This paper will examine why Apple’s iPads are the market leaders and it will break down the compiled facts gathered from multiple sources to discuss about the global market leader.
The first thing to understand is what a market leader is. “A market leader could be a product, brand, company, organization, group name which has the highest percentage of total sales revenue of a particular market. Market leader dominates the market by influencing the customer loyalty towards it, distribution, pricing, etc.1” “In the first quarter of 2018, Apple was the leading tablet vendor, holding a share of 28.8 percent of global tablet shipments and it generated the company revenue of almost 4.1 billion U.S. dollars. This was followed by Samsung’s tablets which accounted to 16.7 percent of the market share and contributed 4.1 billion U.S. dollars towards the company’s growth.2” Another metric called ‘year over year growth’ depicts whether business is a good investment for the customers. It is the comparison of one period with the same period from the previous year. In 2019, Apple showed a growth of 6.1% compared to Samsung and Lenovo which showed a declining trend of 3.1% and 6.9%3.
The factors that determine Apple’s leadership in the market are selling strategy, promotional strategy, anticipation of future requirements and being customer centric.
Most of the tablet vendors like Dell, Lenovo, Samsung etc. follow a horizontal corporate system design model. They make their own hardware and incorporate some other company’s software on it, for instance of Windows and Android. Then they add third party services, like Google and carrier services and sell it though someone else’s store (carrier retail stores, Best Buy etc.). Apple has a vertical corporate system design model. All the vital and critical components of the chain used to manufacture and sell products are controlled by Apple itself. It constructs extraordinary hardware and owns the core software experience. After this, it is responsible for enhancing its software to be used by the hardware and equips it with web services (iTunes and iCloud). The final step is to regulate the selling experience through its own retail stores.
Another big selling strategy of Apple is to create an addictive, well-known and firmly incorporated ecosystem. The devices and software Apple makes are designed to work seamlessly with each other and sync effortlessly so that preferences and media can be replicated or shared with innumerable gadgets. Applications work on multiple devices at the same time and user interfaces are exceptionally comparable across devices
Apple does not spend a lot on advertising, instead uses product placement to advertise its commodities. This means it places the product with an influencer like celebrities on popular shows and rely on the buzz created by the positive reviews on the social media6. Along with this it is also known for creating ‘Halo Effect’ which can leave people hungry for more. Usually, companies inform their audience about the new products and their specifications which they are about to launch in the market to get them excited about the new technologies to show up in the future. Contrastingly, Apple finds joy in creating excitement by hiding the information from the customers and creating an aura of ‘mystery’ to keep the audience on their toes. It has also known to have ‘accidentally’ leaked the product information to allow customers spread rumors to make the product popular way ahead of any official product launches.
Anticipating Future Requirements8
Apple pays attention to the details and stays up-to date on the latest technologies. It tries to come up with the products which are expected of them in future. Bradley Chambers, a writer at tech news site 9to5Mac said, “I want to see Apple move the iPad imparity with the Mac. It’s one thing to spend 30 minutes on an iPad in a classroom, but if you think about knowledge workers outside of education, the ergonomics of the iPad aren’t great — not for eight hours. I want to see Apple evolve the use of the cursor with an iPad.” The latest iPad Pro aimed to tackle this problem with its new OS. It uses a new Magic Keyboard which sort of suspends in the air by using magnetism. It is backlit and fit with a trackpad and cursor support.
The target audience for Apple consists of people from Middle or Upper Class, technology or music enthusiast and professionals in media and design. It’s marketing strategy is designed to make their customers happy by making their products simple and thereby simplifying the decision-making progress. Someone even with zero knowledge about technology can buy a tablet after going through Apple’s website. It has limited number of options to choose from which helps customer to select without getting confused and also has a product comparison tool which will help customer tailor down the products according to his/her necessity. It does not use technological jargons while describing a product and believes in using easy- to-understand language. Apple constantly asks for its customers’ reviews which makes the audience believe that their opinions count. Even the products themselves are kept sleek and minimal, with simple color schemes and clean, uncluttered design. The names are short and easy to remember.
Future Scope and Conclusion8
In future, it is expected that Microsoft and Google will focus on 2-in-1 devices in terms of the world of computation which is precisely designed for the education purpose at progressively aggressive sub-$300 price points. Interesting thing would be to see how Apple counterattacks to this. However, history shows that Apple eventually matches the pace of its competitors and surpasses them in the race every time. Due to the latest pandemic worldwide, stores are closed and shipments for tablets continue to diminish. But analysts are optimistic about Apple continuing to be the best vendor due to its focus on bringing latest content and services to the market and its eccentric marketing strategies.
- ‘Why competing with Apple is so difficult’ by Ben Bajarin on Jul1, 2011. https://techland.time.com/2011/07/01/why-competing-with-apple-is-so-difficult/
- Market Realist- Why Apple’s ecosystem is its biggest advantage by Samantha Nielson (updated 10 months ago). https://marketrealist.com/2014/02/ecosystem/#:~:text=Apple%20is%20known%20to%20have,multiple%20devices%20without%20much%20effort.
- ‘7 Key Strategies that you much learn from Apple marketing’ by Neil Patel . https://neilpatel.com/blog/7-key-strategies-that-you-must-learn-from-apples-marketing/
- The Daily Egg . https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/why-is-apples-marketing-good/
- ‘The Tim Cook Apple iPad prediction that’s looking increasingly blurry’ by Maggie Overfelt on Mar 25 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/25/the-tim-cook-apple-ipad-prediction-thats-looking-increasingly-blurry.html
- ‘What makes Apple a market leader?’ by Guna Campbell on June 3,2015. https://prezi.com/awm22zonlm0e/what-makes-apple-a-market-leader/