“With 4-5 billion new users coming on line and Apple riding the top of an S-Curve of growth is not a good sign to investors or employees,” Ed McKernan writes for Seeking Alpha. “Tim Cook has had two years to articulate a growth path, but has hesitated and milked the cash cow. Carl Icahn won’t be knocking at his door if he had come to market with newer devices and targeted a well made device for the developing world, Apple’s future customers.”
“There is a reason that BMW resurrected the Mini Cooper several years ago. There was an unserved market for small, sporty and customizeable cars that could become iconic. BMW was testing their understanding of the market. You may say that they hid under another brand. That is true. But then they took what they learned and launched the smaller, lower cost 1 and 2 series,” McKernan writes. “Once unthinkable and possible brand destructable. Is this junk? For many years BMW rode the curve of increasing wages for the top 10% of households. Then they circled back to get the kids. Apple has to deftly and quickly circle back to get the kids. They have less time than BMW.”
Read more in the full article here.
For as long as Apple has been Apple there have been calls for the company to make “affordable products.” By this, most mean lower price tags. They’re not talking value or Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). When you bring those ideas into the discussion, Apple’s prices are very low indeed. No, this is all about price tags. People want Apple to sell products for less, so that more people can use them and – side benefit – it hurts those ripping off Apple’s intellectual property to produce cut-rate facsimiles of Apple’s innovations. Android, I’m looking at you.
One major problem: Offering low priced products is, as Apple’s leadership likes to say, “not part of Apple’s DNA.” This is a nice way of saying: We can’t dominate entire markets (outside of the fluke iPod/iTunes Store) because it would irrecoverably damage the Apple brand or as Steve Jobs once said, “We can’t do it; we just can’t ship junk.” More recently, this has been parroted by Tim Cook: “There’s always a large junk part of the market. We’re not in the junk business.”
I have a solution that satisfies everyone: Buy an established brand (on the cheap, no less) and design and market products for mid-tier consumers… Remember now, these aren’t junky products we’re talking about, these will be quality mid-tier Jony Ive-designed products. They will offer quality components and excellent build quality, they just won’t be the very latest, highest-end stuff… the best of the mid-tier, not at all low-end.
Mini Cooper has worked very nicely for BMW. [The same idea] could work even better for Apple. — SteveJack, MacDailyNews, November 4, 2013