It’s hard to imagine a world without Apple.
The iPhone, MacBook, iPad, iTunes and Apple TV+. These are not just things that people use – they are a way of life, and the Apple brand is an iconic part of our culture.
The legend that is Apple, began nearly 50 years ago, when the company was first established in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. In the years since, it has grown to become the most valuable brand in the world, and probably of all time. In 2022, the brand value of Apple is expected to reach a staggering $947 billion.
Source – Statista
In 2021, Apple was the most valuable technology brand by far, beating even Google which ranked second and Microsoft in third place.
There’s a clear reason why. In the past decade, the total revenue of Apple has quadrupled. In 2021, total net sales amounted to $365.82 billion.
Apple products cover the gamut of consumer electronics, including the iPhone, iPad, Mac desktop computer, and wearable tech such as the Apple Watch and AirPods. It also includes smart home products and service products, like iTunes, App Store, Apple TV+ and iCloud. There is no part of daily living in which Apple products don’t play a part.
However, the iPhone is Apple’s most profitable product, year in, year out. Released in 2007, iPhone sales account for around 49% of Apple’s total sales in 2022.
Apple is not just a tech icon but a brand icon too. How did the company succeed in turning the word “apple’ into something else entirely? And what does the Apple target market really look like? Let’s dive in.
Who is Apple’s Target Market?
The Apple target market includes mainly younger to middle aged consumers, and the brand is more popular among females than males. Although the Apple customer base is stronger in North America, Apple is popular throughout the world.The typical Apple customer profile is of middle to high economic status, enjoys the small luxuries in life, and appreciates technology and design.
The Apple target audience varies depending on the particular product; for example, the iPhone target market is different from the MacBook or Apple TV+ audiences. Read on for a deeper Apple customer analysis of the different market segments.
Apple Target Market Segmentation
A thorough Apple market segmentation takes on four perspectives: Apple demographics, geographic, behavioral and psychographic segmentation. Let’s explore each in turn:
Apple Demographic Segmentation
Apple customer demographics include people aged 18 to 45. They are either single, married with no kids, or married with young children or teens. The Apple target audience skews strongly female, with around 66% female to 34% male customers.
Among Apple primary customers, you’ll find less older or retired individuals. The brand is most popular among millennials, followed by Gen X.
Source – Flurry
According to a 2018 survey, the average income of Apple iPhone users stood at $53,251, compared to $37,040 for Android users. The Apple audience is more likely to enjoy shopping and spending on higher-end products.
Apple Geographic Segmentation
Apple market share is largest in the Americas, bringing in just over $37 billion in net sales in Q3 2022. In the US, Apple is by far the strongest player in market share among smartphone brands. Among MacBook users in the US, over half are from rural regions and towns.
Although not as big as America, Europe and Greater China are also important Apple target markets.
Apple Behavioral Segmentation
The Apple customer base has a strong preference for the iPhone, and are loyal users. This has led to consistent growth of iPhone sales. In Q1 2022, 44.6 million iPhones were shipped worldwide.
An Apple customer analysis also shows strong loyalty to the brand’s App Store. In 2021, consumers spent around $85 billion on app subscriptions and in-app purchases. Even so, most of the apps downloaded by the Apple target audience are free apps. By the end of 2021, over 96% of apps in the App Store were available for free. Of the paid apps, over 58,000 cost less than $1 to purchase.
Gaming is the most popular category for iOS users; 13.5% of apps available in the App Store fall into this category, followed by Business apps with 10.2%.
Apple Psychographic Segmentation
Apple customers are generally financially stable and are not high risk takers. They enjoy the comfort of the Apple brand and the quality and security it represents. 20% of owners of both an iPhone and iPad say that “switching ecosystems would be harder than switching banks”. They are also loyal: nearly 85% of iPhone owners plan to buy another one.
An Apple customer profile demonstrates characteristics as an ’aspirer’, ‘succeeder’, or ‘explorer’. Thanks to their higher income status, they can afford and enjoy the luxuries of life. Apple users spend $117 a month on average on clothing and $83 on makeup, compared to $62 and $40 respectively for Android users.
Subscribers to Apple TV+ are consistent if not obsessive users of the streaming platform. In 2021, around 13% watched Apple TV+ every day, while 25% watched several times a week. This is in contrast to Netflix viewers who spend an average 3.2 hours watching Netflix every day.
Who are Apple competitors?
Apple offers a wide range of consumer tech products and services, so Apple competitors differ somewhat depending on the category. In the smartphone category, the main competition is Apple vs Samsung.
In Q2 of 2022, Samsung had the highest market share of 21.8% compared to iPhone market share of 15.6%. Other iPhone competitors include Xiaomi and OPPO.
Source – Statista
In the smartwatch category, Apple is the winner by far. The Apple Watch enjoyed a global market share of 52.5% in Q2 of 2021, compared to just 11% for Samsung.
