Apple Product and Services Case Study in Technology Innovation
Technology innovation has a history of influencing organizations in any market. The rapid change in technological innovation encourages organizations to make changes to lead the industry, to follow up and keep up to competition, or to avoid losing customers to competitors. In the technology arena, organizations are leaders or followers in innovation. What makes an organization a leader in the technology innovation is the willingness of the organization to innovate products and services.
These products and services should be able to provide real-life solutions to consumers. The organization proactively provide customers with better products and services and keep doing so by improving the products and services. Companies like Apple Inc. are an example of a leader in technology innovation.
Apple Inc inception was a result of the innovative vision of two individual. Steven Wozniak’s vision was to create a computer that was different to current computer technology at the time. Wozniak envision a word where individuals and not just business could use computers. This innovative vision spawns the creation of the “Apple I” in 1976 (CNNfn, 1998). Steve Jobs realized his vision after observing Steve Wozniak’s creation.
Steve Job was convinced that the “Apple I” could be a commercial product and convinced Steven Wozniak (CNNfn, 1998). Steven Wozniak and Steve Jobs both found the support they needed to create Apple Inc. from Mike Markkula, a retired engineer that made his wealth when Intel Corp’s stocks went public (CNNfn, 1998). This innovative vision spawned a range of innovative products and services that has change and continue to change technology since. Technology innovation always finds a way to affect organizations and the market.
Over the years, organizations have experience many technology innovations that have caused a revolution in the market. Technology innovations in the area of the Personal Computer, Internet, and Mobile Computer have completely reinvented the technology market.
The creation of the Personal Computer tracing back to 1970 was in the hands of hobbyist who purchase these computers by mail (History.com Staff, 2011). However, it only took the creation of the Apple II in 1977 (History.com Staff, 2011). The Apple II needed programmers to create program that people can use and not only businesses (History.com Staff, 2011). An example of one of these programs was VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program (History.com Staff, 2011).
The birth of the Internet tracing back to the year 1962 marks the beginning of computer interconnectivity (History.com Staff, 2010). This innovative technology keeps changing and evolving over the following years. However, this technology did not have real-life applications until the introduction of the World Wide Web to computers in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee (History.com Staff, 2010). The induction of Internet to real-life applications did not happen until the introduction of the personal computer and again with the introduction of the first generation iPhone back in 2007 (longofest, 2007).
Although the Internet was use by multiple computers since inception, it took Apple Inc. to introduce it to mobile devices in real-life applications upon creation of the iPhone. Therefore, by introducing mobility to the Internet Apple Inc. make the Internet a truly mobile experience.
The vision for the invention of the portable computers may be the result of a Xerox researcher named Alan Kay (Bray, 2007). Alan Kay’s vision in the 1970’s of the “Dynabook” was a portable computer as an education tool for children with a price tag of $100 (Bray, 2007). However, technology responsible to make this possible was not available at the time and Xerox was not prepared to invest capital into its development (Bray, 2007). Many devices were born since this vision but the truly mobile computers are those that did not inconvenience users with the weight and power consumption.
Many laptops today do not match any of the criteria that make a device truly a mobile device. One type of device that came close to this goal was in the creation of the Personal Digital Assistant or PDA. Devices like the US Robotics’ Palm Pilot back in 1996 are an example of a PDA (PC Magazine, 2011). The Palm Pilot was a technology innovation of the 90’s that allow interconnectivity of computers to bring mobility to the consumer (PC Magazine, 2011).
However, it lacked interconnectivity to the World Wide Web. The device that was able to bring all of the criteria, which makes a device mobile and connected to the Internet was the iPhone in 2007 (longofest, 2007). Suddenly consumers had a device that was a PDA as well as a Phone, and a computer connected to the Internet in the palm of the hand.
