As consumers and citizens, we have witnessed the growth of American multinational behemoth Apple. From a tiny little computer company founded in 1976 in CA, their endeavors now include the Mac line of computers, iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, iLife and iWork productivity suites, Safari web browser, and operating systems OS X and iOS. They are a major player in the IT industry, produce phones prodigiously, and are media store mavens online and off. Apple TV is a lukewarm hit and iWatch is coming. Each Autumn, we have come to expect the rollout of one new iPhone model. It was what people groaned over and wished for, saved for and relished. But this is 2013 and nothing is like it used to be.
As a student of Public Relations, though, I’m scratching my head. They must have the most proficient PR people in the business. What I’m seeing in their recent actions looks like a series of business moves, tactics, not a thought out market strategy. In the past week, Apple introduced a plastic cased iPhone 5c in many colors and the more expensive 5s which comes in three colors only but has a better camera, faster processor, and a fingerprint scanner. The 5c is under $100 if you buy the two year contract here in the U.S. but over $400 in the rest of the world. Apple is also planning a rollout of a new operating system at the end of the month.
So, we are harvesting lots of new ‘stuff’. But Apple’s main audience, loyal Apple product purchasers, have had to put up with a lot in the past few years. Apple has been a lifestyle brand, we want what they sell because it is the ‘cool’ stuff, the smart stuff. But increasingly, competitors like Samsung have other cool stuff! Apple consumers tend to lean left politically and are an educated lot. Apple is not the most environmentally friendly company, has been known to overlook labor indiscretions, has been in litigation over and again, and most recently one of its major suppliers was purchased by Koch Brothers, a huge donor to right wing political groups.
Has Apple stumbled this time? Their stock is down 5% today and market share is their mantra….time will tell. Is this the old wait and see strategy? Instead of jumping on the news programs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and all the other social media out there….are the PR folks at Apple sitting back to react once the dust clears? Well, played Apple…well played. Nothing new here.
– Laurene Medaglia
Author Bio: I am a lifelong resident of Cleveland, Ohio. Having grown up in Geauga county, I favor the ease of country life but love my diverse city. I am 51 years old, the mother of a 19 year old college sophmore, and live nearby in Lyndhurst. I began classes at UCAP in January 2013 to complete the degree I began working on immediately after high school, at the University of Pennsylvania. I work for Progressive Insurance in Mayfield as an agent and volunteer in our diversity and inclusion programs regularly. I have a red belt in Tae Kwon Do and have recently begun training in yoga. I look forward to obtaining my degree to help meet career goals at Progressive and satisfy my neverending desire to learn something new. I am an avid reader, gardener, and music fan.