Time for a strategy change

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by brettinlj, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. brettinlj macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2008
    I posted this on another rumors forum. Thought it would be interesting here.

    Apple has historically been an anomaly when it comes to its product strategy and how it introduces them. Being secretive about upcoming products and introducing revolutionary designs with great fanfare has allowed them to catch their competition by surprise and build up a loyal, no... fanatic, base of consumers. Unpredictability was the key. Now, the media spectacle has become the status-quo. When Steve Jobs walked out in jeans, tennis shoes, and the black shirt today, I knew that the announcements he made would be no more revolutionary than his uniform, er, I mean outfit. Not even a mock turtleneck of a Pantone color to match one of the new iPod Nano swatch choices was worn.

    Steve Jobs has broken his own philosophy of not following the formula. There is nothing wrong with wowing the world with something revolutionary, but to have the lasting effect, that which is introduced has to be just that... revolutionary. It is time to find a different way to make that impact when the next real product that will amaze us is released upon the jaded, tired media machine.

    The economy is bad and many of the people who buy iPods as gifts, are indeed the ones who are affected by the economy. These same people are going to be choosing between $600 airfares to see their loved ones or electronic gadgets this Christmas. Contrast this to those who will by Macbooks (and Pros and Airs) vs. a clunky Toshiba that is half the price and 2/3rds the performance. They are the ones who are either going back to school and will already be amassing a huge debt, or have the disposable incomes to choose Apple instead of the former for the entire design, experience, and utility built into one. It is too late to woo the first group this year. At least wooing an incredible number of them rather than just a hefty number. Sales look great, but they would have been spectacular as many more people, especially Generation Y'ers will be willing to switch to Mac now that one year ago.

    To not let these valuable souls (they really are the wet dream of product marketers; most companies would kill to have these people waiting in the wings for their product lines) slip away this quarter and further disappoint shareholders Apple needs to break away from their predictable formula by:

    1) Announcing now when the new Macbooks, Macbook Pros and Airs will be released, even if the date is months down the road.

    2) Introducing them in an innovative, non-black turtleneck wearing way that will demonstrate the revolutionary vision of Apple. And they better be the dog's bollocks.

    This will truly catch the competition off guard and keep those sales going to Apple, and their fanatic customers loyal.

  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    ...or they could actually come up with something new ;)
  3. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Or they could just keep making money hand over fist like they are doing now.

    They may sell one third as many computers as #2 HP, but they do make seven times as much profit from each one they do sell...
  4. Saladinos macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    They're not following the formula - they're the only company that releases products in this way. It keeps them unique, and gets a lot of press in when there are a lot of announcements on one day.

    It also brings the benefit of letting Steve sell the products to journalists. It brings a human touch to computers that the competition is lacking (and a likeable personality at that). Apple is run by engineers, and that's what makes them special. Steve has actually taken a hand in developing the products (including setting up NeXT). Dell is a businessman, who found a way to sell PCs that brought larger profits. Ballmer is a marketing guy, who doesn't care about technology innovation, just about making money and trying to dupe customers. Apple creates great products, and relies on that to sell them. The products sell themselves.

    - People who are hit badly by the shoddy economy shouldn't buy iPods. They have bigger worries.
    - There are signs that the economy is recovering. LSC has dropped below $100/barrel
    - Who choses between their family and a gadget? Those people don't deserve to be accounted for.
    - Apple offers student discounts. They're the only OEM that does. They even give you a free iPod with a Mac. I think they're being fair.
    - You can also buy Macs on finance. Pay over 36 months. There are also rental options available from 3rd parties.
    - Apple are the #1 education retailer. That's not just for computers, that's overall in the education market. Whatever they're doing, it doesn't need a change.

    People running up debt is not Apple's problem. Yes, the US economy is rubbish. Yes, the US further education system is a joke. Those are changes for the government to make, not Apple. Unfortunately for you, US culture has traditionally been for pricing things out of the hands of the middle/lower classes. Go to Europe, where these problems just don't exist.

    For example, in the UK, I'm paying £3000/year for my tuition. That's the same regardless of where you are in England. Oxford, Cambridge, anywhere. In Scotland, it's free. In Germany, it's €500. That £3000 is paid by the student loans company (run by the government). It's paid back only once I'm earning over £15,000/year, and they take 9% gross. It's also pretty low interest. I also get about £9,000 per year in bursaries and grants which I do not have to pay back. Healthcare is provided by the NHS for free, and I have one of the most modern hostpitals in Europe around the corner (they're constantly on the forefront of surgical research as well). No council tax for students either. I bought a MacBook and iPhone last year. This year I got an iPhone 3G and am getting a Mac Pro once the Nehalem models are released. Oh, and I'm living in Central London, a few minutes away from Oxford Street.

    So you see, the problem isn't with Apple. If people in the US can't afford their products, you people need to start asking "what your country can do for you". That's what we do in Europe, and it turns out we're a lot happier and healthier, and have the money to buy things like iPods.
  5. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Good post. Well-argued and I agree pretty broadly with it.


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