Role of Capabilities


strategy, capabilities, core competencies

Review the activity below or download the PDF student worksheet

Student Worksheet: Role of Capabilities

External Link to the source article on Apple’s Strategy: The Innovative Success that is Apple

Student Discussion Activity

The following points are Apple’s own description of aspects of their corporate strategy, as presented in one of their public documents. Review the points in order to identify the role of their strategic capabilities.  

 Aspects of Apple’s corporate strategy, in their own words:

  • The Company’s business strategy leverages its unique ability to design and develop its own operating systems, hardware, application software, and services to provide its customers new products and solutions with superior ease-of-use, seamless integration, and innovative design.
  • As part of its strategy, the Company continues to expand its platform for the discovery and delivery of third-party digital content and applications.
  • The Company’s strategy also includes expanding its distribution network to effectively reach more customers and provide them with a high-quality sales and post-sales support experience.
  • To remain competitive, the Company believes that continual investment in research and development and marketing and advertising is critical to the development and sale of innovative products and technologies.

Student Discussion Questions

  1. In your own words, how would you describe ‘capabilities’, (in a strategic sense)?
  2. From a review of the above information, plus your own knowledge of Apple, what capabilities do they have in the marketplace?
  3. How easy/difficult is it for Apple’s competitors to copy/duplicate these particular capabilities?
  4. Therefore, what competitive advantages can a firm gain from developing its capabilities?

Related Activities

Apple and Core Competencies

Apple’s Mission Statement