The iPhone marketing plan, like all Apple marketing, is very obvious, basic, and clever. Apple focuses on the pure inventive style of their goods without all the “fluff” with the clean and simple apple emblem. Apple debuted the iPhone in June of 2007. The iPhone’s ground-breaking design was lauded for months before its original release, and it has been the best of the best in terms of cell phones for several years. Apple aired four television commercials advertising the iPhone before it was officially released.
The first commercial shows the new iPhone as a natural progression from the popular iPod. Up until this time, the iPod was the vogue, and the iPhone was meant to be the next-generation iPod, plus a phone! The commercial highlights all of the iPod’s increased functions, as well as others, with the tagline “There’s never been an iPod that can do this.”
“Let’s pretend you’re watching Pirates of the Caribbean,” says the narrator.
The video is displayed in widescreen mode after a finger clicks on it.
“Did someone say calamari?” says the narrator.
Back to menu, pick Maps application, and search for ‘Seafood’.
“It’s the closest…” says the narrator.
The map shows all seafood locations and emphasizes the ones that are closest to you.
When a finger clicks on a seafood location, the phone number for the restaurant appears. The dials of the iPhone.
The first four iPhone advertisements emphasized the convenience, ingenuity, and utility of a single product that can do everything from listen to music to watching films to viewing photos to making conference calls, checking e-mail, browsing the web, and viewing maps.
Apple’s marketing plan includes not only television, but also the usage of their website to post videos and the distribution of a number of news releases that could have been combined into a single document. This is a common strategy used by Apple to create buzz and leave customers wanting more.
Apple’s press releases are brief, leaving the public with nothing to go on “Apple took use of a social physics law: news, like nature, despises a vacuum. Those who care about a product will grasp onto any rumor that comes their way in the absence of genuine knowledge. Apple may openly denounce rumor sites that scour the internet for tidbits about the company’s plans, but their marketing staff must be ecstatic. Buying that level of online advertising would be prohibitively expensive.” 2007 (Silverman)
More than simply product information is available on the official iPhone website. The website includes outstanding iPhone tips and tricks, as well as a strong emphasis on apps. Almost the whole iPhone page features app photos, as well as the “App of the Week.” There are also sections titled “Apps for Everything” and “Top Apps” on the website. Apple’s website is an excellent marketing tool for both present iPhone owners and those considering acquiring an iPhone.
The promotion of the apps will provide Apple with a more stable cash stream. Customers are more inclined to download top-rated apps rather than sifting through 25,000+ apps to locate one that would be useful to them.
Apple had initially targeted successful younger males as a target audience. Apple had believed that by targeting this demographic, given the fact that 48% of them did not already own an Apple iPod, they would be able to meet their goal of 10 million sales by the end of 2008.
Solutions Research Group profiled a cross-section of persons who were aware of the iPhone a month before it was released. A majority of T-Mobile subscribers, AT&T’s lone GSM-based product competitor, were predicted to be 15 percent of potential buyers on the day of the release. At 12%, AT&T’s existing customers are predicted to be the second largest group to buy the new iPhone. According to the Solutions Research Group, 72 percent of men and 28 percent of women were more likely to examine the phone at its lowest price of $499. 2007 (Malley)
Young adults between the ages of 20 and 35, affluent teenagers, “jet-setters,” and “mobile” employees who work outside of the office are all evident current target customers for the Apple iPhone.
Apple commercials are regarded as being simple but effective. “There’s an App for That,” as shown in recent Apple iPhone advertisements, is a new catchphrase that emphasizes the App Store’s apps. Apps are used in “every sector,” including games, business, education, entertainment, finance, health and fitness, productivity, and social networking. These apps were made to take advantage of iPhone technologies like Multi-Touch, the accelerometer, Bluetooth, and GPS” (Apple, 2009). Apple claims to have over 25,000 apps accessible right now and counting.
The focus on the variety of apps available expands the target demographic significantly. Essentially, there is an app for everyone. You can check the snow conditions on the mountain, track calories in your lunch, and find exactly where you parked your car, as advertised in a few iPhone commercials. You can learn how fix a wobbly bookcase, hire a cab in an unfamiliar city, or find your half of the bill for a table of five. You can read a restaurant review, an MRI report, or just a regular book. These are just a few of the features advertised by Apple in its television advertising. Every feature that may be imagined is available in iPhone apps.
When the iPhone was first debuted, it cost a whopping $599. Despite this, hundreds of thousands of customers went out to get the new phone, paying a third of the price if they had waited an extra three months. Apple dropped the price of the iPhone to $399 three months after its first availability. This infuriated Apple’s long-time customers as well as those who had just acquired the new phone a few months before. After a year, Apple cut the price of the iPhone to $199, a savings of 66 percent over the original price.
The Apple iPhone was all the rage in July of 2007. I believe Apple’s choice to sell the phone at $599 was partially motivated by greed. However, their product was the most inventive on the market, allowing Apple to charge whatever they wanted for the iPhone. Many people assumed Apple had lowered the price due to lower-than-expected iPhone sales. Apple, on the other hand, claims that the price reduction was done “to boost holiday sales,” and that it expects to reach its stated goal of selling one million iPhones by the end of September. 2007 (Dalrymple)
Prices are frequently cut dramatically months after the initial release of any cell phone or Apple product, including Apple’s iPod, as is the case with the product life cycle of any cell phone or Apple product. While keeping competitive pricing in the market, tech products are constantly fighting against “the latest and greatest.” Many consumers are unwilling to spend $599 for a cell phone, no matter how many beneficial features it may have. If Apple had not cut the price of the iPhone, the user base would have swiftly dwindled.
The iPhone continues to increase in size capabilities, the number of applications available, and new features that are released through new generations of the phone continue to bring additional value to the iPhone while the pricing stays competitive.
Apple is still releasing improved iPhone models at this point in the product life cycle. The target demographic for the latest generation phones is new iPhone consumers, as most iPhone users are unwilling to purchase a newer version of the iPhone due to price. With Apple’s installed base growing, they’ve discovered a way to generate recurring revenue from their existing consumers by selling program downloads. Apple’s audience for new customers continues to shrink as more people purchase the iPhone. Fortunately for Apple, they’ve included a second cash stream that will last the life of the gadget.