fine tune their operations into a competitive advantage.
According to more than a dozen interviews with former employees, executives at suppliers, and management experts familiar with the company’s operations, Apple has built a closed ecosystem where it exerts control over nearly every piece of the supply chain, from design to retail store.
Apple's well known to be a master at operations with much of that credit going to now CEO Tim Cook. Businessweek's profile gives many examples of how Apple has managed to stay ahead of the competition, with much of it being the ability to predict needs and also secure the necessary pieces by exercising their enormous $81 billion cash hoard.
Even as far back as the launch of the Bondi blue iMac in the late 90s, Apple's Steve Jobs paid $50 million to buy up all available holiday air freight space at a time when most of its competitors were shipping by sea. This reportedly handicapped rivals such as Compaq who later wanted to book air transport.
Similarly for both the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 launch, Apple bought up so many suppliers and machines needed for assembly, they squeezed out the competition who needed the same resources.
The tactic ensures availability and low prices for Apple—and sometimes limits the options for everyone else. Before the release of the iPhone 4 in June 2010, rivals such as HTC couldn’t buy as many screens as they needed because manufacturers were busy filling Apple orders, according to a former manager at HTC.
Apple's level of efficiency and control extends into launch day where factories work for weeks building hundreds of thousands of devices. Electronic monitors are placed in part boxes to discourage leaks and completed products shipped in non-descript boxes to avoid detection. Even in their retail stores, they can monitor demand by the hour and make supply chain adjustments as necessary.
Apple changed the strategy for iOS 17 later in its development process to add several new features, suggesting that the update may be more significant than previously thought, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports.
In January, Gurman said that iOS 17 could be a less significant update than iPhone updates in previous years due to the company's intense focus on its long-awaited mixed-reality...
Following nearly six weeks of beta testing, iOS 16.4 is expected to be released to the public as soon as this week. The software update includes a handful of new features and changes for the iPhone 8 and newer. To install an iOS update, open the Settings app on the iPhone, tap General → Software Update, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Below, we have recapped eight new features and...
Some Apple employees are concerned about the usefulness and price point of the company's upcoming mixed-reality headset, The New York Times reports.
Apple headset concept by David Lewis and Marcus Kane Initial enthusiasm around the device at the company has apparently become skepticism, according to eight current and former Apple employees speaking to The New York Times. The change of tone...
Apple today released iOS 16.4, the fourth major update to the iOS 16 operating system that initially came out last September. iOS 16.4 comes two months after the launch of iOS 16.3, an update that added Security Keys for Apple ID.
iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. It can take a few minutes...
Apple showcased its mixed-reality headset to the company's top 100 executives in the Steve Jobs Theater last week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that the "momentous gathering" is a "key milestone" ahead of the headset's public announcement planned for June. The event was intended to rally Apple's top members of...
We're still almost six months away from the official unveiling of the iPhone 15 lineup, but it seems like every day we're learning more about what to expect from the next-generation models. Notably, this week gave us our clearest look yet at what appear to be some changes for the volume and mute control hardware.
iOS 16.4 and associated releases are also right around the corner with some new ...
Apple today released tvOS 16.4, the fourth major point update to the tvOS 16 operating system that came out last September. Available for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, tvOS 16.4 comes two months following the release of tvOS 16.3.
The tvOS 16.4 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System > Software Update....
Top Rated Comments
rofl android fan of course
Tim is the man when it comes to supply chain mastery.
Being a follower has other advantages though: the game-changing concepts have already been done for you—and they’re the hard part. Just copy the big stuff, and innovate (or at least differ) in smaller ways :)
:D Imagine what Android would look like without Apple moving first and fast :D As an Android fan, you should thank Apple for 90% of your (positive) Android experience, and be glad you don’t have to find out what might have been!
(But I do hate when companies succeed on their own merits. Unfair! Apple should give money and opportunities away to companies that are less well-run.)