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Abstract

Apple inc. is largest Electronics Company and producing better quality Cellphones, Computers, Software,Hardware, Music devices, IPad And fewother Products. I have learned many more things to complete this analysisabout the apple like as what is company do how they do that how theyworking for the environment, culture, buyers and suppliers, SWOT, andsome other things. I have seen some financial terms like Annual reports and B/S of the company and the most important which kinds of StrategyCompany are adopting for their competitors. I would like to thanks SmitaMam for giving this opportunity to do diagnosis about the company.

OBJECTIVE

To study the Marketing Strategy & Plan of Apple inc

To Analyse the Apples industry attractiveness on the basis of potter five forces

To Analyse the Apples industry attractiveness on the basis of SWOT analysis

To determine Marketing Mix of Apple inc.

REASERCH METHODOLOGY

In everyday life human being has to face many problems viz. social, economical, financial problems. These problems in life call for acceptable and effective solutions and for this purpose, research is required and a methodology applied for the solutions can be found out. Research was carried out on Apple inc. to analyse its performance on the basis of marketing tools.

DATA COLLECTION

Secondary Data:

Data was collected from books, magazines, web sites, going through the records of the organisation, etc. It is the data which has been collected by individual or someone else for the purpose of other than thos previously for the analysis and the results are undertaken for the next process.

Company profile

Apple Inc. Formerly Apple Computer, Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs and sells electronics, computer, and personalcom puters. The company's best-known hardware products

arethe Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iphone and the iPod. Its software includes the Mac OS X operating system; the iTunes mediabrow ser; the life suite of multimedia and creativity software; the iWork suite

of productivity software; Aperture, a professional photographypackage; Final Cut Studio, a suite of professional audio and filmmusic

industrysoftware products; Logic Studio, a suite of

production tools;the Safari web browser; and iOS, a mobile operating system. As of July 2011, Apple has 357 retail stores in ten countries, and an onlinestore. It is the largest publicly traded company in the world by market capitalization, overtopping ExxonMobil by some $60 billion, as well as thelargest technology company in the world by revenue and profit, worthmore than Google and Microsoft combined As of September 24, 2011, thecompany had 60,400 permanent full-time employees and 2,900 temporaryfull-time employees worldwide; its worldwide annual sales totaled $65.23billion, growing to $108.249 billion in 2011.Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired company in the UnitedStates in 2008, and in the world from 2008 to 2011.

However, thecompany has received widespread criticism for its contractors' labor, andfor its environmental and business

practices.Established

on April

1, 1976 in Cupertino, California,

and incorporatedJanuary 3, 1977, the company was named Apple Computer, Inc. for its first 30 years. The word "Computer" was removedfromitsnameonJanuary9,2007, as its traditional focus on personal computers shiftedtowards consumer electronics

Mission, Vision, & Strategy

Apples mission statement emphasizes that the company made majorinnovations in the personal computer industry in the past and linksstrength to its present strategy. Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the appleIInd and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with theMacintosh. Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computingexperience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumersaround the world through its innovative hardware, software and internet offerings.The digital hub that is what Steve jobs (founder) identified as objective for Apples strategy in the future.

Herewith, all three sectors Apple is currentlyoperating in will get closer and closer together and showing a highinterdependence. Where seamless integration of all components is vital towin customers. Apple is the only company providing a bundle of solutionswhich are perfectly adjusted and fine tuned to complement each other to,for other companies, unattainable degree.

By designing such high endproducts Apple is corresponding to external and internal environment,which in the high technology sector are changing more rapidly thananywhere else. Though out its diversification

efforts, Apple keeps its designand innovation focused line by the equally adapting performance and pricepositions to changes in the external environment.

Industry analysis

The computer industry includes a wide variety of products, frommp3 Players and printers to personal computers and powerful

servers.Companies have trouble operating within the computer industry, namely due to the dynamic nature

of technology. Moore's law, formulated byGordon Moore in 1965, states that the numbers of transistors per squareinch on integrated circuits will double every 18 months, and prices will bereduced. This means even the largest firms must stay on their toes, as theindustry is constantly changing and redefining its Parameters. AppleComputer Inc. has recently made headlines by breaking into the portablemusic market with its introduction of the Apple iPod and iTunes software. Apple also carries a long line of computer products including personalComputers, computer accessories, servers, networking solutions, andsoftware

packages. Currently capturing a market share of 65% among theportable music market, and holding a profitable 2% of the personalcomputer market, Apple has consistently kept his name in the industry. Apple has

stayed afloat in the industry by keeping an eye for aestheticsand creativity, coupled with user friendly and innovative products.

