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Why do People Buy/Prefer iPhones?

ET Cases, 5 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Bala Bharathi Yelamanchi and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

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Why do People Buy/Prefer iPhones?

On October 31st 2017, Rohit Sharma (Rohit) was leisurely having a cup of cappuccino after an hour of jogging at New York City Central Park. That park has been his favourite jogging spot since the time he joined an onsite project at the New York office of his Indian MNC employer. As he was sipping hot coffee, he was reminiscing the phone conversation that he had with his family at Hyderabad, India, during the previous night.

The conversation was quite exhilarating as his parents were elated to share a happy news that his younger brother, Samrat Sharma (Samrat), who had been pursuing B.Tech at one of the IITs, got a campus placement at Infosys, Mysore campus. In fact, just a year back, Rohit had been to Infosys’ Mysore campus for a business meeting and he was in awe with its training facility – the biggest in the world – with its imposing infrastructure, huge structures, lavish greenery, excellent landscaping, expansive corridors, stimulating classrooms & discussion rooms and larger-than-life library. There was this sublime spirit permeating the campus and he wished he could be there for a longer time. He was mesmerized by its learning environment. He was quite happy to hear about Samrat’s placement with this iconic company. “What better way for Samrat to start his career than with Infosys”, Rohit thought. Rohit wished he was there with his family to celebrate the success of his only brother. As he immediately couldn’t fly down to India due to official commitments, he decided to at least surprise his brother with a memorable gift..................


Exhibit I: Comparison between iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X

Teaching Note Preview

Why do People Buy/Prefer iPhones?


The purpose of this Teaching Plan is neither to outline the answers to Case Debate’s discussion questions nor to suggest an ideal way of conducting an effective debate basis the given topic. It is more to share the authors’ perspectives, basis their classroom orchestration of this Case Debate, on possible ways of orchestrating this Case Debate.

Purpose of the Case Debate

Purpose of this Case Debate, which is a prelude to the Case Method of Teaching, is to inculcate the following skills [Exhibit (TP)-I] that would amply benefit the participants
during their careers............

As this Case Debate is based on a very generic topic, the purpose is not to dwell into only the research-based inputs but more to prepare the students/participants for the process of case discussion – except that while the case discussion would be based on case facts, the Case Debate encourages the students/participants to present their ideas with no rigorous business dilemma............................



Exhibit (TP)-II: iPhone Sales in a Decade (2007-2017)

Exhibit (TP)-III: Global Ranking of Smartphone Production and Market Share by Vendors, 2017-18

Exhibit (TP)-IV: Top 10 Most Profitable Mobile Phone Models in the World (Q4 2017)

Exhibit (TP)-V: Why do People Buy/Prefer iPhones?


Rs 0
Product code: BM-9-0020, BM-9-0020A


Haven't you aspired for an iPhone or any of the Apple's products? Like you, aren't millions of people across the globe devoutly waiting to buy an Apple product? Haven't you heard of people waiting in queues, even during peak winters, to buy their first iPhone? Who are these people and what distinguishes these people from others? Are they brand advocates or Apple's apostles? Or are they stupid? Since the first-generation iPhone was launched on June 29th 2007, nearly 1.2 billion iPhones have been sold globally till March 2017 with cumulative sales revenues of about $800 billion. Undoubtedly, iPhone maintained its pole position in mindshare over more than a decade. Apple's products - across its product categories - may not be technologically superior to its pool of competitors, yet, they are vastly overpriced. What explains the premium pricing for a similar functional brand? What then makes people aspire either for an iPhone or any of the Apple's products - Is it Apple's ecosystem, or is iOS better than Android or is it iPhone’s design or are its product features better than any of its competitors or is it its simplicity or is it its delightful and immersive experience or is it its resale value or is it its snobbish value? Is there any pattern in what Apple had been doing over the decades in terms of its product categories? Not just that, Apple has found billions of fans for its supremely designed products, even its fiercest competitor (Samsung makes the OLED display, NAND Flash, and DRAM chips for iPhone X, making $110 for every iPhone X sold) didn't hesitate to embrace an opportunity to work for it.

This Case Debate centers around (a) The legacy of iPhone brand (b) Why people aspire to buy an iPhone or any of the Apple’s products even though they may not be technologically very superior compared to its competitors? (c) What should iPhone do to keep iPhone's aura going?

Purpose of this Case Debate, which is a prelude to the Case Method of Teaching, is to inculcate the following skills that would amply benefit the participants during their careers:

(a) Ideation
(b) Discussion and Debate
(c) Empathy
(d) Appreciation

Case Debate Positioning and Setting

Depending on the purpose, this Case Debate can be used for either of the following:

  • MBA Programs – Brand Management – To understand how companies can extend the brand life cycle with continued investment and customer-centric innovation.
  • Undergraduate Programs/BBA Programs – To understand different motives behind buying an iPhone

This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Case Debate
- Teaching Plan (**ONLY for Academicians)

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