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Two Competing Companies

Report on two companies and their related histories within the same line of business.

Pick two competing companies, one of which is successful in their line of business and one who hasn�t
been successful in recent years. Identify the role technology played in both companies. Your comparison
must thoroughly examine the entire role that technology has played. This should address the following

points for both companies:

Two Competing Companies

In the telecommunication industry, just like any other industry, technology is regarded as
a prerequisite factor to business success. Apple Inc and Toshiba are two of the main
telecommunication companies in the world. The rise in the need for more improvised devices by
the consumers give the companies need for technological advancement. It takes use of expertise
innovations to remain competitive in the industry. The more diverse and innovative a company is
the higher the chances of getting more income. Apple Inc has managed to increase its
profitability over the past five years while Toshiba Company has had its net income reduce over
the years. Technological strategies employed by both companies have been the differentiating
factor regarding their success levels.
Role of technology
Technological capability is the knowledge and skills needed in the identification,
appraisal, utilization, and development of techniques required for business success. In this digital
era, innovation is essential for competitive sustainability. In business term, innovation means


Two Competing Companies
doing something differently concerning productivity, value, or quality by use of emerging or
already approved technologies in the world (Abid 2015). Recent technological innovations
including online shopping, digital marketing and communication, and social networking are
some of the technological changes that have largely affected telecommunication industry.
Effective business planning, marketing, and technological strategies have been employed by
leading companies in the industry.

Primary technology
Over the years, Apple Company has largely invested in technology and choosing
innovation to increase its market share, financial growth, and overall competitiveness. The
company has used technology to differentiate its products and reach out to more consumers. It
uses digital technology to gain a competitive edge through advertising and extensive promotions.
The company has differentiated its products by launching products such as iOS to maintain
consumer loyalty (Leo 2015). Its team of skilled personnel keeps changing the design and use of
its products according to consumer specifications. Apple’s primary technology is the production
of unique customized products. The products have an appeal that is specific to consumer needs
making the rivals unable to copy the products. Apple uses devices that use iOS while its rivals
use Google.
Toshiba Company pursues a competitive edge in the telecommunication industry by
offering diverse products in electronics, digital products, social infrastructure, and home
appliances. While its rivals mostly concentrate on intensive paper verticals such as legal and


Two Competing Companies
education, Toshiba has differentiated its innovative strategies by focusing on retail, logistics, and
manufacturing. Unlike Apple Company, which has a high market in cell phones, Toshiba is
widely known for its office printing devices and computers. The company’s primary technology
lies in POS systems which have essentially differentiated it from other market rivals. Toshiba
computers are known to be of high quality and also durable (Minita 2014). However, due to the
innovative changes on phones by companies such as Apple, computers are increasingly losing
their demand. Some phones produced by Apple have the substitute form of a computer, and their
portability makes their demand rise on computers.

Company strategies
Companies use either defensive or offensive strategy to compete in the market. A
defensive strategy is said to be reactive. A company develops a defensive strategy to protect its
market share, profitability, and position. An offensive strategy involves the use of aggressive and
direct competition. Companies that rely on aggressive strategy invest highly in research and
development and technological innovation.
Apple has used both defensive and offensive competitive strategies in some ways.
Through the application of information technology, the company used advertising to campaign
for its PC and highlighted the product features which in essence made the products made by
other rivals inferior. The result was an increase in competition edge for Apple and an increase in
revenue. The campaign was made after other rival companies introduced their products but
Apple strategized by increasing its product features to curb the competition.


Two Competing Companies
Another use of defensive strategy by Apple was in the introduction of iOS. The
introduction of a new product is a defensive strategy that if well utilized can lead to optimization
of the competitive edge by the resulting company. Through the use of media, the company was
able to launch the devices and attract a substantial number of loyal customers. The devices are
not only appealing to consumers but are one in a kind. They are not found in any other outlet
apart from the Apple stores, and this gives Apple an upper hand until the competitors can copy
the design (Leo 2015). The launch of new products that are custom-made has seen the share
value of Apple rise above the industry average.
On the other hand, Toshiba has applied defensive strategies through extensive
advertisement of its products that are of high quality. Most consumers buy Toshiba products due
to their appeal and quality. Another way the company has hedged the competition through
defensive strategies is lowering of its product prices compared to its rival Apple. Low price for
its products and consistent quality has enabled Toshiba products to remain in the market for a
long time.
Toshiba has tried to increase its market share by trying to reach out to specific operating
sites that the real users are. The company has tried to establish a market in retail stores,
warehouses, factory floors, and distribution centers. The company applies information
technology in the diversification of its market to the four operational stores. Through E-
commerce, the company has been able to establish a relationship with more customers in the
retail and distribution industry. The result has been increasing in sales revenue which and an
improvement in profitability.


