High-technology products are combination of market and technological uncertainties, they also carry competitive volatility, means a high level of threat that the same technology will be duplicated and introduced by their competitor. Challenges faced by any company while marketing High-Technology are different from traditional products. In the present paper we will discuss marketing concepts of newly launched product Apple I-Pad 2.
Product Life-Cycle: The life cycle of a product has been defined in four stages. Stage one introduction, stage two growth, stage three maturity and stage four decline. When a new product is launched in the market, it falls under stage one. In introduction stage companies invest a huge sum in promotions to spread awareness among its targeted customers about the product. The product faces lesser competition. In stage two competition starts increasing as competitors launch similar type of products with lesser price or with additional features. In this stage company starts focusing on brand building. Stage three starts when product growth rate stabilizes and price war reaches at its peaks, Saturation in the market starts. In stage four sales start declining and new products starts introducing in the market (lesson-plc). Apple I-Pad is in stage one of its life cycle. The product is recently introduced in the market and competitors are not ready with this technology. Rivals are struggling with technology of I-Pad 1.
Four Ps for Apple I-Pad2:
1. Product: the newly launched Apple I-Pad2 is slimmer and lighter. Idea is to make user more comfortable while using this new technology. Surfing net, playing games and watching movies is very natural and easy. The I-Pad 2 is equipped with Dual-Core A5 Chip, which makes processing two times faster. Graphic performance is also improved nine times and watching pictures, video and playing games is smoother. I-Pod is having two cameras one at the front and another at the back. To make view amazing LED 9.7 inch backlit display has been provided in I-Pad2. Touch screen and iOS4 the most advance Operating System is provided in I-Pad2. 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity is available in I-Pod. I-Pod can also work like projector and whatever you are watching you can show it to large audience. With the help of Wi-Fi you can print any document any time without any need for any additional software (ipad-features).
2. Price: The price of I-Pad 2 in US market start from $ 499 for 16 GB base mode and increases as the size of memory increases. The model with Wi-Fi and 3G availability starts from $629. The product is recently launched in the market and company is seeing a good demand of the product thereby not offering any discount or deal at present. For the ease of customers few dealers are offering product in monthly installments (ipad-2-wi-fi).
3. Place: on 25 March 2011, I-Pad 2 was launched in 25 countries and in April 2011 it was launched in major Asian countries. The product is available in all retailing Apple stores and authorized resellers. Apple is having an edge with its widespread distribution network. Apple is selling its product through three major retailers Best buy, Sam’s club and Wal-Mart. A special deal also signed between Apple and AT&T (Tsai, 2011).
4. Promotion: to promote its product various press releases are released by company. The company is advertising its product through various channels like online, print media and electronic media. At initial stage company is not offering any sales promotion and getting an offer is really difficult.
Value: The new I-Pad 2 is more comfortable with great design and look. The earlier edition of I-Pad was not equipped with camera and was also heavier than I-Pad2. Projector facility is also coming for the first time with I-Pad 2. Over all it is a good product with great features and fast processing. It is going to add value to the customers who are fond of playing games, do video calling, and download books & movies (apple-ipad-2-935199-review).
Needs: it is very difficult to understand customer’s needs when it comes to high-Technology products. In case of high-technology products, customers always look for something new with additional features. They themselves do not know what they want. When any company launch new high-tech product, market uncertainties use to be on higher side. Since customers never used that technology earlier, it is very difficult for companies to make any prediction about product success and its acceptance by the customers. Apple launched its I-Pad2 in different phases. The product is an updated version of I-Pad 1. The company had already seen the success of I-Pad 1 and decided to go for an up gradation in existing technology to provide more comfort and ease to the customers.
Target markets: target market for the product is any user of I-phones, Amazon Kindle, netbook, laptop and desktops. The device work on I-phone operating system thereby much easy to use and learn. The device also provides great power backup and easy to carry. All these features make target audience to buy this product (understanding-the-target-audience-for-the-apple-ipad).
Brands: Apple is well known and established brand in high-technology products. Company is focusing on spreading awareness about the product and its advantages than focusing on brand. The other established brands in the field are Motorola, HP, LG and Samsung but they are not at par with the technology apple provided in I-Pad 2.
Marketing channels: Apple is mainly using communication channel and distribution channel to reaching target audience. Company is using electronic and print media to promote its product and to spread awareness. Apple is selling its products through its own stores and retailer’s stores. Products main retailers are Best Buy, Sams club, AT&T and Walmart.
Competition: the company is having edge over its competitors by having advance technology as well as strong and widespread distribution network. Product will have to face challenges in near future from other established brands like HP, Samsung, Dell, LG, Motorola and BlackBerry.
apple-ipad-2-935199-review. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2011, from www.techradar.com: http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/tablets/apple-ipad-2-935199/review
ipad-2-wi-fi. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2011, from phonestore.techradar.com: http://phonestore.techradar.com/phones/apple/ipad-2-wi-fi
ipad-features. (n.d.). Retrieved September 17, 2011, from www.apple.com: http://www.apple.com/in/ipad/features/
lesson-plc. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2011, from marketingteacher.com: http://marketingteacher.com/lesson-store/lesson-plc.html
Tsai, A. (2011, March 3). news. Retrieved September 18, 2011, from www.tabletedia.com: http://www.tabletedia.com/news/2932.html
understanding-the-target-audience-for-the-apple-ipad. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2011, from www.cellfanatic.com: http://www.cellfanatic.com/2010/01/27/understanding-the-target-audience-for-the-apple-ipad/