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Aim of the project

Think of an example of an innovation (or innovations) developed by a company. Select at least three of the topics developed in class and listed below, and justify how they can be applied to this particular innovation and company. Discuss, illustrate and critically evaluate how the company you have chosen formulates and implements its innovation strategies, using in‐depth analysis of issues, supporting evidence, relevant theoretical arguments, and proper references.?

Innovation management is the process of introducing a new and unique idea within a new or existing product in order to capture the market demand.  Apple has been considered as the most innovative company as per the Forbes (Bogers and West, 2012). For a period of 12 years starting from 1998 to 2010, Apple has successfully introduced the most innovative products within the field of consumer electronics. Starting with iMac, iPod and Xserve, the company created a revolution in the computer market with the introduction of the Macbook PC and Macbook air. However the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 made Apple an unbeatable player in the telecommunication market. (Böhle, Bürgermeister and Porschen, 2012)

The major aim of the project is to critically evaluate the implementation of the innovation strategies namely the standards battles and design dominance, Product vs. process innovation and protecting innovation for the Apple’s iPhone product ranges.

To evaluate the use of standards battles and design dominance innovation strategy in iPhone by Apple

To identify the presence of product vs process innovation strategy in iPhone production

To evaluate the use of innovation protection strategies in iPhone production by Apple

In case of presence of network externalities, as in case of telecommunications and consumer electronic industries, the use of the dominant design strategy is important for the innovation management of a product (Lashinsky, 2012). With the introduction of the new technology like the GUI operating system, Apple incorporated the system within their Apple MAC and Apple iPhone to gain dominance within the consumer electronics market In order to implement the innovative technology Apple had to include both process and product innovation strategies and also the intellectual property rights in order to protect the innovations made within the iPhones.

According to Kirkman, (2012) there are two types of data collection methods namely the primary data collection and the secondary data collection. The primary data are generally collected with the help of questionnaire surveys and face to face interviews or mail interviews. On the contrary the secondary data may be collected with the help of academic and relevant literature review concepts. In this case to analyze the innovation strategies adopted by the Apple in case of production of iPhone, the researcher can effectively take the help of the secondary data solely. For gathering of the information the researcher will effectively use the official websites of Apple and the other relevant news articles and journals in order to understand the imple4mentation of the innovation strategies. Considering the difficulties that may come up in the process of primary data collection from the Apple employees the project will rest upon the use of secondary data only.

Objectives of the project

Standards battles and design dominance

The dominant product strategies are generally adopted in order to make the company dominant in the market. Dominant design is the strategy where the company wins the allegiance in the marketplace, which the other competitors and the contributors in the market need to follow in order to satisfy the customer demands. Clausen, Ten Hompel and Meier, (2014) opined that the dominant design may not be the best design for the product however the design becomes the benchmark and standard design for the product thereby forcing the other companies to adopt the same (Maine, Lubik and Garnsey, 2012). With the introduction of the iPhone in the year 2007 Apple marked the standards for the smart phones within the consumer electronic industry. Followed by the innovation of Apple, other mobile phone companies like Samsung, Sony and Motorola introduced their range of smart phones, however, the product design standard set by Apple was not overcome by any of the mobile companies. These made iPhone a dominant product in the smart phone market. According to Jun and Sung Park, (2013) the only option for the other phone makers was to copy the major form and features and differentiate their products in some technological ways. For instance Samsung differentiated the smart phone by using android instead of IOS operating systems (Maital and Seshadri, 2012).

A product anatomy can be divided into three different dimensions namely the core benefits, the tangible specifications and the augmented features (PILKINGTON, 2013). The product innovation is related to either new product design innovation or innovation of an existing feature of the product. Thus in order to successfully ascertain the product innovations requirement it is necessary to analyze the product anatomy. According to Harmsen, (2013) generally a change in the customer requirements and addition of more features provokes the companies to engage into product innovation. The process innovation on the contrary is different to the concept of product innovation.  The process innovation is actually a way of achieving a desired output with a new process (O'Connor, 2012).

