Specifically, "IHS iSuppli believes the companies tapped to fulfill orders for advanced LCD displays over a two-year period may be LG Display, Sharp Corp. and Toshiba Mobile Display...[and] Apple laying claim to a major share of global output of IPS LCD and LTPS LCD panels could have implications for all competitors in the smartphone and tablet market. Apple's recent move to invest in suppliers and tie-up capacity, along with Samsung, which has pursued a similar strategy, "has left other OEMs to resort to other technologies when it comes to advanced displays, giving Apple...a huge edge in product differentiation in a highly competitive market," according to one analyst quoted in the article.
Over the years, a range of high-tech manufacturers have successfully created and deployed competitive strategies based in large part on overall supply chain design and related supply management models. Yet Apple, no doubt, has taken competitive supply chain moves a step further -- despite continued CSR challenges, as the recent headlines attest -- boxing in the competition by thwarting them from gaining capacity to the latest technology. Will others follow-up Apple's lead in industrial manufacturing and other sectors by attempting to shore-up supply and partner with suppliers in ways that can drive true competitive advantage? As they say where the cheese heads and packers fans roam unchecked: ubetcha. In fact, it's happening already. And we'll be sharing some of these commodity management and supply market strategies in more detail on Spend Matters in the coming months.
- Jason Busch