Apple Case Study

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Summary



Ideas are part of the grand process of business. Businesses create unique products and services that are then marketed to a customer base. This involves the use of innovation, commercialization and intellectual property rights to both create something unique, have the ability to market, and have the rights to protect it. Without either of these aspects, it can be difficult for a business to generate something worthwhile.



The case study of Apple Inc., and the iPhone is one that provides the tell-tale sign of innovation. People like Steve Jobs work hard to contribute something to their respective industries that is one of a kind, thus making their companies highly successful. To be a pioneer in an industry is to gain a chance to dominate in an emerging or established market. The iPhone represents the epitome of a new product revolutionizing the cell phone and electronics industry.



Without the hard work and dedication to protecting the rights and marketability of the iPhone, it would not be the most popular smartphone in the world. Therefore, it is so important to have a proper balance of commercialization, innovation, and have a firm understanding of property rights. Without any of these, products like the iPhone and Kindle would not be what they are today. This essay will provide insight into the definitions of innovation, commercialization, and intellectual property rights as well as provide a business case study on Apple Inc. and its flagship product, the iPhone and Amazon Inc and its Kindle. Additionally, concepts like the innovation and commercial funnel will be discussed to offer an encapsulation of the various concepts discussed and how to execute them in the real world. The hope is to provide the foundation from which discussion of these key concepts can generate a better understanding of what it takes to be a successful company in a world with constant changes and evolution of products and services.



Background



Define Innovation



Innovation has various meanings. However, a popular concept of innovation is the creation of a new practice, object, or idea. “Rogers (1995) defines an innovation as “an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption” (Tan and Hunter, 2002, p. 227). Those that innovate provide the public with something perceived as ‘original’, ‘never experienced’. For example, Steve Jobs is a common figure related to innovation. He became an innovator through the introduction of the iPhone. “Steve Jobs was a master of innovation. A survey of his products revealed this deep-seated habit of innovation. Innovation exuded from everything Jobs touched” (Toguchi, 2017, p. 63). The iPhone enabled the reinvention of the cellphone and electronic industry and provided the foundation for what would become the smartphone.



Stamm also provided a key definition of innovation and that is creativity and design (Von Stamm, 2008). In fact, Stamm provided the definition of multiple kinds of innovation. For example, there is architectural innovation or innovation that defines a product or process’ basic configuration, establishing marketing and technical agendas, guiding further development (Von Stamm, 2008). Regular innovation is a kind that involves change, building on established production and technical competence, applied then to existing customers and markets. Thusly, allowing an entrenchment of existing resources and skills.



There is also revolutionary innovation. This sort of innovation renders and disrupts established production and technical competence obsolete, while also applied to existing customers and markets (Von Stamm, 2008). For example, the iPhone made regular phones obsolete. However, the new market became the existing one with the same customers. This according to Stamm is revolutionary innovation because now at the forefront of telephones is the smartphone.



Define Commercialization



Part of innovation is commercialization. Part of implementation is the idea of combining certain aspects: idea selection, development and commercialization (Von Stamm, 2008). While creativity is essential to the process and use of commercialization, the definition itself of the word is complicated. If one examines other interpretations of commercialization it often becomes a debate of what constitutes commercialization. For example, if commercialization includes just sales or various types of revenue like funding and licensing fees, it may alter the meaning of it.



If only certain kinds of sales are included in commercialization with exclusion of sales to say, government agencies, it further changes the meaning of the word. Anything can be added in to be considered as the suitable benchmark for sales. However, for the general purpose of defining the word, sales can be used to define commercialization (Von Stamm, 2008). To put it simply, commercialization is the act of making something sellable.



When Steve Jobs first created the iPhone, he had to implement a design that made it sellable to customers both new and existing. People hailed the iPhone as a marvelous invention because it was so beautiful in its design and interface (Toguchi, 2017). People came to understand that the functionality and the design worked together to make a product that is both appealing and gives steady and reliable performance. Therefore, the product than became able to be sold to millions of customers worldwide (Toguchi, 2017).



