For this individual essay assignment, you are expected to explore the following topic in
global marketing and supply chain management:
In 2004, prior to the introduction of the iPhone, Apple Computer Corporation had
choices of sourcing the touch panel from suppliers including Sharp and TPK, which
of the latter, established in 2003, was a start-up. This was a crucial decision for
Apple since the touch screen was not only an important part of the iPhone’s cost but
also the key determinant for user experience. At last, Apple offered a sourcing
contract to TPK due to its patent multipoint touch screen technology, which later
becomes the main feature across Apple’s product line including iPads and iPods. On
one hand, there are benefits of pursuing low cost outsourcing by sourcing
from established suppliers (e.g., Sharp in the iPhone case) due to efficiency and
reliable considerations. On the other hand, adopting start-up (i.e., nascent
or relative less-known; for example, TPK in the iPhone case) suppliers, with higher
costs and lower reliability comparing to established suppliers, allows firms to exploit
new business opportunities and hence enhance knowledge acquisition.
Discuss the role of start-up suppliers in sourcing decisions for entrepreneurial supply chains.
NB: Proper referencing of your work and originality will be rewarded. Also note that
plagiarism is a serious offence.