Monday, April 15, 2013

Don't Enter Unnecessary Markets

1 Infinite Loop
Since the turn of the century, Apple has had a history of not entering many markets, unnecessarily. Unless they can put a "dent in the universe," they'd prefer to leave well enough alone. But, that's not always the case. Apple knows how to experiment and "fail fast." Most recently, they tried to displace Google Maps with their own mapping app. It was a noble attempt and Apple will continue to improve it, but a key point is if they hadn't entered this market, no one would have been critical of them. Google Maps is a great product as it stands, now. How do you beat Street View?

Apple has made minor marketing missteps like this before such as the introduction of the Cube computer (a thing of beauty), iTunes Ping social network (it only lasted two years), or Find My Friends (meh, it just never caught on since it's a creepy "pull" location based social networking experience compared to the "push" feature of Foursquare and Facebook Check In). In these cases, not too much was lost by Apple and the latter two apps teach us that Apple should probably not enter the social networking market. As a matter of fact, they've been categorized as the "anti-social company" due to their secrecy regarding their products, strategy, and stock.

One area that Apple has done modestly well, but hasn't yet dented the universe, is in TV and broadcasting. Steve Jobs referred to their current Apple TV solution as a hobby while they refine their go-to-market strategy. Investors feel that Apple is overdue to enter a new market, either by way of television or an iWatch. One thing that Apple has always been good at, under Steve's leadership, was to say, "No!" until a product was ideal and ready for the masses; and, lately, Apple certainly doesn't seem to be rushing any products out the door.

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