Technology

The Apple Craze

Written by Laura Calhoun
Edited by Sam Eisen

There are two long lines that are distinctive in American society today: the line that consists of 12.5 million unemployed people and people with broken 401K plans waiting for the Federal Government’s assistance, and the line of 5 million people who recently purchased the newest Apple release, the iPhone 5, over one weekend.

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With such a high number of people in need of financial aid and assistance, it is curious to think how so many people can afford to buy the latest technological release at a bank-breaking minimum of $649 without a contract for a 16GB version. The 64GB version, the largest amount of memory offered in the newest iPhone, retails at over $800. The 5 million smartphones sold during the iPhone 5’s opening weekend is a record number, but most surprising is the fact that these numbers do not meet the projected sales of Wall Street analysts. One analyst made a projection of up to 10 million smartphones being sold. With numbers like this America should be thankful, because this technological craze is putting money back into the economy.

Panos Mourdoukoutas from Forbes attributes this desire for the latest and greatest technology to what is called a consumer craze.) In a society driven by commercial products, it became normal for people to desire the newest technologies. When emotion is brought into the selling campaign for these technologies, however, that is when it becomes a craze. “WOM [word of mouth] and buzz are sensitive to marketing campaigns that begin with consumer needs and desires, come up with an innovative product or service offer, target the right group, create the right message, find the right social context, the right ‘conditions’ and ‘circumstances’ to spread the message, and turn WOM into buzz by adding emotion to hype the campaign—often creating a consumer craze.” The iPhone becomes an iWant, and later an iPurchased. Consumers listen to the hype that says the newest edition of the smartphone will add a value to their lives, unlike the older versions.

Just last October, Apple released the iPhone 4S model and sold more than 4 million phones over its release weekend. These consumers are now ditching their old models for the new one, which still boasts the same sleek design with a touch screen face, and Wi-Fi. In the iPhone 5’s first three days on sale, it matched the sales the iPhone 4S achieved in its first month. One of the main differences between other smartphones and Apple’s newest product is its 4G capabilities, providing consumers with the fastest speed Internet, along with a four-inch screen, up from its predecessor’s 3.5-inch screen.
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The iPhone was first released in 2007. During its third quarter, only 270,000 smartphones worldwide were sold. Five years later, Apple is looking at upwards of 37 million smartphones sold in a fiscal quarter. With numbers like this, it seems Apple is becoming a monopoly. They are driving out the competition of Samsung and HTC. Apple holds the largest share of sales among manufacturers, 34%, while Samsung trails behind at 17%. HTC is just behind Samsung.

Steve Jobs swore that he would spend as much of Apple’s considerable wealth as he pleased to shut down Google. Jobs had no desire of in licensing to Google’s partners based on his belief that fellow Apple board member Eric Schmidt leaked iPhone’s critical features to the competition. Google’s strong presence in the market (by way of Samsung and HTC) offers them a high mobility. It is likely that Apple can succeed in gaining a high market over Google, seeing that Samsung is lagging at 17%.

The solid competition right now for Apple is the Android, as for every four Android phones shipped, one Apple phone was shipped. Some may look at a statistic like this and wonder how can Apple possibly become a monopoly. With the growing craze of Apple, and their plethora of faithful customers, it only seems possible that Apple will overcome all competition. With every edition comes new features made to benefit the user, and today, people care about fast, easy access to the information around them. According to the numbers in sales, the economy does not seem to be dissuading the consumer from lavish purchases. With the growing popularity of Apple products, we will soon be overrun with their products, and they will become a monopoly.
Although Android is considered competition for the time being, it seems likely that it may not stand up to Apple’s strongly built company. Android is in the process of creating a tablet, netbook, and desk phones. This seems like an attempt to stay in the running and to reach a wider audience than just mobile phone users. While Android is in development of such technologies, Apple has already mastered its own tablet, the iPad, and recently unveiled the iPad Mini, which was recently released.
People are attached to the Apple brand, and everyone knows the quality of their products, whether it is computers, mp3s, or cellular devices. Apple is a driving force in the market and other companies are pushing themselves to keep up. With the growing loyalty of Apple consumers, the company will surely be the top of the market.

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**Due to technical difficulties we recently had to switch domains and transfer all of our website content.  Please keep in mind that while we have been publishing articles for two years, the published dates shown may not reflect the initial publish date.

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“Economic News Release.” Bureau of Labor Statistics. 7 Sept 2012. Web.
“iPhone.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 24 Sept 2012
Kay, Roger. “Apple, A Monopoly? It Could Happen.” Forbes Magazine, 28 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Nov 2012
Martin, Scott. “Apple Sells Record Number of iPhone 5’s Amid Riot.” USA Today. 24     Sept 2012. Web.
Mourdoukoutas, Panos. “The iPhone 5 Craze.” Forbes Magazine. 21 Sept 2012. Web. 24            Sept 2012.

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