The paper “ Strategic Marketing Plan for Apple - Product Life Cycle, New Market Entry, Pioneer or Follower Strategies, Shake-Out, Mature and Declining Strategies” is a dramatic version of a case study on marketing. Apple Inc. founded in 1977 in California, US is one of the globally most recognizable and successful companies. With over 35 years of existence, it has experienced major changes in the computer and information industry. Perhaps it has a great future as a computer giant in a rapidly dynamic world. The company is upbeat in going for new markets and taking a new position through allocating resources to its traditional sets (computers) and its newer products; Apple TV, iPhones, and iPods so as to improve and maintain its market position.
By understanding its position in the product life cycle Apple asserts a unique retail strategy that informs the firm’ s product decisions. It can capitalize on emerging and new trends hence sustaining its competitive advantage and market share (Boxall, & Purcell, 2007). The Computer giant is committed to safeguarding the environment, employee safety, health and, global communities and customers. It recognizes that learning its internal and external environments can take the business to the next level of performance, increased market share and competitive advantage. The product life cycle of AppleThe Apple product life cycles show that the iPad and iPhone are set to fly high in the next few years.
The iPod took about five years to hit the 30 million units per year mark. The iPhone took four years while the iPad made it in the second year after launch. Apple product Life Cycles are rapid and higher than expected (Birchall, 2009).
For Apple, it has taken over four years in the growth stage evidenced by the range of products currently in the lineup. These are the iPad and the iPhone that are projected to hit more than a hundred million units per year mark in 2013 and 2014. The Apple growth story continues despite the popularity of the Androids. Sales of iPod peaked in 2008 when it was below 55 million units and soared to about 45 million units in 2009. The iPhone sales were under 70 million units followed closely by iPad (Boxall, & Purcell, 2007).
The exciting growth phase of Apple between 2009 and 2012 saw revenues rise to over $100 billion in 2011. Generally, the Apple product life cycle is supposed to have four definite stages; introduction (embryonic), growth, maturity, and decline which can be plotted with volumes against time. The introduction (embryonic) phase is associated with high costs, slow sales volumes, and no or little competition. At this point, customers will need stimulation to act (Boxall, & Purcell, 2007). The product is cash extensive, limited in profits and substantial marketing costs.
Principal customers are early adopters and tend to be innovators. Apple is currently in the growth phase where volumes have increased and unit costs reduced. Over greater volume, advertising is amortized, market awareness is extended to the ‘ early majority’ after product familiarity with ‘ early adopters’ . What may seem to fall are price levels due to more competitors entering the market increasing the level of competition (Isenberg, 2006). The product remains cash extensive though profits increase due to a rise in working capital or marketing investment. The maturity stage is evidenced by lowered costs with increased volumes.
The alternative products start to date the original product offering since the market is more competitive (Menn, & Bradshaw, 2010). The product starts to generate cash and remains profitable. The ‘ late majority’ joins the early adopters, innovators, and early majority. The decline or saturation phase is characterized by a decline in sales volumes, constant profit margins, and cash generative products. The luddites and laggards still experience difficulty in entering the market (Guest et al, 2003). c