Everyone wants a bite of the Apple – Apple Inc., that is. The company has innovated the world of technology ever since the release of its first computer in 1976. Since then we have witnessed the evolution of all of their products, particularly the iPhone. Extreme supporters of the brand have been known to camp out in line for hours, even days, to get their hands on the newest version of the phone, and on any given day it’s not uncommon to hear the familiar sound of the iPhone ringtone. So what’s the secret to their success? The answer is their brand management.
Part of the allure of Apple is its exclusivity. Apple Inc. was originally thought of as a company that offered products for rich professionals ahead of their time, and Apple seemed to be ok with that. However, the creation of the iPod and then the iPhone expanded Apple’s brand to reach a larger demographic. The iPhone was groundbreaking in its launch in 2007 because it offered its customers an innovative smart phone, at a price that was in reach of most middle class Americans. Despite the fact that the iPhone was still significantly more expensive than others at the time, more people were able to join the Apple family because it was cheaper than many of its other products. People that purchased the iPhone still had money, but could justify spending the extra cash for the features it provided. Even today the iPhone is arguably in a class of its own, and has become the gold standard in the smart phone industry. But the craze hasn’t ended. Apple announced it would be releasing not one, but two new significantly different, versions of the iPhone this fall: the iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5c.
The iPhone 5s is aimed at the same people who Apple has always targeted. It is the advanced version of the 5– still pricey, with the same design of its glass face and back. The newest features include on top of other things, a fingerprint scanner, higher quality camera, and a faster processor. The 5s also comes with a new top of the line operating system, the iOS 7, which technology enthusiasts everywhere have been excitedly waiting for. The 5c is in a completely different playing field.
The iPhone 5c is aimed at a different audience that Apple has never acknowledged. Operating under the new iOS 7 system, the 5c features improvements to the iPhone 5 such as longer battery life, the ability to support more LTE bands, and a slightly improved FaceTime camera. But here is the difference–the design and price. The 5c is plastic and comes in five different colors, and for a 16 GB iPhone 5c you will pay only $99 dollars. This is a 100-dollar difference from the starting price of the iPhone 5s and previous iPhone releases. Apple seems to be catering to potential customers that may not have been able to enjoy the apple experience due to high prices. So why the big change, Apple?
James Twitchell, author of Branded Nation says, “Pay attention to your brand or lose your business” and CEO Tim Cook explained in Apple’s September keynote speech, “This allows us to serve even more customers.” So what do we make of all of this? With market prices that are less expensive than the average competitor prices, Apple appears to be confident reaching out to the completely new demographic. But will this help them beat out competition? Is it showing the public that competition has become a threat to the all-mighty iPhone? Will it turn off loyal customers who pride themselves in being able to afford the Apple experience? Only time will tell if introducing the 5c with the 5s will benefit the Apple brand.
-Caroline Robinson, Jade Lester, Meghan Carey, Morgan Jones, Savannah Valade
Your post raises an important issue but doesn’t fully explore it. The reality is Apple has been exclusive and part of that exclusivity has been that it does what it does better than anyone . . . . until Samsung. Now they are caught in a dogfight with a company that is just as innovative and far more aggressive in their marketing. Notice that the 5c is a HUGE concession: Apple is trying win a battle on price not features. That is a huge departure for the brand. The communication challenge you hint at is how does the company get into the “price” as a feature reasoning without losing its core DNA as a brand. How would you manage this?
I do not think Apples loyal customers will be thrown off by the 5c, but rather embrace the new features that are included and with the new plastic design consumers will undoubtedly be curious to try out the new iPhone model. The 5c is indeed a cheaper price but I do not think Apple is targeting a market who will mind the cheaper price in fact I think it is a smart move trying to reach that demographic of people who couldn’t afford Apples prices.
I think the evolution of the Apple Brand really displays what it means to grow and expand as a business. Not only is Apple catering to their current loyal following, but they have extended their brand to include those who cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on technology. By doing so they are broadening their customer demographics. I feel that this is an extremely wise choice for the brand to make because as the brand grows, so does the number of customers you need in order for it to be successful.
It seems like everyone has leached on to this idea that the iPhone 5c is the “cheap” iPhone. Where in price that is perfectly true, a lot things that people are assuming about the quality being “cheap” are simply not true. This is something Apple probably didn’t want to have happen, and that’s reflected in the fact that everything they’ve said about the iPhone 5c since it’s release has been about quality. They want everyone to know that the 5c is still and Apple product and should still be held to the same standards that all Apple products are. The branding battle against assumptions seems like a tough one.
