The iShare is an innovative product designed to offer more convenience and speed in file sharing. iShare aims to help eliminate the traditional inconveniences and complicated requirements involved when transferring files between any two Apple i-devices, to give users the joy of easy sharing, and to deliver sustainable profit to its shareholders. This business plan concerns the introduction of iShare to the Thai market.
We aim to be the expert in file-sharing gadgets between any electronic devices. We decided to first begin by developing a device called the iShare, which enables music sharing between the Apple iPods/iPhones before we go further and make similar products for other brands like Samsung and HTC in the future. The target market for iShare is mainly the Thai middle-to-upper-class, younger generation who owns an iPod/iPhone and have solid income to spend on this innovative gadget. Our market size is carefully calculated to be approximately 200,000,000 THB for the iShare alone and up to 1,000,000,000 THB in total. Our direct competitor is miShare LLC, which offers a similar product to customers in the US and Europe. Indirect competitors include other computer programs that enable easy file transfer between e-devices as well.
PRODUCT AND TECHNOLOGY
The iShare is a small device that connects 2 iPods or iPhones together, and let users easily transfer files from one device to another without any computer required. We aim to provide our customers the never-before convenience, speed, and the fun of directly transferring files between their device and their friends’. The iShare will also overcome the technical problems and satisfy the customer needs that has not been met previously by our main competitor, miShare LLC. We will develop the software ourselves and outsource the production to China. After we succeed with the iShare, similar products capable with HTC Android and Samsung Galaxy will be introduced to the market.
MARKETING AND SALES STRATEGY
The iShare will be launched in the middle of the year 2012. They will be sold directly to first tier distributors who will then pass them on to other retailers. The iShare can be purchased from any iStudio and authorized retail stores. Customers can also find an online user manual, a demonstration video, and many more useful information on the iShare website. The iShare will be advertised through various distribution channels such as social networking websites, printed advertising, and viral marketing.
Our team is composed of many talented members with different expertise and great connections. We have a technology expert with a background in consumer electronics, a talented software programmer and developer, an experienced and amazingly creative designer who specializes in hi-tech gadget designs, and a very devoting marketing manager with 5 years of experience in marketing consumer electronics. In addition, we also have a close relationship with a huge manufacturing company in China, which will be our supplier and manufacturer for the iShare. The company has confidently claimed that it is capable of producing our product at our desired cost, given our carefully developed software program and product specifications.
Market and Competition Analysis
There are many ideas and theories concerning the relationship between the choice of media and personality types nowadays. One of the most popular and widely accepted ideas is the one stating that a person’s music taste reveals personality type: classical music fans are most likely to be shy, while British-pop fans are mostly young, indie hipsters. As we all know, everybody in this world is unique, or at least they want to be perceived that way: as being unique, different, and have their own tastes and preferences for basically everything. Most people are likely to be confident in their own tastes. People with the same taste in music usually gets along well, providing that they believe they have some common values, backgrounds, and personalities that enable them to understand each other better. Music has always been one of the most popular communication tools that bring people closer together.
Many people love to share with their friends their favorite album, current favorite songs, or the artists they admire. Nowadays in the world that has become much more digitalized, almost every music and songs offered are in the digital format, to be played and listened to on a digital music player. Sales of music CDs and cassette tapes has been constantly decreasing, while on the other hand the sales of online music, in the iTunes store, for example, has rocketed worldwide. Digital music players have become so popular, and the use of them is widely adopted globally. Cassette tapes and CD players, on the other hand, are going into extinction. One of the general customer needs that have not been fully met in the digital market nowadays is the ability to share their digital files with friends and families easily and without a computer. Whether it is a HTC android, a Samsung Galaxy Player, or an Apple iPod touch, it requires at least a cable and a computer to support file transfer and sharing.
For some particular brands like Apple, transferring files between two iPods or iPhones is still not easy, even with a computer involved. Unlike many other music player producers, the complicated Apple software does not allow users to simply copy and paste files from the portable device to the computer, but requires that users have the corresponding program, the iTunes, that supports the uploading and syncing of files from a computer to their device, and vice versa. Our group sees this unsatisfied customer need as a great market opportunity. We are determined to become the expert in file sharing between electronic devices, especially focusing on music sharing.
Eventually we will become the business that provides the market with a device that will make file sharing much more easier for users of almost every digital music player brand, but we have decided to first begin with Apple. From various researches, surveys, and discussions with digital experts, we came to the conclusion that easy music sharing between the Apple i-devices is the highest in demand, due to the brand’s complicated traditional requirements involved in file transferring, and to the massive number of existing Apple users in the market. We have decided to develop first a device that enables music sharing between the Apple iPod/iPhone before we go further and make similar products for other brands like Samsung and HTC in the future.
