Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2012 (Revised August 2012)

Apple Inc. in 2012

by David B. Yoffie and Penelope Rossano


On October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs tragically died of cancer. The recently retired CEO of Apple Inc. was a legend: he had changed Apple from a company near bankruptcy to one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world. Moreover, he had revolutionized several industries in the process, including music, phones, and computer tablets. This case explores Steve Jobs' successes and the challenges facing his successor, Tim Cook. Could Cook continue to revitalize the Macintosh? With iPod sales declining for four straight years, would Cook be able to continue the iPhone's dominance of smartphones in the face of growing competition from companies such as Google and Samsung? Would Apple's newest creation, the iPad, continue to dominate the tablet market, or would new competitors, ranging from Amazon to Samsung, steal share and drive down profits? And could Apple thrive with Tim Cook rather than Steve Jobs at the helm?

Keywords: competition; market positioning; strategic planning; technology; computer industry; strategy implementation; consumer electronics; telecommunications; Hardware; Innovation and Invention; Competitive Strategy; Leadership; Product Positioning; Telecommunications Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Electronics Industry;


Yoffie, David B., and Penelope Rossano. "Apple Inc. in 2012." Harvard Business School Case 712-490, May 2012. (Revised August 2012.)