Miruna Codeanu

The tech market from a marketer’s POV

In espresso on January 15, 2013 at 7:39 am

Its been 6 years since the launch of the Iphone.  The hype on the market these days is around: Google Television, Samsung foldable screen and Facebook. While Google, Samsung and Facebook seem to announcing innovations, Apple is basically announcing the re-issue of a product as a cheaper product: Iphone mini which is rumored to be a smaller Iphone2.

Apple has been all about the hype, the innovation. Samsung attacked Apple’s position: “the next big thing is here” Samsung claims and is clearly attacking the Apple. Apple does not usually confirm rumors about the next product, so nowadays everyone can write an article saying whether Apple should launch a cheaper Iphone or not, including myself.  Apple was  one of the great absents at CES 2013, along with Microsoft. Other companies made it for their absence: Google announced the tv that watches back and chooses shows based on your behavior. That’s innovative. Samsung presented the foldable screen: the screen that could solve all our issues with dropping our smartphones, innovation again. Apple did not launch anything. Firstly, Apple failed to innovate. Secondly, rumors are Apple could be launching a cheaper Iphone. Cheaper takes root in cheap. Apple is not cheap, Apple does not target cheap. Wearing the Apple logo along with you is supposed to say at least middle class, not cheap. I was recently thinking that Apple is the brand that managed to take a niche feeling into the wide mainstream and still keep the niche feeling for its customers. Thirdly, Wal-mart has an offer for the Iphone5 for 45$ a month, contract free. Hardware sales usually mean there’s a new product coming. But there’s no product coming from Apple, no Iphone 5S, no Iphone6 for the time being, just maybe a cheaper Iphone. Isn’t this all gathered enough news to make Apple shares drop below 500$. After all this bad vibe I’d say Apple is doing quite well.

Watching the launch of the iphone back in 2007, I can confirm. Jobs was a star, close to a rock star. Jobs was not a CEO, Jobs was an entertainer  applauded by the masses every time he launched something new. Was it the same at the Iphone5  launch? No. Applause? Scarce. Yelling? Not really. Whistling? At all. Some claim the Iphone started being less cool. Apple was the brand that brought the niche to mainstream but still managed to make its consumers feel part of a niche. The Apple consumer is not mainstream. Technically speaking we can see Apple as a mainstream company but its consumers don’t think that about themselves. From a marketer’s point of view it is not Apple as a manufacturer, is the Apple brand which is not doing very well. It is placing itself in a market where it doesn’t belong, attacking Samsung, only that Samsung has started to position itself next to Apple, eg: The next big thing is here which translates into innovation.

The future belongs to the ones who innovate and integrate. Apple will still hold on, because it integrates. Microsoft is addicted to the hardware manufacturers, and so is Google, Samsung needs the software which makes Apple for the time being the one able to deliver both software and hardware. Only that there’s also Amazon and there’s also


Facebook. Amazon has vision, Facebook has information. Which brings me to the announcement Facebook we’ll deliver today, if any announcement. Last week they sent an invitation announcing a press conference . This was the only announcement Facebook made, refusing to answer any question regarding details for this press conference. Do we see some Apple tactics around here? Yes. Secrecy creates vibe, and we learned this from Apple. Secrecy plus a charismatic leader makes audiences applaud a product before they’ve tested it. If you see any news about what Facebook is launching, before 10 am Pacific Time it’s just a rumor and there are plenty. Theories are: Facebook is launching its phone, a search engine, a new profile layout,  announcing its new headquarters. Bets tend to go on the phone’s side, naming it “a competitor for the Iphone”. I doubt it or I hope it is not true.

Yes, I do believe Facebook has the material to be the next big company. Why? It has data, it has innovation. It changed the way we use interned but it has yet figured out a way to make money out of it. Ideally, the next move would be launching a search engine. It can succeed where Google has failed: integrate search and social.  Along with the search engine Facebook would become the company able to create the most comprehensive consumer profile ever seen. Will that translate into sales? Most likely, yes. What Facebook lacks is brand identity, culture, which Amazon has. Facebook has rather been about college dreams, about hackathons and I tend to place my bets on the disobedient kids considering Amazon doesn’t have wild enough dreams. Amazon will be an alright profitable company, but the question is whether Facebook will win it all or lose it all.

Apple don’t be cheap. Microsoft, unless you have a change in your strategy the future does not belong to you. Samsung, you need to integrate. Amazon, you are doing alright. Facebook, I’m waiting to see what’s your next move.

  1. […] the online experience and later on integrate it. Remember some time ago I was basically yelling: Google, integrate, integrate, it’s your biggest chance? I wasn’t probably the only one believing this, since Google started to integrate everything […]

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