Apple, The iPhone, And The Innovator’s Dilemma

From Wired

If you re-read the first few chapters of The Innovator’s Dilemma and you insert “Apple” every time Clayton Christensen mentions “a company,” a certain picture emerges: Apple is a company on the verge of being disrupted, and the next great idea in tech and consumer electronics will not materialize from within the walls of its Cupertino spaceship.

The Innovator’s Dilemma, of course, is about the trap that successful companies fall into time and time again. They’re well managed, they’re responsive to their customers, and they’re market leaders. And yet, despite doing everything right, they fail to see the next wave of innovation coming, they get disrupted, and they ultimately fail.

In the case of Apple, the company is trapped by its success, and that success is spelled “iPhone.”

Take, for example, Christensen’s description of the principles of good management that inevitably lead to the downfall of successful companies: “that you should always listen to and respond to the needs of your best customers, and that you should focus investments on those innovations that promise the highest returns.”

More here.

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28 Responses to Apple, The iPhone, And The Innovator’s Dilemma

  1. Peter Honczaryk February 8, 2019 at 10:42 am #

    It was nice to read that someone has finally stated that apple is not all that. Apple has been around since 1967 and is still prospering. From that time they have released tons of popular products that took the world by storm including: iPhones, macs, headphones, and other related accessories. The founder, Steve Jobs, built the first Apple 1 computer in 1976 where he took it to California to show it off and the product became a hit. From there on new computers were created, the company took off, and millions of people start to buy the apple products. One of the most popular being the iPhone. This product was first released eleven years ago and has been coming out with a new phone every year, each new iPhone claiming to be better than the last. And it has been that way for a long time. When the iPhone first came out it was a means to have a bigger screen, better camera, and be all around better than the smartphones that came out. Since then it took off and the company has managed to release a new, better iPhone every year and has managed to make 51 billion dollars just selling iPhones which is about two thirds of their profits totaling 84 billion dollars. This is an amazing achievement considering how little the product changes each year. Of course, there is drastic change from the first iPhone to the modern iPhone XR. But looking at the overall changes the last few years, there is not much.
    The company has managed to release a new phone every year making people think they need a new phone with a “better” camera each year. However, if you compare the iPhone 6 to the XR there is not that many distinct qualities that show the phone is better than the last. Apple has managed to create an image for their loyal customers making them think that they desire the next new phone, and this is the method they use continue to make money the way they have for the last decade. Overall, apple has been around a long time and is still going to be around a long time like the article said. I believe this will be true as long as there won’t be any other new companies that pop up with better products, doubtful, and as long as apple continues to use the method where they sell to their loyal customers and continue to meet their needs, they will continue to be the most popular, and one of the wealthiest companies in the world.

  2. Richard Gudino February 8, 2019 at 12:30 pm #

    I think that’s the problem that we face being in todays world, people demand innovation and constant updates in everything in our lives have caused us to expect with every new iteration has to come a drastic change. While we discuss just the Apple corporation this dilemma that the article cites is also apparent in other industries like the gaming industry. Apple can mirror or compare to the Call of Duty franchise, a long and outstanding history full of millions of dollars and sales and up until this point has shown no innovation in its games. With the amount of people complaining that it has just become a product released every year with little no innovation that leaves the customer asking, why did I buy this game? Starting to sound familiar? These trends are not a recent thing, ever since we have established the consumer and producer there was always at first mass innovation. Companies were always churning out new product after new product witch success. Now we have reached an impasse and the innovator’s dilemma, where to companies go from here. We always look at Apple as a prime example because they have reached heights of success no one knew possible. Now it seems that Apple only cares for the sales figures and not so much what the customer wants. That’s what the article states that the “innovator’s dilemma is the company’s success, smooth operations, great products, and happy customers. That’s one of the things that makes it a dilemma”, even though people complain and want more there are still happy customers and there are still people buying their phones. The recent fall in iPhone prices and the value of stocks for Apple have come down. This could lead to a panic but apple is still bringing in billions in revenue, so what’s the problem. Apple keep making a “new” iPhone with nothing new added on. The success they have enjoyd means they play it safe. They no longer take the creative risk in fear that they will hurt their bottom line. Customers are no longer customers they are just a name, a sales figure that should be going up. People are starting to take note and have now more than ever voiced their opinion. Besides that there still exist competition in markets, Apple recently tried to enter a developing market of phones in China and were getting beat out by android devices like the OnePlus 6t. This should be showing Apple that they can not compete with others because other companies will take the risk they don’t want to take anymore. This begs the question and again goes back to the dilemma. Will Apple ever sacrifice their cash for customer satisfaction? Will Apple ever be the Apple of old? Where they were at the forefront on innovation and bringing new devices that people would stretch out entire city blocks for the next big thing. As Apple try to expand into other markets, one that again are dominated by other goods and services, will we ever see an apple in decline, or will people’s needs to have an iPhone just to have one keep it afloat.

  3. Kyle Stephens February 8, 2019 at 12:36 pm #

    Apple is an amazing company that has done amazing things, but I agree with the author that if they stay on their current track, the company will likely fall. The main reason for this is their fixation on perfecting every single quality that the iPhone has. And worse yet, it has become obvious that they have run out of ideas for their phones. iPhones 6-8 are virtually the same except size, charging, and camera. Then with the release of the X and XR we got face scan which is cool but wont be something that can keep apple here for good. And along with these advancements there is also changes that they made for the worse. The first change was the removal of the headphone jack. I never will understand this because people have non stop complained since they announced it. They chose to keep it causing two problems, one you need a new device that can plug into the phone for headphones and now users cant charge their phone and listen to music at the same time. Then to top it off they sold the fix to their problem making customers angry because they ruined the phone then essentially made you pay to fix it. Apple needs to get back to their roots with the “Think Different” mentality and find something new to invest their time and research in. Because, as the article says, Apple is going to be disrupted. Its not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
    Apple has attempted a few other ventures that just didn’t work for them at all. Things like a self driving car, streaming service, ai helper, etc. Although it is exciting seeing Apple finally put money into other things, it is also a bad thing because all of these ventures were failures. These ventures left Apple down however much money and now they are probably to hesitant to go for it again. Now Apple is “trapped” because they like the feeling of safety that their precious iPhone gives them. And, with this strategy all they will find is that when the next ‘big thing’ comes out they will be playing catchup.

