Innovation Assignment: Introducing A New Feature In Apple iWatch Series
Task: Prepare an innovation assignment on introducing a new feature in the Apple iWatch series.
The purpose of the innovation assignment is to introduce a new feature in the Apple iWatch series as innovation is the key to sustainability. Therefore, through the course of the report, it has been mentioned that with the loyal customer base Apple enjoys along with a talented team of manufacturers and designers, the idea of launching the new iWatch series that would work underwater and have screen projection technique would be viable. However, for this, certain recommendations have to be considered within this innovation assignment, that is – strong communication between design and manufacturing team and proper and efficient marketing.
Over the years, innovation, the basic theme of the innovation assignment, has been and continues to be an important topic of research and discussion for both organization and scholars, as it is an indispensable part of present lives. Although extensive researches have been conducted in the field of innovation, people still confuse it with other related terms, such as – invention, creativity, change and design. Therefore, Sagepub.com (2019), explicitly states that innovation is defined as the process of making changes into the existing product lines by introducing or bringing some new ideas and vision.
As the competition is rising steadily in the market, innovation has become the key to sustenance for the businesses as consumers keep looking for something new and get lured by innovative products, designs and services. Understanding the present need of the hour, one company that has witnessed the changes in consumer tastes and passed the test of time is Apple. Apple has outdone not only its competitors but also itself over the years by bringing in new feature in the technological gadgets offered by them. One such innovative ideas that proved to be path-breaking was iWatch as it allowed customers to access their phones and do other activities through their wristwatches. The innovation assignment would focus on the innovation brought about by iWatch and would also contain certain innovative ideas that could help Apple soar new heights of success and provide customers with new technology that could also be termed as disruptive innovation. The report would contain details about the viability of the innovation along with the product description and business model discussion.
Business Model Description
According to Simply Mac (2018), it is discussed in this innovation assignment that the new iWatch series 3 unveiled by Apple allows it customers to perform the features of their phones through their wristwatches thus terming the iWatch colloquially as cellular watches. The functions smart watch offers are – answering telephone calls, messages, stream music, reminders and others. Therefore, with the company offering so much innovation, they should come up with something new.
An innovation that the company could work on is reflecting the screens of the phones of the customers on the hands of the user using the iWatch. The iWatch examined in this innovation assignment already has a round button on one side. Therefore, another button on the other side of the iWatch could be added that would act like a button helping the customer to holograph or project the screens of their phones on their wrists. This would act like a mini mobile personalized device for the consumers. Another feature that can be added is that the wristwatches could be made water resistant and the phone screen projection feature would also work under-water and people cannot carry their phones there. Additionally, a small camera could also be added to the watch that would be attached at the tip of the button thus, serving dual purpose.
Value proposition canvas (Refer to Appendix 2)
The innovative idea suggested above and canvas drawn below, is unique and something that still has not been explored Apple itself or its competitors. The value that the innovation would offer to the customers as discussed in this innovation assignment is allowing them to project the screens of their phones on their wrists or hands in situation when they cannot check their phones. The key value added to the product is that it would work underwater as well. The users face the constraints that they cannot carry their phones underwater, as it is water resistant only to a certain level. Therefore, if the iWatches were made water resistant to that extent, then the customer would be able to check their phones underwater as well and access all the features of it in a bigger screen projected in their hand, as opposed to the small screens of the wristwatches. The camera added on the iWatch would allow the customers to click picture easily rather than them taking out their big phones every time.
Business operations development (Refer to Appendix 3)
The manufacturing and operation unit of Apple mentioned in this innovation assignment is highly undervalued and kept under wraps with little credit being given to it. However, Apple is blessed with unprecedented and world-class technology and manufacturing and design unit making it a market leader. Therefore, for the suggested innovation, no change in the business operations plan of Apple has to be done as their plan is directed towards success. As every innovation is treated within the company, this innovation would also be treated with all teams working and co-ordinating with each other (Zhao, Fan & Hu, 2014). The operations would start from the research and development team and then move on to design team leading to manufacturing unit (Cult of Mac, 2019). As the design and manufacturing teams are closely knitted in the company’s organizational structure, the innovation suggested would be carried out smoothly.
How supply chain development is impactful for the company examined in this innovation assignment?
The supply chain model of Apple also does not need to be change for launching the suggested innovation idea. For launching the innovation variant in its iWatch, the company could procure materials, resources from countries like China, Europe and other Asian countries as the prices offered there is less, and the company has managed to form a good base of suppliers in those countries. The next step in supply chain development would be to source the materials to China where manufacturing would take place as the company has an existing manufacturing unit in China. This would ensure that the company is not bearing any extra cost for manufacturing. For warehousing the product, the final products would be shipped to California and other warehouses of Apple through FedEx or UPS courier services. From the warehouses, the products would be dispatched to the respective networks, retailers and wholesalers from where the customers would be able to access it (Papert & Pflaum, 2017). Thus, by keeping the supply chain network same, the company would ensure that, the customers can access the product and no additional cost is also borne. Apple is renowned for its supply chain management thus, providing competitive advantage.
