Case Study Analysis
February 23, 2015
Case Study Analysis
Case I: Japan to Apple’s iPhone: No Thanks!
Apple's products are one of the largest purchased items in the U.S though in Japan, Apple has yet to conquer. One of Apple's major mistakes was introduction and promotion if the IPhone in the Japanese market. There was a failure to comprehend completely and evaluate the needs of the consumers in Japan. This mistake led Apple to a costly return because of the incapability to focus on Japanese consumers. Apple was a brand name in the world and utilized this to get higher returns from the international market. The initial strategy included targeting a particular group of people who could afford to pay more towards a more technically enhanced product introduced by Apple. The IPhone was able to remain consistent throughout the U.S. and other countries having the same specifications and designs. This approach may work for some areas, but this led to problems because it was not able to address particular issues in regards to the IPhone where few markets were unable to accept the IPhone in its original form. This resulted in the inability to modify the IPhone to suit the local needs or limiting any future aspects of modification. Apple was not able to completely expand its efforts in a significant market such as Japan.
Apple's 3G technology was recognized in many other places in the world but was unsound terribly when it came to the Japanese market. The fact of the matter the Japanese market had been previously introduced to the 3G technology in Japanese cell phones decades ago, therefore it was no surprise, and it was already being utilized. IPhone’s 3G technologies had nothing new to offer. The Japanese market had already attained the maximum gratification and benefits from the 3G technology. Schiffman and Kanuk (2010) In addition, many mobile phones in Japan allow their users to use their phones as debit cards or train passes. Apple's strategic team expected to capture the Japanese market as their primary target but was not successful. Japanese consumers were already utilizing features such as digital TV viewing, color display, satellite navigation and music player. Basically Japanese consumers were not excited about the idea of a new smartphone, the IPhone contained features that have been utilized already. Japanese consumers did not find any additional value of the IPhone for a need in their lives. In addition to the lack value for the IPhone, Apples attempt to skim the market with high prices, the led to a further decline of the IPhone in the Japanese market. Apple learned a very valuable lesson dealing with the Japanese market, analyzing the strength and weakness of a product not only in a global aspect but also in a local perspective as well. When a strategy is adopted by a company such as Apple, it may seem perfect, but criticism of the product from a major local market can lead to the deterioration of the reputation of the company not only in the same market but also in the surrounding region. The strategic team/managers should define the requirements of a particular local market by assembling a meeting that include businessmen, entrepreneurs, customers and suppliers of the market to compile strategies while keeping awareness to the views supported by the stakeholders and assimilating their ideas while creating a strategy.
Apple learned another valuable lesson, the failed attempt to gain the understanding of the Japanese culture. It should be expected of efficient marketers to understand the cultural values and needs of the local. It is important to understand their needs so that they can customize their products for the target intended. Apple totally failed at this approach when they introduced the IPhone to the Japanese market. Apple underestimated the Japanese market by expecting the Japan consumers to adjust with the IPhone instead of altering...
References: Schiffman, L. G., & Kanuk, L. L. (2010). Consumer behavior. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Education.
Yukari Iwatani Kane, “Apple’s Latest iPhone Sees Slow Japan Sales,” Wall Street Journal,
September 15, 2008, B3.
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