Research & development is a key differentiator for competing tech brands, enabling the development of better products to attract market share. In 2021, R&D spending at Apple was nearly $22 billion, a record-breaking figure for the company, and around $3 billion more than R&D spend in 2020. In comparison, Samsung spent over $13.7 billion on R&D – also a generous amount, but not nearly as much as its biggest rival.
In recent years, Apple has entered the global content streaming market with Apple TV+. In March 2022, the number of paid subscribers to Apple TV+ was estimated at 25 million. There are an estimated 50 million more users who have access to the service for free, as a free subscription is provided for one year with purchases of new Apple devices.
Although Apple competes for the Netflix target market, it does not yet come close in terms of market share. Netflix has over 27% share of the TV streaming market, despite losing a record number of subscribers in the past year. Apple TV+ market share reached over 6% for the first time in September 2022, picking up subscribers as other competitors lost ground.
Although Apple outperforms Google in terms of brand value, it can’t compete with Google in the mobile browser category. Apple Safari holds a market share of just over 25%, with Google Chrome in the top spot with a market share of nearly 62%.
What is Apple Marketing Strategy?
At the heart of the Apple marketing strategy is the product. Apple is an extremely product-focused company, with a unique blend of functionality, innovation and aesthetic minimalist design that has become its signature brand identity.
The company periodically announces product releases and upgrades at its famous events, creating an incredible buzz and anticipation around the brand. This is evident even as far back as 1984, when Apple released its Macintosh PC to the market with this iconic and unforgettable ad:
Apple’s powerful messaging – symbolized in the slogan “Think different” – crystallized around the legend of founder Steve Jobs. Apple is not just creating products; it is forging a lifestyle, which breeds a particularly strong sense of brand loyalty among Apple devotees.
It is not known how much is spent on Apple advertising strategy, as the company does not disclose the figures. However, the last time the advertising budget was made known, in 2015, the figure was $1.8 billion, 50% higher than the previous year.
Video appears to be the favored Apple branding strategy, with desktop video making up the largest share (60%) of total video spending. Mobile video spend comes next at 21% share, and desktop display at 9%.
Part of the Apple marketing strategy involves expanding the target market with new product innovations. With the success of the Apple Watch, the company is now moving into the wearable health tech segment with the release of an ECG monitor that is FDA approved and built into the watch. This new product is clearly targeting an Apple market segmentation that is older than the average Apple customer profile of younger millennials.
Like many big companies with big marketing budgets, Apple relies on celebrity endorsements to flavor its branding activities. For example, the 2020 “Behind the Mac” ad starred numerous global celebrities, including Spike Lee, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga and Lisa Simpson.
As a global brand, Apple’s extensive marketing activity is localized for different markets, and its commercials feature highly targeted messaging for the particular Apple audience. Take a look at another “Behind the Mac” ad, this time focusing on the nuances of the Australian market:
True to its brand identity as an innovator and game changer, the Apple iTunes store launched nothing less than a revolution in the music industry and the ways that people enjoy music. For the first time, Apple enabled the public to access any music they want at their fingertips, with personalized playlists and recommendations to enrich the experience. This was more than just the product quality of the iPod; it was a new approach to music consumption.
Customer experience is a very high priority for Apple’s branding strategy. Thanks to the Apple store experiences and high level of customer service, both instore and online, the company succeeds in enhancing loyalty and keeping customers for life.
The focus on quality extends to Apple TV+, Apple’s latest venture. Rather than trying to compete in terms of the quantity of content it provides, Apple is strategizing its resources for the creation of high quality content. In fact, Apple was the first streaming service to receive an Oscar, winning the coveted statue for the movie Coda. According to Variety, the Oscar win helped to boost viewer numbers of Apple TV+ by 25%. With a continued emphasis on quality, Apple TV+ may be able to compete in the long term and succeed as it has with the iPhone and Apple Watch.
Understanding who is Apple’s target market is the best way to uncover the secrets of the brand’s success. Want to access insights like these for your target market? Visit the Consumer Insights and Audiences Hub and discover 500+ customer segments and locations to inform your campaign strategy. With the latest data in the Start.io mobile audience network, you can improve your targeting and get better results from your mobile campaigns.
What country buys the most Apple products?
The US is Apple’s largest market. Around 40% of Apple’s total net sales are from the US. In 2021, the US state with the most Apple stores was by far California, with 54 stores. New York trailed in second place with 23 stores, followed by Florida with 18.
Why do people buy Apple products?
For several decades, Apple has positioned itself as not just a product innovator, but a lifestyle. People buy Apple products because they are high quality and the most technologically advanced, and also because of the brand promise of clean aesthetic design, simplicity, functionality and the superior experience they offer.