  4. Keegan Sullivan February 8, 2019 at 4:42 pm #

    While reading the article “Apple, The IPhone, and The Innovators Dilemma,” the only thing I could think of is the old saying “Don’t put all your eggs I one basket.” This saying comes from the idea that there is an extremely high risk in a business putting everything into one venture idea. For apple, this basket is the beloved IPhone. All the eggs in this “IPhone basket” are the ways in which Apple makes money and they include the app store, airpods, Apple Music, and icloud. All of these ideas gravitate around the IPhone. Without the IPhone there is no major income from the app store or apple music and people mostly use their airpods to listen to music on their IPhone. There are definitely other uses for these thigs but their main source is the IPhone. The author of the article sees this as a bad thing, but I do not at all. She bases her argument on the idea of the book The Innovators Dilemma which brings up very valid quarrels but overall these are just not logistical in the Apple example. The newest IPhone is and will forever be different from the previous IPhone produced by Apple. Even something as little as changing the charger or adding a bigger camera will influence the consumer. People love to have the newest thing and Apple has continued to exploit this since their first IPhone release in 2007. Regardless of price, people will still by the IPhone until Apple takes it off the shelves. Companies like Samsung have attempted to take Apple off of the pedestal but have failed. In my life, I never owned a Samsung phone and a rarely see people using one yet it is the 2nd largest smartphone producer behind Apple. Apple has such a margin between itself and the competitors and their following is so large that there is nothing for them to worry about. This article offers good alternatives for Apple to compete in other industries with new products or ideas but for now, they dominate and will continue to dominate the smartphone industry so they do not need to change anything.

  5. Cameron Kharazmi February 8, 2019 at 5:45 pm #

    I believe that Apple as a company has been revolutionary in its success over the past few decades. Its rise from to a global conglomerate in the tech industry has been unprecedented, and I don’t believe we will see Apple fall as a company as the article would imply. The reasoning: Apple is already far too massive to experience a company-wide collapse. It is not like “Blockbuster” or “Toys R Us”, who were simple retail stores who failed to catch up to new global innovations(mostly the internet). Apple has taken the lead of innovation in the technology industry, and has far too many economic assets to fold like other big companies in the past. They have found a way to own Silicon Valley, have established a large number of retail stores around the world, and have deals with large companies like AT&T and Verizon who will be around for the foreseeable future. They are too large to experience a global failure due to some new innovation, and contrary to what the article states, I believe Apple as a company has the minds and the money to create a new global sensation that will revolutionize some part of the technological worlds. Even if a smaller company were to come out with some grand new technological advancement, like the article states, Apple could simply “steal” such an idea(an ode to Steve Jobs quote “good artist copy; great artists steal”) and add their own twist to it, and experience immense profit. After all, they made changes to the iPhone based on new twists on the smartphone market, such as larger screens and less buttons(developed by Android companies), and in marketing the iPhone came out with products such as the iPad and the Apple Watch that have been a great success on the global scale. I understand that the article’s central issue with Apple is that they have not come out with a grandiose invention that was unrelated to the iPhone in the past decade, but I believe that they do not have to in order to stay afloat in the global economy. They have too many assets available, and too much money not to adapt to a changing tech industry. After all, the iPhone came after they had already established themselves as a multi-billion dollar company with the creation of the iMac and Macbook, two computers that were dynamic and immensely successful. I know that most people would like to see Apple be usurped in the market, but their growth as a company and ability to adapt to change will help them stay afloat and expand even more as time goes on.

  6. Brian L Hilyard February 8, 2019 at 6:14 pm #

    Think different. Those two words are what the marketers at Apple have put faith into persuading people into believing that their company are the primary tech innovators of the modern times. Let us take a moment to ask ourselves whether Apple is the primary innovator of the modern times.
    Lovers and critics of Apple have their opinions about how much credit Apple’s founders deserve for creating products such as the Macintosh, iPod, and iPhone. These groundbreaking innovations propelled Apple from a start up in a young man’s garage to the first company in history to be worth one trillion US dollars and transformed every industry on the planet. When they were first released, those inventions excited the masses into fantasizing about the futures that were made possible directly from the products, or the eventual subsequent improvements. For the next two decades, people lined up for hours in front of Apple Stores to be one of the first to own the newest Apple product on release day.
    Disappointingly, it has been almost a decade since anything of the same magnitude was unveiled by an Apple CEO during a grandeur keynote address. The Apple Watch caused some excitement back in 2014, but the technology has been used in Fitbits since 2007. The truth is, Apple has not created a new market or interrupted an existing one with a unique product in years. Any new products Apple has gotten control over has been a result of merges and purchases instead of their own innovation. All that has happened is that products get a little faster, a little bigger, and a little lighter. Some would argue those slow, but steady, improvements to their products have been voided by the loss of consumers’ convenience; the removal of the audio jack in the newer iPhone models being the most egregious example. Even the more cult-like Apple fans joke that each new version of an existing product are just calculated improvements, enough to turn heads, but kept to a minimal. There has been nothing that has filled the masses with fantastic ecstasy over the thought of a transformed and promising future.
    In other aspects, Apple has failed to diversify thought within the group of decision makers at the top of the company by bringing in fresh faces. Those who are running Apple currently have been involved significantly with creating ideas and making decisions in the company since the 80’s and 90’s and its possible they have run out of new ideas and are diverting all their efforts into maintaining and protecting Apple’s status quo with its products and interactions in the market. One big innovation by a competitor or a start up that disrupts the cell phone market can upend Apple, who has become increasingly reliant on the iPhone for its revenue and survival.
    Apple must be willing to take some risks by introducing unique and exciting things to the market. A huge benefit Apple has is it does not need to prove itself. The company already has a stellar reputation and millions of loyal customers. However, Apple is not the only guilty party. No tech company not owned by Elon Musk has created mass excitement among the general population in a decade. The reason Apple is still dominant might be because all their competitors are equally hesitant to risk reputation and resources on something new.

