First, I admit openly that I am an Apple fanboy. Have been for a very long time and for reasons that would bore you to tears. But truly, I am amazed at the business velocity and dazzling maneuverability of this phenom CEO Steve Jobs.
iPod – if you don’t have one (and most of you do), you want one, and in any case you know the brand. It’s the Kleenex of mp3 players.
Increase market share? Increase power & functionality of the core concept but keep it simple and elegant — iPod video. Now make it freaking elegant and droolingly desirable, add a phone, and take away all the buttons! Voila, the iPhone. Literally everyone I talked to knew about it, had seen it and wanted it. A lot! Market lust allows for high initial price point. Even AT&T lock doesn’t dissuade early adopters.
Now, the coup de grace. Update the iPod with all that iPhone goodness. Cut the price of the iPhone (the real money is is the service contracts) and instantly expand market share in the smart phone category. Play hero and issue a credit at the Apple store to the early adopters (gee, who benefits from that?) and further cement brand loyalty. And give everyone who has service plans with providers other than AT&T an affordable WIFI iPod Touch that pretty much is the iPhone (yes, voice too, if you think VOIP). All in a few short days, ready for the Christmas stockings. Mix well and serve in Europe. Simply stunning!
Yes, there is a risk in this kind of volatility, but compared to everyone else – all other competitors seem, well, boring.