Apple Inc.’s Products and Design Process

Disruption and Design

Apple Inc. has adopted a suitable method that has been very instrumental in achieving success in its operations (Gilbert 13). The method of ‘disruption through better design’ is not inclined to any particular business model (Watkiss 10342; Gilbert 25). This explains why the company has been so successful in adopting several business models in its operations for competitive purposes. Notably, Apple has been successful in launching the Graphic User Interface of PCs, which has been very instrumental in developing a friendlier user experience (Göransson, Gulliksen, and Boivie 111).

Even though Apple was not successful in the competition with Microsoft as far as personal computers are concerned, the user interface design has been very disruptive in the micro-computer sector (Saxena 23). Following the loss of the PC war to Microsoft, Apple was pushed to start again but Steve Jobs’ presence in the company introduced the iMac, which has gained a lot of popularity to date.

The introduction of the iPod by Apple revolutionized the music industry. With the device, individuals could store numerous songs on digital music players; an unexpected move. Apple’s iPod design was very attractive and had several features that made it a stellar piece in the music industry (Watkiss 10342). The device has a logical user interface, storage capacity that is quite large to fit as many songs as possible, as well as has a simple design. With such a device in the market, it was evident that Apple’s ‘disrupt through better design’ approach was very effective.

The launch of the iPhone was another success in Apple’s business approach (Gilbert 12). This came after concerns were raised on the need for cell phones designed by Apple, following the success of the iPod music player. Even though on its launch, the iPhone did not use the App Store, it had numerous features that were user friendly. In the end, Apple was able to disrupt the cell phone industry through the creation of internet devices that were incomparable to cell phones.

A similar case was evident in the case of Apple’s iPad, and now it has become common among individuals with many people using iPads to store their notes, read newspapers and magazines, as well as watch movies (Gilbert 23). Apple’s introduction of the iPad changed the behavior of many people as far as the use of paper documents and related material is concerned.

Creation of Apple’s Products

Universally, Apple is known to be the pioneer of the graphical user interface on personal computers. Also, the company has introduced several other devices that have improved the experience of users of phones, computers, and the internet (Saxena 23). The company’s success can be attributed to its innovative products and creative designs (Göransson, Gulliksen, and Boivie 111). As such, Apple’s products have achieved ‘the empathic design challenge’ by growing trust and love among its users. Often, Apple launches new products each year that is based on innovation. Such products have been very instrumental in creating Apple’s competitive edge over other players in the mobile and computer business.

Apple’s products follow a systematic process before they are availed in the market as highlighted below:

Ideas

The development of any product starts from the senior managers, who provide the necessary information about the proposed product for discussion. This initial stage does not provide the visual concept of the product but involves the discussion of the proposed product as well as coming up with rough sketches of the product before the idea is moved to the next stage.

Creation of Product Start-Up

The internal start-up stage is reached following the definition of the proposed product. The team tasked with the development of new products is not assigned any other duties to ensure that they concentrate majorly on the process of developing the proposed product.

Prototyping

The prototyping is the stage at which the proposed product model is created. It is necessary for the development of a new product in that it gives the vision of the intended product (Beverly 23). The prototyping stage involves the design of 10 concepts by the design team from which 3 (finalists) are selected, and the final concept is selected from the 3 finalists.

Apple’s New Product Process (ANPP)

The ANPP is a type of document used in the description of the process of developing the new product after the selection of the product’s prototype (Lashinsky 12). The Global Supply Manager (GSM) alongside the Engineering Product Manager (EPM) on Apple’s new product process. While the work of the GSM is entirely on the development part of the product, the EPM deals with the coordination of the operations of the engineers.

Weekly Executive Team Review

The production process is reviewed every week to ensure that the team members stay on the right course as far as the development of the new product is concerned. Through the weekly meetings, the team members review bits of the production process.

Peer Design Meetings

The engineers and the design team tasked with the responsibility of creating the new product meet regularly to deliberate on aspects of the project that can be implemented to improve the proposed idea.

The Production Management

The process of developing a new product is controlled by the EPM and GSM, who are regularly available during the process of developing any new product to ensure that the entire process is smooth.

Testing the Product

The EPM and GSM are tasked with the responsibility of collecting feedback and reviews regarding any beta product that has been created. The executives provide the required reviews and feedback to ensure that the final product is of high quality.

Packaging

The proposed packaging is designed and testing is carried out on the available prototypes before being used on the final product.

‘Rules of the Road’

This is a confidential document that is created to evaluate the success of the process of developing the new product as far as achieving the desired quality is concerned.

Impressions of Apple’s design process

Apple has a simple and straightforward design process, which is achieved through the elimination of unnecessary steps. Nonetheless, the design process of Apple is quite expensive since the company is often focused on providing quality products to its customers. Besides, the design process takes into consideration the input of various individuals in both aspects of creative ideas and testing. Such involvement of various people in the production process is important as far as the achievement of the company’s set quality standards in the design process is concerned.

Works Cited

Beverly, Harlan. “Process of Marketing Involvement in New Product Development Teams”. SSRN Electronic Journal 2011.1 (2011): 10-34. Print.

Gilbert, Sara. The Story of Apple, Mankato, MN: Creative Education, 2012. Print.

Göransson, Bengt, Jan Gulliksen, and Inger Boivie. “The Usability Design Process – Integrating User-Centered Systems Design In The Software Development Process”. Softw. Process: Improve. Pract. 8.2 (2003): 111-131. Print.

Lashinsky, Adam. Inside Apple, New York: Business Plus, 2012. Print.

Saxena, Rajan. Marketing Management, New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill, 2009. Print.

Watkiss, Lily. “New Technology as Equivoque: Time and Experience in Sense-Making and Sense-Giving About Apple’s IPad”. Academy of Management Proceedings 2013.1 (2013): 10342. Print.