  7. Hassan Elzeeny February 8, 2019 at 6:19 pm #

    Apple has been a widely successful company for many years. They have become so successful that they’ve become stagnant creatively. I believe the reason that they have been reluctant to change is not because they do not have any ideas, but because I feel like they don’t have to. I believe that Apples consumer base will buy anything they release due to the popularity Apple. Many people in my opinion do not buy Apple products for the product itself, but for the status symbol that is attached to it. This is since we live in a society where being included in popular social groups dominates our social lives.
    Apple to me comes off as if they think their consumers are gullible. They come out every year releasing a new phone and claim its “innovative” or “the best one yet”. Then the iPhone releases and the only change they’ve made is the screen is an inch wider. I believe every change made to an apple product is with the intent to keep their consumers from having any other options. For example, when Apple removed the headphone jack. To me they removed the headphone jack, so apple consumers are stuck buying apple headphones, or an apple jack to use with other headphones. It’s almost as if they want to trap you with apple products one way or another.
    My question to many people is do you truly believe Apple isn’t creative anymore? Or do you think Apple waits till they must change? What I mean by this is to me it seems as if Apple is content with the numbers they earn every year. So rather than create and be innovative they are more reactive to what is new and popular. For example, Android phones where the first to come out with fast charging Apple then reacted and added it to their phones. Android also had facial recognition, use of fingerprint, water resistant touch screens, and OLED display before apple introduced this to their phones. To me this is major part of the problem with Apple today. Apple reacts to what other phone companies make, then tell their consumers that they were the first to introduce the technology. The problem with this is that when other phone companies such as Samsung go through a period where they do not create anything new, Apple must wait even longer to advance their tech.
    To me Apple is not in an innovative dilemma. Apple is in a state of content. This in my opinion is the fault of the consumer. The consumer has allowed apple to get away with releasing essentially the same product year after year while raising the price. Apple has not felt any pressure from their target market to change their product in any way. They have only been pushed to change from people who are tech heads and that is not Apples main target. So why would they change their product to appease to people that aren’t in their target market? Until their target market puts pressure on Apple to change they never will.

  8. Doran Abdi February 8, 2019 at 6:28 pm #

    In my eyes Apple has changed for the worse after Steve Job had passed away, and this article essentially proves that idea. When Apple first came to surface, it was a company that was so outside of the box other companies were confused on how to keep up. Whether it was Apple’s first few commercials (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axSnW-ygU5g) or their catchy slogans (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Think_different#/media/File:Apple_logo_Think_Different_vectorized.svg) , Apple was a company that really stuck out compared to its competitors. Since then, it seems as if the company has begun to lack the ability to innovate and has grown quite stale. It seems as if they have been able to achieve an incredible monopoly-type control on the smartphone market and done everything they can to continue to control that market. If you look at the amount of progress that Apple had made in the early 2000s compared to everything they have done in the last 5 years, it is very disappointing. I find that the reasoning behind this has been the loss of Steve Jobs. When Jobs was controlling the operations of Apple, the company functioned in an entirely different manner. While corporations like Coca Cola and Disney were able to strive as they would pay their sales people the most, Jobs found that this was not an effective way to run a tech company which requires innovation. Looking at companies like IBM who were doing the same process of putting the sales people at the top, it is easily recognizable that this does not work as the company became stale and behind the progression of technology. Instead, Jobs had put all the developers and engineers at the top of his company to ensure that the company was focused on developing their products to perfection and then changing them to stay five years ahead of any other company. Today, Apple, a company that you would barely see any commercials on TV for in the past, has become very advertisement-heavy and is relying on its same products to stay ahead. Apple was once a company that had stuck out beyond all tech companies in being something special and incomparable. Today, I am afraid to say that is blending more and more with all of the other large tech corporations. It disappoints me to watch the possible fall of Apple and I truly hope that they are able to bring back that same fire and spirit that Jobs had once ran the company with.

  9. Devero McDougal II February 8, 2019 at 6:41 pm #

    It is interesting to read a article that does not over glorify apple and their products every product has their problems and apple has them as well. I feel that the most important thing about this article is that apple has gotten comfortable with their own success. Having a successful business is all about innovation and that is what has allowed apple to grow into the business that it is today. It is because of apple taking risk that it has grown into the multi-billion dollar company that it is today. We have seen the growth in their products over the years, but in recent years it has grown as much as expected. It is obvious that apple is now scared to take risk they are not being innovative like they use to and it is hurting them. They are now making changed to the IPhone that they do not need to change. The one change that comes to mind is getting rid of the headphone jack having a phone that does not have a headphone jack is very annoying. Now you can not listen to music and charge your phone some people would say that this is not a big deal but actually experiencing it for a long period of time is proving to be a pain. If apple wants to grow their business more then the are going to have to take risk and get out of their comfort zone.

  10. Domenico Cirielli February 8, 2019 at 7:22 pm #

    Good businesses give customers what they want. Great businesses show its customers what they need. So, which is Apple then? A good business or a great one? Many may be inclined to say it is a great one – I mean it’s hard not to when a many individuals have one of its products just an arm length away in their pockets. However, the following article, which examines Apple’s success, specifically that of the iPhone, on the basis of Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, suggests differently. Though Apple is “well managed…responsive to customers…and [a] market leader,” Christensen’s thoughts suggest their innovation is declining and it is only a matter of time before one of the biggest disruption businesses in history gets sidelined too.

