With the introduction of iLife '08, Apple continues to demonstrate its superiority in lifestyle branding. Its flagship software has become increasingly intuitive, enabling Apple users to explore their creativity in ways never before imagined. Through technology advancements that drive brand extensions such as the iPhone and Apple TV, it continues to create unprecedented levels of excitement and momentum in the marketplace.
Apple's clear understanding of its brand and the experiential relationship with its customers has driven its success since the introduction of the iMac in 1998. Selling 800,000 units in its first year and available in many consumer-friendly colors, the iMac represented a quantum leap for personal computers and immediately positioned Apple as the innovation leader in a commodity-filled marketplace.
In October 2001, the introduction of the iPod and iTunes software helped redefine the way consumers experience their music. As the popularity of the iTunes online music store (introduced in 2003) increased, it solidified Apple.com as the number-one place to listen to and buy the latest music. All conveniently accessible from the comfort of your own internet connection. It was only natural for Apple to take the idea of entertainment portability one step further by introducing iPods capable of managing and displaying video content.
In June of this year, Apple introduced the highly celebrated iPhone to an insatiable market continually seeking the next "must have" device. The iPhone is Apple's latest crowning achievement in lifestyle integration. The iPhone enables consumers to manage their lives and entertainment choices all from a single device, from music to photos, to video, internet browsing and email. And, by the way, it's also a phone. Despite initial technology issues related to its telecom partner AT&T and challenges experienced by some users in account activation, the overall reaction has been positive.
With each technological advancement and strategic brand extension, Apple continues to leverage its lifestyle value. Every consumer touch point is carefully managed to support the core principles of the brand and alignment with the strategic direction of the company. Adherence to this disciplined approach to brand positioning will ensure Apple's "innovative" leadership as it continues to gain market share and recruit more and more PC loyalists to the "i" lifestyle.