Use the concepts described in the course to analyse what sort of innovation this is and how it compares to competing products or processes.
Apple incorporated ltd was established by Steve Jobs in 1976 as a computer developing company. Since then it has been profitably diversifying its brand and innovating new products. Each product apple creates sets a new benchmark in its segment. This time apple wanted to create a new category of device that would be better at some key things such as browsing the web, watching videos, photos, listening to music. Apple invented the iPad. As in the words of Steve Jobs ‘its the best browsing experience you ever had'(Jobs,27 Jan,2010). Apple has sold two millions iPads in less than two months of its launch(Tim Webb,31 May2010). Its a phenomenal device that fits perfectly between the smartphone and the laptop. The iPad shows how Apple’s has always trued to be at the cross roads of technology and liberal arts. Apple used all its breakthrough technology to create a revolutionary and a intuitive device.
When the iPad was released on 27th January 2010 there was no competitor for the first five months. Apple had come up with a completely new concept which revolutionised computer tablet market. The competitors of Apple at that time didn’t have anything like the that with them. It is a fourth degree of innovation as G.M. Peter Swann cites ‘the introduction of so many characteristics in a product that we have, arguably, a completely new product'(2009,p49). Apple introduced a new user interface called the iOS 4 and the iPad has the largest multi touch capacitive screen. Apple note only focused on the intrinsic features of it but also focused on the extrinsic features as well. It provided the software developers the necessary developing software kit to develop new software and applications. Apple provided the customers the App store, iTunes store and the iBook store which is unique to Apple as no other company provided anything like that with their products in the market. Apple sold upto 3 million units of iPad until June 2010(Ben Parfitt,22nd June 2010). This makes Apple way ahead of its competitors which have recently launched products in this market. Best Buy’s chief executive Brian Dunn told the Wall Street Journal that Ipad has cannibalised the netbook pc market by as much as 50 percent(John Oates,17th Sept 2010). It has a dominating 95 percent share in the market. Apple priced the ipad in such an innovative because they beleive that when new technology is introduced its price tends to lower down later but Apple wanted to provide the best technology at the very start. It wanted its product to reach the masses. iPad has become a eye candy among the people. People of all age want the iPad. The reason behind this is, the way they have priced the product. Apple did product Proliferation and launched only three wifi models initially and later introduced the 3G models. This helped the company break the consumer base into different groups so that they could charge different prices and increase profitability(G.M. Peter Swann,2009,p55). This also helped the buyers as they could choose from a wider range of iPads as different people are willing to pay a different price.
In the above chart we can consider A, B and C as the existing products in the market. B1 is the new product in the market. Apple managed to create the iPad in such a way that it provides quality to the customers at a reasonable price. In the above chart we can see that consumers will buy B1 over C and A because it is providing them with technology at a affordable price. The market share will be more for B( G.M. Peter Swann,2009,p53)
Though Apple has been dominating the market for a few months now due to their early start in this market but now its facing the heat from its competitors like Samsung, HP, Research in Motion(RIM), LG, Cisco who are coming up with new products to compete with the iPad. Samsung has recently launched its Galaxy Tab which has a Android 2.2 firmware in it. According to Samsung this tablet can be used a phone as well unlike the iPad. This also supports Adobe flash player which is also not support by the iPad. RIM is coming up with a product called the Playbook which according to RIM is a strong competitor for the iPad. HP is coming up with a product called Hp slate which is basically a tablet PC(Jason Hiner, 15th November2010).
Though iPad has been in peoples mind since it was launched it does have few shortcomings. The iPad is huge in size and cannot be carried around as a phone. It has a slippery thin design which makes it fragile. The screen is glossy and fingerprints are easily visible on them, it doesn’t have a camera, the storage capacity provided is limited to 64gb, there is no memory card expansion slots and this produt was made to perform better than a laptop but it doesn’t even have usb ports. The competitors are already coming up with products which overcome the limitations of the iPad. Samsung Galaxy tab is a full phone and is not as huge as the ipad. There is a proper camera and memory card expansion slots. The Galaxy Tab has been cleverly designed by samsung as it covers most of the shortcoming of the iPad.
According to few analyst iPad share is tend to drop to 20 percent from its current 95 percent over a period of 4 years as the market for such devices stabalises(Nick Spence,24th Aug2010). But as we look at the present time iPad is making very good profits for Apple but soon Apple should consider doing some upgrades in its iPad to keep with par with its competitors.
From the above I come to conclusion that Apple has pioneered the art of making innovative products and making them available to the people. It has created a product a product better than its competitors could think of.
‘ G.M. Peter Swann. (2009). Product Innovation. In: Economics of Innovation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar publishing limited. p49.
‘ Tim Webb. (2010). Apple iPad sales break 2 million. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/may/31/ipad-apple-tablet-sales. Last accessed 1st Dec 2010
‘ Ben Parfitt. (2010). iPad sales pass 3 million. Available: http://www.mcvuk.com/news/39719/iPad-sales-pass-3m-worldwide. Last accessed 1st Dec 2010.
‘ John Oates. (2010). The ipad is killing laptop sales. Available: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/17/ipad_eats_laptop_sales/. Last accessed 1st Dec 2010.
‘ G.M. Peter Swann. (2009). Product Innovation. In: Economics of Innovation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar publishing limited. P55.
‘ G.M. Peter Swann. (2009). Product Innovation. In: Economics of Innovation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar publishing limited. P53.
‘ Jason Hiner. (2010). iPad competitors. Available: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/ipad-competitors-the-top-20-to-watch-updated/40736. Last accessed 1st Dec 2010.
‘ Nick Spence. (2010). iPad future share to drop. Available: http://www.macworld.co.uk/ipod-itunes/news/index.cfm?newsId=3236672. Last accessed 1st Dec 2010.
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