Competitors

Apple has become a major digital asset management company. It hascreated an OS and UI that makes it very easy for users to manage,aggregate, distribute and even share personal content throughout an Apple-designed digital ecosystem.

Because of that, I asserted that Apple isunstoppable: When it comes to providing a complete solution for theconsumer, Apple has created a position for itself that makes it nearlyimpossible for other companies to compete head on. Apple is first company who introduce digital media library the name wasITunes.There are some competitor came in the market.1. Blackberry2. Google (Android)3. Nokia4. Samsung5. Sony6. IBM7.

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Microsoft Some player also exists in the E-market like HTC Out comes

The final outcomes came in after these processes.IMacIPodIphoneITunesI cloud

IPhones IPads IPods Mac ITv

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I Phone

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Literature Review The Five Competitive Forces The Five Competitive Forces are typically described as follows:

Bargaining Power of Suppliers The term 'suppliers' comprises all sources for inputs that are needed in order to provide goods or services. Supplier bargaining power is likely to be high when:

The market is dominated by a few large suppliers rather than a fragmented source of supply,

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There are no substitutes for the particular input, The suppliers customers are fragmented, so their bargaining power is low,

The switching costs from one supplier to another are high, There is the possibility of the supplier integrating forwards in order to obtain higher prices and margins. This threat is especially high when The buying industry has a higher profitability than the supplying industry, Forward integration provides economies of scale for the supplier, The buying industry hinders the supplying industry in their development (e.g. reluctance to accept new releases of products), The buying industry has low barriers to entry.

In such situations, the buying industry often faces a high pressure on margins from their suppliers. The relationship to powerful suppliers can potentially reduce strategic options for the organization.

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Bargaining Power of Customers Similarly, the bargaining power of customers determines how much customers can impose pressure on margins and volumes. Customers bargaining power is likely to be high when They buy large volumes, there is a concentration of buyers, The supplying industry comprises a large number of small operators The supplying industry operates with high fixed costs, The product is undifferentiated and can be replaces by substitutes, Switching to an alternative product is relatively simple and is not related to high costs, Customers have low margins and are price-sensitive, Customers could produce the product themselves, The product is not of strategical importance for the customer, The customer knows about the production costs of the product There is the possibility for the customer integrating backwards.

Threat of New Entrants The competition in an industry will be the higher, the easier it is for other companies to enter this industry. In such a situation, new entrants could change major determinants of the market environment (e.g. market shares, prices,

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customer loyalty) at any time. There is always a latent pressure for reaction and adjustment for existing players in this industry. The threat of new entries will depend on the extent to which there are barriers to entry. These are typically Economies of scale (minimum size requirements for profitable operations), High initial investments and fixed costs, Cost advantages of existing players due to experience curve effects of operation with fully depreciated assets, Brand loyalty of customers Protected intellectual property like patents, licenses etc, Scarcity of important resources, e.g. qualified expert staff Access to raw materials is controlled by existing players, Distribution channels are controlled by existing players, Existing players have close customer relations, e.g. from long-term service contracts, High switching costs for customers Legislation and government action

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Threat of Substitutes A threat from substitutes exists if there are alternative products with lower prices of better performance parameters for the same purpose. They could potentially attract a significant proportion of market volume and hence reduce the potential sales volume for existing players. This category also relates to complementary products. Similarly to the threat of new entrants, the treat of substitutes is determined by factors like Brand loyalty of customers, Close customer relationships, Switching costs for customers, The relative price for performance of substitutes, Current trends.

Competitive Rivalry between Existing Players This force describes the intensity of competition between existing players (companies) in an industry. High competitive pressure results in pressure on prices, margins, and hence, on profitability for every single company in the industry. Competition between existing players is likely to be high when

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There are many players of about the same size, Players have similar strategies There is not much differentiation between players and their products, hence, there is much price competition

Low market growth rates (growth of a particular company is possible only at the expense of a competitor),

Barriers for exit are high (e.g. expensive and highly specialized equipment).

