Apple - Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple

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Date Submitted: 11/23/2012 05:49 AM

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Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple

Think different.

— Apple Advertising Slogan, 1997–2002

By the beginning of March 2010, weeks after the dramatic debut of its iPad, Apple’s share price remained in the US$ 200 range, where it had hovered for more than for six months—signaling solid financial strength and future growth prospects as world economies, and businesses, continued to reel from the worst recession since the Great Depression. With a market capitalization of nearly US$ 200 billion and annual sales approaching $50 billion, Apple was now worth more than the industrial giant General Electric and exceeded the value of Sony Corporation by a factor of five, even though both firms had larger revenue bases. All the more amazingly, a scant 12 years earlier, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the company’s share price had hovered around $5 and the future was uncertain at best. Jobs, after all, had already been fired from the firm he co-founded almost a decade earlier, and he was coming back when the company was nearly written off. Even so, through that difficult period, the core commitment to product design and development had stayed alive.

Since being founded in 1976, Apple has been considered a leading designer and integrator of

computer hardware and software. By 2010, it had fundamentally changed the music,


telephone, and retail operations through its sleek products, innovative stores, and new business models. Moreover, the just introduced iPad tablet computer might accelerate the transformation of the publishing business. Apple stores had some of the highest revenues per square foot in the retail sector and its applications (App) store for the iPhone had achieved one billion downloads only nine months after launch (in 2007). Surprisingly, Apple’s radical innovations also came with consistency. Anyone...