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Competitive Strategies Case Study

Case Title:

Apple’s Challenges in the MP3 Player Market

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: Mahesh Pol, Mridu Verma

Industry: Engineering, Electrical and Electronics


Case Code: COM0194P

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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The case is about challenges faced by Apple computers in the MP3 players market. Apple which is basically into design, manufacturing and marketing of personal computers (PCs) and related software and services to begin with, launched its MP3 player iPod in 2001. iPod was well received by the market and continued to maintain its leadership position. iPod also became a significant contributor to Apple’s bottom-line, accounting for 40% of its revenues in 2005.

The competitor companies -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, Creative Technology and Toshiba largely shared the remainder of the portable player market. They took aims at iPod several times but without much success. With the lucrative portable MP3 music player market growing in size, these players were not wiling to call it a day yet. Despite the intense competition new players like Microsoft were keen to enter the market.

The case discusses the challenges faced by Apple iPod amid increasing competition in the MP3 player market.

Pedagogical Objectives:

    The case discusses about the changing business model of Apple Company in the MP3 market. It evaluates the product launching and product positioning strategies of Apple, and its competitive strategies to face competition.

Keywords : Apple ipod MP3 player; evolution of MP3 playermarket; Apple's entry in the MP3 player market; launch of 1st generation ipods; launch of online media store iTunes; competitors; Microsoft; SanDisk; Competitive Strategies Case Study; Sony; competing MP3 player; Zune; Sansa; launching of subsequent generations of iPod by apple; launching of iPod Nano

Contents : 
Apple iTunes
Apple’s Response
Apple iTunes Store
Apple iPod Nano
SanDisk’s Sansa MP3 Player
Microsoft’s Zune MP3 Player

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