A for Apple iPhone
In my series of Marketing for Introverts, A for Apple is the first post for the A-to-Z Challenge. As an observer of social phenomenon, I will (try) and incorporate what I’ve learned in Marketing and my liberal arts background into this series.
Why I chose this brand:
As an Apple user myself, I admit that I can be biased in the Apple vs. Android debate, since the last time I used Android phones was in my sophomore year. A lot has changed since then, I believe, as Android phones are getting way cooler (and bigger), which is one of the major reasons why Apple is seeing a decrease in sales in Asian countries.
According to stats on Taiwan’s smart phone usage, Android leads on ahead of iOS. (http://thenextweb.com/asia/2014/01/07/without-apples-doing-southeast-asia-already-has-a-market-for-buying-budget-iphones/).
However, iPhone in Taiwan always has its faithful followers, which makes it an interesting discussion.
- Design: iPhone has always been viewed as classy and easy to hold (for iPhone 4 and 4s). As for the colors, iPhone 5’s gold resonates with Asian countries well, since gold is considered as a lucky color, a color that symbolizes wealth.
- Channel: Since Taiwan has yet to have an Apple retail store, consumers look to telecommunication companies like Chung Hua Telecom or computer hardware stores that specifically sell Apple products, and at the same time giving great after-sales service. Every time Apple sets the date of an iPhone release, telecommunication companies push special priced packages in advance to get phone users to exchange their previous telecom plan and spend some money for a new iPhone. It works every time. You rarely people going to computer hardware stores in Taiwan for an iPhone, unless they’re looking for parallel goods.
- Screen Size: Apple lost fans when its newest iPhone didn’t come in a bigger screen. That said, a lot of my friends (and my self included) stuck with iPhone due to its portable size, which you can hold in the palm of your hand without feeling cramps.
From my perspective, I don’t see a definite opportunity for iPhone alone, rather if we can see marketing in how both iPhone and iPad are used collaboratively, it would be a lot interesting than wondering if iPad might cannibalize iPhone someday by incorporating 3G and SIM card slots.
Of course, apart from Android, Google and Samsung’s growing influence in the smart phone market, there is one threat I believe that is vital in the smart phone competition: Apple has to address how Android phones are eating up Asian markets. Android phones can sweep the high-end and low-end markets, yet if Apple wishes to take root into, say, South East Asian countries, it would be much harder, since consumers’ consumption style varies with Western countries. Also local brands would be a preferable, choice, cost-wise, compared with high-end phones like Apple. With China as an example, their nationality plays a factor in using local brands like Xiao-Mi.