Preparation Questions for
“Apple’s Challenges in the MP3 Player Market” Case
Please write 4-5 sentences in response to each question.
1. Why would you say Apple was the runaway market leader in the MP3 industry? What were they doing that made them such a success? The IPod’s first-mover advantage and simplicity of use between sleekly designed hardware and Apple’s music/video download service played the biggest role in why they were the runaway market leader. Apple had found a way to implement a user interface on to their version of MP3 players. Apple also released different versions of MP3 players (such as the mini, shuffle, etc) with varying storage capacities for the user’s preference. Ipods were also able to display text files and play games.
2. What were the Key Success Factors for MP3 players? In other words, what were the most important features that customers valued in an MP3 player that all the MP3 makers needed to do adequately if they were to survive and flourish?
Having a user interface made it much easier to navigate through MP3 players. There were also various models of MP3 players that can be suited to the user’s preferences. The “need” in having loads of portable music on hand also contributed to the success of MP3 players. The weight of MP3 players also plays a part; the light it is, the more comfortable in carrying it is. A universal dock on MP3 players also contributes to its success so an MP3 player could be used at home, while exercising, etc.
3. Which of Apple’s MP3 competitors do you think posed the biggest potential threat to Apple based on their competitive profiles described at the time of this case? Explain.
Microsoft seems to have been the biggest competitor for Apple’s Ipods. Microsoft implemented a feature not available to Apple’s Ipods or their online store; a way to share music...
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