About the iPhone

17 08 2014

After years of hard work on January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs let the lion out of the basket. Let’s say it with William Shakepeare: Well roar’d Lion.

(14:00 min, January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone)

This All-In-One is still the basis of Apple’s success making 53% of the total sales as reported in the SEC filing for the fiscal year 2012/2013. Within the company it takes the lion’s share when it comes to revenues, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty.

20140426-142028.jpg

Today it’s much more than just ‘the internet in your pocket’. It’s seamlessly integrated in Apple’s product line-up and services. Hundreds of thousands of apps let users do everything they want to do.

The device …

It’s a fact that Apple’s iPhone is the smartphone with the highest build-quality as compared to all competitors.

20140426-153753.jpg

High quality makes a device attractive for people with substantial income and goes along with weakness in demand in emerging markets.

But it’s not only the hardware which makes a device successful. The environment is an essential part of product acceptance and success. It’s the All-In-One idea represented by the Apple ID the company offers its customers.

Think of it like this …

You order the latest Porsche 911 GT 3, for sure the company’s flagship. It’s delivered to an place about 250 miles south-west of India. I’m talking about a small part of the 1192 islands of the Republic of the Maldives. Your GT 3 is powered by a 475 hp engine and runs about 195 mph. Unfortunately the island is just about 500 ft in diameter and so I’m sure you won’t need one of the implemented airbags, the anti-skid breaking system, or any other innovative feature.

It’s the environment, the ecosystem, which makes a device as powerful as it is seen today pulling millions of people into it. Beside the internet, not provided by Apple, it’s the App Store, iTunes, iCloud, and more wherein an iPhone feels well and with it Apple’s customers.

20140426-142214.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

From 2007 on Apple released phones to beat the iPhone every year. The company breathed life into the device with a seamless to use operating system, iOS, which got a completely new design in October 2013. The credit belongs to Sir Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Apple’s Industrial Design.

20140628-220849-79729292.jpg

Compared to a human being the iPhone has it all, admittedly with some limitations regarding the brain, sorry, the processor and the memory which still cannot beat the human specs.

20140426-142404.jpg

Fanboys, following competing platforms always refer to the design of iOS, the missing features for customization, and a liaison with Apple’s ecosystem, aka vendor lock-in. They ignore the fact that there is a OS-DNA, a well-considered design strategy, not shown on the touch screen but in the depths of its code.

According to malware researchers at F-Secure Labs, the number of active mobile threat families and variants initially spiked in Q4 2012, with Android’s share jumping from 49 out of 74 known threats to 96 out of 100, with the balance being related to Nokia’s essentially mothballed Symbian platform.

That was enough to rouse a tweet from the rarely used account of Apple’s head of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller, who linked to the report with the brief admonition “be safe out there”.

However, F-Secure’s new report for Q1 2013 shows Android now accounts for 136 out of 149 known threats, or 91.3 percent of all malware activity (up from 79 percent in 2012).

The other threats remained related to Symbian, with zero discovered for Blackberry, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile/Phone or Apple’s iOS. The research noted that mobile threats are overwhelmingly motivated by profits, with 76.5 percent designed specifically to con users out of money, rather than seeking to just cause damage.

If you like customization you are welcome in Android’s monopoly on malware.

Supplier responsibility …

Manufacturing an iPhone is done by 777 companies all over the world.
The Chinese company Foxconn, assembling devices, is able to employ 230,000 assembly line workers producing 72,000 back plates for the iPhone per day. 40% of consumer electronics worldwide are made by Foxconn in a large number of production lines. The company is a contracting party of Apple, Dell, Nintendo, Motorola, Amazon, Nokia, Sony, Samsung and others.

20140426-142515.jpg

Since years international organizations like the UN or Transparency International are monitoring human rights. What does Apple do?
In contrast to the RMG industry Apple takes care of labor conditions. The company undertook many steps and is taking towards all issues regarding infringements of human rights (unlike other tech companies).

Ending the industrywide practice of excessive overtime is a top priority for Apple. They tracked work hours weekly at a handful of suppliers, and when they found excessive hours, they were able to address the problems quickly with the supplier.

In 2012, Apple expanded that program and tracked work hours weekly for over 1 million employees, publishing the data every month. As a result of this effort, the suppliers have achieved an average of 92 percent compliance across all work weeks, and the average hours worked per week was under 50.

Many large companies are members of the Fair Labor Association (FLA). Activities of the FLA are targeted to audits of the company’s suppliers, mainly located in foreign countries. Reports are published on the FLA website.

20140426-142614.jpg

Members of the FLA are e.g. Apple (as the first technology company), adidas, asics, Fruit of the Loom, H+M, Nestle, Nike, Puma, S.Oliver, etc. Apple’s main competitor Samsung is not an affiliate of the FLA. The list shows that most of the members are companies active in the garment industry.

The FLA regularly reports about audits (announced and unannounced) and everyone can download the reports in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Excel file format.
Apple’s membership in the FLA shows the companies efforts to take care of the environment in which it’s products are manufactured.

Manufacturing …

Beside Apple’s ecosystem there is a much greater and more important one, our planet. In April 2014 scientists elaborated that parts of China are no longer suitable as a habitat for human beings, animals, and plants because of a tremendous pollution load in the air, the water, and the soil.

20140426-142802.jpg

What the company does to keep the environment healthy is published here:

http://www.apple.com/environment/reports

Cormorant energy eaters are the worldwide growing number of data centers which are necessary to offer all the services electronic devices are using. In contrast to others Apple accepts the climate change as a fact and wants “to leave the world better than we found it”. So here are some facts about Apple’s facilities providing iCloud, iMessage, Facetime, Stores, and administration services, published in April 2014.