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SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is the most renowned tool for audit and analysis of the overall strategic position of the business and its environment. Its key purpose is to identify the strategies that will create a firm specific business model that will best align an organizations resources and capabilities to the requirements of the environment in which the firm operates. In other words, it is the foundation for evaluating the internal potential and limitations and the probable/likely opportunities and threats from the external environment. It views all positive and negative factors inside and outside the firm that affect the success. A consistent study of the environment in which the firm operates helps in

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forecasting/predicting the changing trends and also helps in including them in the decision-making process of the organization.

An overview of the four factors (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) is given belowStrengths Strengths are the qualities that enable us to accomplish the organizations mission. These are the basis on which continued success can be made and continued/sustained. Strengths can be either tangible or intangible. These are what you are well-versed in or what you have expertise in, the traits and qualities your employees possess (individually and as a team) and the distinct features that give your organization its consistency. Strengths are the beneficial aspects of the organization or the capabilities of an organization, which includes human competencies, process capabilities, financial resources, products and services, customer goodwill and brand loyalty. Examples of organizational strengths are huge financial resources, broad product line, no debt, committed employees, etc. Weakness Weaknesses are the qualities that prevent us from accomplishing our mission and achieving our full potential. These weaknesses deteriorate influences on the organizational success and growth. Weaknesses are the factors which do not meet the standards we feel they should meet. Weaknesses in an organization may be depreciating machinery, insufficient research and development facilities, narrow

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product range, poor decision-making, etc. Weaknesses are controllable. They must be minimized and eliminated. For instance - to overcome obsolete machinery, new machinery can be purchased. Other examples of organizational weaknesses are huge debts, high employee turnover, complex decision making process, narrow product range, large wastage of raw materials, etc.

Opportunities Opportunities are presented by the environment within which our organization operates. These arise when an organization can take benefit of conditions in its environment to plan and execute strategies that enable it to become more profitable. Organizations can gain competitive advantage by making use of opportunities. Organization should be careful and recognize the opportunities and grasp them whenever they arise. Selecting the targets that will best serve the clients while getting desired results is a difficult task. Opportunities may arise from market, competition, industry/government and technology. Increasing demand for telecommunications accompanied by deregulation is a great opportunity for new firms to enter telecom sector and compete with existing firms for revenue.

Threats

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Threats arise when conditions in external environment jeopardize the reliability and profitability of the organizations business. They compound the vulnerability when they relate to the weaknesses. Threats are uncontrollable. When a threat comes, the stability and survival can be at stake. Examples of threats are - unrest among employees; ever changing technology; increasing competition leading to excess capacity, price wars and reducing industry profits; etc

Advantages of SWOT Analysis SWOT Analysis is instrumental in strategy formulation and selection. It is a strong tool, but it involves a great subjective element. It is best when used as a guide, and not as a prescription. Successful businesses build on their strengths, correct their weakness and protect against internal weaknesses and external threats. They also keep a watch on their overall business environment and recognize and exploit new opportunities faster than its competitors. SWOT Analysis helps in strategic planning in following mannera. It is a source of information for strategic planning. b. Builds organizations strengths. c. Reverse its weaknesses. d. Maximize its response to opportunities. e. Overcome organizations threats. f. It helps in identifying core competencies of the firm. g. It helps in setting of objectives for strategic planning.

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h. It helps in knowing past, present and future so that by using past and current data, future plans can be chalked out. SWOT Analysis provide information that helps in synchr onizing the firms resources and capabilities with the competitive environment in which the firm operates.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis SWOT Analysis is not free from its limitations. It may cause organizations to view circumstances as very simple because of which the organizations might overlook certain key strategic contact which may occur. Moreover, categorizing aspects as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats might be very subjective as there is great degree of uncertainty in market. SWOT Analysis does stress upon the significance of these four aspects, but it does not tell how an organization can identify these aspects for itself. There are certain limitations of SWOT Analysis which are not in control of management. These includea. Price increase; b. Inputs/raw materials; c. Government legislation; d. Economic environment; e. Searching a new market for the product which is not having overseas market due to import restrictions; etc.

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Marketing mix

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The marketing mix is one of the most famous marketing terms. The marketing mix is the tactical or operational part of a marketing plan. The marketing mix is also called the 4Ps and the 7Ps. The 4Ps areprice, place, product and promotion. The services marketing mix is also called the 7Ps and includes the addition

of process, people and physical evidence.

