10 May 2022


Apple Inc. Strategic Analysis: The BCG Matrix Analysis

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The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix adopts the market growth and share to determine business portfolio effectiveness and attractiveness (Jurevicius, 2013). Market growth or the BCG share Axes are defined by 4 types of business, defined as stars, question mark, cash cow, and dogs. 

Stars are the business portfolio units made up of a high market share within a growing market. Some businesses make high profits to curve the large market share within the market segment; however, depending on their product life span, the units may eventually lose the market share (Jurevicius, 2013). The stars at the point changes to another unit. 

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Question Mark, sometimes referred to as wilcats, or problem, are business units which have small market share, within the widening market. For question marks to become stars, a considerable market thinking and investment is necessary (Al-Laham & Huth, 2011). Question marks can turn productive or disruptive depending on the marketing strategies employed after their realization. 

Cash Cows are low growth products or business units in a portfolio with high market share in a mature market. The profit generated from Cash Cows can be ploughed back into business to rejuvenate it. Such funds are important in converting question mark into stars.

Dogs are business units in a portfolio with low shares and depreciating growth curve. Dogs are a killer to a business portfolio. Any company would like to possess very few dogs (Al-Laham & Huth, 2011). Dogs should be managed judiciously or sold off to improve cash flow. 

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix life starts with a Question Mark, and gradually develops into the market power, Star. When Stars business cycle ends, they become Cash Cow, at this point, the growth rate becomes slow. Under poor business strategies Cash Cows become Dogs. 

Apple Inc. has curved its market segment as a high end technology manufacture. Its relatively small product line make it easier to plot in the BCG matrix. 

Based on the unit market share, and not the dollar market share, Apple is the second smart phone provider, after sumsang. The company holds about half the marketshare, in comparison of Sumsang, presently the market leader. However, Apple is stronger based on a unit dollar market share (Kiprin, 2009).

Apple smartphones are on the growth phase cycle. As a result, they are plotted as half question mark and half star. However, if dollar market share has to be considered, Apple’s smartphones would become a Star. Based on the principle of relative market grow against market share, other apple products can easily be plotted in the matrix.

Apple MP3 market is declining due to the growing smartphone market. Despite the downward trend, the iPod is still categorized under a cash cow. The iPod has remained profitable irrespective of the limited inputs (Jurevicius, 2013). Presently, its profits can be reallocated to other products to boost them.

Apple computer brand is a Dog. It operates as mature market player, but only have a small market segment. It hold limited long term potential. The outcome would be limiting future investments. 

Most Apple products are closely interrelated since they are developed under the same operating system. As a result the PC sector is has some strategic value in regards to customers’ retention strategy. As a result, Apple cannot fully employ the BCG matrix strategy in the sector. 

Apple iPad is transiting from Star to Cash Cow, the market is maturing and Apple will need less investment in the area to realize its profitability (Al-Laham & Huth, 2011). The product has less completion in the market and has received a robust market reception. However, more input will be injected due to technological growth.


Al-Laham, A., & Huth, S. (2011). Strategic repositioning of Apple Inc. Fallstudien Zum Internationalen Management , 641-664. doi:10.1007/978-3-8349-6793-0_38

Jurevicius, O. (2013). BCG growth-share matrix. Retrieved from https://www.strategicmanagementinsight.com/tools/bcg-matrix-growth-share.html

Kiprin, B., (2009). Apple iPhone strategy . Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/bkiprin/apples-iphone-launch-marketing-strategy-analysis- 2858373

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