Apple's App Store: Strengthening the iPhone's Competitive Position

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG236
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 2007-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Apple Inc.
Industry : Mobile phone
Countries : USA, Worldwide

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...

The Developers' Viewpoint

Most analysts believed that Apple had created something which its rivals would find difficult to match -- a dedicated community of developers, working to develop successful apps for the iPhone. Over a period of time, large game development companies, independent consultants, and even ordinary tech-savvy people, competed to build apps that were user-friendly, original, fun, and useful, and had the capacity to attract the iPhone user...

The Competition

The success of the iPhone apps in increasing the demand for the iPhone prompted others like wireless carriers, handset manufacturers, and other mobile OS vendors to devise their own App Store-like offerings...


As of mid-2009, the iPhone was very popular and continued to gain market share in the smartphone market. It was in the third position globally, with a market share of 10.8% in worldwide smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2009, which was double its market share of 5.3% in the first quarter of 2008...


Exhibit I: Growth of iPhone Apps over Time
Exhibit II: Features of the Three Generations of the iPhone
Exhibit III: Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users - Q1 2008 and Q1 2009
Exhibit IV: iPhone Sales per Quarter


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