Apple Product Process Scorecard

Scott Francis
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In a post from three-and-a-half(!) years ago entitled “Apple and Business Process Management” I posited that each release of a new product would attack a product from one of several perspectives, or from several perspectives at once.  Let’s give ourselves a scorecard based on the releases today:

  • “Lower the price on the existing units” – check.  Apple reduced the price of the 4S and 4 in predictable step functions predicted by last year’s move on the 4 and 3GS.
  • “Release a new, improved unit with the old (high) price” – check.  Welcome iPhone 5 to the lineup, at the old, high-value price.
  • “Release more varied looks with approximately current technical specs (e.g. the colored iPod Nanos, for example)” – check.  iPod Touches are now shipping in various colors.  This implies the innovation on iPod Touch is starting to slow, and that the more form factor / fashion aspects are likely to hold sway over technical enhancements going forward.

  • “Create new pricepoints with low-cost components” – e.g. RAM.  Check.  Lower price points created with older phone versions, and with differing amounts of RAM offered on the iPhone 5.
  • “Improve the platform by adding new services or functions” – Check.  Maps update with turn-by-turn, for example. Siri for another.
  • “Change the pricing of services on the platform” – I didn’t catch a change here, No Checkmark.
  • “Any combination of the above. – Check”.  Clearly several fronts were pushed forward in the current war against Android.

I feel pretty good about our “predictions” of how Apple would address product improvements in the iPhone family of products.  Although we arrived at these “predictions” by avoiding focusing on specific technical details and instead focusing on general process and what might be behind fundamental improvements over time.