    Innovators of the iPhone, since its release in 2007, have always catered to the needs and wants of individuals as it pertained to the updating and innovation of newer waves of iPhones. As a result, Apple “focused investments on those innovations that promised the highest returns.” However, here’s the issue: the base model of the newest iPhone is $1,149. According to Forbes, Apple has been able to string along its “army of die-hard fans” with its crazy price hikes – but that time has come to an end. Technology becomes cheaper over time, not more expensive. Individuals have come to notice this, and this can visibly be seen through Apple’s iPhone numbers. Their highest revenue for the iPhone was reached in 2015. Since then, its numbers have been declining and recently Apple even made a statement that it will no longer be releasing data indicating its sale of iPhones. Keep in mind, Apple is a company whose revenue relies heavily on the sale of the iPhone. In fact, according to Forbes, the iPhone generates two-thirds of Apple’s total revenue – that’s not even including the revenue coming from products associated with the phone like Air Pods or Apple Watches, often sold along hand with the iPhone. It’s quite outrageous and best put by Steven McBride, a Forbes contributor: “A publicly traded company that makes most of its money from selling phones is no longer telling investors how many phones it sells!”

    I think this is where The Innovator’s Dilemma really comes into play and is applicable to such a historically innovative company as Apple. It really cannot be disputed that the Apple iPhone is a successful product; however, this is where the dilemma kicks in, according to Christensen: “You get comfortable. More accurately, you get protective. You don’t want to try anything new.” Diversification suffers as a result. And not only that, but also so does investment into the future and in newer products – likely indicating that Apple has not really dedicated ample resources to plan on its survival in a time where global smartphone sales are declining, given that its main product is the iPhone.

    As put by the Wired article, “Apple is on the verge of being disrupted…the next great idea in tech and consumer electronics will not materialize from within [Apple].” Though Apple will be around in the immediate future, it is not completely secure in its spot in the market. What goes up, eventually comes down – and that time is nearing for Apple. Apple’s legacy is one that will never be forgotten, but, as the article indicates, “the next Apple just isn’t Apple.”

  11. Andrew Kenny February 8, 2019 at 7:38 pm #

    Apple has been dominating the smartphone industry for years now. The invention of the Iphone has catapulted Apple straight to the top of the technology market worldwide. However, the Iphone itself accounts for the bulk of Apple’s value. If you think about it, besides the Iphone, all of Apple’s development directly correlate with the phone itself (watch, app store, airpods). The same corporate heads that have been there since the 80’s have not left. No true innovation has been developed in the past decade, and currently there isn’t any imminent sign of Apple expanding or creating a brand new product.
    Personally, I am a believer in “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Clearly Apple is perfectly content with using the Iphone as their primary source of income. However, other company’s have begun expanding into other markets. Apple does not have their own streaming outlet, speakers, etc. The Ipod died out long ago and was crushed by its heir, the Iphone. A lot of these contending companies have begun taking greater risks, including dabbling in automated cars, to try and gain headlines. Eventually, one of these risks are bound to cash in, and slingshot a contender right up there with Apple. For now, they can get away with their complacency, but with the ever-changing technology market there is no guarantee for long-term dominance. I can see the low risk approach, considering that whatever they have going is working. Yet, it is hard to justify for Apple why they refuse to continue to innovate and bury contenders while they still have the chance.
    In reality, Apple really does not change many features from phone to phone. Most of their upgrades are behind the ball, as Samsung has already included them in prior devices. Apple survives off their brand name and “high class products” that the middle class can still afford. Although I am an Apple fan myself, I can foresee a future where they are not on top. If I were them I would take advice from this article and at least expand. If they are confident in their product and believe it truly is sustainable in the long run, they can use assets now to acquire another company.

  12. Rachel Leto February 8, 2019 at 8:39 pm #

    Apple is one of the most popular technology brands in the world. If you put 100 people in a room, it is guaranteed 85% of them will have an iPhone. I agree that people should stick to what they are good at, but sticking to a product with not much creativity left to it is very risky. In the article, it stated that $51 billion out of their total of $84 billion of revenue came from iPhone sales. More than half of Apple’s revenue is dependent on the iPhone. When Apple took away the headphone jack, this had to be one of this biggest upsets that Apple faced. Then, Apple took it one-step further and took away the home button. Many people do not like change and to change something that people are used to using all the time for convenience, like the headphone jack, is probably the reason why smartphone sales are down. What else could they take away or make better before the idea of a changing iPhone gets old? Would they take a step backwards and re-add the things they took away?
    “Good artists copy, great artists steal”, Steve Jobs quoting Picasso. Thinking about all of the products that Apple came out with that were already out and selling from other companies is ironic. Their latest product that has been selling since before Christmas, Apple AirPods, have been very talked about. There have been wireless headphones out for many years and by bigger brands like Beats by Dre. However, since Apple made wireless headphones, everyone went crazy for them. It is all about the brand. Which is why as much as smartphone sales are declining, Apple has such a brand statement that people are going to buy their product no matter what they are selling. The article mentioned Apple coming out with a new VR system and people are excited for it even though VR has been out for a while now. Apple may be running out of new ideas, but they are not running out of their following that they already have from the past 12 years.

  13. Raymond Wilkinson IV February 8, 2019 at 8:47 pm #

    Apple today has become a smartphone and tech producing mogul. Apple completely dominates each industry it sells in be that smartphone, laptops, smart watches, etc. Now of days its rare to find someone without at least one apple product. Apple proves they have dominated the tech industry and continue dominating by boasting a trillion-dollar net worth. With such a high value as a business this shows how successful apple has been. This article argues that apple is simply trapped by its success of the iphone. While the iphone may be one of apples best seller I feel in no way are they trapped by the success of the smartphone. Apple sells 36 million iphones in the US alone but other than the iphone apple sells computers, smartpads, headphones, and so much more. Apple does make a good amount of money off of the sale of iphones but they still have in on so many other tech markets, With their ipads selling around 35 million a year, and their mac computers at around 18.21 million a year. These numbers show Apple indeed has enough other products to survive as a company. Apples control on the market was shown when they took a risk and made the choice to remove the headphone jack on the iphone 7/7 plus and forward. The consumer responded with backlash, yet the company still sold millions of phones. This change also shows how Apple hasn’t stayed stagnant over the years. Every iphone released has had a new different flagship feature on it. Ranging from touch id, portrait mode, 3d touch, etc. I feel Apple will continue to dominate the tech market as long as it keeps reinventing itself and putting out new devices.

