iPhone Perceptual Map

Teaching Notes for this Activity

The original perceptual map for the iPhone, as presented by Steve Jobs at the 2007 iPhone launch is presented below for student discussion.

Please note that the free Excel template to construct perceptual maps is available for students to download at All About Perceptual Maps.

Student Task

Please review the following perceptual map and the related video – which is how Apple highlighted the market gap for the original iPhone launch in 2007 – and then answer the questions below.

iPhone perceptual map

Student Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think that this perceptual map was used for:
    • As the original identification of the market gap of the iPhone
    • As a guide to designers and developers to keep focused on the final product and its benefits
    • As a launch presentation technique only
    • As a way of clearly communicating to consumers the unique benefits (positioning) of the iPhone
    • As a simple diagram to encourage the media and bloggers to communicate the iPhone’s point-of-difference
  2. Given that Apple was new to smart phone technology at the time, do you think that there was a risk of being too ambitious in the marketplace? In other words, can new competitors use technology to leap-frog the market?
  3. In what other markets/industries have new players taken over market leadership using break-through technology?
  4. Were there other attributes that Apple could have considered for the perceptual map design? Or are these the two most important attributes in a consumer’s purchase decision?
  5. Given that Apple’s approach to finding a market gap is clearly shown here, what is stopping their competitors from leap-frogging them back? (That is, how does Apple now retain its market leadership position?)