Thursday, January 31, 2013

11 Innovation Ideas To Change Apple

11 Innovation Ideas To Change Apple
11 Innovation Ideas To Change Apple
"The most important thing to Apple is to make the best products in the world that enrich customers’ lives. That’s our high-order bid. That means that we aren’t interested in revenue for revenue’s sake. We could put the Apple brand on a lot of things and sell a lot more stuff, but that’s not what we’re here for. We want to make only the best products." Apple CEO Tim Cook (during the Apple earnings call on January 23, 2013)

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is one of the top 20 innovators of the Innovation Index

Apple stock got hammered after the earnings, and many analysts are predicting rough seas in the quarter ahead. Some are even questioning CEO Tim Cook's vision and strategy. ( Check my earlier article: Why is Apple getting killed? )

Here are my 11 Innovation Ideas to Change Apple:

1. Real new innovations - Apple needs to go back to the drawing board and create breakthrough products. Not just basic product refreshes, and adding couple of minor features here and there. Something original. Something Big like the original Macintosh, the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad! Something that is an industry first! Real new innovations will drive new business for Apple.

2. One new product each quarter - this is key to getting the excitement going and get people going back to Apple stores. This is also important to keep the competition in check. Apple has to shorten the product refresh cycles and provide new products in consumers hands every quarter. These could be a new iPad, a new iPhone, a new iMac, a new MacBook .... something new which is substantial. Today's consumers want new technology every quarter, and don't want to wait a whole year for a refresh.

3. Smartphones for all - all meaning for all hands and of all sizes... 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5 inch - both length and width! Apple needs to do this fast. When Apple made the iPhone, people started using the iPhone for watching videos, playing games, sending emails, taking notes, browsing websites, listening to music, working remotely
... You see Apple invented the iPhone for people to do more things besides just calling. And this is exactly what happened! Now, people want more real estate to do more things with their iPhone. This is an evolution! Take a look at Samsung. One of the key reasons it is winning is because they introduced cool smartphones of all sizes. Every month that Apple doesn't provide bigger smartphones is lost opportunity, lost revenue, and perhaps lost customer for life. It's quite simple! Make bigger smartphones, and stop the bleeding. Apple did this with the iPod already when it made different types of iPods, and also with the iPad with the introduction of iPad Mini. Why can't they do this with the iPhone? iPhone 5 was not the bigger smartphone that majority of users expected.

4. Pre-Announcements - Apple needs to begin pre-announcing products or at least begin sharing what's coming up in the pipeline openly. Not all consumers want the latest products, and hence pre-announcements won't stall the sales. Pre-announcements only keep the buzz going, and get people flocking back to the stores.

5. Apple TV ads - Why stop showing the ads? Only ad we recently see is the iPhone ad. What happened to the Mac vs PC ads and the Mac guy? Apple needs more ads and should take its marketing into overdrive mode. Samsung has been killing Apple with an advertising juggernaut. Apple used to do the same to the PC. Apple needs to build a new ad machine and really go after the competition.

6. China market - enough said! China mobile partnership will be a great start. Sooner Apple sets base in China and begins expanding R&D and operations, better the market share growth in China! China market can and will open up new opportunities for the next five years. Further, the knowledge gained from marketing and selling to the Chinese consumer will be instrumental for all emerging markets.

7. Teenagers market - Is Apple losing a grip on this market? More teenagers are walking around nowadays with Androids. They used to die by Apple products earlier. Now, Apple seems to have lost the edge here, thanks in large part to the Samsung marketing machine. This is Apple's market to lose. Can they afford to?

8. Corporate market - Where is Apple's corporate channel strategy? There is so much money to be made by selling to big companies all the Macbooks, iPads, iMacs, support subscriptions, and much more. When will Apple embrace the corporations with open arms, and really go after them? 

9. Colleges market - Just like teenagers, college students, teachers and administrators have been in awe with Apple for many years. However, is there an opening made by Google with the Chromebooks and Android tablets, and Microsoft with Windows 8 and Surface? Apple needs to become more aggressive here.

10. Smart TV anyone - Is 2013 the year that Apple finally rolls out the much anticipated Smart TV? What would Apple call this new TV? The name "iTV" is taken already. How about just "Next TV" or "TV Plus"? This is the blockbuster innovation everyone is looking out for. Will this change the way we watch TV?

11. X-Factor - Apple users. How can Apple woo and wow them again and again? Is Apple reaching out to their users? What stories is Apple sharing about them? Can Apple promote their customers more so? Can Apple create and participate in local community events, and really get involved with their customers?  

These are just my thoughts and ideas on changing Apple. What are yours? 

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