  14. Alex Dornbierer February 8, 2019 at 8:48 pm #

    Almost everyone was an iPhone. And if they don’t, they get looked down upon. Those green text messages, no group chats, no face time. Having an iPhone is a symbol of American life. The article stated that in the last quarter of 2018, the iPhone made up $51 Billion of the $84 billion of Apple’s revenue. That is 61% of Apple’s revenue. They come out with a new iPhone every year and a bunch of new accessories, none of which produce the success of the iPhone. The first iPhone I had was the 5c. It was green and given to me the summer of 2014 for eating a dozen blazing wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. I was content with it for 4 years until my parents got my whole family upgrades for Christmas. I would still be content with is now if I was pressured to get the new one every year due to the mass production of the new phone every year. Due to the constant production of new material, Apple makes choices that are looked at negatively by the consumers. Everyone was mad when they took the headphone jack away, or when they moved the power button from the top to the side. Not all changes we viewed negatively. Somewhere received with joy and appreciation. But due to the high concentration of revenue with iPhones, Apple has a chance to bite the bullet and suffer major economical setbacks. By having such a heavy steak in the iPhone, a shrinkage in demand would cause the company to lose billions and maybe trillions of dollars per year. Apple has tried to produce other products such as the Apple TV, Apple Watch, and web-based features such as iTunes and Apple Music. All of the other products bring in a large sum of money, but it is no where close to the amount of money the iPhone brings in.

  15. Jack F Comfort February 10, 2019 at 8:15 pm #

    Apple for the longest time was the leader in innovation in the technology industry, it seemed like almost every year it was something new and exciting. Recently the new ideas haven’t been new ideas at all, in fact they’re new ideas are removing already beloved components like the headphones. Not only that but these “new ideas” are becoming more and more expensive. The big problem with this is that they’re rivals in the phone market are not only matching they’re innovations but doing it at a cut rate price. The innovator’s dilemma might be catching up quickly for Apple if they continue on this trend.

  16. John Holliday February 11, 2019 at 12:02 pm #

    The article written by Molly Wood, called Apple, the Iphone, and the innovator’s dilemma was a real interesting read. I thought it was interesting because the author was able to talk about a company that is apparently being disrupted and doesn’t innovate anymore without including any numbers or statistic to back up her thesis. The sentiment around the company has changed dramatically since they reported earnings on November 1 2018 announcing that they will no longer release iPhone unit sales. This obviously scared many people, especially Wall Street and investors. The once most valuable company in the world lost billions of dollars in market cap in just a month. With that being said, how come people like Molly wouldn’t write an article like this before an earnings report like that? The most recent set of iPhone’s that got released was the XS, XS max, and XR which were all released in September. If these phones weren’t “innovated” enough how come nobody said that when they were first released but rather months after an earnings report. The real problem with Apple is China. Competition in China is becoming more and more tough with companies like Huawei gaining market share. On Top of that the China economy is slowing and China and the United States is in the middle of an ongoing trade war.
    It’s obviously impossible that the smartphone market can maintain the levels of growth it’s saw in the past ten years. Apple was smart enough to see that coming so they transitioned into the services industry. These services include music streaming, video streaming, health, cloud, and some others. With smartphone growth on the slowdown Apple will be able to transition into the higher margin service industry. For some reason the author, Molly Wood, denounced the video streaming before it even came out which is pretty impressive. I usually say when it comes to business to wait and see, but I guess Molly Wood just has a feeling it will fail. She must not have looked at the company’s financials, $270 billion in free cash and operating cash flow of $75 billion. This means they can spend a tremendous amount on content compared to a company like Netflix that doesn’t even generate positive free cash flow. With that being said, they’ve been able to dominate the music industry with Apple Music, and iCloud will continue to generate cash with its monthly subscription.
    To conclude, I believe that Apple is a strong company that has had their problems in the past but have been able to adapt fine and ultimately exceed. In 2016, you could have found a ton of articles just like this about iPhone growth slowing and how they’ll fail in the end. Well that didn’t happen. There was a speed bump in the economy back in 2016 very similar to now. I will say I do agree with the author on one point and that’s acquisitions. There are talks that Apple may use some of their cash to buyout a company like Netflix or Tesla and I don’t see that happening due to their history. To sum up, right now it’s very easy to find an article negative about the company Apple, but this has happened before and I can assure you the company will be around in 5, 10, and even 20 years down the road.

  17. Abdulrafay Amir February 13, 2019 at 5:21 pm #

    Apple has been dominating the market for quite some time now despite going through some struggles here and there. The iPhone especially has dominated the market and can be found in the hands of more than half percent of phone owners easily. The attraction of the brand Apple itself has always been able to attract the eyes of society as it brings such a classy or tech savvy presence that just makes people gravitate towards it despite the ridiculous costs it takes to purchase their products. Thank God we have the ability to finance the expensive things we buy including apple products which is a great help towards Apple getting more customers. However, if you think about it this “Innovators Dilemma” definitely has begun to be the case for Apple. Over the past few years, the recent iPhones have not had that much of a major upgrade from the last ones, but people mostly buy it because of its name and a sense of social acceptance when you have an iPhone or any other Apple products. The sad thing is that Apple continues to put out phones and different updates within its IOS, but they all contain things that the customers haven’t really asked for. There are so many Apple customers who have legit ideas in regard to creating a better quality and better run iPhone or Apple product but either Apple doesn’t pay attention, or they decide to introduce it years later. I believe if Apple just set up a system where they could truly pay attention to the ideas of its customers, that it could step out of this so called dilemma and be able to attract even more customers that would be happy to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars trying to keep up with the technology.

