Apple Ipod, Technology Lessons Learned

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Executive Summary
In the case of Apple Computer Inc., reinventing itself as a digital leader in the world by its innovative and creative products lines; especially the launch of the iPod in 2003. Their quick adoption in the marketplace to emerge into an existing market catapulted them to making multiple impacts to the music industry and changing the mobile digital device age forever.

The iPod coupled with the iTunes Music Store is one of the most innovative legal distribution medium for digital content of this decade. Apple’s adoption of proven marketing strategies like Porter’s three basic strategies for being a differentiator to gain competitive advantage, cost leader to retain and attract new customers using services and products, and focus strategy to target niche markets by building contributor communities of supplier partners for creating accessories and digital content.

The impact of the iPod and iTunes music store was detrimental to the music industry but instrumental for Apple to grow into a digital leader. Information Management Managers can learn how the adoption of technology to create a flexible and scalable product line by pushing technology to the market, taking risks from management intuition to capitalize on future markets by leveraging existing technology and targeting niche markets.

The purpose of this paper is to review the lessons learned from the analysis of the Apple-Merging Technology, Business, and Entertainment case from Baltzan & Phillps (2009). The analysis will reveal the impact iPod has made to the company, its competitors and the music industry. Apple transformed itself over the last decade from providing easy to use personal computers to an innovative business leader in providing digital products and accessories. Apple’s qualitative marketing research approach, operational efficiency decisions and focused strategy contributed to their success over existing competitors in the market. The paper will also touch on other Apple product lines defined by the success of the iPod to discover how Information Management Managers can adopt the methodologies and strategies used by Apple to be successful. Impact

In 2000, Apple’s stock price closed for the year at $14.88 and closed at $204.62 on 2/226/2010 (Yahoo Finance, 2010). The stock price increase over the decade is given credit to its innovative and creative initiative by Steve Jobs, their CEO to break into the digital music business in 2000. This initiative took the company from one software adoption with its acquisition of SoundStep to development of its own product, the iPod in 2003. The key was the recognition that the market did not have a place to feed the MP3 players that were currently in the space. Jobs recognition to launch the iTunes Music Store, an online music store for people to buy and download music was a risk that paid off. According to Bradner (2003), Apple’ s one million downloads in the first week showed that the company discovered there was a business market after-all. One year later, the company sold ~50 million downloadable songs. Competition

Apple was not the first to offer a portable MP3 music player but they were the first to provide a legal medium for consumers to download music. There were a multitude of online music stores that players to connect and play their content but not provide portable content. Outside of peer-to-peer networks who allowed some to exchange digital music files, legal avenues were still minimal. Competitors such as Napster, MusicMatch, Rhapsody and others were revamping to mark their spots in the digital marketplace (Amicone, 2004). Even Microsoft did not have an online Music store to compete against iTunes until 2004. This was the first time Apple was able to beat Microsoft to the market with an innovative consumer product. Music Industry

The music industry was impacted by technology advancements that allowed individuals to digitize existing...
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