Established in the United States of America in April 1976, Apple Inc is a multinational corporation that designs and manufactures consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include Mac computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. As at January 2010 the company operates 284 retail stores in ten countries, and an online store (www.apple.com/investors). Apple has established a unique reputation in the consumer electronics industry. This includes a customer base that is devoted to the company and its brand, particularly in the United States. Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired company in the United States in 2008, and in the world in 2008, 2009, and 2010 (http://money.cnn.com).
Before discussing how Apple positions its laptop computers in the market, it is important to understand how markets are segmented. Market segmentation is “the segmentation of markets into homogenous groups of customers, each of them reacting differently to promotion, communication, pricing and other variables in the marketing mix” (themanager.org) and is essential when trying to understand customers and what will influence their values and perceptions. A challenge that any marketing plan faces is whether or not to broadly class buyers and segment the market accordingly by using segments such as age, sex, income levels or whether to try and target the smaller buyers and their specific needs and wants. Through segmentation of an aggregated population, Apple can determine what appeals to specific groups,... [continues]
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