I don’t think there will be many negative reactions to the release of the 5s and 5c. People of all ages use iPhones and some of the technologies offered in the new 5s version aren’t necessary for the younger iPhone users. I know all of my friends have iPhones and I bought the iPhone 4 version because I couldn’t afford the iPhone 5. It would have been nice if I had a cheaper, newer option at the time I purchased my phone. I definitely think this will help Apple appeal to an even wider audience.
I think that Apple’s expanding their target market is a wise business choice. It allows for them to give one of their newest products to not only their existing customers, but a brand new audience as well. I believe that loyal Apple customers will not be upset about this, but rather purchase the new phone to see what improvements are being made. Introducing the 5c may be one of the best thing Apple has done.
Honestly, I think that Apple’s idea to lower their prices on upcoming phones will be nothing but beneficial to their brand. It means that the company is thinking of more types of people and understanding that not everyone has always been able to afford an iPhone. When Twitchell says “pay attention to your brand or lose your business” I think that that is totally true. Apple is not exactly losing sight of their brand seeing as much of the features are still the same, they are mainly broadening their consumer base. Apple is doing what it always does, evolves. It will likely take their original base of customers as well as gain new customers. Personally, I have an iPhone and I paid more money for it (which I wasn’t happy about but I liked the brand so much I had to get it). I am thrilled that the price has gone down and it does not really change my opinion of the brand. I still view Apple as an awesome company with great products. Now I only like them more because I feel like they are expanding to welcome people who weren’t able to spend hundreds of dollars on their phones to get an iPhone.
I don’t think there will be any negative reactions to the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c. I know people of all ages have iPhones. The technologies the iPhone 5s has to offer are amazing, but aren’t necessary for the younger generations of iPhone users. I know when I got my first iPhone in February I had to buy the iPhone 4 because I could not afford the iPhone 5. By creating a cheaper, newer iPhone it will appeal to a wider audience. I wish the iPhone 5c had been an option when I purchased my first iPhone.
I think Apple is aiming at completely different markets with the IPhone 5s and IPhone 5c. The IPhone 5s is aimed at the current IPhone users as well as the Asian market. With the new gold coloring offered in the IPhone 5s, Apple is hoping to appeal to the Asian market where gold is considered a symbol of wealth. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the IPhone 5c is aimed at the people who have not yet been able to afford a pricey IPhone. With these two new releases Apple is opening all kinds of doors for growth and is moving closer and closer to a monopoly on cell phones.
First of all, I do not own an iPhone but that is mostly because my cell phone carrier does not have Apple products yet. It never really bothered me until this past summer when I was doing my internship and everyone in the company had an iPhone. This ties in to the concept of Apple products being “exclusive” because my co-workers thought it was bizarre that I did not have an iPhone. For example, one time I asked my boss for directions and he responded, “just type it in on your iPhone”. He didn’t even ask if I had one, he just assumed I did because, well, doesn’t everyone have an iPhone these days? This just shows that Apple has such loyal customers to their brand that the release of the 5c will not affect them in a negative way at all. If anything, it will create an even larger nation of Apple users.
I think that the reaction to the iPhone 5s and 5c will be very positive. Even though some people like that Apple products are “exclusive”, I do not think anyone will complain about cheaper prices. I also like how Apple is now gearing the iPhone 5c towards a younger audience with the plastic exteriors and fun colors. I think that the 5c will be a big hit with the younger generation once it comes out on the market.
Targeting a new demographic might be just what Apple needs. The words “Apple” and “affordability” typically don’t go in the same sentence. The chances that certain users of Apple products stop buying or using their products, just because they are marketing to a different crowd, seems rather low. Usually people that are accustomed to Apple’s operating systems enjoy the efficiency and user- friendly applications that Apple brings to the table.
I think the 5c will definitely help Apple reach even more customers because of the price point.
It wasn’t that long ago that I finally gave in to the iPhone and got one for myself. Having it now I love it but before I just didn’t care to spend that much money on a phone. Maybe now with a lower price more people will also “give in” like I did.
People will make a big deal about the idea of “status” and the iPhone, but I personally would rather something cheaper, with only a fraction of improvements. The people who care for the “status” will undoubtedly purchase the greater improved of the two, the 5s. I have only a few applications I currently use on my iPhone, and I don’t mind having a slower processor. The 5c seems like a practical choice for those who want to have the latest iPhone, but don’t care for the cost (or see the use in a fingerprint scanner). I have one question though: is the 5c (being plastic) more or less durable than the 5s?
I think that by releasing both the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C at the same time, Apple is not only catering to their current consumers (who may favor the 5S), but also appealing to not only other socioeconomic statuses, but also those who simply had a problem with the iPhones structure. For example, my mother recently upgraded her old flip phone to a Samsung, not because she preferred the Samsung phone, but simply because of it’s structure. She was worried that the iPhone would shatter (as are many other people) and did not want to invest in fixing the phone if she dropped it and it broke. The 5C not only appeals to people who want a cheaper phone, but those who also simply want a more sturdier, reliable phone (or at least one that would be more easily replaced). The colors also increase the chance of people buying it, in my opinion. It allows more creativity and self-expression when picking out a phone.