  18. Justin Rahl February 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm #

    “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is essentially the subtitle of this article in my opinion. Apple has essentially created such a convenient platform from their iPhone brand that they simply don’t have to progress as fast as they needed to in the past. I do agree with the point made that Apple appears to be stuck in a loop where they are comfortable in. Of course Apple’s level of comfort does not need to adjust even if their sales might have taken a minor dive, that is nowhere near enough of a cut to redesign Apple’s model and create the next big thing. Convenience in my opinion is a company’s best selling point in my opinion and even if a different company creates “the next best thing” the company with convenience will still be somewhere near the top. Take Amazon for example with prime 2-day shipping. Everyone absolutely loves being able to get the exact thing they need at a maximum waiting period of 2 days. Not too long after that, Walmart started the same exact offer with their 2-day shipping promotion. If a company has convenience they will most likely never have to worry about losing their fanbase. I honestly do not believe there is a tech company that can rival Apple’s simple interface from the software programmed into their Apple products. Even if Apple throws away lower level conveniences such as a headphone jack, it is not anywhere near enough of a difficult process of learning how to use a new android phone.
    I would completely agree with the point made by Peter Honczaryk where Apple manages to release a new iPhone every year and convincing their loyal customers that they need the new product. The biggest contributor being that with each software update that Apple provides, it cuts the lifespan of the previous iPhone by a substantial amount. A friend of mine is currently in the process of replacing his iPhone 7 with the new iPhone XR where the cause is simply that the old phone can’t handle the new software Apple provides. The iPhone 7 came out only 3 years ago in September of 2016, from my point of view (and I would imagine every other financially conscious individual) that they don’t really want to fork over the hundreds of dollars it takes to keep up with Apple’s pace. Even now with the current price of the iPhone XR being $749 I would bet people don’t want to be forced to buy it due to their old phone breaking due to uncontrollable causes. Apple manages to convince enough of the population that they need the next phone to make a noticeable profit by providing a simple interface that people are too comfortable with to leave.

  19. Erick Plaza February 14, 2019 at 8:43 pm #

    I have been a dedicated Apple fan since they have first came out with their first iPhone model. I have even gone to the extent of being one of those crazy fans who wait outside the mall the night before for the next iPhone. But even I can not deny the downfall of Apple is coming soon. The iPhone x, which was the newest device they have released, was way over priced and had only one major advancement which was a face-reading security feature. On top of that, the consumer unfriendly advancements such as removing the head jack and changing the charger ports were not good moves either. Although, the air pods were a huge smash this past Christmas, I guess their brand alone can keep them a float temporarily.

    Apple will not survive in today’s world full of innovation if they rely solely on their iPhone as their main source of income. As the author Molly Wood says in her article, “the bulk of Apple’s investment since 2007, when the iPhone came out, has been about maintaining, developing, and selling this one device”(https://www.wired.com/story/ideas-molly-wood-apple/amp?__twitter_impression=true). Companies such as Amazon or Google are constantly pushing innovation with smart artificial intelligence devices such as Alexa or Google Home, while Apple has yet to come out with their own smart assistant device. If Google came out with a new device that had more innovations and captivated the eye of the consumers, and stole Apple’s customers, Apple will quickly disappear as they will lose the majority of their income. It is said that Apple is in the works of acquiring a company, but let’s hope that whomever this may be, that they come up with a groundbreaking product because the iPhone is slowly losing its hype. In an effort to bounce back from their loss from the overpriced iPhone x, their new iPhone which came out late last year dropped the price from $1,000 to $700 which was a great idea, but sadly did not have any innovative features this time.

    In conclusion, Molly Woods has a solid opinion on predicting Apple’s downfall. From pointing out that their revenue is almost solely based on their iPhone to the lack of new ideas from the same Innovation team from the 90’s. Apple will have to step up their game if they want to compete in today’s innovative environment, but they may survive for now with their relevant brand and loyal customers such as me.

  20. Trevaughn Laney February 15, 2019 at 5:00 am #

    I agree that apple and it’s products have shown down with its updates and technological break throughs but they haven’t stopped upgrading and that’s understandable and in the article it talks about how apple doesn’t want to make any mistakes so they take less risk is a true statement but I don’t think that taking risk when you already have achieved what you wanted at first. The iPhone is the number 1 phone in the world and has been for a while now and I just don’t think that taking risk when you don’t have to is ignorant. I’m not defending apple, even tho I have a few of apples products but if you are beating the competition then why would you change up your strategy? Im sure eventually come up with a new break through in technology and possibly knock off apple but until that happens I think apple is doing pretty well with its marketing strategy. Even if there is someone who comes up with a breakthrough that could revolutionize technology I think that apple would simply buy out whatever breakthrough that come along. there are so many factors to why I don’t think apple will be worried about being knocked off because even if someone doesn’t take the money “which I can’t imagine” then starting from the bottom just doesn’t seem logical unless that person really doesn’t care about the money. It’s hard to think that apple doesn’t have some breakthroughs ready because they have some of the smartest people working for them. I think a reason that apple hasn’t came up with a breakthrough yet is because if the breakthrough is too advanced and we don’t know how to use it than we probably would’t like it because that is one of the reasons why apple products are number one because they are so easy to use. Another theory could be that these slow upgrades are slowly teaching us how to use the apple products and become even more attached to them. So my thought about this is, apple is slowly upgrading but not many ppl are complaining about it but if there was a breakthrough every year then I think society would be less inclined to buy there new phones because by the time they got a new phone the would now have to figure out how the upgrade works and by the time they figure that out a new iPhone will have probably came out…etc

