Every product undergoes the five stages of product life cycle (PLC) at a certain period of its manufacturing. These stages are the introduction phase, the growth phase, the maturity phase, the saturation phase, and the decline. When analyzing the PLC of any item, it is necessary to focus on the relevant variables, commonly defined as 4Ps (product, place, promotion, and price). Apple iPhone demonstrates almost all PLC stages since it is a vivid example of skillful marketing and sales. The product has undergone the stages of introduction, growth, maturation, and saturation.
During the first stage, the product enters the market. Apple, Inc. managed to deal with this phase effectively through launching numerous presentations of the iPhone, during which the company highlighted the new features of the product. The success of the promotion variable was evident since the first generation of iPhones “was sold for only one year after its introduction to the market” (Więcek-Janka et al., 2017, p. 163).
Furthermore, Apple, Inc. quickly withdrew the first version of the phone, which was faulty in many aspects, and immediately launched an improved model (Więcek-Janka et al., 2017). As one can observe, the company ensured a reliable product variable. The place variable is secured by “company-owned locations,” authorized for distribution (Greenspan, 2019, para. 6). The price variable is also particularly important. In this context, the company introduced a premium pricing strategy to address this element.
The growth phase implies an increase in demand. At this stage, promotion took place through “Google’s digital advertising network and on technology news websites” (Greenspan, 2019, para. 8). As to the price variable, the company introduced the combination of “premium pricing with premium branding and creative innovation” (Greenspan, 2019, para. 10). Furthermore, online sales became available via Apple’s website or other e-marketing sources, which effectively covered the place variable. The product element of 4Ps was elaborated by the further implementation of the company’s digital content strategy, incorporating a range of new possibilities into the interface.
During the maturity stage, the product’s sales are significant, which gives an impetus for higher productions by the contractors. The product element of 4Ps was addressed by introducing cloud technology, thus expanding the customers’ possibilities. The price variable is covered through the “freemium pricing strategy” when customers “pay to access more, advanced, or better features” (Greenspan, 2019, para. 10).
In terms of promotion, Apple Inc. continuously optimized its corporate image using “Apple Events, leaks of new product features, press releases, and exclusive interviews” (Greenspan, 2019, para. 8). Moreover, the company concluded agreements with telecommunications companies. For example, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and others offer iPhone integration into their service packages (Greenspan, 2019). In such a way, the company addresses the place variable.
The saturation phase embraces the highest peak of product selling. In this context, the sales of the Apple iPhone are consistent since the moment of its introduction. At this stage, the analysis of the product variable demonstrates that the company applies an approach with a focus on the premium brand (Greenspan, 2019). In terms of product’s place and distribution, “online and non-online distribution channels” are quite beneficial (Greenspan, 2019, para. 6). For promotion purposes, Apple Inc. participates in ConnectED and other initiatives (Greenspan, 2019). Besides, the Apple Store offers “old models at discounted prices when bundled with larger or more expensive products” (Greenspan, 2019, para. 8). As one can observe, this strategy addresses the price variable.
Thus, Apple iPhone has undergone the stages of introduction, growth, maturation, and saturation. The analysis through the 4Ps demonstrated effective implementation of marketing strategies in terms of product, place, promotion, and the price at each stage of the iPhone’s product life cycle. As one can observe, Apple, Inc.’s approach involves deriving profit from the premium brand, which in turn ensures that the 4Ps retain a compelling product image of the iPhone.
Greenspan, R. (2019). Apple Inc.’s marketing mix or 4Ps (An analysis). Panmore Institute. Web.
Więcek-Janka, E., Papierz, M., Kornecka, M., & Nitka, M. (2017). Apple products: A discussion of the product life cycle. Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, 31, 159–165.