Monday, September 16, 2013

Are Apple and Nokia Mirror Images?

The Apple strategy for emerging markets is in some ways the mirror image of what Nokia did. 

Where Nokia had enormous strength in the "affordable phone" segments of emerging markets, 
Apple seems to eschew that segment, sticking with its "premium, high margin" positioning even as it tries to expand to some demographic segments (wealthier customers) of the Chinese and other markets.

Some argue Apple is going the same way with smart phones that it chose to go with PCs, allowing Android to capture market share, with Apple eventually being relegated to a niche role. 

Others believe Apple will succeed. But that is the point, some might say. We are talking about a pricing strategy. 

Those arguments essentially avoid the question that is at the heart of all debates about whether Apple can keep its magic without Steve Jobs. Here we are, talking about pricing strategy. We aren't talking about reinvention of whole markets. 

That might come, some would say. Others might say it might not even come, but Apple will find its way forward, anyhow. Some of us cannot avoid the sense that Apple will revert to the mean. 

Most of us would agree with a general rule that nobody is "irreplaceable." But some of us might agree there are exceptions to every rule. Steve Jobs was that exception. 


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