The Economist has a great article on Apple and its model for innovation. Clearly some aspects of Apple’s innovation model stands out.
In fact, its real skill lies in stitching together its own ideas with technologies from outside and then wrapping the results in elegant software and stylish design.
Second, Apple illustrates the importance of designing new products around the needs of the user, not the demands of the technology.
Listening to customers is generally a good idea, but it is not the whole story. For all the talk of “user-centric innovation” and allowing feedback from customers to dictate new product designs, a third lesson from Apple is that smart companies should sometimes ignore what the market says it wants today.
The fourth lesson from Apple is to “fail wisely”.
While one can never deny that Apple can be counted as amongst the top innovation companies, they have been using a proprietary innovation model right from the beginning to their most recent product — the iPhone. Clearly a lot of developers have been asking that iPhone be opened up so that third party applications can be developed. Apple very deftly managed to side step the issue, by just launching Safari (the web browser) on the Windows platform. Developer access to the iPhone would be through the Safari, rather than releasing a iPhone SDK.
For one, the Web may be a better platform for application development, but by not opening up the iPhone SDK, the applications may not be multi-threaded and may even run slowly.
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