Apple in the Future

Essay by StuUniversity, Master's February 2004

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1) Apple offers two key products that are helping the company to develop a new market. These new products and trailblazing efforts will be the key factor in determining Apple's long-term strength in the industry and its ability to maintain a thriving business. The Mac is a competitive product that maintains a certain level of market shares but Apple's two key drivers of the future will be iTunes and iPod. Both are intertwined to make for a very successful attempt to develop new markets in an emerging environment within the music industry.

Digital music has been around for years, but the legitimate online music industry did not attract a critical mass of consumers until Apple's iTunes Music Store launched. In fact, expectations were so low that Apple convinced record labels to license their music to iTunes by promising there would be more than 1 million downloads within the first six months.

The company reached that mark by the end of the first week. Since then, Apple has spiffed up iTunes by releasing new versions of its iPod digital music player, making iTunes available to Windows users and inking deals with industry heavyweights, such as AOL. Apple has had a digital music strategy for some time, even going back to the original Macintosh. The Mac was the first computer that included sound. Since then, we've seen Macs used for years by professionals in the recording industry.1 The iPod and iTunes have always been linked together. When Apple released the iPod, it was planned that iTunes would be a companion to it, but Apple wanted to wait before releasing it. At the time, there were a number of failed attempts at online music subscription services and mini-sites, and the company waited until they could make an impact and have it...