Since inception, mobile devices were using actual webpages to provide usability to consumers. This use of web pages on mobile devices leads to the transformation of web sites from static pages to the web applications. However, the results in mobile devices mostly depended on Internet traffic in addition to processing power. The only exception is the Palm Pilot in 1996 with its PalmOS, which has native and third party applications but no Internet connectivity (Verge Staff, 2013).
This will all change with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 (longofest, 2007). Although iOS UI was not accessible to developers, Apple Inc. concentrated the efforts in providing the best consumer experience (Verge Staff, 2013). It took Apple Inc. one year to open the operating system to developer with iOS 2 in 2008 (Verge Staff, 2013).
The Products and Services
Since the creation of Apple Inc., there has been a lot of innovation that affected products and services for this organization. Although this technical innovation came in part from outside the organization, Apple Inc. has its own technical innovations that not only change the organization but also the market.
The Product Line
Technology has change Apple’s product line since the creation of the organization. These changes has effectively change not only Apple’s products but also has accomplished a positive change in the user experience. This shows evident in all Apple’s products. While listening to customers, Apple has always incorporated new ideas into future version of the products.
This leads to the innovation of new technologies that change the future of Apple’s products. Innovations like the implementation of an App Store model inside an operating system. This service started with the implementation of the iPhone and it has moved to the computer. While implementing this change, Apple has become another innovator having organizations like Microsoft following the trend with Microsoft very own app store.
Technology has also change Apple’s services and the product user experience since the creation of the organization. It is because of Apple driving desire to excellence that the user experiences as well as Apple’s services are quality experiences. The quality experiences are because Apple has a record of listening to their customers and adapting new ideas to the new version of products. Apple’s innovative vision again changes the landscape in service providing iCloud (Appel Inc., 2014).
This service allows the user to save user settings as well as documents and files inside Apples servers in the cloud allowing users to migrate to other devices without losing content. This enables a user that turns on a new device using the Apple ID to have all settings and access to all files.
Today Apple Inc. leads the industry in technical innovation in computer technology. Apple Inc. is a pioneer in mobile computing with the invention of the iPhone and the iPad. Many other organizations are following Apple’s steps only to keep in business. This is evident with products like the Android or Windows 8 phone and tablets. The organization is also pioneer in the introduction of Retina Display on mobile devices as well as laptops.
Apple’s Retina Display allows the use of millions of pixels to provide a sharp display. This display shows to the human eye as natural as a real object. Apple is currently working with automobile manufacturer in the creation of the emerging technology that will help link computers and the automobile. CarPlay was recently release by Apple Inc. and already automobile manufacturers like Volvo and Mercedez have implemented this technology (Apple Inc., 2014).
Surprisingly organization like Ford with its very own Sync in-car system will follow Mercedez in the implementation of CarPlay (Apple Inc., 2014). Today we have rumors of the organization announcing the next version of the iPhone at years end.
Technology innovation has a history of influencing organizations in any market. Technology changes at such a speed that organizations need to either innovate or follow innovation. Failure to adapt to technology innovation could make an organization be out of business. Following technology trends could make sure the organization stays in business.
However, only the organizations that innovate are destine to change the market and become technology leaders. Apple Inc is an example of a leader in technology innovation. The innovative vision of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs starts Apple Inc in its history of innovation not only to the organization but also as a market leader. Technology always finds a way to affect organizations and the market.
Over the years, organizations have experience many technology innovations that have caused a revolution in the market. Technology innovations in the area of the Personal Computer, Internet, and Mobile Computer have completely reinvented the technology market. In reinventing the market, technology has affected change in Apple’s products and Services as well as the user experience. The continue technology innovation like CarPlay, iCloud and Retina Display help Apple Inc. remain the market leader in innovation and innovative ideas.
Apple Inc. remain the market leader in such a way that other market leaders from Microsoft and Ford find the need to follow the footsteps of Apple to keep competitive. Listening to customer will maintain a fresh batch of ideas at the reach of Apple Inc. Proactively acting in providing solutions to those ideas will keep Apple Inc. as a market leader in technology innovation.
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