iPhone 5, mercado y aprendizaje

Enrique Dans. Professor. IE Business School

1 October 2012

The latest iPhone is not a revolution, but rather an evolution, capable of mobilizing and inspiring the masses as only Apple can.

Six different iPhone launches have brought to a fore the same old reactions from doom mongers, who never fail to say each time that the new iPhone is such a letdown, it’s not worth it, it’s a flop, or it’s worse than its competitors. We have seen much the same reactions to the iPod, iPhone, iPad and every other device the company has come up with, and yet they have all gone on to be a resounding success.

The new iPhone is an evolution rather than a revolution. The revolution took place in 2007, the year in which the companies phones started trying to look like an iPhone. Apple has made its phone lighter, slimmer, taller, and faster. It is not the lightest in the market, nor the slimmest, nor the highest, nor the fastest, but it is the only one capable of increasing the percentage of the US GDP by half a point, all on its own.

No other brand enjoys the same attention for its launches. It makes such a strong impact that the fact that it does not have technology like NFC is seen as being more of a delay of said technology in penetrating the market than a shortcoming of the iPhone.

Before they bothered finding out about the new features of the latest model, 70% of current IPhone users had already categorically stated that they would buy the iPhone 5 before the end of 2013. Nearly a third of them said they would get one before the end of 2012.  No other brand or gadget enjoys such customer loyalty, satisfaction and retention. It is more highly considered by its owners, with a drop-off rate of less than 6%. The first month between ten and twelve million phones will be sold, with a much higher profit margin than that of its competitors. 

With Jobs or without him. Whether a launch is centered on intrigue or is made thoroughly predictable thanks to leaks, how do they manage to do the same thing six times so successfully? No other technology company reads the market as well as Apple does. There is a big lesson to be learnt here.

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