Launching iPhone: Apple's Entry into the Mobile Phone Market

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG185
Case Length : 19 pages
Period : 2006-2007
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Apple Inc.
Industry : Consumer Electronics
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"The iPod changed everything in 2001. We're going to do it again with the iPhone in 2007."1

- Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple Inc., in January 2007.

"Apple Inc.'s campaign to build excitement about its iPhone may be the most successful marketing effort ever, surpassing the drive to promote Ford Motor Co.'s 1964 Mustang and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95."2

- The Economic Times3, in June 28, 2007.

"I've never seen the kind of feeding frenzy we've seen in the media, We expect it [iPhone] to be a very successful product -but I don't know how it can possibly live up to the hype."4

- Ed Colligan, President & CEO, Palm Inc5, in June, 2007.

The Launch of the 'Jesus Phone'

On June 29, 2007, Apple Inc. (Apple) launched its mobile phone, branded as the 'iPhone,' in the US, marking its entry into the highly competitive mobile phone market. The telecom industry had been agog about this new mobile phone, ever since Apple made an announcement in this regard in January 2007. Some of Apple's fans who had been waiting for 'iDay,' as the launch date of the iPhone was called, formed queues outside the Apple's stores to buy it immediately after the launch. Estimates of the sales of iPhones ranged from 500,000 to 1 million units in the first two days of its launch.6 Though the actual sales figures were a lot less than that, it was still a very successful launch.

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1] "Apple's 'Magical' iPhone Unveiled,", January 9, 2007.

2] "Apple Marketing Buzz the Loudest,", June 28, 2007.

3] The Economic Times is one of the leading business newspapers in India.

4] "Smartphone Makers Brace for iPhone,", June29, 2007.

5] Palm Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, USA, is a manufacturer of personal digital assistants and smart phones. For the fiscal year 2007, its revenue was US$1,560.51 million. (Source:

6] "Where would Jesus Queue?", July 5, 2007.

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