The concept is simple. Think about another common mix - a cake mix. All cakes contain eggs, milk, flour, and sugar. However, you can alter the final cake by altering the amounts of mix elements contained in it. So for a sweet cake add more sugar! It is the same with the marketing mix. The offer you make to your customer can be altered by varying the mix elements. So for a high profile brand, increase the focus on promotion and desensitize the weight given to price. Another way to think about the marketing mix is to use the image of an artist's palette. The marketer mixes the prime colours (mix elements) in different quantities to deliver a particular final colour. Every hand painted picture is original in some way, as is every marketing mix. Lets look at the elements of the marketing mix in more detail. Click on the links to go to the lesson on each element.

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Price Price is the amount the consumer must exchange to receive the offering The companys goal in terms of price is really to reduce costs through improving manufacturing and efficiency, and most importantly the marketer needs to increase the perceived value of the benefits of its products and services to the buyer or consumer. There are many ways to price a product. Let's have a look at some of them and try to understand the best policy/strategy in various situations.

Place Place includes company activities that make the product available to target consumers. Place is also known as channel, distribution, or intermediary. It is the mechanism through which goods and/or services are moved from the manufacturer/ service provider to the user or consumer.

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Product Product means the goods-and-services combination the company offers to the target market. For many a product is simply the tangible, physical item that we buy or sell. You can also think of the product as intangible i.e. a service.

In order to actively explore the nature of a product further, lets consider it as three different products - the CORE product, the ACTUAL product, and finally the AUGMENTED product.

The Product Life Cycle (PLC) is based upon the biological life cycle. For example, a seed is planted (introduction); it begins to sprout (growth); it shoots out leaves and puts down roots as it becomes an adult (maturity); after a long period as an adult the plant begins to shrink and die out (decline).

The Customer Life Cycle (CLC) has obvious similarities with the Product Life Cycle (PLC). However, CLC focuses upon the creation and delivery of lifetime value to the customer i.e. looks at the products or services that customers NEED throughout their lives.

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Promotion Promotion includes all of the activities marketers undertake to inform consumers about their products and to encourage potential customers to buy these product Promotion includes all of the tools available to the marketer for marketing communication. As with Neil H. Borden's marketing mix, marketing communications has its own promotions mix. Whilst there is no absolute agreement on the specific content of a marketing communications mix, there are many promotions elements that are often included such as sales, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, online communications and personal selling.

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DATA ANALYSIS

MARKETS AND COMPETITION PORTERS FIVE FORCES

Viewed through Michael Porters strategic framework, Apple is a company with several advantages that will enable it to continue along its trajectory of high performance, strong growth and healthy profitability. The five forces framework reinforces our investment recommendation on Apple, but also highlights areas where investors should be mindful. In this section, we provide both hindsight and forward looking analyses examining the advantages that the company has successfully developed as well as scenarios under which those advantages could be eroded. Degree of Rivalry Several factors make the technology industry extremely competitive. Rapid technological advancement, sudden shifts in consumer preferences, savvy competitors, and a fragmented global supply chain all impact the ability of firms

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in the technology industry to capture market share. Apple has outmaneuvered its rivals by focusing on the user experience. Instead of emphasizing features and tech specs, Apple concentrated on making its products easy to use. The comfort that users feel toward Apples products is responsible for the companys high brand loyalty and distinctive brand image. Rivals have found it very difficult to garner the same level of devotion amongst their users. Even Samsung, Apples most successful rival in the tablet market, captured 17% of the tablet market by the end of 2010 compared to 73% for Apple23. Consequently, we feel that Apple, more than any other company, is best positioned to thrive in the cutthroat consumer electronics industry. One word captures the threat Apple faces: convergence. Once iconic companies have been knocked on their heels as a result of convergence. Convergence has dealt serious blows to once proud industry leaders. Kodak suffered when solid state drives rather than film became the standard for storing pictures. Kodak has also been harmed by phones with built in camera capabilities. Apples iPod faced the same p roblem. Aware that the smartphones could potentially make the iPod obsolete, Apples move into mobile phones was a strategic imperative. By successfully creating and marketing mobile phones, Apple was able to strengthen its balance sheet and protect its position as a distributor of content. R&D Spending of Leading Tech Companies

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Source: SiliconAlley Insider Convergence has ratcheted up the pressure on Apple. Apple has gone from competing against niche electronics companies like Rio and Sandisk, to competing against established companies such as Sony and Samsung. The convergence of entertainment, ecommerce and productivity into smartphones and tablets means that Apple now competes not only against electronics and computer companies (Samsung, Sony, HTC, Hewlett Packard, Dell, Huawei), but also against internet/software companies(Amazon, Google). Apple, like any company, could stumble, but its track record of anticipating threats points to a future in which Apple continues to extend its reach.

