iPhone Market Penetration
The world has continuously improved in terms of technology made possible through the constant penetration of new gadgets in the market. Just a year ago, Apple launched the latest mobile phone which is now commonly known as iPhone. Known for its competitive and incredible features, iPhone was able to dominate the communication industry and effortlessly gain brand recognition. Apple positioned the product as a 3G wireless technology which can be used for making calls and sending texts, browsing the net, and entertainment purposes.
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The introduction of this new gadget in the market created too much curiosity for the people. In fact, many people even waited for iPhone’s first day of launching in the market. The product constantly became famous and despite the existence of more affordable mobile phones from Apple’s direct competitors, many people still opted to buy the product. The new mobile phone was even recognized by Time Magazine as the Invention of the Year in spite of the critical evaluation and judgment statement of other people against it (“iPhone”).
Apparently, iPhone was successful in building product curiosity to the prospective customers prior to the launching of the product. This new mobile phone easily got the attention of the customers because of its unique style and more advanced features that cannot be seen in other mobile brands. The three in one feature of iPhone, being able to make call, entertain through music and videos, and make connection to web in just one gadget undeniably overwhelmed the people. Even though other cellular phone brands like Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung were able to introduce newly designed mobile gadgets, Apple was still able to entice the customers and convinced them to wait for the product launching of iPhone. The quick phasing of technology in the world today makes the people expect for a more advanced product that will better satisfy the needs and wants of the customers. As time goes by, mobile phones have also become a necessary device of people, not only for communication purposes but also to other aspects of people’s lives. The constant development of mobile phones opens the door of new and more improved technological gadgets that are capable of sending and receiving data in digital form.
At first, people use mobile phones only to make call and send messages. Suddenly, the new kinds of cellular phones in different brands that were released enabled the users to take pictures aside from using the mobile phone for communication purposes alone. Recording videos and playing games through mobile phones followed until the people are able to check their accounts online using their handsets. The changes are all very sudden and with the presence of various mobile brands in the market, the demand for new phones increased. In other words, people get used to these improvements and keep on purchasing mobile products in order keep pace with the developments in the technological field.
Obviously, this is what makes the iPhone a big hit in the market. Having all the qualities that people need in a mobile phone, iPhone successfully penetrated the communication industry. The idea of having a phone that can be connected to internet at anytime of the day, saving large files that can be brought anywhere, and enjoying other mobile phone attributes in just one device make iPhone a most awaited mobile gadget to be purchased. Aside from that, the thought of buying a phone that is being endorsed by famous celebrities is also one of the factors why the product created noise in the market even before it was introduced to the prospective buyers.
Advantages of the Apple’s Marketing Strategies
A neophyte product in the market is expected to have numerous advertisements and publicity before it is launched. However, Apple did the exact opposite. Unlike any brand, iPhone had not intensely advertised before it was introduced to the prospective buyers. In fact the company only released one ad teaser which features the famous actors and actresses while using the product. Moreover, the advertising agency that made the advertisement for the product did not even put the name of the brand; instead they only showed the picture of iPhone at the end of the promotion. Apparently, this technique was effective because many people who are fond of latest gadgets capable of buying an expensive handset became curious of this new innovation that is about to be introduced in the market. The mystery behind such innovative gadget was kept hidden until the company finally released the product and disclosed its attributes and added features.
The strategy done by the company in launching the product created curiosity to people who love to buy new gadgets. Furthermore, the company was able to keep all the information about the product from the direct competitors. Apple Inc. seemed careful in giving details about the product in order to avoid early competition and creative strategies of other mobile phone manufacturers.
Disadvantages of Apple’s Marketing Strategies
A new product in the market needs to be introduced in the market in order to gain brand awareness as well as brand recognition before it is finally released and ready to be sold to its target market. Surprisingly, Apple did not use this technique for their iPhone product. Through this technique, the brand awareness was somehow low during the time that the iPhone penetrated the market.
One of the problems of Apple in penetrating the communication industry is the lack of experience in handling business for mobile phones. The limited promotion for iPhone seemed to give more conflicts because the company was not able to establish a good rapport to its target market for the product. Aside from that, the implementation of a very high price somehow made the sale slow in contrast to what the company has anticipated before it was launched in the market. Apparently, the company failed to plan a perfect strategy for a competitive gadget that is expected to be ahead of the competition, gain an appropriate market share, and take an established position in the marketplace.
Proposed Marketing Strategy
Undeniably, Apple made a big mistake when the iPhone was launched to the market with limited exposure and a very expensive price. However, the iPhone still possessed the fact that its features are still more advanced than the competitors. Since iPhone can still be considered as new in the market, the company may still map a creative strategy to outwit the intense competition in the mobile phones market. Basically, Apple has been known in the market for producing technological gadgets; however the company had obviously failed in creating a creative plan in marketing iPhone. The improved mobile phone could be considered as another huge step to an advanced technological world, but the serious mistakes of Apple in penetrating the market could also be a bigger step to lose an opportunity of staying in the marketplace and giving chances to the competitors.
The product can penetrate other markets with another goals and objectives to be attained in order to change the views of people towards it. In other words, Apple can create new marketing strategies to persuade the customers to buy the product despite the existence of other innovative mobile brands in the market. Moreover, the company may change its marketing communication channel and segmentation so as to have an organized plan for the product. The company may still invade other market and gain the appropriate profit for it. Moreover, Apple can study and analyze the techniques and methods used by the direct competitors for a better marketing planning. This would help the company to get back the brand loyalty of the customers who used to buy Apple products in the past because the market easily changes behaviors for a certain product when problems occurred.
