Apple: Failure or Success?

Photo by mbiebusch

iPad’s Brief Marketing Strategy 

The Apple Newton, PDA and Netbooks are examples of how hard it is to introduce a new product to the market. On April 3, 2010, and in the midst of the US recession, Apple announced the introduction of the iPad, and due to its innovative approach, Apple held the upper hand in this market until a new competing product appeared the block.

Even if the research is done properly, there is a high chance that the introduced product will negatively impact your investment because late movers into the technology could copy the product features. After the iPad’s release many other competitors released their own tablets with Motorola being the main competitor with the launch of the Xoom in February 2001. However, Apple had already created a buzz about the iPad 2 to be released in the first quarter of 2011 and by doing so, was able to effectively manipulate customers to remain loyal to their products. Customers were not willing to spend money on a product, the Xoom, that was soon to be outdated by the upgraded Apple version and when the iPad 2 was finally released, the Xoom was no longer the novel product.

Five Reasons Why the iPad 2 Was Successful

Newer is Better: It is evident that there are many consumers who wait to purchase the upgraded version of a certain product that has previously taken the market by storm, and for those consumers, there is an opportunity to purchase an iPad that is superior to others on the market, due to improved upgrades and new features. The new features of the tablet address many of the complaints about the original iPad. Maybe the add-ons aren’t a huge leap forward for the iPad 2 but the perception that “Newer is Better” is almost always effective.

Greater Retail Availability: In the United States, there was only one place you could buy the iPad: at an Apple Store but as time went by, Apple contemplated more options for greater market reach. Subsequently, Apple collaborated with, and incorporated their products into the following shops: AT&T, Verizon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and Sam’s Club and thus availability grew dramatically.  The iPad 2 will only see a two week delay before it starts appearing in overseas markets and instant availability in stores may make the iPad 2 even more of an impulse buy for consumers.

FaceTime: FaceTime on the iPhone 4 was a success for the product, but the 3.5” screen was impractical, as compared to the iPad 2’s 9.7” screen, to make a FaceTime call to “Daddy” in Afghanistan. Compared to Skype, Google chat and other similar software, FaceTime is really easy to use and its portability on a large screen device like the iPad 2 makes it even more attractive to buyers. All of this became possible because Apple positioned its iPad so expertly in the market that it stimulated demand from a variety of different buyers.

Competition? With the release of the iPad 2, and as mentioned previously, many of the products in-line for direct competition with the iPad are now obsolete and not qualified to compete with the upgraded iPad 2. Apple has always implemented a cutting-edge technology that is user friendly and easy to use. It would therefore not be wrong to state that Apple obliterated all opposition by stressing on these unique features.

Apps Make the Device: Basically, “No Apps, No Sale” and the iPad 2 has around 65, 000 applications which can be downloaded. The Xoom on the other hand, has a ‘whopping’ 16 apps, and most of those are smartphone versions that have been adapted to the big screen.  As for the other competitors, HP’s TouchPad and BlackBerry’s PlayBook, currently have no apps.

Apple: The Marketing Mix and its 5 P’s

Product: Apple’s products include the following: portable computers (including Mac products such as Mac Book Pro, iMac, MacBook Air and Mac Mini), servers (Xserve), accessories, Wi-Fi based stations, software (including Developer Connection, Mac Programmes and iPhone Programmes), iPod, iPhone, iTunes and peripheral products (including printers, storage devices, digital videos and cameras)

Price: Apple’s pricing strategy is adaptable to customer’s needs. If the customers require a decrease in prices, then Apple has the capacity to do so, similarly to what happened with the iPhone in 2007 and also iTunes. Prices of Apple products are as follows; The Apple iPad 2 is priced at a minimum of $499; iPhone 4, $199; iPod Classic, $249; iPod Nano, $149; Mac Book, $999; Mac Book Pro, $1199, and the Apple Quicktime Pro for Windows is priced at $29.99. The price is designed to appeal to upscale buyers throughout the world.

Place:  Apple sells most of its products through exclusive Apple stores, which are virtual communication centres where information is exchanged between the company and prospective buyers. Consumers can access information about the products and in return Apple gains valuable consumer inputs for further improvements to the products. Furthermore, iTunes is utilised as a valuable tool to advertise Apple products in order to promote consumer awareness and, ultimately, purchase of goods.

Promotions: Refurbished MacIntosh computers, iPod Nanos and the 8GB iPod Touch are all suspected to be offered by Apple Inc at a lower price to standard. In each case a one-year warranty is included on the product and customers can locate nearby certified Mac product consultants in the US, Canada and a number of international locations via search tools provided by the Apple Consultants Network in order to get faulty products fixed under warranty.  Apple has same product positioning and same brand image rights throughout the world. As aforementioned, all Apple products are promoted and positioned to appeal to a niche market. This is primarily implemented through exclusive Apple stores, which provide an array of information to potential buyers. In addition, iTunes is popular amongst the prospective buyers and is able to assist them through answering queries about different Apple products.

People:  Stephen Jobs was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the executive board of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs died on October 6, 2011, leaving his legacy in the hands of Tim Cooks who became the new Apple CEO. Non-executive board directors include William V. Cambell, Milliard S. Drexler, Albert Gore and Author D Levinson.

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