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商业 - 科技

苹果iPhone 5c轻骑兵挺进低端市场

Adam Lashinsky 2013年09月11日

苹果一直堪称智能手机市场的宝马、蒂凡尼、四季酒店,总之,它是高端大气上档次的代名词。但是现在,它推出了塑料外壳的iPhone 5C。这款新iPhone在美国的起售价只有99美元,宝马一秒钟变成了雪佛兰,预示着苹果正在积极向低端智能手机市场进军。

    苹果(Apple)一直都是计算与电子设备行业的宝马(BMW)、蒂凡尼(Tiffany)和四季酒店(Four Seasons)。你可以用任何奢华的比喻来形容它。但在周二,苹果却公开了它的雪佛兰(Chevrolet)策略。

    苹果发布会是值得关注的大事。【我是不是还应该加上杰西潘尼公司(J.C. Penney)和万豪国际集团(Marriott)的万怡套房酒店(Courtyard Suites)?当然。】

    塑料外壳的iPhone 5c在美国99美元起售,预示着苹果正在积极向低端智能手机市场进军。这是一个大胆的举措,旨在吸引新的消费者群体。这个策略充分延续了苹果现有产品线自我吞噬的特点。

    自我吞噬是苹果的标志。它对iPod就采取了无情的替换策略,而iPhone的出现又使得iPod突然放缓增长,最后陷入负增长。苹果对低价策略也不陌生。iPod Shuffle最初的价格便非常低廉,而且iTunes上还有许多仅售99美分的歌曲。

    不过,维护高端市场的同时进军低端大众市场却是一种全新的策略。苹果用大量时间介绍了它的最新款iPhone 5s手机——智能手机中的宝马。看看苹果在它最出色的手机上配置的超强处理器,大家肯定会觉得这个比喻非常贴切。iPhone 5s提供包括金色在内的三种颜色。低端iPhone 5c手机使用聚碳酸酯制成,苹果设计总监乔尼•艾维形容聚碳酸酯是一种“不掉价的塑料”。这个型号的推出意味着只要能买得起智能手机的消费者几乎都能买得起iPhone。美国市场自不必提,在中国与印度等发展中国家,iPhone将变得更加流行。

    “等一下!”你或许正在想。苹果是要执行市场渗透策略,还是真的有传说中的新武器?

    苹果公司这次确实推出了新指纹识别技术,手机用户可以不必输入密码,只需按下Home键就可确定身份。iPhone 5s的摄像头技术会令摄影爱好者大吃一惊,摄影新手会为它更出色的拍摄效果和更便捷的照片搜索惊艳不已。苹果表示,它的声控搜索服务Siri可以找到更多东西。这项进步很受欢迎。

    所以,这是苹果的又一次渐进式更新,而不是彻底的突破。但苹果还有时间。毕竟,不可能每个季度都能上演奇迹,尽管苹果是一家成功的大公司。如果大胆冒进意味着心甘情愿放弃之前的标准,那么还是顺其自然吧。

    昨天举行发布会的苹果Town Hall礼堂的墙壁上有一句史蒂夫•乔布斯的名言:“如果你取得了一次精彩的成功,那你应该再接再厉,再创辉煌。不要念念不忘之前的成功,要想想接下来该做什么。”

    相反,我们很多人都对苹果过去的辉煌念念不忘。不管苹果公司是否也是如此,至少它肯定在思考接下来该做什么,同时正在为之付出努力。这本身就是一件很好的事情。(财富中文网)

    译者:刘进龙/汪皓  

    Choose your luxury metaphor, but Apple (AAPL) always has been the BMW, the Tiffany, the Four Seasons of the computing and electronics industry. On Tuesday, it unveiled its Chevrolet strategy.

    That's a big deal, a moment worth noting. (Should I have added J.C. Penney (JCP) and Courtyard Suites by Marriott (MAR) too? Yes, for sure.)

    By offering an iPhone in the U.S. starting at $99 -- the iPhone 5c made of PLASTIC -- Apple is moving aggressively into the low end of smartphones. It's a bold strategy intended to attract a whole new class of consumers. The strategy fully envisions and anticipates the self-cannibalization of Apple's existing product line.

    Self-cannibalization is an Apple hallmark. The company engaged in a brutal replacement strategy on the iPod, which itself was plunged into slow and then negative growth mode by the iPhone. Apple also knows about low prices. The iPod Shuffle was inexpensive from the beginning, as were 99-cent songs on iTunes.

    But going for the low-end mass market while maintaining the high-end is new. Apple spent plenty of time showing its newest BMW of a smartphone, the 5s. The metaphor isn't as loopy as its sounds, given the powerful engine of a microprocessor Apple showed for its top-of-line phone, whose three-color offerings include gold. The low-end model, made of a polycarbonate that design chief Jony Ive referred to as "unapologetically plastic," will make an iPhone available to absolutely everyone who can buy a smartphone. That will be true in the U.S. and even more so in developing countries like China and India.

    "Wait a second," you might be thinking. Is Apple about market-penetration strategies, or is it about fabulous new stuff?

    Well, the company did show its new fingerprint authentication technology, which will enable iPhone users to skip a password and identify themselves to their phone simply by pressing the home button. The camera technology in the iPhone 5s will wow shutterbugs and even more so photography neophytes who will just appreciate taking better photos and being able to find them more easily. Apple suggests that its voice-activated search service Siri now finds more things than before. That's a welcome change.

    So, once again, there is incrementalism from Apple, not radical breakthroughs. But there's time for that. Miracles don't happen on a quarterly schedule. Apple is a business, and a big and successful one at that. If boldness now is a willingness to depart from previous norms, so be it.

    A quote from Steve Jobs appears on the wall of Apple's Town Hall auditorium building, where Tuesday's event took place. "If you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long," it reads. "Just figure out what's next."

    Most of us tend to dwell too long on the "pretty good" things that Apple has done in the past. Whether or not Apple does too, it certainly is trying to figure out what's next and acting on its findings. That's pretty good too.

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