Microsoft is a diversified company, still primarily making money with its productivity Windows Office package, and over the years, it has bought several other businesses (like LinkedIn, Bing, and Xbox).
|Customer Segments||Consumer electronics, software, services||Software, cloud services, hardware||Both target consumers and businesses, offering a range of products and services.||Apple primarily focuses on consumer electronics, software, and services. Microsoft offers a wide array of software, cloud services, and hardware products targeting both consumers and enterprises.||Strong consumer electronics and software focus (Apple). Diverse software and cloud offerings (Microsoft).|
|Value Proposition||Innovative design, user experience, ecosystem||Software, productivity tools, cloud solutions||Both provide software solutions, but with different emphases.||Apple emphasizes innovative design, user experience, and its ecosystem (hardware, software, and services). Microsoft focuses on software, productivity tools, and cloud solutions, often integrating them to enhance business efficiency.||Ecosystem and user experience (Apple). Productivity and cloud solutions (Microsoft).|
|Channels||Apple Stores, online platforms, partnerships||Online platforms, channel partners, direct sales||Both use online platforms, partnerships, and direct sales channels for distribution.||Apple relies on its Apple Stores, online platforms, and partnerships for distribution. Microsoft leverages online platforms, channel partners, and direct sales to reach its target audience, particularly in the enterprise market.||Iconic retail presence and direct-to-consumer approach (Apple). Strong enterprise focus (Microsoft).|
|Customer Relationships||Retail experience, customer support||Customer support, licensing agreements||Both offer customer support but with different delivery methods.||Apple emphasizes the in-person retail experience, complemented by customer support. Microsoft provides customer support and maintains customer relationships through licensing agreements, particularly for its software products.||Iconic retail stores and personal support (Apple). Licensing agreements and software support (Microsoft).|
|Key Activities||Hardware design, software development||Software development, cloud infrastructure||Both involve software development activities but differ in focus.||Apple’s key activities include hardware design (for products like iPhones and Macs) and software development for its ecosystem. Microsoft’s activities revolve around software development, cloud infrastructure management, and services that cater to businesses and consumers.||Hardware design and ecosystem development (Apple). Cloud infrastructure and enterprise focus (Microsoft).|
|Key Resources||Design talent, manufacturing facilities||Software engineers, cloud infrastructure||Both rely on their core resources.||Apple’s key resources include design talent for product innovation and manufacturing facilities for hardware production. Microsoft’s resources are primarily software engineers and cloud infrastructure for delivering its suite of software and services.||Design innovation and manufacturing (Apple). Software expertise and cloud infrastructure (Microsoft).|
|Key Partnerships||App developers, suppliers, app ecosystem||OEMs, software developers, strategic alliances||Both collaborate with partners to enhance their offerings.||Apple partners with app developers, suppliers, and maintains a robust app ecosystem. Microsoft collaborates with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), software developers, and forms strategic alliances with other tech companies to expand its reach and integration across various platforms.||Strong app ecosystem and developer relationships (Apple). Extensive partnerships and integration (Microsoft).|
|Revenue Streams||Hardware sales, services, app sales||Software licensing, cloud services, hardware sales||Both generate revenue from hardware sales and services.||Apple generates revenue from hardware sales (e.g., iPhones, Macs), services (e.g., App Store, Apple Music), and app sales. Microsoft’s revenue streams include software licensing (e.g., Windows), cloud services (e.g., Azure), and hardware sales (e.g., Surface devices, Xbox).||Diverse revenue sources including services (Apple). Extensive software and cloud revenue (Microsoft).|
|Cost Structure||Manufacturing costs, R&D, marketing||R&D, cloud infrastructure, marketing||Both incur costs related to R&D, marketing, and infrastructure.||Apple’s cost structure includes manufacturing costs, extensive R&D investment, and marketing expenses for promoting its products and services. Microsoft’s cost structure comprises R&D expenses, cloud infrastructure maintenance, and marketing efforts for its software and cloud solutions.||Manufacturing and design costs (Apple). Cloud infrastructure and software development costs (Microsoft).|
Even though the company has been diversifying via an acquisition strategy by acquiring incredible assets like LinkedIn and GitHub.
In addition, in 2019 and then in 2022-23, Microsoft led a business partnership with OpenAI to integrate its technology within its core products, thus giving a second chance to its search engine Bing.
And by integrating AI into its browser, Edge, and its core products.
Apple primarily makes money by selling iPhones and other tech devices. Apple is less diversified, and it’s primarily a product company, more skewed toward software in the last few years.
Apple, managed to build the most valuable mobile business platform.
Both companies are tech giants with a dominant position in their own markets (Microsoft = Productivity, Apple = Smartphones).
- Diversified Business Model: Microsoft’s business spans a range of sectors, including productivity software (Office), cloud services (Azure), gaming (Xbox), professional networking (LinkedIn), and more.
- Revenue Breakdown: In 2021, Microsoft generated over $198 billion in revenues. Notable revenue sources include server products/cloud services ($67 billion), Office products/cloud services ($44.8 billion), and Windows ($24.7 billion).
- Acquisitions: Microsoft has strategically acquired companies like LinkedIn and GitHub to diversify its portfolio and expand its offerings.
- AI Integration: Microsoft has integrated AI technology into its products, such as Edge browser and core software, improving user experiences and functionality.
- OpenAI Partnership: Microsoft and OpenAI entered a commercial partnership in 2019, with Microsoft investing $1 billion. The partnership aims to leverage AI advancements in various products and services.
- Azure AI Supercomputer: Through the partnership, Microsoft is developing the Azure AI Supercomputer, enhancing its Azure Enterprise Platform and integrating OpenAI’s models into products like GitHub, Office, and Bing.
- Product and Service Model: Apple’s business is divided between hardware products (iPhone, Mac, iPad, wearables) and services (App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, etc.).
- Revenue Composition: In 2022, Apple generated over $394 billion in revenues. Notably, iPhone sales accounted for $205.5 billion, services generated $78.13 billion, and Mac, iPad, and accessories also contributed significantly.
- iPhone Dominance: Apple’s iPhone remains a primary revenue driver, contributing to a significant portion of its earnings.
- Valuable Mobile Platform: Apple has established itself as a leader in the mobile industry, creating an ecosystem of products and services that interconnect seamlessly.
- Focus on Software: While Apple is known for its hardware, it has been placing increasing emphasis on software and services, enhancing user experiences and expanding its offerings.
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