Comparison of Dell and Apple Inc

Dell Inc is a multinational company based in United States and is involved in development, repairing, selling computers and other related services and products. The company has an employment base of more than 103,250 employees. Apple Inc on the other hand is a multinational company involved in the same industry and is also located in United States. As at the end of last year, the company had 3,310 temporary employees and 72,900 permanent employees (Lüsted, 2012).

On PESTLE analysis, Dell has to apply different approaches when it comes to the legal environment. This also applies to Apple Inc because both companies operate in the global market. Legal requirements in one country are different from those of other countries. Adjustment in accordance to the regulations put forward is vital for both entities. Social factors affecting both companies tend to be the same. This includes consumers’ tastes and their cultural perspectives. Information Technology is being endorsed on a high rate. Both companies have established loyal consumers over the years of operation. However, the main difference that exists between the two companies under this perspective is the quality of their products. Apple is regarded to have more luxurious brands compared to Dell (Grady, 2009). The economic environment of both companies tends to be the same due to industry homogeneity. This environment is marred with competition from other companies. The main economic threat in the industry is software piracy which tends to reduce a company’s sales.

Both companies have corporate cultures that have been running the organizations over the years. For Dell, their corporate culture seems to involve all the employees of the organization. This is because they are aware of the activities being executed. However, the company has 18 levels of management, which tend to create a lot of bureaucracy when executing projects (Holzner, 2008). For Apple Inc, the corporate culture is quite different since most employees are not even aware of some products being developed until they are launched. Despite this, the management approach is quite better than the one in Dell since it tends to make work easier. On performance, both companies seem to doing great. This is because they have all been involved in profitable operations. However, Apple Inc is more profitable than Dell. For the third-quarter of 2013 fiscal year, Dell had revenue of $13.7 billion while Apple Inc had $35.3 billion worth of revenue (Morgan, 2013).

Dell and Apple seem to have similar aspects of promotional policies. Among the similarities is how both companies have endorsed advertisement as the main promotional strategy. The companies buy airtime on various media outlets under certain specifications. The advertisements should be aired during certain periods to target a given population. Apple also uses its symbol which is highly recognized for promotional purposes. It has also embarked on personal selling, something which Dell is not very aggressive with at the moment (Ignatiuk, 2012).

In both companies, strategic decision making is left to the top level management.  The companies have managers in every department, and they are responsible with the decision making process. However, the two companies vary in the decision making style used. Apple Inc uses an autocratic style while Dell uses a conceptual style. Under the autocratic style used in Apple, only a few individuals are involved in the decision making process. For Dell, several individuals are involved, but there are various lengthy steps involved (Tichy, 2009).

In recent times, both Apple and Dell have been trying to apply the participative management style. Under this approach, employees have the ability to make modifications to products that they deem not sufficient. However, this approach is experiencing more bureaucracies in Dell than at Apple Inc. on leadership style; Apple Inc uses the visionary approach. Under this approach, the leaders show the employees the direction, but do not provide the means of reaching there. It is up to the employees to become innovative (Tichy, 2009). Dell on the other hand uses the coaching approach whereby the leaders involved show the employees how they can improve and help in creating a connection between their goals and those of the company. Communication in both organizations is both direct and indirect. Direct involves face to face while indirect is through the designated company channels.

Apple Inc and Dell are using their SWOT tool in their operations. This is evident in that Apple is building on its strength of consumer loyalty by availing more offerings that will lock their customers. Dell is also building on its brand name to expand its operations. On weaknesses, Dell is increasing its retail locations since having few retail locations has been weakness to the company for some time. Apple on its part is searching for manufacturing solutions due to defect levels experienced with their new products (Lüsted, 2012).

There are certain change factors that might distort the functions bestowed on the management in both companies. For Apple, it would be an increase in the payment levels for employees working at the Foxconn plants. Apple had outsourced its services to this plant due to its cheaper costs. If the cost rises, Apple’s management will be coupled with a whole new function of trying to minimize the costs in another way, in order to retain the profits being enjoyed. For Dell, increased demand for smart phones would change the management functions because the company will see the need of changing its product line. Innovation will be given a priority since failure to do this would lead to extinction of the company (Ignatiuk, 2012).

External conditions that might affect the management of both companies include the change of legal aspects. Among them is the regulation of the carbon foot print that the companies are entitled to. If the current foot print requirement is minimal compared to the existing one, the management of both companies will be forced to change their production mechanisms. The product size would also be affected.



Grady, J. D. (2009). Apple Inc. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

Holzner, S. (2008). How Dell does it. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Ignatiuk, A. (2012). Analysis of Dell’s Business Strategy. München: GRIN Verlag GmbH.

Lüsted, M. A. (2012). Apple the company and its visionary founder, Steve Jobs. Minneapolis,        MN: ABDO Pub..

Morgan, S. (2013). 2013 third-quarter financials . Information Technology Industry8(7), 23.

Tichy, N. (2009). The Leadership Engine: How Winning Companies Build Leaders at E. New       York: HarperCollins.