Why Read This
At every new product launch, Apple secures enormous attention, in part due to Apple's cultivated mystique. Forrester advises firms to see through the magic by using threat analysis to predict what competitors and peers will do next by evaluating their capabilities and intent together. When Apple launches products, such as the iPad, into a new market, every competitor rightly re-evaluates its product strategy. But there's more substance than magic to Apple's success than either its fans or its critics credit. For competitors, this is reassuring: It's easier to replicate substance than magic. Companies must now offer software and hardware that's compatible with Apple products and services. In essence, they must compete with — or compete using — Apple products to succeed in numerous markets due to the rising significance of Apple's customer base. Product managers must learn from Apple and closely tie longer-term strategy to immediate tactics. They must ensure that their products always deliver a high-quality and convenient set of benefits, regardless of price point. If not, they must take the hard decision to delay launch until such time that they do.