Apple recently had their iPhone 4S launch, to some an anticipated new Apple product, to others a MUCH anticipated new Apple product which became disappointing. Did Apple miss it? Did Apple flub it? How could Apple disappoint their customers so much?
Well, let’s take a look.
First, we need some background to what we can learn from Apple’s business decisions about the iPhone 4S. So read this article, Okay, Now I Get It: Here’s Why Apple Launched The iPhone 4S Instead Of The iPhone 5 at BusinessInsider.com‘s web site.
Now for the takeaways.
- Numbers, numbers, numbers. You have to know your numbers. How many: Customers are there? Of your products have you sold? Fans do you have?
- Time, time, time. What timeframes are you looking at with your products and services? How long will they last or be used? Is your product a one-time shot or used each and every day? When will they need a new one as well as want one?
- Past, current, and future products. How will each of your products affect future ones? Notice that when most people buy a cell phone they are under a 2 year contract, how does this affect their future purchases? Only a few diehards will jump to get a new product, but what about the bulk of your customers?
- Pricing of good, better, and best. Do you have a good, better, and best pricing of your product to handle all of your various customers needs? Notice that Apple had the original iPhone, they offered two versions, now offers three versions ($0 for the 3GS, $99 for the 4, and $199 and above for the 4S. You can compare the models here. Here’s a cost breakdown of all of the iPhones and their carriers).
- Customers. What is the current “lay of the land” when it comes to the numbers of customers you can attract? Apple sees the “first time” or “low cost” cell phone users to offer them the $0 iPhone, but the real question becomes, will the cell phone plan still keep them from buying the less expensive iPhones?
- Pre-sales timing. When you announce, as Apple does, about pre-sales of a product, you get to determine the amount of production you need and plan the release to keep your prices high. Too quick, and you’ll dilute your products price, too late, and not enough will switch over.
- Competitors and future products. As you can see, while Apple has greatly improved the iPhone 4S from the 4 and it the much “under the hood” changes, the “release” of an iPhone 5 next year gives them almost a year or so to continue to improve the iPhone 5.