Apple is a growing and expanding company. Every year people wait for the new iPhone to be released to see what else Apple can come up with. I think that this new demographic that they are trying to hit will only help Apple to grow even more as a worldwide company. I do not think they will loose any loyal customers due to the fact that they will still be offering the expensive iPhone 5s. All of the reactions that I have seen to both the 5s and 5c have been positive this far and they will probably continue to be.
I think that Apple’s move to offer a newer cheaper iPhone with the 5c is a smart one and will benefit their brand immensely. There are a lot of people who want iPhone’s but have not been able to afford them in the past. Offering the 5c at a lower price than any other iPhone before will help them to reach a different demographic which, in turn, will cause the company’s sales to skyrocket.
I think this is a smart decision for Apple and I don’t think there will be any negative reactions. The iPhone 5c does not have the glass back which appeals to different generations, as well as the price. Also, expanding their biggest revenue definitely helps boost the company and is a wise business choice. These new phones gives a new look to the iPhone. Being able to choose two different colors for the 4 and 4s really appealed to the consumers, and now being able to decide between four or five colors will make this phone seem more appealing and expensive.
I was actually looking up the new Iphone5s the other day and had no idea they were coming out with a Iphone5c, that is extremely interesting. I think the idea of a cheaper phone is definitely a good choice to target a broader range of people. I really hope this strategy works for them. Not only will the 5c reach those who can not usually afford apple products but it will appeal kids as well. Kids loose and break their phones all the time. I think parents are going to like the idea of a phone being more affordable and will be more willing to purchase.The 5c’s colors are also intriguing for the younger generation.Apple has really outdone themselves.
Apple has proven just how successful of a brand it is and how so many Americans are brand loyal to them. Sure, Apple has lots of competitors, but the iPhone always seems to be the “platinum” option. Initially when the first iPhone came out, the brand had an image of prestige and a high price to get that desired item. Overtime iPhones are practically EVERYWHERE. It seems that even middle school kids have them. As each new iPhone comes out, the technology gets better and better. I believe Apple could have made their new models a little bit more expensive merely because people will pay to have the latest and greatest model of something. The same concept of materialism is present on college campuses with a certain style of clothes. Students (more so, their parents) will pay for top brand clothes like Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, etc just to have a look that would allow people to think of you as a certain class and status in our community here at UNCW. I think the lower price point will be very beneficial for the company in the long run. Now, more people will be able to afford Apple’s most successful product and hopefully develop a loyalty for the Apple brand that has swept across America and rest of the World. As an avid Apple fan, I hope to purchase the new iPhone 5s with my upgrade in the coming month. I cannot even fathom what else they will include in the next version of the iPhone.
While it may seem like Apple is downgrading by offering a cheaper phone with the 5c,I think it is a smart way to make a lot of money really fast. Yes, the phones will cost less but that now allows them to offer their product to a wider demographic and a lot people are going to want to purchase this new toy. Those that could not afford Apple products before or brag about their latest Apple accessory can now feel just as entitled as the customers that have buying Apple for years. Apple has become such a well known brand and excelled at advertising themselves that It isn’t about the quality of the phone so much as the ability to say you have an Iphone that people are going to care about.
I don’t think that Apple’s release of the iPhone 5c is because they fear that competitors are catching up, but rather, I think that by creating a new and affordable version of the phone, they can finally reach the demographic of the non-iPhone-using minority. I know of so many people that don’t have iPhones not because they are anti-Apple, but because they simply cannot afford it or don’t believe it is worth the money that is asked for it. But with this new iPhone 5c, I think that an entirely new crowd of consumers will be attracted to Apple and its products. Even though I’m already an iPhone user, I’m enticed by this product because it is new and “more advanced” with attractive features and an affordable price.
You cannot deny Apple’s dominance in the smart phone field since the original iphone. I believe the release of the 5c was a brilliant move because the majority of their customers are not using many of the amazing abilities of the smart phone and only tweeting and taking instagram pics. the 5c will only help these customers save money and use their device with more ease. They are also throwing the 5s into a strong competition of higher performance smart phones with samsung and HTC. It would take a lot to get these phones to sell equal amounts and I would not be surprised at all if the 5c greatly outsold the 5s based on the price and needs of the consumer alone.
