Read the attached article, “Apple Takes Aim at Wireless Phone Companies; Company’s new financing offer for iPhones challenges ties phone companies have to customers.” Use this information and other sources as needed to answer the following questions.
1. Identify and explain six factors in the macro environment that affect profitability in the smartphone industry. (6 points)
2. Identify and explain three competitive forces the pose a threat to Apple’s profitability in the smartphone industry. (3 points)
3. Are profits in the smartphone industry increasing or decreasing? Explain your answer using profitability or other financial ratios for the industry. Use the Hoovers Online database to answer this question. (3 points)
4. Apple’s strategic decision to sell iPhones directly to consumers seeks to reduce the threat of which competitive forces? Explain your answer using information from the article or other sources. (3 points)