What does the iPad tell us about Apple as an Organization?

This week I read an interesting post from another blog about Apple’s new iPad. The blogger brought up a very good point on how an organization’s identity and its values are reflected in the products that the company produces. In this case, the writer analyzes what the release of the iPad says about Apple’s vision and strategy for the future.

As she points out, Apple has always been seen as a very creative company with innovative products that consumers love. In fact, many people would agree that the company is the most innovative business in the world. The physical design and features of the company’s products have always been very unique and appealing. In addition, Apple has developed extremely effective marketing campaigns that have separated the company from its competitors. As a result of these things, Apple has been able to create a strong brand image and organizational identity. People have come to expect the most out of every product the company produces. They assume Apple is continually developing technology that will change the way we live our lives, just like the iPod and iPhone have done in the past.

The writer of this post shares her disappointment with the iPad and asks us if we should re-evaluate Apple as an organization. She proposes that the company’s focus has shifted from being a creative organization to being an organization that is about consumption. Many of the company’s core customers are upset about the iPad for this exact reason. The iPad is not a very innovative product and it does not offer many new features compared to the iTouch or iPhone. As the blogger points out, this product represents Apple’s closed vision or business plan, something that we as consumers would not expect from this corporation.

The blog goes on to talk about how there are even bigger issues with the product and Apple as a whole. It seems like the company does not want outside developers to modify or adjust its software because this product forces consumers to use the programs that Apple already offers without allowing them to create their own systems. In addition, the iPad only uses applications that are controlled by Apple, not ones that are created using different software by 3rd party developers. This forces us to ask whether Apple is more focused on controlling its products or supporting creativity within the marketplace. It also makes us stop and think about how we truly will view Apple as an organization in the future. Should we expect more of the same from the company going forward?

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9 Responses

  1. Since the release date of the iPad I’ve heard many disappointing features or lack of innovative feature that has always set Apple apart from their competitors. Especially when they have always had to battle against the software giant Microsoft. They have even allowed cross-over versions of Microsoft programs for MacBooks and their other laptops. In terms of them prohibiting 3rd party program or software developers to adjust the iPad system, Apple might have decided that they had the consumer loyalty and the ability to limit 3rd party dependence.
    If this isn’t the case then it’s easy to understand that they have made a common mistake of not understanding their consumer base and market. In that case we might see changes in the iPad’s design and operating systems.

  2. When I watched the video on Apple’s website about the launch of the I-pad, I started to laugh. Basically Job’s create huge hype over an jumbo sized I-pod thats mated with a I-phone. Was greed really the reason for the release of this product? I believe Apple simply just tried to hard to be innovative, and lost sight of what costumers really desired.

    • Every time a company that is “innovative” like AAPL, they risk products being a flop. Truth is, market research can say what it wants, but a company has no idea how a product will be received until it is on the mass market. Look at when Coke introduced a new formula back in the 80s. All the research said it would be a huge hit, and yet it was one of the biggest managerial mistakes in the history of capitalism. Im not sure who you can really blame it on here..but I agree, the product does suck.

  3. I do think that Apple lost its innovative touch with the iPad but I also believe that part of the reason they developed this product was to keep their investors happy. I think that Apple wanted to continue to maintain the buzz around its brand name and needed to release a new product to do so. It will be interesting to see how the product sells compared to the Kindle.

  4. I tried to find information on this but couldn’t seem to find an answer. Who exactly is Apple targeting with the iPad? What consumers are they marketing the product towards?

  5. Kelly, I did a little looking into the subject of target audience for the iPad and it seems there are a few small niche groups they’re going after. They are targeting eReaders (for Amazon Kindle users the iPad is a huge upgrade, but at a price), the elderly (user friendly), frequent travelers (versatility), liberal arts students (versatility and capabilities), and finally home theater guru’s (ultimate universal remote and tool). The whole article was interesting and spun the iPad as a good product with potential. We’ll have to wait and see.

    http://www.cellfanatic.com/2010/01/27/understanding-the-target-audience-for-the-apple-ipad/

  6. On the issue of innovation and maintain brand name, a company can always hurt itself more by producing a bad product than waiting to release of a “better” one. When I was in Marketing as a junior we learned that brand names can be fragile and once tarnished or destroyed are expensive and take long periods of time to fix, and in some cases beyond repair. The iPad isn’t a bad product, but it’s most definitely not up to their normal innovative standards.

  7. […] Posted on February 19, 2010 by wills023 Last week I wrote a post about the iPad and what it says about Apple as an organization. Obviously, there has been a lot of talk surrounding this product since it was just recently […]

    • lovely review video video!!Gotta Love the Ipad 2. Personally, I think this talbet is the best on the market and this review is even better. Nice Review!@andersss as far as I got my iPad 2 for free, I can’t complain:) Just Google for: freeipad2talbet.infoI’m typing using my iPad 2 right now?

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