The marketing strategy of Apple Iphone 4 Introduction Over the past seven years, Apple has seen great success due to its imaginative and fresh way to do the business. Through continuous innovation, Apple has developed a series of exceptional products with imaginative design and style. Specifically, Apple has made its products popular among the customers through effective marketing strategy. To some extent, innovative marketing, and sleek and enticing communications is the primary reason for the success of Apple.
Therefore, it is of great significance for us to analyze the marketing strategy of Apple, so as to learn from the previous experience as well as find out the aspects that need improvement. The success of Apple over recent years is mainly contributed to its Iphone, the smart iPod, iTune, and Ipad s product combination, which is of both great hardware pieces, with great style, great software, great performance, user friendly interface, and with a good e-business service. The main aim of this essay is to critically analyze the marketing strategy of Apple Iphone 4. The essay is organized around three parts.
The first part discusses the current mix of Iphone 4 from four basic aspects (the product, price, place, and promotion) and three addition aspects (physical layout, provision of customer service, and processes of the marketing strategy). Following this, the second part analyses the competitive position of Iphone 4. In the end, the essay provides suggestion for the managers of Apple in the marketing department, pointing out both the aspects that should be maintained and those that should be improved based on the findings. Description and analysis of the current marketing mix
To understanding the marketing strategy of a company or a specific product, the 4Ps theory can be applied. Three other Ps can also be used to provide additional information: physical layout, provision of customer service, and processes of the marketing strategy. (1) Product To be successful, a product should be able to meet the needs of the customers. After developing the first generation of Iphone products in 2007, which had saw a great success, Apple is making continuous innovation and adds new features to Iphone 4 to meet the changing demands of the customers.
The most attractive feature of Iphone 4 is its FaceTime (The features of Iphone 4). It has been a dream that one day people can see the face of the people they miss through telephone, and Iphone 4 makes this dream into reality. People can communicate with the relatives and the friends like face-to-face just if they own the iphone 4. Iphone 4 has won great success due to this feature primarily because that people, especially those who are successful, are quite busy and may travel all over the world, so they have little time to meet their family or friends.
The iphone 4 enables these busy people to relieve their miss of the family or the friends. Besides, a face-to-face call is also more formal than the common telephones calls, as people can observe the expressions of others, making it easier to understand the true meaning of each other. Unique from other mobile phones, Iphone 4 is superior in its Retina display, which is the most vibrant, the sharpest, and the highest-resolution phone screen ever, with four times the pixel count of previous iPhone models (The features of Iphone 4).
In fact, the pixel density is so high that the human eye cannot distinguish individual pixels. Therefore, people can save the room and money of taking or purchasing a camera. With just a Iphone 4, people can take photos or video any time they like. In addition to these two unique functions, Iphone 4 also has all the functions of other mobile phones (The features of Iphone 4). What’s more, Iphone 4 supports the multitasks, which means that people can switch among different functions freely without lowering the speed. (2) Price Appropriate price is the basis for the success of a product.
The price should be set according to the positioning, the functions, the brand image, and the design of the products. Too high or too low a price can lead to the failure of a product. The official prices set by Apple for Iphone 4 are $199 for 16 GB and $299 for 32GB. In the foreign markets, however, the prices of iphone 4 are much higher than the official price set in the home country, as the product is quite popular but the quantity is small. Iphone 4 is positioned as the fastest, highest-resolution iPhone, so the prices can meet with the functions.
Besides, Iphone 4 is also a reflection of innovation, creativity, fads, and a symbol of status. Therefore, the price of Iphone is appropriate. (3) Place To gain the market share, a product should be able to be bought by the customers conveniently. Up to now, Apple Iphone 4 is widely accepted by people all over the world; therefore, Apple has also made the products available in many countries in the world. Apple chooses to cooperate with the operators in the host country so as to ensure the availability and normal operation of the products.
For example, in China, Apple Iphone 4 cooperates with Unicom, one of the three biggest telecom operators to guanrantee the service quality of Iphone 4. Besides, customers can also purchase an Iphone 4 directly on the website. (4) Promotion Effective promotion is important for enhancing the awareness of a product. Iphone 4 has used different channels to make the product known by the customers all over the world. First of all, Iphone 4 has quite a good portal for the consumers to learn about the product, where detailed information is provided for every aspects of the product.
In addition, on the website, Apple provides tricks and tips for using iPhone. the current website of Apple is a great tool for the marketing of Iphone 4, as the whole page is the picture of Iphone 4. Second, Apple has also designed an attractive advertisement on the TV set for the promotion of Iphone 4, with the claim “Finger clicks seafood location, and restaurant phone number displayed. iPhone dial’s (Iphone in business, 2010). Apple propagandizes that Iphone 4 is not only a phone, but a devices that can meet various demands of people.
Third, Apple also makes advertisement for Iphone 4 on newspapers and magazines, which also have a great number of audience. Besides, the advertisement of Iphone 4 can also be seen from other portals. (5) Physical layout, provision of customer service, and processes of the marketing strategy Physical layout, provision of customer service, and processes of the marketing strategy are also crucial to the effectiveness of the marketing strategy. To make Iphone 4 observed by the customers at the first glance, Apple tries to ensure that Iphone 4 has the best position among the competitors.