Innovation protection is an important matter for the companies engaging in innovative product designs. The product innovation is the generation of an idea which is different from the others. Thus, in order to keep the idea as a competitive advantage over the other companies, the innovating company needs to protect the idea. In this regard the use of Intellectual property right can be suitably used by all companies (Cruz and Paulino, 2013). The companies in this respect has the legal rights to acquire a patent against the innovative idea and product design that will give the company the monopoly right of using the product and will legally prohibit any other company or individual from using the product design or idea without the permission of the original inventor (Sharp and Jones, 2012). The patents are the tangible description of the product idea that the gives the idea a physical existence and gives the company a power to become an inventor in the field. Apple was the first company to invent the idea of iPhone and the idea of producing the smart phones followed after the initial release of the iPhones. Thus, in order to protect the right of the product design Apple had successfully taken a patent on the iPhone designs preventing from the competitors to use it within their products.

Overview of the project

The secondary data sources  states that in the year 2007 Apple introduced the first iPhone  which was one of the first smart phones in the consumer electronics market with the use of  Apple’s own operating system IOS (Trott, 2012). The phone introduced the tech savvy customer to the features of touch screen navigation, user interface system, GPRS and GSM facilities and wifi connections (Volberda, Van Den Bosch and Heij, 2013). Although considered to be some of the basic features of a smart phone in the present scenario, the Apple iPhone was the first in the smart phone generation to introduce the features.  As per the fibabcila reports of |Mintel in 2007 the new technological innovation and the introduction of the new range of phones were a breakthrough in the phone market and around 90% of the consumers were reported to have purchased iPhones in that year.  Thus, Apple used the dominant product strategy successfully with respect to introduction of the new product design of iPhone in the market (D'Alvano and Hidalgo, 2011).

The business model analysis of Apple shows that Apple not only concentrates on the product design innovation but also on the process innovation in order to achieve the product design innovation.  The present business model of Apple has three major steps namely:


Delivery (Hamel, 2012)

Capturing value

In order to make the iPhones a success, Apple used the systematic innovation process and matched the features of iPhone with the previously introduced products like the iTunes and App stores (Wonglimpiyarat, 2012). The company had initially started with software and technological company but in order to invent new product Apple has mastered in hardware, entertainment and logistics. In this process Apple introduced the App store and connected it with the iPhones so that the users are provided with thousands of application choices in their phones making the phone a dominant product in the market (Dou, 2013).

Further, Apple adopts the innovative value proposition strategy to make the product innovative and the design dominant in the market. The value proposition strategy of Apple includes creation of an experience with the product (Woronowicz, 2013). For instance the addition of the iTunes in the iPhones acted as a value proposition strategy for the phones. The introduction of the iTunes acted as youth icon for the iPhones and the younger group of customers could use the portal to download unlimited music sources with the help of the phone.  Another successful strategy identified with respect to Apple’s products is the innovation of the product features to suit the needs of the business and corporate customers. This value proposition helped the brand loyal blackberry and PC customers switch over to Apple for the products (Yunus and Yang, 2012).

As per the market survey and research on the Apple’s success it has been noted that 80% of Apple’s success depends upon the adoption of the product innovation and business model innovation or in simple words process innovation strategies (Elliot, 2012).

On analyzing the product innovation protection, it has been seen that Apple has successfully taken separate patens on each and every product and sub product.  The separate patents have helped Apple to fix the rights and protect the ideas from getting copied by the other phone makers (ZWECK, 2013). In this respect it has been seen that Samsung had been unsuccessful in its attempt to use the iOS as the operating system for the smart phones since Apple had a patent over the operating system. Thus the other phone companies have to incur a copyright on the product so that they can successfully use the product (Govindaraju, Krishnan and Pandiyan, 2012).



The evaluation of the secondary data sources and the qualitative analysis of the relevant academic articles and company websites show that Apple has successfully adopted the three major innovation strategies within the production of the iPhone which is still a market leader among the various smart phones available. The use of the strategies has helped Apple to project iPhone as successful dominant product in the consumer electronics market. Further the project also highlights the innovation protection strategy that has been adopted by Apple. The patent rights protection is the major strategy that should be adopted by all companies for protection of their innovative ideas. Finally the unbeatable position of the iPhone and the high market share and growing revenues of Apple from 2007 till date confirms that iPhone is still a dominant product in its category.


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