Apple Inc. uses the Apple brand to compete across several highly competitive markets, including the personal computer industry with its Macintosh line of computers and related software, the consumer electronics industry with products such as the iPod, digital music distribution through its iTunes Music Store, the smart phone market with the Apple iPhone, magazine, book, games and applications publishing via the AppsStore for iPhone and the iPad tablet computing device, and movie and TV content distribution with Apple TV. For marketers, the company is also establishing a very strong presence to rival Google in the advertising market, via its Apps business and iAd network.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-Founder, described Apple as a “mobile devices company” – the largest one in the world (Apple’s revenues are bigger than Nokia, Samsung, or Sony’s mobility business).
For several years Apple’s product strategy involved creating innovative products and services aligned with a “digital hub” strategy, whereby Apple Macintosh computer products function as the digital hub for digital devices, including the Apple iPod, personal digital assistants, cellular phones, digital video and still cameras, and other electronic devices. More recently, the full impact of a very well throught out brand strategy has come into focus – and one in which customer experience is central: the Mac is no longer the hub of all things Apple. Now, Apple offers a harmonised, synchronised, and integrated user experience across all of its main devices (iPad, iPhone, and Mac), using iCloud as the hub. It is in the process of extending this experience outside Apple-controled environments by introducing deep integration with Facebook and Twitter on iPad, iPhone and Mac.
Apple’s core competence is delivering exceptional experience through superb user interfaces. The company’s product strategy is based around this, with iTunes, the iPhone (with it’s touch screen “gestures” that are re-used on the iPad), and the Apple Apps store all playing key roles.