The world has continued to embrace global innovations that target various sectors. Of these innovations, some areas captured as those made by the Apple Company, which continues in their new trend of innovations. Having brought the iPod, they are right on top again with a new product, the iPad. Facing competition from other note pad manufacturers, like IBM and Hp Compaq among others, they have been able to show why they are still dominant in the computer world (Apple Inc. 1). This paper will attempt to analyze the front-end innovation in apple computer Inc. that has led to their modern innovations that include the iPad.
The front end of innovation can be described as that period between the formulation of the new project or product and the time of its implementation (Koen et al. 46-55). It involves the time when research for the product is done, the conception of the idea, and the development of the concept and model which can either be accepted or not depending on the factors surrounding its further implementation.
Such factors may include its effectiveness, cost, relevancy to the intended market, uniqueness, and others. One of the companies known to have continuously developed various modern computers and their accessories is the Apple computer Inc. their latest being the recently launched Ipad (Apple Inc. 1). The front end of innovation follows a process and it entails, the generation of the idea; these ideas can be got by research and using the SWOT analysis to get into the lines of focus.
What follows is a screening of the ideas with several factors put into consideration. From this, the new product idea can be accepted for testing or dismissed. The front end of innovation always comes before the finely planned and formal stage gate. Stage gate is also referred to as the NPPD (New Product and Process and Development) (Kim and Wilemon 35).
Front End of Innovation in Apple Computer Inc.
Apple Computer Inc. has been in business for the last 34 years, its incorporation in 1977 paved the way for their turbulent yet successful business history; its performance in the 1990s was rather inconsistent. Being a multinational company with global influence by its products, Apple deals mainly in the development of computer software, servers, and electronics targeting the consumer base (FuturethinkLLC 1).
The change in management breathed life in Apple as they moved from operating system licensing which they gave out to third-party companies and moved into the design era, starting with the iMac, iBook, and more technology and environment-friendly products like iPhone, iPad, and the AirPort products. This has exposed them to the limelight as the public rushes to be in the right place for the right product. The company has deliberately focused on the Font end of innovation to satisfy the needs of the consumers as they expand their networks globally.
This has resulted in their rapid launches of products which have improved their brand worldwide. Based on the reforms made by Jobs who came in as the new CEO, Apple was able to focus more on the front end of innovation, looking out for great ideas, which mostly came from their study of consumer needs and expectations (Hartung par. 1-4). They also expanded their talent, with huge investment input on innovations thereby paving way for their most successful helm.
This has seen them integrate iPhone in hospitals, like in Mount Sinai hospital (Apple Inc. 1), the iPod, and iPad. It has been linked to the G-WIN program which taps sources containing new innovative ideas, these ideas may be from, entrepreneurs, universities among other sources which apple did by 2006. These have rejuvenated apple to its current levels
The front end of innovation has been of great value to the apple industry, its advantages that involve the adoption of external ideas have helped surge the innovations which have increasingly become customer friendly (Apple Inc. 1). However, the front end of innovation has limitations that have to be mitigated to achieve the best productivity. This may include speculations, uncertainties that must be well represented to achieve the best of productions.
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Kim, J. and Wilemon, D. “Sources and assessment of complexity in NPD projects”. R&D Management.2002. 33(1).
Koen, Peter et al. “Providing clarity and a common language to the ‘fuzzy front end’”. Research Technology management. 2001. 44(2).