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Supplier Power The popularity of Apples products gives it an enviable bargaining position vis -vis suppliers. In commodity semiconductors, for example, Apple has virtually unparalleled pricing power. iPads and iPhones consume a large share of mobile DRAM and Apple alone is responsible for 30 percent of worldwide NAND flash demand24. LG is the leading supplier of Apples LCD touchscreens, but Apple has at times employed the threat of defecting to Samsung in order to keep LG in check. Tactical purchasing sharpens the co mpanys pricing edge. Apple uses its cash hoard to place large components orders and gives its suppliers as little notice as possible, forcing them to quickly ramp up production in order to fulfill the order25. This gives competitors very little time to re spond to Apples moves and creates pricing volatility for competitors. The size and timing of Apples component purchases has a tendency to force sudden price jumps, leaving competitors little recourse but to pay exorbitant prices for essential components. Tim Cook, in his role as chief operations officer, led Apples negotiations with suppliers. In his current role as CEO, we feel that Apples bargaining power is strengthened.

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Buyer Power Consumers have a wide array of choices. In all four markets in which Apple competes, Apple faces several savvy and very aggressive companies. Whats more, in terms of features and application, there are very few differentiating factors. The screen resolution, disk space, and CPU clock rate of leading smartphones is more or less uniform. Twitter, Facebook, email and Google search, are accessible on all smartphones and function the same regardless of platform. Capabilities being uniform, consumers can easily switch brands. Looking only at technical features, Apple should have very little power relative to consumers. Apples brand cachet persuades consumers to buy Apples products. Among consumer electronics companies, only Apple has succeeded in making its products into status symbols. Second, Apple goes beyond entering markets: it defines them. Apples iPod became synonymous with mp3 players to the extent that rival products were left with little recourse but to compete on price. iPads make up 68.3% of all tablet sales and have also become status symbols. For this reason, we see Apple as better able to command higher prices and to influence buying decisions than its competitors. Threat of Substitutes In terms of tech specs, little separates Apples products from its competitors. Apples superiority in software, not hardwa re, gives its products an edge. Consumers choose to buy Apple hardware because they know they will have access to the latest and coolest apps.

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Apple faces a tough dilemma. The popularity of Googles Android software has made it more difficult for Apple to claim it has an edge in apps. Although iPhone apps outnumber Android apps, Android has more free apps. Around 66% of Android apps are free versus 34% for iPhone apps26. Moreover, several of the most popular apps and games are available on both mobile operating systems. The popularity of Googles operating system also makes competitors products more viable. Before the advent of Android, Apples competitors used to write their own smartphone operating systems. Lacking experience in writing graphical software, Apples competitors wrote system software that was often buggy, cumbersome and difficult to use. Apples lawsuits against Androids partners prove that Apple is taking the Android threat seriously. Apples software is still the best in the industry, but it will need to find ways to lock consumers into its ecosystem if it wants to tip the balance of power in its favor.

Threat of Entrants and Disruptive Innovation It is not difficult to enter the tablet PC or smartphone space. Smartphone components are commodities and high quality operating system software, such as Googles Android, is free. Several of the apps that compel users to upgrade from feature phones to smartphones, such as Angry Birds and Bejewelled, are available across all major cellphone platforms meaning that there is little to differentiate one phone from another content-wise.