Two Competing Companies
Being a market leader in POS system, Toshiba Tec has used its global awareness to
enhance its operations. The company has used technology in inventing a paper re-using system
which allows toner to be printed on and erased from the temporary papers (Minato 2014). The
re-using system enables customers to recycle papers and save on operational costs. Since most
businesses are focused on increasing profits at a reduced cost, the invention of the re-using
system was a good initiative that captivated the users. The product was uniquely designed and
penetrated a new niche in the market for the company. The new technology in printing business
led to an increase in revenue for Toshiba Company.
Toshiba has used technology to social responsibility. In 2013, the company was able to
launch MFP system that can be used together with the re-usable paper. Use of the MFP system
saves customers cost as well as avoid degradation of the environment. The system also enables
power saving and print management. The strategy is both offensive and defensive. It is defensive
since it’s a new product in the telecommunication industry and offensive as it renders
competitor’s devices less attractive to the consumers.
Companies employ a specific strategy to increase their competitive edge. Use of
defensive and offensive strategies by Apple and Toshiba through the launch of new products and
product features intensifies the competition in the industry and makes less competitive company
go out of business. Also, the strategies lead to more product differentiation, price wars, and
increase in product quality. Consumers are always the beneficiaries in either of the strategies
(David 2014). The strategies have heightened the competition in the telecommunication


Two Competing Companies
industries, and more capital is being set aside for research, development and technological
From the strategies employed by both Apple and Toshiba, it is clear that technology has
been paramount ensuring their survival in the telecommunication industry. Though both of the
companies have been highly innovative, Apple Company stands out due to its advancement in
recent technological trends that are attractive to modern users. Consumers have increased their
demand for telecommunication devices that are multi-purpose, and Apple Company has been
able to satisfy them. Toshiba success rate has reduced in the past years since it hasn’t been able
to adapt to the new products provided in the telecommunication industry. Although it has
technologically been able to differentiate its products, it has been outdone by Apple in
A company maximizes its competition through the use of both external innovation and
internal innovation. External innovation is applied to the product and the outer market while
internal innovation comprises of changes in the internal structure of an organization (David
2014). Apple and Toshiba both used information technology to make changes to their business
processes to cut costs, increase product quality and efficiency, as well as increase customer
Instead of increasing production capacity and storing inventory in the production houses,
Toshiba merged with other retail outlets and distribution centers to decrease customer delivery
time and stock holding time. Apple innovated its internal functions by the production of custom
made devices and incorporation of customers and experts in the design of its products. The


Two Competing Companies
company also maximized vertical integration of its internal processes to cut costs and improve on
The role of management in the incorporation of the internal innovations was to ensure all
the departments were integrated, and every member of staff was focused on the goals of the
organization. The management also ensured employees are motivated by giving them the
freedom to express their views on innovations as well as give advice on how they would like the
company to be run. Expertise skills were needed in making the innovations, and it was the
management role to recruit competent staff for the jobs and merge the needs of the shareholders
to the strategies.
Effective competitive edge is realized through the application of both defensive and
offensive strategies in a controlled manner. Since the telecommunication industry is rapidly
changing, it requires the players to remain alert for new changes and means to outdo its rivals.
Apple Company has established a niche in the telecommunication industry through the
application of various technological strategies. The company has widely relied on digital and
information technology to differentiate its products and launch unique products. Through
extensive campaigns and advertisements in the media, the management of Apple Company has
been able to reach out to customers and produce products that are appealing to the market
(Laudon 2016). The company has taken advantage of its brand name to launch new products that
have increased its sustainable competitive edge.
Toshiba has applied technology by diversifying its products. The company which is
mostly known for the provision of office printing services invented Barcode printers which
provide multiple purposes to the consumer. MFP and re-usable paper systems are some of other


Two Competing Companies
technological innovations that Toshiba Tec has applied to bridge the competition gap. The
products are cost saving and environmentally friendly (Minato 2014).
The strategies employed by each company were different but effective as per the goal of
each organization. Since the two companies are in the telecommunication industry, it is clear that
Apple is more aggressive in its innovations, and that’s why it has a higher market share than
Toshiba. Though Toshiba has a wider product base, Apple’s revenue is high due to the high
demand of its products compared to Toshiba.
Since competitors wait for a innovation so as to improvise and outdo the original
inventor, Apple should maximize on its unique products by ensuring the products offer
comprehensive satisfaction to the customers and also ensure it keeps introducing new products.
The company highly depends on iPhone, which is a weakness that can be exploited by
competitors. On the other hand, Toshiba should focus on how to improvise its products to fit the
demand of the consumers, especially in the digital sector.
Though Apple and Toshiba are in the telecommunication industry, their differing
strategies have bridged their profitability gap. Apple offers unique products that are appealing to
the consumers through the use of information technology. Extensive advertisement in the new
media platforms has increased the company’s market share and profits. Toshiba heavily relies on
office printing devices and computers which gave Apple the opportunity to launch new products
and take over the market. Technology is paramount to the success of any company especially in
the modern digital world (Laudon 2016).


Two Competing Companies

Abid Butt (2015). The role of information technology in business success.
David Ingram (2014). Information technology for business success.

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