Apple’s marketing strategy focuses on introducing the best personal computing and music experience to students, teachers, professionals, businesses, government agencies and consumers through its innovative hardware, software, peripherals, services and Internet offering. Besides, iPod as a hardware device that to deliver the protable entertainment experiences to consumers; Apple also offers the online media store – the iTunes Music Store to enhance the wonderfulness of “Apple experience” for its customers. The iTunes Music Store is a portfolio of peripherals that support both Mac and Windows users who has iPod products to enjoy a variety of other service and support offerings.
Currently, Apple has been successful in developing a near cult following surrounding its iPod. People identify with Apple and when they buy a Macintosh or an iPod, they are buying into a culture or lifestyle choice. Apple has been able to bond with its customers just like Southwest Airlines, Nike and Volkswagen (Chadwick, 2004). Sales of iPod have proven to be phenomenal. According to Graham (2006), ¡§Apple has sold 42 million iPods -- 76% of them in 2005 and recently reported record revenue for the quarter -- $5.7 billion, compared with $3.5 billion for the same period in 2004.¡¨. Its iPod controls over 74 percent of the market for MP3 players of any kind in the United States. Also, Apple has sold more than 500 million songs or half a billion songs since it opened its iTunes Music Store. It is now selling more than 1.8 million songs per day. Apple possesses 82 percent of the market share in the United States and 85 percent of the global market for music (Thurrott, 2005). Apple¡¦s direct competitors include Dell Computers, Microsoft Corporation, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Fujitsu Siemens, Gateway, and NEC. Each of these company¡¦s main products includes desktop computers, notebooks, servers, and software. Apple¡¦s competitors to the iPod Shuffle product include Sony, Samsung, SanDisk, and Creative Technologies Apples indirect competitors include alternative forms of music distribution, specifically CDs and portable CD players, as well as radio - especially web radio and the new and quickly growing SIRIUS satellite radio. SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is a tool for auditing an organization and its environment and represents the first stage of planning, enabling marketers to focus on key issues. A SWOT analysis of Apple (Table 1) revealed: