It wasn't long ago when Apple Computer transitioned to Apple, Inc. and the iPhone set the smartphone world fire. Nor was it long ago that Apple ran their award winning “Hello, I'm a Mac” ad campaign, positioned as the little computer that could. But today Apple lives in a world where they are no longer the little tech company that finds its niche, rather, Apple is now the largest company in the world, achieving such success that only Steve Jobs could have envisioned. With this success — and mammoth size — Apple has new marketing and advertising hurtles to tackle, as the atmosphere at the top is much different.
Apple is now in an advertising position of being the thousand pound gorilla. IDC’s latest iPhone sales statistics reveal an ever growing market share in the U.S., while Android saw its share decline for the first time. Samsung has hammered the airwaves with ads bashing Apple users as being un-cool or out of touch, to showcasing a litany of technologies iPhone does not have (whether gimmicky or not). Microsoft is also hot on Apple’s tail, hammering away at iPad and now iPad mini, using an Apple Siri-like voice to mock Apple’s mobile devices, while showcasing the Surface strengths.
Other technology companies such as HTC and Google’s Motorola Mobility division have yet to start bashing Apple, but if the entire technology industry smells blood, the sharks will begin to circle Apple en mass.
Why attack? Apple?
Clearly, Android and Samsung are the world wide market share leaders in terms of handset shipments and OS deployment, but it is Apple that dominates western world sales in the lucrative high-end handset arena. Apple continues to grow mobile share in the U.S. and reap massive profits through iPhone, iPad and iPod touch sales, making Apple the company to target.
Microsoft, who scoffed at Steve Jobs declaration that the world was now in a "Post PC" era, is getting the core of its business torn apart by the post PC mobile industry — with Apple at the center of this movement. commentary. The reality has finally set in on the Redmond software giant, which has responded by betting the company’s futures on a failed Surface tablet. As of this writing, Surface has lost over $1 billion for Microsoft in hardware write-offs, which does not even factor in the massive anti-Apple iPad advertising campaign, which is becoming another massive failure directly tied to the lack of Surface sales.
Desperate times at Microsoft call for desperate measures, and Microsoft may be nearing the edge of launching even more aggressive, if not deceptive, advertising campaigns against Apple if their current path continues to fail.
For the past two-years Samsung has been hitting Apple with amazingly brutal, but carefully crafted ads. While the campaign certainly will not endear current Apple iOS users, it has been amazingly successful at consolidating the remaining scattered market under its fold, becoming the anti-Apple product. Lately, Samsung has begun shifting its ads to more standalone promotion of its products with less Apple bashing. Samsung now focuses on stealing Apple’s customer base instead of making fun of them.
Whether a few, or a few dozen, tech firms join the Apple bashing, the biggest effect on Apple will be how Apple handles that attack and transitions its marketing into being the market leader, and being able to defend its territory.
An onslaught of new Apple mobile hardware and software is due in perhaps a few short weeks. Once Apple holds their special events, and launches a host of new products, we will then begin to see how Apple is handling its desperate, if not overly aggressive competition, and whether it can maintain its unique position of being Apple.
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