As a consumer, I’m a little confused by the iPhone 5c, and I think I might not be the only one. If Apple gives us this new phone with a plastic design, and it still works well, some loyal customers wonder why they’ve been paying the additional price all these years when the plastic would have worked fine. If it works significantly less well than the traditional iPhone design, many people who bought the 5c will be upset Apple sold them a product that is below average compared to their usual standard. I think Apple is making a mistake; in my opinion, the lower cost does not outweigh the fact the product quality will be lower. However, I could be wrong, and both phones could sell well. Either way, I’ll be interested to see how it goes.
For as long as the IPhone has been available, there has always been talk of a more affordable product. When the IPod was altered to different models, that could appeal to different price ranges the phone stayed the same. It has always been the same, and always appealed to the same type of customer. I think that this is more of a consumer based request than a battle of competitors. Apple has pratically dominated the smart phone industry the past 5 years, with very loyal customers, so those customers will continue to buy the product, this venture of the 5c, is projected more at the younger audience. Apple had to stay with technology since a majority of young adults and even children prior to their teen years already have cell phones. Going after every member of the family was absolutely genius of Apple and the record breaking sales of these new products will reflect that.
Hi Harrison! You bring up a great point: Apple does have a very loyal customer base. Obviously their innovation has been a big part of their popularity. Can you think of any other factors that might have contributed to their ongoing success? What do you think is on the horizon after the buzz dies down from these two newest releases? Can you think of any market segments they haven’t done a good job of targeting? I am really curious to see what they create next and to hear your ideas! Thanks for responding to our post! -Meghan Carey
Apple has always been a unique electronic device company. I think the way Apple embraces change and evolution in their company will improve their customer demographic. This change of lowering price and changing color options with new special feature additions catches the attention of more diverse customers. Although it shows they are pushing for a bigger customer range that quality might disturb the exclusive aspect of the devices. I think opinions will start to change about the company but they will continue to grow and improve.
Hi Julia! I definitely agree with you. Apple is branching out into new territory and it will be interesting to see where the brand goes in the next few years. Their reach to include a lower-end market could be either a brilliant or devastating move. I think the next few months will be telling as Apple’s financial reports and stocks fluctuate in response to the new products. Thanks for responding to our post! -Meghan Carey
Apples expansion towards the cheaper side seems to be a must with the competition arising now with the samsung galaxy and the windows phone. Being at the top for so long has given billions of people the opportunity to poke holes in the apple brand by pointing out problems. competitors pick up on these problems and advertise that they have the fix. I think its time apple changed the design up a little to prove that they as a brand are flexible enough to meet the market needs while still holding their brand identity and exclusivity.
I look at Apple’s new business idea and I can see it going 1 of 2 ways. It may do exactly as Apple has planned, and allow lower income individuals to share in the technological experience. On the other hand, it may also create a sticky point for class division. Although one would hope that this petty judgment over varying products would not exist, it is seen quite frequently in the auto industry. Quite often, a company will produce a car with varying models that all possess varying features, each ascending with a larger price tag. To some car fanatics, buying the base model is nonsensical, but others view it as economic. Ultimately, it comes down to the consumer and their niche’ (cars, phones, clothing, and etc.), but one can only hope that Apples launch of the 5s and 5c will result in the former of the 2 options.
The Apple brand is becoming rotten due to the lack of innovation since Steve Jobs passed. I never really owned any apple products except for the Ipod .The innovation that was brought with this product changed the fave of how we listen to music. Who would have thought that a 1000 songs could be places into one device. Steve Jobs did! The only thing I see innovative about the new phone is the fingerprint idea. Touch ID. This is the halo feature in the new iPhone, and the one getting the most buzz. It’s more than just a way to get into your phone without entering a pass code. Touch ID means that there’s finally a secure and convenient way to open up mobile phones to e-commerce applications. We know that initially, you’ll be able to make App Store purchases without entering your Apple ID password. But in the future, this could introduce the convenience of retail purchasing with your phone, something Japanese consumers have had for some time. This company could be downgrading and may not bring much more modernization to the table as it once was the leader of innovative products. I hope some strong willed mind comes along and reroutes this company back to its competitiveness nature that it once had.because it now looks like Android and Windows hones are holding their positions with some of the best phones on the market.
This blog brings up some very interesting facts about the popular brand of iPhone that Apple Inc. produces. The fact that the iPhone brand has always offered comsumers the unique experince that is Apple, the price makes it hard for some to afford. Introducing the 5c is a smart way for Apple to broaden their customer base. With the option of a cheaper version of the iPhone many Americans will now have the opportunity to join the frenzy. By broadening the scope for potential customers the experince of loyal customers wil also be enhanced, by the fact that more of their friends will have the same technology. While current customers will be offered a chance at the next new thing, the new Apple customer using the 5c will now be able to experince the technology that is Apple.