Mending Customer Relationship: The Apple Way

Apple is probably one of those few brands whose older models are widely used and popular among its customers. One reason could be that the newer models might be expensive to a section of existing Apple users, so they switch to new models whenever the time is right for them. Another reason could be the durability and usability of older models that might prevent them from switching to newer models until they feel it is time to buy a new phone. According to a report, in 2012, about 15% of global iPhone users had Apple models that were two years or older, and the figure is steadily growing over time. It was projected that the figure could reach as high as 35% by June 2018. No wonder that the battery grows older as the phone ages, and battery issues would pop-up in older phones even though core functionalities may not.

Yes, this is what already happened with older iphones with weakened batteries. The company, in its version of an acknowledgement, said that recent updates to operating system could slow down iphone’s performance in older models in order to handle weak battery issues. Results? We see angry customers who are alleging that their phones are slowed down not because of battery issues, but because the company wants them to switch to newer phones. Well, both sides have arguments, but the fact is Apple handled the situation wisely and offered battery updates at a much lower cost (US$29) than the original price of replacement (US79$), in addition to an official apology that the updates slowed down older models.

Evidently, they gave customers a good reason to keep their older phones, signaling good intention to continue serving users of old models. It could be an example of sustaining customer relationship by listening to customers’ needs, what do you think?



About 1mmarketing

Working as Associate Professor, School of Business, United International University, Bangladesh; a North-American graduate, with doctoral studies from UUM, Malaysia; cherishing a wide-view of the world, with multiple interests in culture, people, traveling, and specifically marketing science. I have a colorful and diversified background with a blend of corporate experience, research, consulting, training, public speaking and teaching. I love to write about marketing issues that affect our lives, and talk about its direction that would promote the greatest human welfare.
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