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But while its easy to enter the tablet and PC space, its not very easy to stay. Without scale, a new entrantsproducts cannot compete effectively with incumbents products. To survive, a new entrant would have to enter the market with a blockbuster product, a feat that even incumbents have found difficult to achieve. Compounding the difficulty is cost. Apples profit margins are driven by costs too low for competitors to match. Acer had admitted to losing money on tablets and the rumored Amazon tablet is speculated to be a loss leader for the company. The current business model of the tablet industry provides Apple with a decisive advantage. Innovation, at least as it is conceived in the smartphone space, usually conjures images of faster chips, sharper screens, bigger hard-drives, and better internet connections. All of these features are important, but do not help companies stand apart. To stand apart, companies have to consistently improve the user experience. Since mobile and tablet screens are small, users have to adjust to using email, social apps, GPS, and other features. If a phones software makes navigating between Facebook, Gmail, or iTunes cumbersome, then users will switch to a competing product. Moreover, users now demand phones whose apps and features can talk to each other. The newest phones, for example, have high resolution cameras integrated with Facebook and YouTube so that users can instantly upload photos onto Facebook profiles and YouTube accounts. Another feature that is popular is contact synching. Synching enables a phone to access a users email and social media in order to build a comprehensive and easily accessible list of a users

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friends and coworkers contact information. Although controversial, location based apps are also popular. We feel that since mobile software is still in its nascent stages, that there are still many opportunities for phone companies to innovate and differentiate themselves from their competitors. We believe Apples position of leadership in the mobile computing space is well hedged. One area of weakness for Apple is ITunes. iTunes close integration with the Apple ecosystem as well as its site security, made it the go-to-destination for music lovers, despite competition from sites that offered music at a cheaper price. Yet, the mobile internet has changed the way people access music. Downloading music onto devices dedicated only to playing music and videos made sense when phones only made phones calls and when the mobile internet was slow and expensive. Downloading music will still appeal to many consumers, but to compete, Apple will need to recognize that streaming music will probably eclipse downloaded songs as the preferred method of listening to music. Instead of downloading music from iTunes, a smartphone owner can stream music over the internet through Pandora or Yahoo music. Whats more, these services have apps specially tailored forproducts cannot compete e ffectively with incumbents products. To survive, a new entrant would have to enter the market with a blockbuster product, a feat that even incumbents have found difficult to achieve. Compounding the difficulty is cost. Apples profit margins are driven by costs too low for competitors to match. Acer had admitted to losing money on tablets and the rumored Amazon tablet is speculated to be a loss leader for the company. The

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current business model of the tablet industry provides Apple with a decisive advantage. Innovation, at least as it is conceived in the smartphone space, usually conjures images of faster chips, sharper screens, bigger hard-drives, and better internet connections. All of these features are important, but do not help companies stand apart. To stand apart, companies have to consistently improve the user experience. Since mobile and tablet screens are small, users have to adjust to using email, social apps, GPS, and other features. If a phones software makes navigating between Facebook, Gmail, or iTunes cumbersome, then users will switch to a competing product. Moreover, users now demand phones whose apps and features can talk to each other. The newest phones, for example, have high resolution cameras integrated with Facebook and YouTube so that users can instantly upload photos onto Facebook profiles and YouTube accounts. Another feature that is popular is contact synching. Synching enables a phone to access a users email and social media in order to build a comprehensive and easily accessib le list of a users friends and coworkers contact information. Although controversial, location based apps are also popular. We feel that since mobile software is still in its nascent stages, that there are still many opportunities for phone companies to innovate and differentiate themselves from their competitors. We believe Apples position of leadership in the mobile computing space is well hedged. One area of weakness for Apple is ITunes. iTunes close integration with the Apple ecosystem as well as its site security, made it the go-to-destination for

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music lovers, despite competition from sites that offered music at a cheaper price. Yet, the mobile internet has changed the way people access music. Downloading music onto devices dedicated only to playing music and videos made sense when phones only made phones calls and when the mobile internet was slow and expensive. Downloading music will still appeal to many consumers, but to compete, Apple will need to recognize that streaming music will probably eclipse downloaded songs as the preferred method of listening to music. Instead of downloading music from iTunes, a smartphone owner can stream music over the internet through Pandora or Yahoo music. Whats more, these services have apps specially tailored for smartphones, meaning that iTunes close integration with the Apple ecosystem is no longer as much of an advantage. We see Apples fiercest competition coming from Netflix, Pandora and Amazon.com. As mobile speeds accelerate, we see new entrants gaining enough market share and user attention to pose a direct threat to Apples content business. A new entrant to the market, Stockholm based Spotify, is gaining media attention and market share. Subscribers to Spotify pay a flat monthly fee ($5 per month for unlimited, $15 per month for unlimited +mobile) and gain complete access to Spotifys library of more than 15 million songs. Spotifys large library and relatively cheap monthly fee make the service an attractive alternative to iTunes. To remain the gold standard of online content, we believe that Apple will need to redefine iTunes. Since iTunes is now a direct competitor to Pandora, iTunes might need to co-opt some of Pandoras features. On Pandora, customers can create

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customized playlists based on their favorite songs, artists, or genres. While listening to the customized radio station, users are often introduced to new songs and artists, which, in turn, helps users create even more customized radio stations. The icloud service, which will enable users to access music online through any device, is a good product and a step in the right direction, yet we feel that Apple will need combine iCloud with a method of allowing users to listen to music for free.