Financial value capture
Until now, Apple has managed to capture a larger market share owing to its promise of delivering quality products. The brand equity of the organization mentioned in this innovation assignment has ensured them to gain a loyal customer base on a global level. The company’s funding system works under the IPO process, which also known as Initial Public Offering of shares is offered to the public in the market. Hence, for launching the innovative variant of the iWatch series, the same funding procedure would be used, as it would help in raising large funds required for manufacturing and designing of the new watches. This system would allow access to larger pool of funds and even help in capturing the value in the market (Teece & Linden, 2017).
The first competitive advantage that the company would earn is through the idea of screen projection and the same working underwater as well. The device being fully functional even underwater would be the biggest asset for the firm as it would be one of a kind idea new in the firm, thus attracting customers. Hence, the innovation would help them to earn a edge in the market.
Another area illustrated in this innovation assignment where the company would earn competitive edge over its rivals would be through their sleek and excellent manufacturing and design features and supply chain development. Apple is renowned for housing a excellent design team that take the innovative ideas a notch up for the company (Dustin, Bharat & Jitendra, 2014). Apart from this, Apple enjoys certain brand equity in the market that has earned them a set of loyal customers. Therefore, the trust that people have on Apple would make it easier for the firm to launch their innovation and gain a competitive advantage in the highly competitive technological gadget industry.
It is noted in this innovation assignment that since long, Apple has followed a tradition of having product preview conferences where they provide the customers with the images and features of the product to be launched in details. The conferences are informative as the CEO of the company discloses all the information related to the product setting it has the launch date for the new product launched. This tradition is highly coveted and consumers and retailers wait for this event as it hikes up the sale figures by generating curiosity and excitement among the consumers (DeCarlo, 2016). Therefore, for the new iWatch variant to be launched, a similar product preview event would be organized where all the information would be clearly stated. In the product preview conference, the customers would be explained all the new feature being added to the iWatch and the advantages that customers would get from buying it.
According to Prajogo (2016), strategic fit mentioned in this innovation assignment is defined as the strategy formulated by the management of an organization to match its capabilities and resources with the opportunities presented by the external business environment. It is noted in this innovation assignment that Apple has developed a strong marketing team, which conducts detailed market researches to understand the opportunities and requirements of the external business environment. Therefore, understanding the need for an adept underwater device and innovation to be done in the iWatch, Apple requires a strategic fit plan. Apple has an amazing in-house research and development, manufacturing and design team as mentioned above. Along with that, Apple enjoys a strong funding base and is financially secure. Therefore, Apple has the necessary resources for launching the new iWatch innovation and hence, should make use of it to cater to the needs of the customers and offer them something that is out of their expectation (Tamayo-Torres et al., 2016).
The first consideration mentioned in this innovation assignment under technical feasibility is the method of production. Apple has a strong base of suppliers in various Asian and European countries from where the company is able to source raw materials of good quality at lower prices. Secondly, the production technique of the company is also set with talented workforce managing all the operations with full efficiency. The company produces all its products in China as the costs of production is lower compared to the same product being manufactured in USA. Therefore, after considering all the factors such as, raw materials, production technique, project location, human resource and economic factors, the idea of launching the new iWatch series seems to be technically feasible.
Based on previous launches, it can be speculated in this innovation assignment that with the launch of the new iWatch series with the idea of underwater operation and screen projection, Apple would receive an overwhelming response from the customers. As Apple uses the premium pricing strategy, it is certain that with the state-of-art technology they offering, they would keep the prices of the watch on a higher side. Therefore, Apple in the initial launch phase would have to depend on its loyal customers to purchase the highly priced watches. However, the launch of the new watch series would reduce the prices of the older products. Therefore, the high capital requirements would be sufficed with the current capital and sales of the company and the idea of the iWatch series would prove to be financially feasible.
Selection of innovation tools and techniques
The innovation tools required for the iWatch new series are – brainstorming, mind mapping, rapid prototyping, forced connections, ethnography and feedback system.
Conclusion and Recommendation
The report on innovation assignment unveils an innovative idea that would be an extra addition to the current iWatch series launched by Apple. As innovation is the key to sustainability in the highly competitive market, Apple understands this and continuously comes with new ideas to lure the customers. The report discusses the various aspects that prove that the product would be feasible for the company to launch and would be accepted by the audience. Moreover, the new watch series would be a strategic fit in the market and help Apple to ear competitive advantage. Some of the recommendations are provided below in this innovation assignment:
- The design team should brainstorm with the manufacturing department to ensure that the product manufactured is unique and attractive
- The marketing of the product has to highlight the add on features of the iWatch series
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Dustin, G., Bharat, M., & Jitendra, M. (2014). Competitive advantage and motivating innovation. Advances in Management, 7(1), 1.
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Sagepub.com. (2019). Retrieved 6 October 2019, from https://www.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/23137_Chapter_1.pdf
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Zhao, J. L., Fan, S., & Hu, D. (2014). Innovation assignment Business challenges and research directions of management analytics in the big data era. Journal of Management Analytics, 1(3), 169-174.
Business Model Canvas for innovation assignment
Value proposition Canvas for innovation assignment
Business Operations Canvas