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How Apple Managed to Reinvent Itself over the Years

By randysule Dec 10, 2008 1093 Words
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How Apple managed to reinvent itself over the years

If you read recent stories from major news paper, you might conclude that Apple is the ultimate innovator. And you might be right. The company has reinvented itself multiple times and in the process has already transformed at least two industries personal computing and digital music. What will be the impact of the iPhone? While there are no certainties, “major” seems to be a safe bet. Apple continued innovation leadership a foregone conclusion? Not necessarily. As good as its track record has been, like every great innovator, Apple has had its share of mishaps, too. There are many keys to long-term innovation success for any company, and very few organizations manage to maintain success for extended periods of time. First, innovation leadership needs to come from the very top, across generations. “From the top” isn’t a problem at Apple obviously. But Apple will have to face the generational challenge at some point. The CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs has been in charge for virtually decades. Who are the other Apple innovation leaders? How will a future, Job-less Apple continue to innovate at the same high level? Long-term innovation leaders make sure that the entire organization is aligned to support innovation. Again, no problem for Apple right now, but it’s easy for organizations to get out of alignment, slowly, incrementally, as other goals and priorities creep in. As long as Jobs is firmly in the saddle and the product set stays limited there’s less cause to worry, but with other leadership, and as Apple acquires more partners with agendas of their own, and the product line continues to extend, the focus may soften. Finally, long-term innovators are humble. They’re always looking out and watching competitors, listening to customers, picking up on trends and finding ways to turn ideas into cash payback, which is the real test of innovation success. And innovation isn’t just about ideas — it’s about using ideas to generate incremental profit. Any company that falls in love with its cover stories — and with its ideas as opposed to its execution — is in danger of becoming an innovation also-ran. So far, Apple has successfully avoided this but it’s happened before.

What were some of Apple’s biggest successes and failures?  Describe why.

Apple was not the power house of innovation it’s known as today. But today, Apple’s machines are on the march. Apple’s iPhone is continuing to gobble up the smart phone market. iPod continue to be popular among the teenage and the young adult, and so does iTune. Here are some of the Greatest Innovations from the mighty APPLE.

iPod - Music (and Movies) In Your Pocket Introduced in 2001. This humble digital music player was put together with Apple Chief Steve Jobs’ guidance with help from Pixo and PortalPlayer. While Apple’s iPod was far from the first digital music player, it was the first to turn a once hard drive of geek lust into the easiest, most convenient way to carry music on the go. iTunes: This software manages your music collection, loads it up into your iPod digital music players and connects users to Apple’s sprawling digital media store. Not only does this software allow users to easily buy, acquire and organize their movies and music; it meshes tightly with Apple’s user-friendly iPod digital music players. “It’s the part of the end-to-end solution that made the iPod successful”. iPhone: This phone makes phone calls, surfs the Web, handles e-mail and plays music, and movies. How well the software powering the phone, which is based on Apple’s OS X desktop operating system can swaps between handling a phone call one moment, viewing a movie another and surfing the Web the next. It shouldn’t work, but it does.

Here are some of the greatest Innovations failures from the mighty APPLE. Long ago, before the iPhone, iTune, and before the iPod, Apple’s most recent–and perhaps more modest–flop was the Apple TV, a set-top box designed to stream videos from a computer. Another one was the Macbook Air, for instance, with one extremely thin dimension. How about Apple MobileMe an email server that Apple charges the premium user $99 per year.

How much of Apple’s success can be linked directly back to its culture?  Why? The secret of Apple's success may have less to do with its innovative products; Apple abandoned the old rainbow-hued Apple logo in favor of a minimalist monochrome one, gave its computers a funky, colorful look, and streamlined the messages in its advertising. The company projects a humanistic corporate culture and a strong corporate ethic, characterized by volunteerism, support of good causes or involvement in the community. The company has a unique visual and verbal vocabulary, expressed in product design and advertising. Its products and advertising are clearly recognizable. The company has established a "heartfelt connection" with its customers. "Take the iPod and iPhone, it brings an emotional, sensory experience to computing," Apple's design is people-driven. Apple's corporate culture is characterized by its intense work ethic and casual dress code.

How do the actions of Apple apply to the TCOs

Using the Porter Value, the intensity of rivalry has made Apple challenge the status quo, despite Microsoft’s market position they have the courage to enter and open new market, reinvented itself by entering music industry (ipod, itunes)- quite successful in building and retaining a very loyal customer base. Ability of industrial design to drive product, and market development. Ability to anticipate new trends, and matched with ability to bring products out to match these changing consumer demands/needs. Ability to build completely new products, and product systems with at design making service so simple that they set an unbeatable standard. Apple is the ultimate master at designing and delivering products that provide consumers with high value solutions that they don't even know yet that they need. Always one step ahead in terms of customer unmet needs. Apple have position themselves in the forefront of user-friendly entertainment technology. Analysts have confirmed the numbers, that Apple did indeed surpass RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) in sales during the second quarter to become the second-largest provider of smartphones. It also surpassed Windows Mobile. But can Apple keep the momentum going? “Porter threat of substitute” http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2008/11/apple_beats_rim.html

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