Vertical and horizontal integration are big factors in the market structure of the computer hardware industry. Vertical integration is common control of firms up and down the production chain. Horizontal integration is common control of firms in the same stage of the production chain. Apple Inc. is horizontally integrated in the transmission/distribution portion of the productions chain. The corporation manufactures not only computers and operating systems but handheld devices, such as the iPod and the iPhone. It is also vertically integrated. Not only does Apple Inc. produce the devices in which to manipulate software, it also owns online stores in which to purchase music and TV shows, iTunes. It also owns the microprocessor company, P.A. Semi.
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