Which company can best compete with Apple in the mobile touchscreen device market?

Which device manufacturer can best compete with Apple?
Which device manufacturer can best compete with Apple?


The Summer 2013 Business Cluster students are charged with determining which company is strategically positioned to best rival Apple in the future in the area of mobile touchscreen devices, such as tablets and phones. This guide will help them you to do an external analysis which entails researching and analyzing the industry, market, and competition to identify the trends and key success factors.

Analyzing your company

The resources in this section will contain company financial information, SWOT analyses, stock/equity/analyst reports, financial ratios and comparisons, and more. Some resources in this section also give industry overviews and analyses.


  • OneSource is another fantastic resource for company and industry information.
  • It has company news, financials, SWOT analyses, ratio comparisons, peer analysis, stock reports and more.
  • I prefer the Freedonia Reports when looking at the U.S. industry, and the BMI reports when looking at international markets.
  • For company info, simply search for your company.

S&P Net Advantage

  • S&P NetAdvantage is a key tool to use when researching this industry.
  • S&P NetAdvantage has an industry report for the “Computer Hardware” industry, which is updated every six months. This report will have information about phone and tablet manufacturers.
  • The industry reports can be very useful in performing a PEST analysis, particularly when addressing the “economic” area. To find these reports, click on the Industry Tab in NetAvantage, then select the industry in the drop-down menu. Be sure to look for the “downloadable company data” link on the left side of the page as well.
  • It has stock reports and company financials for major companies.
  • The Compustat Excel Analytics are great when analyzing companies. This video shows you how to find them.

Mergent Online

SEC Filings

The 10-k (annual SEC filings) for individual companies contain financial information for companies, as well as textual descriptions of business strategies, risk factors, competition, and more. Look in Part 1, Item 1 and Item 1A for this information in a company’s 10-K report. This is a great resource to use for understanding how companies define their business, risks, competitors, etc.

Value Line

  • Value Line, while a print resource, is a good place to find one-page snapshots of companies.
  • The Value Line report is very similar to a stock report, and includes forecast information as well for each company
  • Ask for Value Line at the 2nd Floor Service Desk in Alden Library.

Current news and events around the companies and industries

If you are looking for current news about your company and industry, these resources will save you time.


LexisNexis Academic

  • LexisNexis is a great source for company or industry news, company profiles, legal cases, financials, family trees, accounting publications, law journals, and more.
  • This is an especially good resource when looking for legal issues facing companies in the industry.

Analyzing your industry and market

The resources in this section have broad industry analyses and overviews. Bear in mind that touchscreen device (tablets/phones) manufacturing is often done by companies that make computes, electronics, and other products.


Faulkner's Advisory for IT Studies

Faulkner's Advisory for IT Studies (direct link) has technology reports that cover the industry, trends, and forecasts. A great resource for this particular project.

Plunkett Research

  • Plunkett Research has a section for Games, Apps, and Social Media, where you can find Market Research and Statistics.


  • IbisWorld is a good place to get broad industry analysis on computer manufacturing, wireless telephone and data services, computer software, and other broad industries in which Apple and its competitors operate.

First Research

  • First Research provides industry profiles on over 600 industry segments covering the competitive landscape, products, operations, technology finance, regulation, and more.
  • Simply search for “mobile ” to get some excellent reports such as “Mobile Telecommunications Equipment Manufacturing”

Passport GMID

  • Passport GMID has an excellent reports that addresses industry growth, competitive environment, buyers, suppliers, bargaining power, and more. To get to the reports, use the industry browse tab to look for Consumer Electronics.
  • Also be sure to Consumer Lifestyles section under the “Countries and Consumers” tab.
  • Passport GMID also offers essential macroeconomic information that can be really useful in performing a PEST analysis. This video shows you how to find information from GMID that addresses the broad Political, Economic, Social, and Technological trends affecting industries. This video shows you how to find information from Passport GMID for your PEST analysis.

Mintel Oxygen

  • Mintel Oxygen is an excellent source for market research reports pertaining to this industry. Simply browse in the “Technology” category to find reports on Mobile Phones, Digital Trends, Mobile Apps, Mobile Phones and Table Accessories, and more.


  • Use Statista to find interesting statistics, facts, and figures about the mobile device industry.
  • Simply search for the company or brand name to find relevant statistics and reports.
  • Be sure to check out the relevant Statista Dossiers (found under reports) for various companies and products/markets.

Finding Trade Press and News

The resources in this section can help you find information from trade publications and journals within the industry. Since these publications are often written by industry insiders, they can give you great information for understanding the companies and industry.


Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete has a lot of useful information that can take your research to the next level. I have it listed here last not because it is the least important, but because I would us articles and reports from Business Source Complete to fill in the gaps of your research. You will find Industry Profiles and Trade Publications that can enhance the broad coverage of other industry reports.

Computers & Applied Sciences Complete

While Computers & Applied Sciences Complete (direct link) may look identical to Business Source Complete, it indexes different publications. For this project, many of the more computer and tech-focused publications may be of great help.


Related Topics: Business Cluster, Class Guides