These devices to follow the iShare will work with Samsung Galaxy and HTC Androids, and can be expected to be developed, produced, and offered to the market relatively quickly. This expectation is due to the existing capability, experiences gained, and the competences achieved during the development, sales, and marketing of our first product, the iShare. Our group’s product, the iShare, is a small device that connects 2 Apple iPods or iPhones together, and let users easily transfer files from one device to another. Ordinarily, people would need a computer to transfer files, but the iShare helps eliminate this inconvenient requirement. We aim to provide our customers the never-before convenience, speed, and the fun of directly transferring files between their device and their friends’.
Generally, our target market is the Thai people who own at least one digital music player and have the passion and anxiety about innovative gadgets and file sharing made-easy on their electronic devices. They are likely to be middle-to-upper-class, young to middle aged people with solid income to spend on gadgets and electronic devices’ accessories. They are likely to be interested in new technology and keep themselves updated with new innovation and hi-tech products. We also target on people whose career revolves around the digital music industry, in which it will be very helpful for them to have a device that makes file sharing and transferring convenient and fast. The overall market size is carefully estimated to be approximately 3,000,000 people. However, due to the fact that this business plan will mainly focus only on the iShare, a sharing device specifically designed for the Apple iPod and iPhone, the potential number of market size is reduced to 1,000,000 people as of now.
This number is believed to be constantly rising due to the increasing popularity of Apple products. The market size for iShare can be predicted by the number of existing iPod/iPhone users in Thailand. From our careful calculation, together with some reliable sources, out of all the population in Thailand, the number of people who owns at least 1 iPod or iPhone is around 1 million people. Assuming realistically that we can sell the iShare to about 10% of this total, our market size can be estimated at roughly 100,000 people in total. Given that our wholesale price for a single iShare is 2,000 THB, our market size for the iShare alone can be estimated to be around 200,000,000 THB. However, this number does not include other potential markets, the markets for other brands’ users that we will enter in the future. If we take those markets into account, the total market size for our business can be as high as 1,000,000,000 THB.
Our Section of the Market
Figure 1 : Age groups of Apple i-devices users in Thailand
In Thailand, the major group of Apple customers, which accounts for 32% of all users, is between the ages of 22-35. This group also made up a majority of the early adopters of Apple products. Other groups of users, which also contribute a lot to the total number of users, are users with the age of 18-21 and 36-50, which together accounts for 52% of all users. ( See illustration in Figure 1 )
Figure 2 : Percentage share of Apple users among e-mobile users per country According to Figure 2, in Thailand, the percentage share of Apple users among all other e-mobile users in Thailand is 79.6% of the whole market. This makes the market of complementary products to be used with the electronic devices very large; therefore, we can attract a lot of potential customers by introducing iShare, the new, innovative complementary product to the Apple iPhone/iPod. We conducted a survey at MBK mall, one of the most popular malls in Bangkok for mobiles and electronic devices shopping. We gave out a questionnaire about the iShare to 100 people who were wandering around the mobile phone section. More than 90% said that they are very interested in this product and more than 70% of the interested people have responded they are willing to pay up to 3000 THB for the iShare, while another 30% thinks that it would be too expensive and they would not buy it at this price.
Our market for iPod/iPhone users can be segmented further using age groups. By looking at different age groups of users, we can determine the segment that is most likely to be our potential customers and thus market our product and create strategies accordingly. Different segments for our market are as follow:
1. Apple devices users with the age of lower than 18 ( Students ) 2. Apple devices users between 18-21 years old ( College students ) 3. Apple devices users between 22-35 year old ( Junior working class ) 4. Apple devices users between 36-50 years old ( Senior working class ) 5. Apple devices users with the age of more than 50 years old ( Senior citizens ) ( Refer to Figure 1 for illustration )
We are targeting a specific market and plan on overtaking it with quality – what we try to achieve is to be a selection of choice that will offer a never-before convenient and fun product that enables people to share more with each other. We aimed at existing users of iPod/iPhone who desire the ability to save the time and effort required to transfer files between their devices. Basically our market is largely based on a millennium age people that give a huge importance in the ease of use and the amount of time that can be saved by using our product. After looking at some statistics and researches previously done by many interested parties, we came to the conclusion that the most interesting segments for our product are the iPhone/iPod owners with the age of between 18-35, or segment 2 and 3 from our classification. These two segments make up more than 60% of all Apple i-devices users in Thailand.