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SWOT ANALYSIS OF APPLE INC

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Strengths

Well recognized amongst most consumers

4th largest player in the global mobile phone market

Strong brand image provides an edge over competitors

Robust financial performance strengthens investors confidence provides capital for future growth avenues

and

Focused R&D driving innovation & consolidating its market position

Holds 5% market share in mobile phone market

18.5% market share of global smartphone market

Provides unique design and development of operating systems, hardware, application software and service to its customers

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Weaknesses

Patent infringement lawsuit may affect financial condition and operating results -January 2010, Nokia filed law suit for patent infringement with US ITC

Product recalls may harm Apples reputation and ass significant warranty and other expenses- 2010, antennae problems in iPhone 4- replacements free of charge

Product defects harm Apples reputationa nd add significant warranty and other expenses

Opportunities

Strong growth in smartphone and tablet markets to boost revenues

Apples

Robust outlook for mobile advertising market provides growth opportunity

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Shipment of smartphones expected to be 850 million by the end of 2013

iPhone business continues to increase (2009-2010 93.2% sales)

increase

in

Strongest player in mobile apps market (350,000 apps)

Mobile advertising market is forecast to reach approximately $25 billion by 2015 Threats

Rising popularity of Google Android may affect its market Android smartphones are activated daily, daily 150,000

share - 350,000 activated

iPhone

Steve Jobs death impact high growth sustenance levels - Steve was innovative and a visionary for Apple. His death may developments in Apple hinder

Jobs further

Dependence on specific suppliers may affect to operations

Intense competition may affect revenues and profitability

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Marketing Mix

During research marketers need to identify the consumer in order to know with certainty what kind of product offer. The buyer is exposed to stimuli that are also known as the marketing mix and can be identified with the four Ps: product, price, place and promotion (Blythe 2008). Apple Inc. is an example of a successful marketing mix, this company has a positive feedback by the consumers because they know how to deal with them, Apple Inc. knows exactly what the consumer wants and its success is given by a powerful research.

Product

The first thing to take into account about the marketing mix is the product. Basically the product is anything tangible or not, may be a service, a physical good, a place, a product is anything that satisfies a need (Blythe 2008). Apple gives to their customers a wide range of

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products that covers many field in technology for example they have different kinds of laptop with different size and power, also they invented the iPod which now is not only an mp3 player but is a status symbol of our era (MarketingTeacher.com), in addition in the last four years they have created a brand-new market for smart-phones and tablet-pc, this is called by the Apples CEO Steve Jobs the post-pc era (Jobs 2011). According to Apples product portfolio (OnlineMba.com 2010, see appendix) most of the profits come from iPhone and in less than a year iPad has generated revenues almost as high as those from laptops.

Price

The price is the amount of money the consumer pays for the product or service. The price in our modern market should be competitive, this means that it should not be so high but there are exceptions (Blythe 2008). The price of Apples products is not low compared to other brands but there is a reason for this. Apple is a premium brand, it dominates the market and this company knows that even though the price in some countries is quite high they will have customers anyway (MarketingTeacher.com). Generally their products are a union between technology and liberal arts so they do not just sell products but they sell art

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Place

The place is the location where consumers purchases the product and where they can receive support, it is also called distribution channel (Blythe 2008). As the Apples CEO said during the last keynote held in San Francisco in 2011 one of the reason of this success is the powerful network of retail they have around the world (Jobs 2011). Apples retails are everywhere, the major cities in the world usually have at least three big stores where they can receive customers and, most important, customers can test the product before the purchase and receive support.