  21. Matt H February 15, 2019 at 2:48 pm #

    I found this article appalling. I have had an I- Phone since high school and use it on a daily basis. Human society is constantly relying on these hand held devices called I-Phones. The I-Phone has become more of a necessity than a want across the globe. Humans are programmed to fear change. It is in our DNA to get into a routine and stick to that routine. In this scenario humans are used to the I-Phone. You can text your mom, and open your favorite app in a matter of seconds. Some people don’t even need to look at the I-Phone keyboard because they have the letters memorized. The I-Phone is one of the most important inventions in all of mankind.
    As detrimental the I-Phone has been to face to face communication. It has also brought an entire wave of technology to the human race. Because of the I-Phone you have I-Watches, air pods, and I-Tunes. Even though all these products do require having the I-Phone to operate. It is just the beginning of what Apple can accomplish. I-Phone has been maintaining its product because that is what the human population wants. We want roughly the same device because that is what we are used to! If I buy the same product I am going to want it to function the same way. However, when Apple feels like the population is ready for change. Apple will be at the frontier of that change.
    My Grandma has had the same flip phone her entire life. And even though she has been offered an I-Phone she refuses it every time. She constantly states that she has no idea how to work the device. If Apple was to create an entire new phone with all these new gadgets. I would have no idea how to work the product! Apple is not lacking innovation or creativeness. However, Apple collects countless amounts of data. And understands what the general public wants and needs.
    In this day and age, the I-Phone is a necessity. I do not believe Apple will be surpassed by any technology company in the next 40-50 years. I think Apple will continue to innovate and come up with new solutions to problems. And when the public is ready to accept them. Apple will display their new technologies and continue to impress everyone. Also, with Apple having a significant amount of funds. They will not hesitate to buy any company if it means furthering their technology. Apple is at the top of the technology world. And I think it will be there for a very long time.

  22. Diamond Vasquez February 15, 2019 at 3:55 pm #

    Reading this article made me think more in depth about Apple and their business. It is true what they say about Apple not really being innovative when it comes to creating different products. According to Molly Wood, writer of “Apple, the iPhone, and the Innovator’s Dilemma,” describes, “Here’s what happens when you have a product that successful: You get comfortable. More accurately, you get protective. You don’t want to try anything new. The new things you do try have to be justified in the context of that precious jewel- the ‘core product.’” Yes, Apple is coming up with new ideas for new products, but it is all revolving on their main product, the iPhone. The iPhone is what mostly makes the company’s revenue, specifically being “accounted for $51 billion of Apple’s $84 billion in revenue,” according to Wood. The iPhone is what is helping them make money and improve their business, and they are afraid of exploring their options and coming up with new, fresh ideas.
    I found this article very interesting, learning the truth of how this company increases their revenue. It amazes me how there are some companies that depend on one core item to make their sales. I have always believed that, when owning a business or working for a sales management company, you would to think “outside-of-the-box” and discover new options. You should have an open mind set to be willing to take any new thoughts or ideas from your employees or others. That is key to a successful business, having the courage and fearlessness to explore your options. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I want to make sure that I am open to new ideas that are brought up and not rely on a core object, or “core product,” to make my business grow. I want to allow my employees to express their opinions on how they think we should upgrade the business.
    One of the things I found very interesting about this article is when Molly Wood describes how Apple’s team has not changed. As described by Wood, “… the guys in charge are the same guys who have been in charge for decades: Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, Jony Ive- all have been associated with Apple since the late ‘80s or ‘90s.” That is shocking how their team has not changed since that time. A company, in my opinion, should make changes, when it comes to making teams, whether adding people to the team or maybe switching people to different teams, if there are more than one team.
    Overall, I found this article a very interesting and insightful read.

  23. Ashley Bock February 15, 2019 at 5:28 pm #

    Since the start of Apple and the creation of the iPhone in 2007, Apple has been one of the leading companies in technological innovation. However, according to the Weird.com article, Apple is almost due for a decline. This idea of a decline was created by making the comparison of Apple and the company mentioned in “The Innovator’s Dilemma” written by Clayton Christensen. The ideas put forth in “The Innovator’s Dilemma” makes sense when looking at Apple. Apple, like the company in the book, is almost exactly the same. The company is headed and managed by well-known and well-trained individuals. The company itself is a big brand in their market and they listen to their companies’ customers. However, even with all these good things, the company will still face this “dilemma” and not see the “next wave of innovation coming, they get disrupted, and they ultimately fail”. (Weird.com). This statement makes sense and is very possible, but I do not see this happening. This, based on the fact that Apple, is so well known and famous for their technology, and if not solely for its products like the iPhone but also for its name. Also, the fact that Apple every now and again always has a product that is the next big thing. Just this past season and till now that next big thing was the Apple Airpods. These wireless headphones became the biggest craze over social media and people of all ages are creating this hype. However, this product came out in December 2016, now just over two years ago, the craze for the product began over this past holiday season. Apple clearly had the next big thing before many even realized it. This idea that Apple will reach this dilemma also does not seem likely to me for the reason that most know that in relation to some technological advances Apple is already behind when comparing the advances of Apple to other brands such as Samsung, but year after year, regardless of that fact everyone still buys the Apple iPhone, myself included, this will not change.

  24. Ruth Francois February 15, 2019 at 5:40 pm #

    In the article “Apple, the iPhone, and the innovator’s dilemma” it discusses possibilities of Apple setbacks that could possible harm them in the future in the tech industry. With todays society of people who always wanting more innovation from tech companies. It’s hard for companies such as Apple to keep up with the demands of the consumers wanting bigger, better, nicer, faster, smarter devices and gadgets. The article states that Apple is lacking direction on the next “big thing”. They believe that Apple is hiding behind the success it receives from their iPhone which accounted for $51 billions of Apple’s $84 billion in revenue. The success that iPhone brought Apple cause them to get so attach to product to the point that the fear of changing any components could likely backfire. But that fear of challenging their design or capabilities could be why Apple could plummet in innovation for future devices.
    Apple became so well establish in the tech industry by being creative with their products and because of this their consumers are invested in what Apple produce; they could possible getting comfortable in some aspects. I believe that smaller tech companies have to take bigger risk and spend more money on investing in their business due to companies like Apple. When you’re a smaller company trying to make a name for yourself you have to see what the competitors are creating. But Apple has been very successful at producing products that are design well and products people trust.
    I’m conflicted with the article because I do agree with the statement that Apple releases basically the same iPhone with few changes to the software every couple of years. But people who constantly complain about the “lack of innovation” still end up repurchasing the phone anyway. Because the society we live in today we like newer devices although the components are merely the same; “it looks cooler” so we buy. And because of this I believe that Apple would ultimately will thrive in the tech industry because people love the name behind the product.

