Can shiny new phones and twice as many marketers save Apple’s market share?
The launch of a new iPhone is cause for celebration among Apple’s fans, but the question being asked is: has Apple still got it? It has also been revealed the tech giant plans to double its in-house marketing department as it battles to catch Samsung.
The new iPhone is actually two – the shiny metallic 5s and the colourful ‘budget’ 5c. The pricier model comes with a finger-print scanner for unlocking and approving purchases.
Apple’s previous release, the iPhone 5, largely failed to woo new customers to the brand, taking the majority of its sales from existing iPhone owners to leave Android as the most-owned operating system in Australia.
The rise of Samsung in the smart-phone market has also given consumers a lot more choice when it comes to smartphone purchases, which is starting to impact on Apple’s sales.
“Samsung has certainly begun to take control of the smartphone market across the globe. However, Samsung has provided a range of smartphones, at varying prices, to suit different users for a while now. This is the direction Apple appears to be heading in with the iPhone 5s, rather than offering the previous iPhone generations at a reduced price point,” says Macworld Australia editor, Jonathan Stewart.
The buzz and anticipation however were still evident, with the iPhone 5s trending almost immediately on Twitter after the announcement was made.
“Excitement follows Apple wherever it goes, but in recent times the hype and surprise of Apple events has diminished with the increasing levels of correct rumours and speculation in the lead up to the events. However, this does not mean Apple is failing to produce quality, innovative or worthwhile products – it certainly is,” Stewart says.
Even with market share declining, Apple is looking to expand. AdAge reports that the Cupertino, California company is actually looking to double the number of employees it currently has on its in-house marketing and advertising team. With the headcount currently sitting at around 300, that means the company is looking to increase staff numbers to about 500 or 600 people.
In the past there has never been a huge emphasis put on Apple’s marketing capabilities – due mostly to founder and former CEO Steve Jobs’ preference for making sure the company felt “more product-based and not marketing-centric” according to 9to5Mac.com.
Apple’s regular marketing agencies, including TBWA/Media Arts Lab, Mono (Minneapolis) and Eleven (San Francisco), are expected to keep working for the tech giant, but a lot more projects will be handled by this growing in-house team. AdAge notes that recently the team has been covering such projects as site design and tutorial videos for Apple products.
The website also points to a recent study from the Association of National Advertisers in the US, which found “big marketers ratcheting up in-house advertising capabilities”. The study didn’t include Apple, but “showed the penetration of in-house shops among its members shot up to 58% from 42% five years ago”.
The new iPhone 5s and 5c launches will be backed up with a comprehensive advertising campaign, including TVCs.