Their products support this brand image by providing an innovative and functional device with a very simplistic, elegant, and distinctive design. Apple has been able to use their brand image to differentiate their products, create a competitive advantage, and command premium prices from their suppliers. They continue to encourage the development and awareness of their brand image through extensive advertising which is estimated to cost them $300 million this year. Innovativeness In 2006 Fortune Magazine ranked Apple number one for U. S. Companies with the highest reputation for innovation.
Thanks to a history of abundant R&D budgets Apple has been able to innovate and create new technology that has become the first of its kind and surpassed the capabilities of competitors. From their first computer in 1977 to the release of the IPod in 2001, Apple has been able to prosper from new products that seem to be ahead of their time. Apple has recently used their innovativeness to create a number of products that are one of a kind and unique. Examples include the ITouch and IPhone which have taken personal touch-screen technology to the next level and have shown potential to be the most successful wi-fi mobile devices on the market.
In addition to that Apple’s new streaming wireless video device, the iTV, could become another hit and allow Apple to dominate the online video rental industry. Media Content & Integration Apple has been able to grasp the competitive advantage when it comes to media integration and content thanks to the growth of the IPod and ITunes. More and more ‘life style’ features are appearing on Apple’s products which allow the integration of music, video, photos, internet, e-mail, and various other features all onto one device.
Apple’s software, ITunes, allows customers to legally download music and videos to their computer or even straight to their wi-fi devices. This service has already sold over four billion songs worldwide, currently has over 1,000 videos available, and was recently revealed as ‘The Best Download Service’ by a global mass marketing consumer survey conducted by Ipsos. Additionally, Apple’s new movie rental service allows users to rent and play full length motion pictures instantly onto their IPod, computer, or even on their own television.