Besides, Apple also develops cooperative relationship with the distributors, the sellers, and the operators to make sure that the customers can get the best service during the process of purchasing and using the Iphone 4. Most importantly, the marketing process of Iphone 4 is carried out in clear order, so each time the launch of the product can attract the eyes of the customers (Iphone in business, 2010). Analysis of the competitive position In the 5 years from 2003 to 2008, the share value of Apple increased from $7. 5 to $180 per share, over 25 times. In January 2010 Apple shares topped the $210 mark.
The share prices can reflect the competitive position of a company from one aspect. In this part, the essay will analyze the competitive position of Apple Iphone 4, which is one of the most important products of Apple. At present, the Iphone 4 made by Apple is the representative of innovation, creativity, and fads in the mobile phone industry. The young and others who are in fun of the design and the style are proud of owning an Iphone 4. Actually, Iphone 4 has differentiated itself from the competitors due to its innovation, styles, and superior functions.
Consequently, it is taking the leading position in the high-end market. Compared with other three biggest competitors in the market, Nokia, Motorola, and Samsung, Apple Iphone 4 is aiming at different market segmentation, as it only aims to meet the demands of people who are crazy about innovation and designs. Another competitor of Apple Iphone 4 is blackberry, which is also a product full of innovation (Malley, 2007). However, blackberry is still far behind Apple Iphone 4 in terms of innovation and superior design. At present, Iphone 4 has received popularity in various countries in the world.
For example, in China, people have to make an order in advance for about one month to get an Iphone 4, as the supply cannot meet the huge market demands (iPhone 4 stockouts, 2010). What makes things a little disappointed is that the target customers of Apple at the beginning are the young, however, the relatively lower consumption power of these people lead to the fact that over 80% of them cannot afford purchasing an Iphone 4 (Iphone in business, 2010). Therefore, most of the products are purchased by the middle – age customers.
Although Iphone 4 has won the leading position in the high-end market which is characterized by innovation and superior design, the market share of Apple Iphone 4 is still quite small as its target market is focused and only a small proportion of the target market has become the real customers. In comparison, the three leading corporations in the mobile phone industry (Nokia, Motorola, and Samsung) provide a large variety of products which can meet the demands of various customers. therefore, they can take the majority of the market share.
At present, however, it is invisible for Apple to enlarge its productivity and provides lower-price products to meet the demands of the middle – end or low – end market, as this is incompatible with its brand image. The competitive advantage of Apple Iphone 4 is built on its strong capability of innovation, its superior design, and its scarcity which can represent the high status of the users. Based on the above analysis, it can be seen that Apple Iphone 4 is taking the leading position in the high – end market which is characterized by innovation and superior design (Iphone in business, 2010).
However, it should be noted that Apple Iphone does not take a large market share in the mobile phone market as its brand image and marketing position determines that it can only meet the demands of a specific target market, in which customers are crazy about products with great imagination and creativity, and have a relatively strong consumption power. Recommendations Based on the above analysis, it can be seen that the marketing strategy of Apple Iphone 4 at present is relatively effective. First of all, Iphone 4 has developed several superior functions and designs which can meet the demands of the customers.
Second, the prices of Iphone 4 are also consistent with its marketing position, functions, and design. Third, Apple has established cooperation relationship with the local operators and provided online sales to make it convenient for the customers to buy the products. At last, Apple has also combined various channels, including the TV, internet, and newspapers, to promote the Iphone 4. In addition, Apple also pays much attention to the layout of Iphone 4 and provides good services to the customers to facilitate the marketing process. In addition, the entire marketing process is carried out in clear order.
Although the marketing process of Apple Iphone 4 is effective in general, there is still some room for improvement. First of all, similar to other innovative product, the price of Iphone series producs decrease sharply after a short period of the introduction. For example, the initial price of Iphone 4 was set at $399 and decreased to $199 after a month. Consequently, the customers who purchase the product at the introduction period would feel that they are deceived, which may influence their loyalty and perception towards the product.
If this trend continues, people may wait for the decrease of the prices and don’t make the purchase when the new product of Apple is introduced into the market (Dalrymple, 2009) Therefore, in the future marketing process, the price of Iphone should not be set too high
References The features of Iphone 4, available at http://www. apple. com/iphone/features/, last accessed 8th, November, 2010 Dalrymple, J (2009, Sep, 11). Lessons learned from the iPhone price cuts. PCWorld, available at http://www. pcworld. om/article/137046/lessons_learned_from_the_iphone_price_cuts. html, last accessed 8th, November, 2010 Malley, A (2007, Jun, 6). Apple, AT;T neophytes to define iPhone audience – report Iphone in business, available at http://www. apple. com/iphone/business/profiles/sunbelt-rentals/, last accessed 8th, November, 2010 iPhone 4 stockouts: 60% of Apple Stores, 100% of the rest, 2010, http://tech. fortune. cnn. com/2010/06/28/iphone-4-stockouts-60-of-apple-stores-100-of-the-rest/, last accessed 8th, November, 2010