Promotion

The promotion is the set of rules for advertising a product, for example a product can be advertised by PR, personal selling, also different kinds of advertising are used such as digital marketing adverts, television, billboards and so on (Blythe 2008). Of course for Apple this is very important, in the last six years the brand-awareness has significantly increased because they are able to create powerful and funny adverts where they explain how their product works. Also they offer different kinds of discounts for students and professionals .

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Factors

affecting

the

consumer

buying

process

The process of purchase is influenced by other aspects related to the customer in a more closely way, these are : cultural, social, personal and psychological. The culture in which the consumer lives and grows is the starting point from where the needs arise and will also shape the behaviour. It is also necessary to take into account demographic factors such as sub-cultures and groups of people. Then, the marketer must be able to identify changes in the consumer culture in order to keep updated on new needs and behaviours. With regard to social factors can be referred to social groups to which the consumer belongs, an important social group is the family of the consumer (Kotler et al. 1999). In this environment is outlined the DNA of the potential buyer. Other social factors are the role and status held by the consumer in the society, in fact in the purchase of a product is often influenced by the groups to which it belongs. With regard to personal factors is indispensable to consider characteristics such as age, job, economic circumstances, life-style and the personality of the buyer. Finally, a more difficult issue to study and understand is the psychological aspect of the purchase. Marketers must identify the reason for this purchase, the marketer asks why consumers should buy a particular product and of course you ask why he should

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buy

his

own

(Kotler

et

al.

1999).

The consumer buying process can be analysed by following five stages which are: problem/need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, post-purchase behaviour.

Problem/needrecognition In this stage the consumer is trying to find a solution to a problem or a need. Marketers work is to identify which is this problem and try to find a solution with their product.

Information search

Before the purchase the consumer does research about the product. He or she can have information from friends, neighbours but also from commercials. Obviously the mass media plays an important role in giving information about a product (LearnMarketing.net).

Evaluating of alternatives

After the research the consumer has different solution to satisfy its needs. He or she is now in the position to evaluate alternatives products to

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purchase. The consumer, in this stage, face the decision of which is the best solution to the problem. This is an important step because is when the consumer makes the choice about the product to buy

(LearnMarketing.net).

Purchase

decision

and

post-purchase

behaviour

This is the stage where the consumer actually buy the product, he or she evaluates the brand which likes the most. Also the consumer calculate the risk of the purchase and this could lead to change his/her mind about it. In the post-purchase stage the buyer might think if its purchase is good, this feeling could be avoided by marketers by convincing the consumer that what he/she purchased is the best product on the market .

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Findings

I think that Apple is be bringing back the mass marketing approach, they don't really concentrate their advertisements on certain groups of people, they try to include everybody. You can see all the ads that are meant to resemble you, see if you can find a silhouette that fits you. Apple is becoming a cult brand that has gained to respect of world wide users who share one thing in common, their love for Apple's innovation. And I say that Apple is going back to mass marketing because when you go in to an Apple retailer you can see people of all ages, cultures, social classes, and colors; like a small scale ethnic melting pot. The iPod has become a symbol of our modern digital music culture, and the iTunes store is now the 2nd largest music retailer in the U.S. Steve Jobs says that "if you make something great than anybody will want to use it", and that model has worked for them because they've never really invented anything but they made what some considered the best technology available; thus eliminating the need for an specific target market, because their products appeal to everyone. Apple offers amazing products that include hardware and software that just draw all different kinds of people into the market.( Their major hardware products are displayed in the page.) Software like the iLife '11

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which allows you to manage your music, movies, and pictures, the Final Cut in case you want to make a whole length film, or the iWork, make you look at Apple products as essential to your life. Benefit segmentation works in 2 ways, first, it helps you segment your market and second, it advertises your product which makes people want to buy it; and s that's the point right? Apple in one of the most successful firms in the technology industry so however it is that they are segmenting the market , they are doing it right.

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Conclusion

Apple is more than just a brand, its a lifestyle, part of growing culture of consumers who are artist, musicians, writers, photographers, and most of all innovators. The firm has positioned itself as a high end brand that offers beautiful hardware designs and also an amazing users experience. Apple targets a market that consist of people from their teens to their 40's that are interested in doing more with their technology than just the usual boring old stuff that other companies offer. Their product lines offer similar products that offer different benefits in order to prevent cannibalization.

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Bibliography WWW.Google.Com www.wikipedia.com www.marketing teacher.com www.slideshare.com www.scridb.com