  25. Ethan Sterner February 15, 2019 at 7:10 pm #

    To many people, Apple is the brightest and most innovative company to date. Everything from the first home computers ever built to the phones that a strong majority of the American population use today. Apple is a part of almost everyone’s daily lives. In this decade, we have seen a major leap in technology such as iPod’s, iMac’s, iPhone’s, Airpods and even streaming services with Apple Music. However, Apple is not pioneers in the tech world. Proven time and time again, Apple will find the “next big thing” and develop around it to make it user-friendly to a vast majority of the population and their customers. There were MP3 players before the iPod. Windows computers existed before iMac’s. Nokia and Samsung have had cell phones for decades before the iPhone. And, more recently, Apple Music can be considered an heir to Napster and online streaming sites. Apple does not invent, they innovate. All Apple products have predecessors that implemented the technology into society. However, once Apple has an interest in it, they tweak certain aspects to cater to their audience and eventually the rest of the world. One quote that stood out to me came at the end of the article as “maybe Apple will find the hottest thing in tech that’s still slightly unknown and come out with a better version. But is there such a thing as a way-sexier cloud computing business”. Apple is stuck in an interesting situation. They have become comfortable pushing products that even they are not 100% of board with, yet still release because they know they will sell. A perfect example is the iPhone X. It was branded as the next flagship device for years to come and was branded as the new standard for smartphones. Almost exactly two years after its initial release, Apple stopped all production on the iPhone X due to its low sales numbers. So, as Apple would do, they re branded the iPhone X as the iPhone XS and XR to be more affordable for their consumers. So yes, Apple is on top of the world. But for how long?

  26. Nicholas Meyerback February 21, 2019 at 11:23 pm #

    Around 500 BCE the Roman Empire began to collapse. Historians argue that what destroyed the greatest empire of all time wasn’t an invading army, rather a political system that crumbled from within. The Romans shared a similar problem with any great dynasty: stagnation.

    More than 1,500 years later the same plague inflicts the largest companies in the world. The best example is Apple. Companies that have endured incredible success for an extended period of time, like Apple, are inclined to become lethargic. This phenomenon becomes clearer when one examines the case of the iPhone. Since its release in 2007, the iPhone has become an incredibly profitable product. By 2017 the behemoth of a tech company reached the one billion milestone in iPhone sales. Due to its triumph, the iPhone became the flagship product, replacing the Mac. Following the release, Apple focused its creative energy on the software and the hardware of iPhones. Out of this creative energy came Apple Music, the company’s most successful recent platform. Unfortunately, it appears that Apple has spent too much of its efforts improving the iPhone. Although Apple utilizes impressive marketing, the truth is that consumers are not as enthusiastic about iPhones as they were in the past. The changes from model to model are simply not significant enough to justify the ridiculous price tag. Furthermore, consumers are becoming impatient with Apple’s questionable tactics to squeeze every dollar out of its customers (Ex. removal of headphone jack).

    The result is a company that lacks innovation. While its competitors were branching out into other industries, Apple remained focused on adding new features to the iPhone. For example, Apple’s most fierce competitor in the smartphone market, Samsung, has taken up many additional business ventures. Samsung has invested millions of dollars into creating televisions that have displayed extraordinary creativity. The corporation pioneered the curved screen design with T.Vs and applied it to their smartphones with the launch of the Galaxy S6 Edge. Samsung is now at the fore of clarity and definition in the television market, utilizing innovations like 4K to advance the company. Today, Samsung is getting even more creative with its T.Vs. Additional innovations that Samsung has taken advantage of include QLED and OLED technology. While Samsung was taking these great leaps, Apple was developing relatively insignificant features for their new phone. The company must be careful. If Apple fails to move in a more inventive direction and fails to recognize that the success of the iPhone is limited, then it will cease to exist.

  27. Allya Jaquez February 22, 2019 at 11:14 am #

    I certainly believe that Apple Iphones is the product that is “in” right now. But it is now something that not everyone finds to die for anymore. I, myself am an Iphone user but I am not ashamed to say that at times, my phone does give me problems. This article is all about how Apple does not see that some individuals are not as impressed with their items and are creating better things. These new items being created are being known as new competitions and I do not think that Apple was expecting to have as many competitors as they do today. Apple has only focused on improving their cell phones, but their are other companies right behind them improving their smart phones as well. Everyone knows that one of their biggest competitors is Samsung when it comes to updating smart phones. Just like Apple, Samsung has been trying their very best to add new technology so that their buyers can keep on buying. For example, Samsung has sold plenty televisions that include plenty of exciting features. I am one of those Samsung television buyers and I absolutely enjoy it. Apple will most definitely have other competitors in the future and that is why they need to keep their eye on those other companies.

  28. Niall El-Adawy April 22, 2019 at 1:40 pm #

    Apple has had a strong grip on the smartphone market since the original launch of the iPhone 3GS nearly 12 years ago, and has done nothing but grown into a giant in the technology industry. However, like all things, their reign will eventually come to an end. Whether it is in two years of 20, it is bound to happen at some point. People demand innovation, the next big thing so that they can run out and buy it. The problem is, when things don’t change and there is no innovation, people lose interest. This can be said all the same for Apple. While there have been several innovations to the iPhone whether it is screen size, compatibility, or simply a better camera, there is only so many things that can be improved upon for Apple. They have mastered their craft, and maybe that is what will drive them into the ground, as the article stated. In the article, the author stated that the same core team has been working at Apple since its true beginning in the ’60s and ’70s. This poses a problem to Apple and all the success it managed to accomplish since its founding. How many more new ideas can you have after nearly 4 decades of making new ideas? Eventually the tank will run on E, and the company will run to the ground. Granted, speaking from experience and what I observe from my peers, there is a common stigma that Apple is the only way to go. iPhone or no phone, essentially. While companies are beating Apple in other industries such as streaming and other services, iPhone remains dominant of the smart phone industry, simply because of the “hype” that it has managed to generate in the past years. While Apple does face the problem of innovation, the following that it has accumulated will be able to carry it for quite some time. Yet, I can not help but think that eventually, there will be no more room for innovation, and soon Apple will be moving backwards instead of forwards.

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