When a product is sellable to customers it provides a means of profit for companies.
People in these companies work hard to make a product appealing to customers. Whether this is through advertisements or fundamental changes in the design to appeal to new tastes or market trends, businesses take steps to make items and services marketable.



Discuss the Link between Commercialization and Innovation



One cannot have innovation without commercialization. There is no point in having a product that is innovative if one cannot market it effectively. That is where the connection between commercialization and innovation is born. As mentioned earlier, Stamm noted that commercialization and creativity are needed to manifest innovation. Later in Stamm’s book on page 254 and 255, Stamm introduces the ‘Management of Knowledge’. Management of ideas and storing information of past and current projects is a key to developing innovation and commercialization.



State their importance for an organization



If one wishes to produce a new product, a company would have to take information from past projects and notably, past failures to see what might work and what will not work. “In fact, I would suggest that all major stages of a new product development should be covered in a company’s approach towards model management: idea management, development and review, commercialization and monitoring” (Von Stamm, 2008, p. 255). Should Company A wish to revamp a toy line by adding a new toy, potential candidates could come from unfinished projects or a reimaging of old ones. Through the data collected, Company A can produce a new toy that can then be marketed to an existing customer base.

To commercialize the toy, thus making it marketable to the existing customer base, the toy must not be too controversial and suit the needs of the customers. Commercialization and innovation is a complicated process that promotes a connection between both concepts. Without each other, a product cannot fully appeal to customers and become something that defines a company. There is an integral connection between commercialization and innovation.



Define Intellectual Property



Intellectual property can also be a tricky term to define. There are numerous methods by which a definition of complex terms such as these may be obtained. While some provide partial meaning, most definitions are superficial at best. The best way to define intellectual property is the sum of its parts. “Intellectual property is the enumerated sum of its legal doctrines; is the enumerated sum of the objects it regulates; is a type of property; is whatever the law stipulates it to be; and is whatever it is intuitively felt to be” (George, 2012, p. 51).



State the importance of intellectual property in relation to innovation and commercialization



Intellectual property is what helps someone sell and maintain rights to an object. Using again the iPhone example, Apple Inc has the intellectual property rights to the design and name of the iPhone. Without these rights, people can copy it and produce similar products, thus producing competition for the company. The reason the company has managed to survive various economic recessions with their products rarely on sale is because they are the only ones that can deliver the experience of having an

iPhone.



Part of innovation is creativity. The other part is commercialization. When one has a product, it owns exclusive rights to, they can market and sell it how they want. Their rights to the product are protected. Therefore, intellectual property rights are so important. Without these, it would be extremely hard for any business to remain relevant and profitable without their flagship products. The electronics industry especially has constant competition with new releases every year. Which is why having a unique and highly marketable product is rare and must be protected to maintain the allure, that profitability



Introduction



The two organizations selected are Apple and Amazon. Apple Inc was formerly known as Apple Computer Company from 1976 to 1977 and Apple Computer Inc. from 1977 to 2007. With the unveiling of the iPhone, it just became Apple Inc. As of the 2017 fiscal year, Apple’s international revenue is $229 billion. With a high level of brand loyalty, Apple Inc has become one of the world’s most valuable brands (Janssen, 2017).



The reason for this success is the revolutionary iPhone. The first of its kind, it provided customers with a feel of a computer in the palm of their hands. What began in 2007 with Steve Jobs and his team of developers, they turned into an App Store in 2008, and the iTunes Store in 2009 (Janssen, 2017). Steadily, Apple became synonymous with success and thus people began to buy iPhones and Apple products driving continued brand loyalty.



Many people feel the reason for this upsurge is the meshing of design and marketability. Apple Inc. marketed their products well with celebrity endorsements of their iPhone models (Janssen, 2017). These celebrity endorsements along with appealing commercials made the iPhone and other Apple products desirable to the masses from young to old. The trend continues today with many celebrities continually taking pictures of themselves with their iPhone logo in full display. The tie-in of Apple products with status created an indelible bond with consumers,.....

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References

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