Apple Incorporated remains one of the most profitable companies in the world. It innovates, designs, and markets superior products to its customers. The targeted stakeholders have developed positive attitudes and feelings about the processes, services, marketing experiences, and strategies associated with this company. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the evolution of Apple’s product portfolio and its major innovations. It also describes its innovation model and connects it with the established product strategy.
Apple’s History: Product Portfolio Evolution and Innovations
Apple began in 1976 as a designer and marketer of the Apple I computer. It employed new designers and eventually developed an efficient product line. In the 1990s, the emergence of new computers in the market affected its competitiveness (Zhang, 2018). The company evolved to begin producing the iMac in 1998. By 2001, it had acquired several companies, thereby being in a position to increase its products and software portfolio (Zhang, 2018).
Between 2007 and 2011, this company managed to produce the first iPhone and Apple TV (Gehani, 2016). The iPhone would change the company’s image and performance forever. Within a few years, it went further to produce the iPad and the iPod. The success of these devices was attributable to the company’s ability to design innovative products that delivered the best experience to every customer.
Apple’s development of its graphical user interface (GUI) system was also an inspirational and innovative move. The company went further to popularize it, thereby becoming a model for future computer graphics, taskbars, and icons (Zhang, 2018). This achievement made it possible or encouraged many people to start thinking differently about computers. The user-friendly interfaces became the signature or true representation of every product or device from Apple. GUI would eventually be integrated in various Apple’s devices.
In 2007, they introduced its iTunes store to sell music to different customers (Baer, 2015). The App Store would later be launched in 2008 (Gehani, 2016). This online platform made it possible for the organization to market its apps for the iPod Touch and the iPhone. This achievement was innovative since it transformed the way people purchased music content and software apps. The introduction of the tablet-like iPad in 2010 became a turning point for this organization (Gehani, 2016). This analysis reveals that Apple has been increasing and supporting its product portfolio since its establishment in 1976. This historical analysis reveals that every product has been supported by innovative tendencies or practices.
From the above discussion, it is agreeable that the concept of innovation has been critical towards improving performance and increasing this corporation’s competitiveness. In order to achieve its objectives, Apple’s innovative procedures have followed these three routes: updating current products and services, improving and transforming its devices, and introducing new ones (Baer, 2015). For instance, the company has been keen to focus on the changing demands in the market and deliver products that can meet the needs of the users.
Each of its products and devices has been undergoing continuous transformation and improvement depending on the available technologies. These goals have been realized through the power of continuous research and development (R&D). Additionally, this company has been on the frontline to update its current devices, software, and applications (Zhang, 2018). For instance, every new iPhone device presents additional features, run on advanced iOS system, and it is capable of delivering additional experiences to the users. The corporation has made a number of achievements due to its ability and decision to focus on the trends in the global market.
The idea of innovation at Apple is subdivided further to the notions of product development. For instance, it has considered the power of cost reductions in an attempt to deliver similar experiences to the targeted users at reduced prices. A good example is the company’s ability to produce iPhones with different storage memories for various customers, including 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB (Gehani, 2016). Roger’s five characteristics of innovation are applicable to this company. In terms of relative advantage, the corporation has been able to present devices that fulfill both current and future needs of different users (Fradin, 2016).
The idea of compatibility is pursued by ensuring that every product or app is in accordance with existing values and demands of future adopters. The products are in accordance with the notion of trialability since they are capable of delivering positive results (Gehani, 2016). The concept of complexity is also applicable because it ensures that people change their behaviors and interactions with the devices. Finally, the innovation process resonates with the idea of observability. This is true since the benefits and results of every device are noticeable to others.
Innovation and Product Strategies
The emergence of strong competitors in Apple’s market has forced its leaders to pursue the power of innovation and implement sustainable strategies to attract more customers. Although its rivals offer cheaper software, apps, and smartphones, this corporation has pursued its premium strategy to overcome the challenge of competition (Gehani, 2016). This company engages in innovation to produce new products and improve existing ones continuously.
Product development is augmented by the company’s ability to embrace the power of effective packaging. The end result is that the organization has promoted the idea of quality over quantity (Son, Kim, Park, & Kim, 2018). As described above, Apple’s product portfolio has remained quite small. This model has made it possible for the designers to focus on the above five attributes of innovation. The buyer eventually gets reliable products that deliver high-quality experience (Son et al., 2018). While other companies might be providing new products, the case remains different for Apple since it pursues a unique innovation approach whereby existing ones are improved continuously. This means that old versions get additional features and parts.
The corporation has innovated and produced a unique iOS for its devices. It has gone further to control its access, use, and availability. This means that users will get unchanged software that guarantees quality and experience. Its attention to detail guides engineers and programmers to present new products whenever necessary (Son et al., 2018). Existing ones get advanced features depending on customers’ reviews, complaints, and suggestions.
Finally, the innovation-product strategy is supported further using the concept of 4P marketing mix. This means that the company uses a premium pricing policy for its products. It has specific stores and online platforms whereby customers can launch complaints and purchase their favorite devices (Karabulut, 2015). In terms of place, it uses its online stores and platforms to sensitize and inform more customers. The use of social media networks, advertisements, and referrals is an innovative practice that continues to transform Apple’s promotional strategy.
The above discussion has identified Apple as a leading brand that uses powerful innovative procedures to introduce new products and improve its current portfolio. These approaches have continued to support the needs of different customers, thereby making it possible to increase its profits. Companies that want to remain successful should, therefore, consider the innovation, product, and marketing strategies. Such efforts will ensure that every new device or service resonates with the changes recorded in the industry.
Baer, D. (2015). How Tim Cook implants Apple’s culture into new employees. Business Insider. Web.
Fradin, D. (2016). Apple’s product portfolio management. Spice Catalyst. Web.
Gehani, R. R. (2016). Corporate brand value shifting from identity to innovation capability: From Coca-Cola to Apple. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 11(3), 11-20.
Karabulut, A. T. (2015). Effects of innovation strategy on firm performance: A study conducted on manufacturing firms in Turkey. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 195, 1338-1347. Web.
Son, I., Kim, J., Park, G., & Kim, S. (2018). The impact of innovative technology exploration on firm value sustainability: The case of part supplier management. Sustainability, 10(10), 3632-3648. Web.
Zhang, Q. (2018). Research on Apple Inc’s current developing conditions. Open Journal of Business Management, 6(1), 39-46. Web.