If anyone had asked you to describe Apple’s pricing strategy in a sentence, this would – until recently – have been extremely easy to do. Apple aims to sell premium products at high margins to upmarket demographics. The company had shown almost no interest in more affordable products pitched to those on tighter budgets.
But Apple has long recognized that you need a way of building your long-term customer base, and one good way to do that is to get them when they’re young. Apple has made considerable efforts over the years to get its computers into schools and colleges, and to make them more affordable to students through its education discount.
The MacBook Air line too has been priced at a level where it is just about affordable for those who would otherwise buy cheaper Windows laptops – again, in no small part because Apple wants to attract younger buyers whose lifetime value to the company will be substantial.
But as one analyst recently observed, there is now evidence that Apple is aiming to offer lower pricing across a broader range of products. Yesterday’s announcement of a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad was a good example of that new approach …