Since the market for electronic devices, including smart phones, MP3 players and tablet PC, is growing worldwide, the complementary products market is most likely to be growing along with them in the same direction. We first focused on Apple products because of its undeniable continuous rise in popularity and demand. Not only Apple, there are a lot of other companies such as Samsung, HTC and Sony who are also in the electronic device market, and in the near future there is likely to be more and more brands that will enter into this market. Although this will also attract many other competitors, we can gain the brand loyalty easier as a first mover of a product of this kind in Thailand.
Therefore, after we succeed with the iShare for Apple products, we will modify the iShare and make it compatible for use with other brand users in order to generate more revenues for our business from the new market segment. We will develop a similar device to the iShare that will work with a Samsung Galaxy Tab, a HTC android, and possibly other competing brands in the future. We see a lot of opportunity for growth in this industry, and we will continue to maintain our image as being the expert in music sharing with our restless innovation.
Looking only at the iShare, our direct competitor would be the one company that actually gave us the idea of this device at the very beginning of our project: miShare LLC. MiShare LLC is a software and hardware developer company in New York City, specializing in publishing tools for iPods and other digital media and offering publishing systems for schools, museums, music and movie companies, and marketers who want to distribute audio and video directly to iPods and other digital-media players for immediate playback. MiShare LLC is the inventor and legal producer and distributor of the miShare, a small device that enables users to transfer music, pictures, or videos from one iPod to another without the use of a computer.
In the past, there had been similar devices that claimed to have the same ability, but most of them failed and none has ever been as successful as miShare. Nathaniel Wice, the CEO and cofounder of miShare LLC, is the technology entrepreneur and marketer with a journalism background. He adds startup experience and contacts to the miShare and looks forward for collaboration with other startups on business and funding opportunities. His other co-partner name is Josh Hochman, a busy writing software programmer.
Hochman is the top programmer with the background in consumer electronics. The company’s main players in the office consist of Nathaniel Wice, Josh Hochman, and a young woman doing shipping-and-receiving department working on the hand-stamping envelopes. Our group’s idea of the iShare originates from the fact that such successful and widely accepted device like a miShare is not yet made available to the Thai and other Asian market. MiShare targets only the iPod users in the United States and Europe. Currently they do not have the policy to ship their product to any Asian country. Thus, we take this opportunity to follow their footsteps and bring to the Thai market this interesting product.
We aim to outperform miShare by overcoming their product’s major weakness, which is the current version of miShare’s software that does not work with the distinctive disk format of iPhone and iPod touch. Their products only works with a limited range of iPod models such as the iPod shuffle, and iPod touch are still unsupported by miShare. This is the technical problem that we aim to overcome in order to provide an even more superior file-sharing device that also works with iPod and iPhone, the iShare, in order to satisfy our customers need and be successful in our business.
Other indirect competitors include other iPod/iPhone applications that also enable users to transfer files from one Apple device to another easier than traditionally required. These include applications like Bluetooth Share and Files Lite. Bluetooth share is an application that allows users to share files, photos and contacts. It was first launched to App store in early 2010. However, its major weakness is the fact that its sharing process takes much longer time than the iShare. A regular 3 minutes song would take 5 minutes to transfer from one device to the other. Another indirect competitor, Files Lite, is an application that gives users the ability to synchronize documents directly to their devices.
They can store and share files via email and PC easily. The files can be opened directly on the devices. Files Lite supports Microsoft documents, PDF, HTML, images, videos, audios, Apple iWork and text documents. With the most recent update in January 2012, this application allows users to transfer their files easier and quicker. However, a Wi-fi connection is required to connect Files Lite to transfer files and documents. The transfer time is slightly faster than Bluetooth share, but still is much slower compared to iShare.
Despite the fact that these applications have also made it easier for its users to transfer music and files between 2 iPods or iPhones, there are still some disadvantages that still make the iShare a superior choice over them. The fact that these applications are much slower and that some require internet connection in order to transfer files are some of those disadvantages. Looking at the situation from every angle, the iShare still holds the superior advantage of being the fastest, most convenient choice ever for file sharing.
Product and Technology
From our design development and our effective and innovative production process, the iShare will provide the convenience and speed in file transferring between Apple i-Devices like never before. Our R&D Team has developed this new gadget to make file sharing between iPods and iPhones much easier. No computer or cable is needed, and it’s very easy to use. Users can use the iShare to transfer just about anything they have on their iPods or iPhones: music, photos, videos, and playlists. A typical song will take ten seconds to transfer once the devices are attached, depending on the file sizes. A short home video in iPod format could require half a minute.
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