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Apple needs to increase its market share for iPad 4.
Apple Inc. is a well known technology firm that specializes in designing, production and selling of computers, mobile phones and music related devices. The most outstanding feature of Apple Inc. is the brand-perception as well as identification. Apple has built itself to become a cult-brand over the last decade with the strategy to invest and market iTunes, QuickTime and iMaclines working to fortify the brand loyalty hence the cult-brand formation. The short-term goals that Apple Inc. put in place are geared towards increasing the sales of the iPad which is one of the most recent products of Apple. Apple Inc. is a fairly large corporation with a huge startup capital base and a corporate culture that is inclined towards engineering and innovation. It is known to properly utilize the bureaucracies that exist and also possessing good customer culture that is entrenched into the corporate culture of the organization. The organization is also known for its lean yet very efficient management team and human resources base, with the top management and decisions making team composed of engineers and a small project team that is also headed by engineers as indicated by Business Insider (2011).
Apple is currently seen as a multinational corporation whose main base is in the USA with branches across the world and deals in computer software and consumer electronic goods. The well known products from Apple are the iPhone, the Mcintosh computers and the iPod, on the other hand its software that give it an edge over competitors are the iTunes and the Mac Operating System.
The iPad 4 has significant qualities that easily endear the American customer base like the long battery life, the metallic casing, the highly sensitive touch screen, unique design and the multiplicity of applications that can run in its operating system. The marketing plan that is intended in this case in point is the targeted marketing across the Asian and African nations whose market has widely been neglected by the iPad marketing team. The market segmentation for iPad 4 in these targeted geographical locations will be unique and aimed at not only retaining the previous market share and traditional consumers in Europe and USA but also to bring in the Asian and African continents in a more diversified approach and uniquely tailored manner than ever done before.
The issue under scrutiny here is the lack of market coverage in Asia and Africa and how iPad 4 can break this imaginary market barrier that has existed for a long time. It is due to this imaginary wall that the other brands like Samsung have dominated the market in the developing and the third world countries. The suggested marketing plan herein is the targeting of research institutions, higher learning institutions, blue-chip companies, NGOs and governmental agencies among others. This is informed by the fact that many of such organizations have the need for the applications that are offered by the iPad range but they are not duly informed of the possibility of having this product within their institutions, this is the information barrier that must be broken through this marketing plan that will be structured herein.
Apple situational analysis
The situational analysis is widely known to be a strategic planning tool that helps in analyzing the political, economic, cultural, environmental, social and technological factors among others that can potentially influence, in the positive or negative the performance of a given brand within a given market in the process of their daily operations. Being that the marketing plan of iPad 4 is targeted at external markets, away from the USA traditional market, it is important to know what these factors are and how they can influence their operations.
The industry analysis
Apple, like many other firms that deal in similar products falls under a widely unique industry. One that is highly flexible and seen to be continuously expanding. It is an industry that is characterized by exponential innovation and creativity that always seeks to defy the price increases. Many products within the electronics industry are subjected to upgrades and versions due to these rapid changes that the hardware adjustments can hardly keep up with. The cut-throat competition within this industry is also occasioned by the dynamism in the demands that the market presents and the urge for the various companies to fill the technological gap presented by the potential customers. The tablets market is more prone to the competitive forces of the market since brands like Samsung and Lenovo keep producing newer versions of their tablets more rapidly.
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This area presents one of the stiffest challenges to Apple as a company since the there are three fronts of competition that it meets in the market; the brand competition, the products competition and generic competition. There are several other brands that compete with Apple's iPad 4 specifically in Africa and Asian countries, for instance the Samsung Galaxy, Lenovo IdeaPad, Toshiba Excite and Motorola Xoom among other brands from different companies. The product competition in this industry is also stiff with Apple having several other companies manufacturing and assembling similar products like Sony, Lenovo, Hewlett Packard, Dell among other companies. The generic competition, which acts to solve the same needs albeit in a different manner include the Cox Cables and Regal theatres among other generic competitors (Jureviscious O., (2016).
Due to the dynamic needs of the customers as hitherto stated, the demands and pressure put on the technology-based firms are enormous. This in effect makes the competition among the players even stiffer with each company striving to fulfill the needs raised by the customers. Many operations and processes within may organizations and manufacturing firms are of late dependent on hand held devices and the accompanying relevant software. This makes the iPad 4 a relevant product, but in the midst of a technological competition from similar products. Apple is known to be one of the top notch firms in terms of technological advancements, known for its leading edge technology which often endures to be at the best of the functionalities and design. Apple has the long-term ability to initiate and develop their hardware and software apart from face-lifting the notebooks and desktop. The web-based technology is widely used by Apple in creating awareness of their products and services. Apple has also tapped into the affordable technologies offered by other firms to subsidize its productions and hence retain a wider customer base, such an instance is their partnership with Intel Computers in 2006 which further stabilized Apple due to its stronger and stable research and development department (Hill, T. & R. Westbrook, 2017). Apple has continuously strived to stay at the helm of technological competition. However, there have been instances of faulty productions detected, for instance the iPod Nano with faulty screens and faulty iPod batteries both of which were effectively handled by Apple Inc. This apt way of handling their challenges and the production of high quality products will significantly help in the marketing plan and eventual marketing of the iPad 4 in the new frontiers.
Apple is known for a wide range of its products that is sells across the world across several political boundaries. One of the concerns that the ventures into the different market zones pose is the issue of varying tax regimes experienced in these regions. These different tax rates mean that the company will have to keep adjusting the prices accordingly to align the profit margins with the different taxations. It is also apparent that in some nations, the tax imposed on imported or foreign brands is prohibitive. There are also nations implementing overly strict labor laws and regulations on remuneration. It will be a challenge to fully internalize the labor laws from various regions and some may lead the company into realizing very small profit margins.
Though Apple was affected by the recession which significantly reduced the demand for their products like any other company, it still has the opportunities to expand its existence across the globe. The company can still format their music store, the iTunes, into the format that can be played through the mobile phones and sell more of this product. It can also venture into strategic alliances with other companies especially in the regions that it may be looking at for expansion. The Asian and African nations' economies have been slowly but steadily expanding with the establishment of democracies over the decades hence presenting a viable economic base that can significantly support the expansion of Apple into these regions. Indeed, Asia is noted to be one of the fastest regions in recovery from the global recession and leading in global growth (Kuroda H., 2013). It has also been noted that Asia and Africa have forged closer ties in the recent past increasing the trade, investment and technical assistance and ties between these two regions as depicted by Harshc E., (2004). The 1.2 billion opportunities presented by the African population….....
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