The idea of bringing the product to a wider market would be a risk for a certain manufacturing firm; however this would also lead to fast developments and easy attainment of the company’s goals and objectives. Since iPhone would be introduced in Europe and Asia, creative and strategic plans will be needed for two different continents. Apparently, there are many factors that the company has to consider in entering two different markets. Europe has been known as mature market when it comes to technological products, while Asia is a developing large market in terms of technology. These two markets have different segments to be considered and thorough marketing research should be done.
Penetrating European Market
Europe is considered as one of the giants in terms of technology. Apple would have a hard time marketing this continent because the features of the product that the company is endorsing are almost the same with the mobile phones that people could buy there. In other words, most of the people there are already using a 3G phone which is the unique selling proposition of iPhone. Aside from that, the Europeans already showed disappointment that the phone that will be distributed in Europe would be identical to the phones that are being sold in the U. S. market. It would mean having the same capabilities in media downloads and web browsing for U. S. and European wireless networks. Moreover, the prospective customers have decided that the materials used for making a 3G phone today are not enough to come with an advanced technological gadget. Furthermore, iPhone can be connected to internet regardless of its location because of Edge, a mobile technology that is used by AT&T which is an exclusive business partner of Apple in the Unites States for the product (Pfanner).
Basically, these facts already brought conflicts to the company and hassle to the marketing strategies for the product. However, Europe is one of the biggest contributors in market shares because most of the people in this continent are technologically acquainted. Therefore, the product like iPhone is worth penetrating its market because most of the mobile phone users there are always looking for a more improved and updated gadget. But due to the early conflicts of introducing the product to this market, the company seems to have a tougher time in persuading the Europeans to buy the product.
In this case, intense advertising and public relation may save the reputation of the company and make the product saleable in the market. Through creative concepts and well-organized marketing strategy, the company may still convince the customers to purchase the iPhone. The company should release advertisements and make press releases prior to the launching of the product in Europe in order to develop brand awareness before it is introduced in the market. The advertisements should highlight the benefits of having an iPhone rather than purchasing another brand. In other words, the company has to focus on the customers’ concerns in order to convince the prospective clients that the gadget is still more convenient unlike others. Apple may also make publicity which contains the details about the product along with the claim that the product is the first more advanced phone ever released. This idea may persuade the customers to buy the product because of its original concepts.
The company should also have a clear understanding of who will be their target market and the countries where the product would be introduced. By this, the company will be able to identify the proper concepts to be used for the promotion of the product. Aside from that, Apple needs to have price discrimination and develop pricing strategies in order to persuade the prospective customers to purchase the iPhone despite the existence of other 3G phones in the European market.
Penetrating Asian Market
Launching iPhone in Asia can also be very risky for the Apple Inc. because this continent is not as technologically advanced as Europe. The entry of 3G phone in Asian market would mean having to upgrade the mobile services. Having millions of users of mobile phones, Asia is known as the fastest growing market in the world. This market could be helpful in gaining market share for Apple because most of the people in Asia are fond of purchasing new gadgets, especially mobile phones. However, because of expertise of Asian to mobile phones, Apple may have some problems in terms of property rights in this continent. Apple product may be unlocked and the users can run any program without the permission of the company that manufactures the iPhones in the market. However, the company can be careful in distributing the product to its dealers and putting serial numbers to each product to avoid the said problem (Marquez). Since Asia is the biggest market in communication industry, this is where all the competitors meet and sell the mobile products. Most of the Asian countries are using mobile phones but this also means intense competition for any company who would like to fight the branding battle.
In catering to Asian countries, Apple also needs to advertise the product intensively in order to gain brand recognition within the target market. The company needs to apply strategic marketing plans in this continent different to what the plans that they have for Europe. It is because the culture, perceptions, and attitudes of the customers in Asia are different to the customers in Europe. Apple can endorse the product through all marketing channels, but the tri-media campaign such as television, radio, and print are the most effective channels in persuading the clients for this kind of product. Other mobile manufacturers are constantly releasing new designs with new features which would make it hard for the iPhone to be ahead of the competition. Furthermore, the price of the product may affect the behavior of the customers that would lead to the early decline stage of iPhone in the market. Therefore, the company should plan the pricing strategy to be able to meet the expected percentage of Asian population that would purchase the product.
Systematic marketing research and creative marketing plan should be applied in any market to assure the marketability of a certain product. Since iPhone is new in the market, strategies like intense advertising and creative planning of segmentation and distribution channels are needed to gain the consumers’ brand loyalty, gain appropriate market share, and protect the product from an early decline stage.
“iPhone”. 2008. Crunch Base. 9 December 2008 <http://www.crunchbase.com/product/iphone>.
Marquez, Jeremiah. 11 August 2008. “Asia Underground Market Awaits iPhone. USA Today. 9 December 2008 <http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/2008-07-11-1949993603_x.htm>.
Pfanner, Eric. 19 September 2007. “iPhone Introduced to Europe, Where Standards Differ.” The New York Times. 9 December 2008 <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/technology/19iphone.html?_r=1&ref=world>.
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