Week 4 Case Study
Apple versus the World- IPAD sparks an Apple ifrenzy
At the end of 2010 Apple, the maker of iPods, iPhones and IPADs, became the world’s most valuable company, a mantle which had been held by Microsoft. The two companies started the personal computer revolution in the 1970s but Microsoft had to date outflanked Apple to become the market leader. Hence, the significance of this turnaround in fortunes. Apple’s rebirth began with the launch of the iPod music player followed by its introduction of the smartphone, iPhone which upstaged the dominant mobile phone maker Nokia and then the launch of the computer tablet, IPAD. The significance of the changing in guard is on the role that consumers played in this change.
By launching IPAD, in January 2010, and releasing it into the market in April, Apple introduced a potential new product category in computers which is likely to change the way consumers interact with their devices. IPAD was able to meet a changing consumer need which saw them preferring to ‘swipe a finger across a touch screen’ instead of using a keyboard. More than 15 million units were sold in the first year alone. In a move which surprised many market watchers, Apple launched IPAD2, in March 2011, slightly more than a year after the first IPAD was released onto the market. Surprisingly!, because many marketers would have thought that IPAD1 had not yet gone through its full product life cycle. However, this move by Apple is in response to the changing competitive environment which has seen growth in the interest of tablet computers from competitors. Analysts predict the computer tablet market to treble in size in 2012. By launching IPAD2, Apple has left competitors playing ‘catch up’ in a growing segment with consumers hungry for new products. There are a dozen or more competitors with rival tablets to IPAD2 likely to be launched in 2011 from competitors like Microsoft and Toshiba.
Apple’s fortunes have largely been driven by...
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