It doesn’t take much effort to find Apple customers who own Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods. Are Apple products that good? Or, is there something else going on?
Product Positioning Breeds More Sales
A few years ago I watched Steve Jobs introduce the original iPad. The device was positioned perfectly between the MacBook Air, and the iPhone.
Apple has a knack for product positioning (as opposed to product placement; and no company is better than Apple at placing products in movies and TV shows).
That means that products and their various models are positioned in feature set and price so that customers can migrate up the product chain.
Along the way, customers collect Apple products. Mac users have iPhones. iPhone users have iPads. Nearly everyone has had an iPod (though we may not upgrade as often).
How we use each of Apple’s main products declares the wisdom of proper positioning. The iPad mini starts at $329, which isn’t that much more than a comparably equipped Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HD, but has more capability.
$60 more gets you an iPad 2, which performs about the same, but has a larger physical screen. $100 more gets you an iPad with Retina display.
The Mac’s product positioning works the same way. The smaller MacBook Air starts at $999. $100 more gets more storage. $100 more than that gets a larger screen.
The iMac starts at $1,299 but $200 more brings better graphics and a faster CPU. The diminutive Mac mini is no different. It starts at $599 and is complete sans keyboard, screen, and mouse. $200 more brings more storage and a faster CPU. $200 more and the Mac mini is a high powered OS X Server with dual HDDs.
The iPod ranges from $49 for a Shuffle to $149 for an iPod nano, and $199 for an iPod touch. That pricing strategy makes it easy for a customer to start low and climb high without realizing what’s going on.
Even Apple’s pricing of the iPhone covers the low end of the scale and still segregates newer, better features with a slightly higher price tag. A new iPhone 4 is available for free with a cell phone carrier contract. That’s a two-year-old product. Last year’s iPhone 4S starts at $99. The new iPhone 4 starts at $199.
We can argue all day about how Apple gouges customers who opt for greater storage ($100 to go from 16GB to 32GB on the iPhone 5. But another $100 to 32GB for the high end iPhone.
Apple is careful to position product models and their respective prices close enough together to please, and not offend too much, every customer. That breeds a large number of customers who own more than one Apple product. I have an iMac and MacBook Pro. An iPhone and two iPads. And two iPods.
How many Apple products do you own?