A Marketing report on apple and the iPod
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Executive Summary The focus of this report is on the Apple iPod that has created increasing demands in various outlets. The iPod allows consumers to download their favourite music but also books, movies and now even allows one to surf the internet. In this reports you find an extensive analysis on how Apple has became such a huge company within its market and will show us how the popularity of the iPod has seemingly helped Apple to be become one of the most well known brands worldwide. In order to do this, the main areas of discussion I am going to focus upon are the company itself. I will look at the firms' internal and external Marketing environment in order to provide an insight in what position the firm is in. Furthermore, I will look at the competition they are facing and what affect this have upon their marketing strategy. I will also provide recommendations will be provided on how Apple can strengthen their position in the market. Introduction Established in April 1976, Apple, develops, sells, and supports a series of personal computers, portable media players, mobile phones, computer software, and computer hardware and hardware accessories. Rather than releasing multiples of little products to try and win over consumers through market saturation, Apple releases higher end, high quality, and user friendly products. They believe in bringing in simplicity and innovation to the mass market and for that reason have been extremely successful. As of September 2007, the company operates about 200 retail stores in five countries and an online store where hardware and software products are sold. Its products include the Macintosh line of desktop and notebook computers, the Mac OS X operating system, the iPod music player and a portfolio of software and peripheral products for education, creative, consumer and business customers.  Apple introduced its first iPod portable digital music player. The product has proven unbelievably successful; over 100 million units have been sold in the six years since its introduction. ...read more.
Although the latest ones (the touch) are expensive, and may be aimed at higher and older earners. Marketing mix The marketing mix consists of four elements: Products, Price, Place and Promotion, better known as the 4p's. The marketing mix can only be made when the target customer is known, which I have done above. Product This product allows consumer's to download not only their favourite music but also books and photos. Nowadays with the latest versions of the iPod you can watch videos and surf on the internet with one small device. Apple have introduced updated versions of the iPod starting from the first iPod in 2001 to the iPod touch (refer to appendix D). These are extension stratergies to increase the product life cycle of the iPod. The fact that the is product differentiated making it unique will make product both functional and desirable to potential consumers. Price When initially launched into the mp3 market, Apple utilised pricing strategies in the form of psychological and skimming prices. Most of the websites have the iPod touch at '£199.00.' This makes consumers think it is much cheaper than '£200.00' but in reality it is only a pound less. The high price is on the basis of the companies popularity, and the unique design of the 'touch'. It will also attract an image of quality with their products. Promotion By promoting the iPod it will satisfy the needs of the customers. Consumers will gain better understanding of the product and how it works. All in all advertising and promotions will bring more awareness to their products and potentially more sales. Apple's promotion strategy, was the surprise element that it attached just before they released the iPod. There was a heavy speculation and curiosity regarding the product and everyone was watching out for it. It allowed fans and enthusiastic tech and entertainment media to spread the word of the gadget even before its release. ...read more.
People may find something else which is better and more value for money. Technological: * Many substitutes available from iRiver, Samsung and sony * Competition moving away from copy protection on songs. Such as amazon. * Peer-to-peer file sharing applications like Limewire and Kazaa are still extremely popular. Although this is a problem with the music industry on a whole. This still however affects iTunes. Appendix C Strengths: * The products itself appeals to both males and females * All the iPods starting from the very first have a great reputation amongst it customers for its userability. * Great technology underpinnings that allow the creation of powerful products. Allows them to attract a huge customer base due to their innovation and technology * Very user focused and always committed to a superb user experience, in all their products * Limited edition ranges, increases product life cycle. Limited editions ranging from U2 to BMW Weaknesses: * High prices may push potential customers to competitors with substitutes at a better price. * Technology is changing at a faster rate than ever. For Apple to remain profitable, they must invest huge amount of money in their R&D to remain competitive. * Questions over reliability of the iPod  Oppurtunities: * iPod was is revolutionary technology that has become part of mainstream culture, Apple can capitalize on that * To develop themselves in to other markets due to the reputation they earned from the iPod. * New designs may be available to boost sales and extend the product life cycle e.g. the iPod touch. * iPods have also gained popularity for use in education. Apple offers more information on educational uses for iPods on their website.  Threats: * Very high level of competition, a lot of substitutes, possibly offering cheaper prices i.e. iRiver * Cheap fakes being made of the iPod and the iPod shuffle * Concerns of market being extremely saturated. * Competition, with the like of Amazon in digital sales  Appendix D Sources: Wikipedia  and Mactracker Apple Inc. ...read more.
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