Saturday, October 27, 2012

Apple Understands Product Life Cycle and Executes

Despite some complaints from iPad users upset about Apple introducing a new and "better" iPad at intervals of less than a year, Apple does cannibalize its own products at a prodigious rate, and has done so for some time.

While cynical observers might say cannibalization is a great way to force customers to upgrade, others might also argue that Apple cannibalizes products and models as a way of protecting its overall share in the device market. 

Others might say Apple under Steve Jobs, at least, understood the notion of a product life cycle and executed on its with perfection. Apple further seems to have understood and implemented product strategies that match the ways customer adoption changes over time from early adopters to majority. 

Starting with the iPod, Apple has lead with its most powerful, most expensive model first, aiming at early adopters, then introducing less costly versions as the market grows, capturing larger segments of the consumer base that do not value technology prowess so much as value. 

The iPhone launched as Apple was achieving peak iPod sales of about 22 million units. It was exactly the right time for Apple to cannibalize its own business, in that view. 

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