Apple Inc.'s standing as one of the most innovative companies in the world owes its success to culture driven and innovative business models, as well as strategies, which have brought with them terrific products. This study seeks to have a critical look at the successful innovation strategy applied by the firm. There is need to improve the interaction between Apple's devices and its consumers by embracing simplicity in design (Cusumano 55).
In recent reports, Apple has been referred to as an innovation factory. Its ability to harness creativity from specialists to come up with new exciting products is profound. Even when the company's founder announced his resignation in 2011, the firm maintained its market position under Thomas Cook. However, its stock market prices fell well above 5 percent. During Steve's reign, the company innovated breakthrough items, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Their elegance in design was appreciated throughout the world, and in turn its revenue skyrocketed as a result. Notably, the absence of the founder only complicates the situation as the challenge remains to build state-of-art products and have them turned into sales. The Company's backbone is its customers, partners, global networks, suppliers and most importantly its employees. Market analysis to target new opportunities has ensured an exponential growth in sales (Pisano 10).
Apple's current financial position of Apple poses immense threat to its competitors, considering its hold onto innovative capacity of the market, setting trends in the digital market. Its innovation strategy involves the ability to evolve and overcome traditional boundaries. The company's efficient business model is evident in the adaptability of the iTunes music downloading store. Besides, absorption of its products for use in the business world has enabled customers to enjoy a great experience, especially in the music industry. The dynamics of the market allows the fast release of different products to create a competitive advantage over their rivals. Hiring forms the first strategy where only the best get the chance to showcase their talents.
After developing the iPad, the team was struck with the idea to create the prototype into a phone. Consequently, the iPad idea was shelved and focus remained on the iPhone. Apple's focus strategy is evident as this product has generated much money in revenue. In a 2010 interview, Steve Jobs noted that focus lies in the ability to cut options. This strategic decision allowed Apple to innovate and reduce complexity in design through the commitment of its resources on a single item. Microsoft's Bill Gates abandoned a touchscreen e-reader as he did not like the interface. Further, the team was asked to concentrate on Microsoft office software that would be profitable instantaneously. In the 2011-12 period, Apple generated revenue worth over 22 billion dollars contrasting this to the 17 billion made by Microsoft. It was way higher than all of Microsoft's products put together. This record sales show how the focus strategy has been implemented in the company successfully (Teece 175).
The Apple team believes in anticipating an action to avoid a late hit. Notably, the outcome of a research survey does not determine what consumers want. An innovator defines the needs that customers are unaware of and these results in the generation of unique products. It is evident in the success of iPod and iTunes where the customers were astonished and satisfied with the Walkman. Innovative retailing of products has been enhanced in the organization by hiring experienced people. From 1999 to 2001 Apple hired senior managers from Sony and The Gap. As a result, the firm launched Apple Store where critics believed the local effort would fall within a year. However, this is considered the core of Apple success today (Dodgson et al. 156). Where a product targets humans as consumers, the ability to make it beautiful is out of the question. Steve Jobs noted that life often surrounds people with ugliness; therefore, holding something fair in one's hands brightens their day. As a result, he directed the engineering of iPods and Mac computers now considered gems of design (Teece 180). It aligns to one of Apple Rules to merge aesthetics with innovation.
The current consumer market is very competitive, therefore; Apple needs to keep the interface of their products simple. Researchers point that technology gurus should merge the relationship between people and machines by ensuring the characteristics of their items is well versed in their target market (Cusumano 54). For over thirty years Apple has grown through solving a series of challenges such as bankruptcy. Consequently, the firm has earned a reputation for producing admired products in the world. Its customer delight has been a result of the innovation strategies implemented and patience. Additionally, the company is geared to build a long-term relationship with their consumers as seen in Apple store where a returning customer is provided with a free service through a genius bar introduced to answer questions. This ingenious plan is set so that a purchase marks only the beginning.
Merrill, Peter. Innovation Generation: Creating an Innovation Process and an Innovative Culture. Milwaukee, Wis: ASQ Quality Press, 2008.
Dodgson, Mark, David Gann, and Ammon J. Salter. The Management of Technological Innovation: Strategy and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Cusumano, Michael A. Staying Power: Six Enduring Principles for Managing Strategy and Innovation in an Uncertain World (lessons from Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Google, Toyota and More). Oxford: OUP Oxford, 2012
Teece, David J. "Business Models, Business Strategy and Innovation." Long Range Planning. 43.2 (2010): 172-194.
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