Apple Company Internet Technology, Marketing and Security

Introduction

Apple Inc is mainly a consumer company that sells markets and provides consumer support on its website. Some of its products include hardware, Mac computers, ipod, and music players, among others (Apple Incorporated, 2011). Apple has embraced internet marketing in a bid to popularize its wide range of products to its millions of customers globally. Apple relies mainly on its website to market its wide range of products.

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Here, customers can get information on various products. The website also enables customers to customize some of the company’s products. Moreover, customers can get purchase information on the website as well. The essay endeavors to further explore the aforementioned issues affecting Apple. In addition, the issue of security breach as it affects Apple shall also be examined. Finally, a recommendation is also provided on the tools that Apple should consider adopting to ensure that that there is no breach of privacy security.

Product information

Apple website features the prices of various products that the company sells. In addition, the designs of different products have been featured for purposes of comparison. New products at Apple’s selected stores are also shown. The website also features some of the company’s top selling products such as the iPad 2, MacBook pro, iPod touch, and iPhone 4S, among others(Apple Incorporated, 2011). Popular accessories are also featured on the company’s website such as cases, keyboards, speakers and headphones in the case of the iPad. Additional services offered by the company are also indicated, such as free iPod engraving. There is also an order status section whereby one can track shipment, make a change to the pre-signed package, or even return items.

Apple’s contact information

Apple’s website provides international technical support with the hours of operation. In addition, the website also provides links to specific websites for a given country (Apple Incorporated, 2011). For example, if you are in Australia and need technical assistance, you can contact the company’s support using their website in that country. Telephone contacts are also provided for the different countries

Customization of products

Apple recognizes and respects the unique needs of its different customers. As such, one can order a product from the company’s website that best suits his/her taste and preference. Currently, this provision only applies to the Mac computer only. Some of the Mac computer model that the company customizes includes MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro (Apple Incorporated, 2011).

Customer information at purchase

Information on the different payment methods for products purchased is provided on the website. They include wire transfer, Apple Gift Card, Debit card, and Barclaycard Visa Cards, among others. Special pricing is offered to administrators, staff members, students, and teachers. Other beneficiaries include federal, local and state government agencies and employees (Apple Incorporated, 2011). Information on limited-time offers is also available on the website’s product promotions homepage. They include rebates, coupons, and promotions. Customers can also access information on methods of shipping and delivery for purchased products.

Apple internet marketing strategies

Apple Inc is among the leading global companies that have embraced internet marketing. Some of the strategies that the company uses in its internet marketing activities include:

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RSS Feeds

This tool allows prospective customers to get iTunes hit lists, Apple news, support knowledge base, documentation and seminars (Charlesworth, 2009, p. 49). These are often delivered directly to a user’s newsreader or web browser. However, one has to first subscribe to the company’s RSS Feeds.

Email subscription

Apple encourages users to enter into an email subscription service. Users are first required to provide their email addresses. In addition, they have to ensure that their subscription preferences have been set. This enables the company to deliver special offer news, software updates, as well as product announcements directly to a user’s inbox (Apple Incorporated, 2011). Furthermore, one can also get the latest iTunes, apps, music, TV, books, movies, and podcast updates on a weekly basis directly to their mail. In this case, you have to sign up for the iTune offers first.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Apple improves the visibility of its website using SEO. Optimizing the company’s website is important to ensure higher ranking thereby improving its appearance frequency following search results (Charlesworth, 2009, p. 50).This is important because the more frequent Apple’s webpage appears on search results, the higher the number of visitors to the site. Consequently, the company can increase revenue through search engine optimization.

Competitive advantages of Apple’s Website

Apple’ website is user-friendly. It allows a user to navigate through with relative ease. You can access information on a given product by just clicking on the desired icon on the homepage. In addition, the website allows the user to choose the desired country and sample Apple’s products that are on offer at the country of interest.

Treatment of customers’ privacy

Apple values the privacy of its customers. As such, the company has developed a privacy policy that encompasses the collection, dissemination, use and storage of customers’ information (Young & Simon, 2009). The personal information collected from customers includes the name of a customer, his/her phone number, email address, mailing address, credit card information, and contact preferences.

Under special circumstances, customers from the United States may also be requested to provide their social security numbers. It is important for Apple to collect this information because it enables the company to update its customers on any upcoming events or announce to them about new products in the market. In addition, customers also get to learn about new software updates. Apple is also able to offers its customers improved content and better services.

Apple may at times disclose personal information to its strategic partners, government and public authorities, as well as various arms of the law. These are all legal provisions. Apple Inc is the recipient of TRUSTE’s Privacy Seal. This is a sign that the corporation’s privacy policy and practices meet the terms of TRUST’s program requirements (Apple Incorporated, 2011). These include accountability, choice and transparency with regard to the gathering and application of personal information.

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Apple’s response to security breach

Because the customer is very concerned about the privacy of its user’s personal information, it has implemented various technical, physical as well as administrative measures. These are geared towards ensuring the information in question remains safe against potential loss, alteration or access by unauthorized individuals. In addition, Apple has also ensured that it encrypts the various web pages from which users’ personal information has been collected from (Apple Incorporated, 2011). This is an important step because in ensures that your personal information remains confidential during its online transmission (Dhillon, 2007).

The company has also put in place certain measures to respond to security breach. To start with, Apple ensures that the person affected by the security breach is notified about the new development, mainly through an email message. The notification includes a general description of the incident, as well as the type of information accessed or acquired by the unauthorized persons. In addition, the company also includes measures that it has taken to ensure that there is no further security breach. The telephone of the contact person (s) is also provided, in case of further assistance. Moreover, Apple also advises its customer to remain vigilante in future in case of security breach.

Recommended tools to ensure greater security for customers

Apple should consider introducing customizable password rules that the customer themselves are allowed to set. There should also be an allowance for customers to state the log-off times from the company’s system when they are no longer active. In addition, sensitive information should be stored in encrypted custom fields created by customers. However, they need to be trained on how to do so. The corporation should also consider the use of IP Range Restriction features. These features allow customers to restrict the logion range of designees to the IP addresses. Apple should also consider the use of Identity Confirmation feature so that that re-verification can be requested for those IP devices or addresses that the system fails to recognize.

Conclusion

Apple remains a global brand mainly by embracing innovative internet marketing strategies. They include the use social media services such as the RSS Feed and Facebook. In addition, the company also uses email subscriptions whereby prospective customers can get the latest Apple news on various products, latest products on offer, and updated software in the inbox. Another strategy used by Apple is the search engine optimization.

Apple also relies on its website as a marketing tool whereby customers can obtain information on various products and services. The website is also user-friendly, and it enables users to customize some of thee products according to their needs. Like other companies, Apple has had its fare share of security breaches. Nonetheless, the company is committed to ensuring the privacy of its users’ information by adopting encryption programs. The current essay recommends that Apple should also consider the use of customizable password rules by its users. Also sensitive information should be stored in encrypted custom fields created by customers.

Reference List

Apple Incorporated. (2011). Apple. Web.

Charlesworth, A. (2009). Internet marketing: a practical approach. Butterworth-Heinemann. pp. 49.

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Colvin, G. (2009). The world’s most admired companies 2009. Fortune, 159(3): 76.

Dhillon, G. (2007). Principles of Information Systems Security: text and cases. NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Young, J. S., & Simon, W. L. (2005). iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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