  • Maiden, North Carolina
    We designed our Maiden, North Carolina, data center from the ground up for energy efficiency, and it has earned the LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council — the first data center of its size to be honored.
    On any given day, between 60 and 100 percent of the renewable energy it uses is generated onsite through biogas fuel cells and two 20-megawatt solar arrays — the nation’s largest privately owned renewable energy installation — and we purchase any remaining power we need from entirely clean sources. The Maiden center generates 167 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy onsite per year — enough to power the equivalent of 13,837 homes.
  • Prineville, Oregon
    Our data center in Prineville, Oregon, is every bit as environmentally responsible as the one in Maiden. We’re building a micro-hydro system that will harness the power of water that flows through local irrigation canals.
    When completed in 2014, it will serve most of the center’s energy needs, In the meantime, since Oregon allows the direct wholesale purchase of renewable energy, we’re able to directly access enough local wind energy to power the entire data center.
  • Reno, Nevada
    Our newest data center, in Reno, Nevada, follows in the footsteps of our 100 percent renewable energy centers in Maiden and Prineville. We’re working with the local utility to codevelop an 18- to 20-megawatt solar array using a new kind of photovoltaic panel with curved mirrors to concentrate sunlight.
    Expected to be operational in early 2015, the solar array will have an annual production capacity of over 43 million kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable energy. Until then, the center will be powered by renewable geothermal energy purchased from the local utility.
  • Newark, California
    Like our facilities in Maiden, Prineville, and Reno, our data center in Newark, California, is powered by 100 percent renewable energy. We hit this milestone in January 2013, when we began serving the data center with energy sourced primarily from California wind power. We’re acquiring this energy directly from the wholesale market through California’s Direct Access program.

Investments in low-pollution manufacturing are one of the reasons why Apple products are expensive. To manufacture smartphones with nearly the same features of an iPhone for half the price is only possible with a rigorous exploitation of the resources. Well, 330 suppliers of Apple are located in China but there are strong efforts to bring parts of the production back home. At the time this is only possible for some computer products but not for mobiles because of missing capacities of human resources. There is just one company able to assemble hundreds of thousands of mobile devices within a narrow timeframe. It’s the Chinese-based company Foxconn. ABC News’ Bill Weir was invited to take a look inside Foxconn.

(15:12 min, Apr 18, 2012, AlbaIM Social Network)

Outsourcing is the key to Apple’s supply chain success. Apple outsources manufacturing and assembly to suppliers. Many suppliers are “fabless” (no company-owned fabrication facilities) and, in turn, outsource fabrication. Companies headquartered in the US and Europe subcontract fabrication to Asian companies. Many of these Asian companies based in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea then outsource fabrication to places with cheaper labor or greater ability to scale up production.

That’s how everything ends up being Made in China. Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines get a lot of the adion, too, mostly as suppliers for back-end components.

Highlights in 2013 …

Apple events are always an exciting show viewed by millions of people.
It was the event in October 2013 with the most significant steps since iPhone’s birthday in 2007.

In 2012 Apple acquired Authentec, a Florida-based company specialized on biometric authentication. Authentec’s fingerprint sensor debuted on the iPhone 5S one year later.
With no production facilities of its own, all fabrication is outsourced to Taiwanese company TMSC, which does most of the manufacturing in its Shanghai facilities.

The Touch ID (Apple’s implementation of a fingerprint scanner), improves seamless usage and security and can be seen as a first step to payments using biometric authentication.

20140426-142950.jpg

Apple realizes the value of wearable tech through M7 – a mixed signal chip from NXP (Netherlands), which can make sense of the data from the motion detected by the iPhone accelerometer of Bosch (Germany), gyroscope of STMicroelectronic (Italy) and electromagnetic compass of AKM (France). Current and future apps that can take advantage of this data are poised for the jackpot.

20140426-143051.jpg

It’s the iPhone which is the carrier for new and innovative technologies or even disruptive technologies.

From SEC filings …

As the leading industrial nation the USA developed rules for financial reports which are basically overtaken by the majority of other countries. The responsible commission in the USA is the SEC (U.S. Security and Exchange Commission).

The laws and rules that govern the securities industry not only in the United States but also in all other industrialized countries derive from a simple and straightforward concept:

All investors, whether large institutions or private individuals, should have access to certain basic facts about an investment prior to buying it, and so long as they hold it.

If we look at Apple’s SEC filings of the fiscal year 2012/2013 which ended on September28, 2013 we can see that the company is dependent from iPhone sales.

20140426-143245.jpg

Total net sales were $170,910m with $91,279m generated by the iPhone which is about 53% of the companies sales. If we include the iPad as the 2nd important iOS device, 72% of the company’s sales are generated by mobile devices. So it’s quite clear that mobiles call the shots.

The cult …

“Apple’s brand is just overwhelming here,” said Eiji Mori, a Tokyo-based analyst at BCN Inc. “It’s not about specifications. It’s not about rationale. It’s about owning an iPhone.

Immediately after the launch of a new iPhone rumors about a successor start.

20140426-143449.jpg

Apple enjoys a cult-like following for its platforms, especially following the massive increase in popularity for the brand brought about by the huge increase in sales for all its products that started around the time the company introduced the original iPod in late 2001.
The mass usage of computing devices in everyday life, mixed with Apple’s vertical integration of its products, has helped to bring about this increase in popularity, and combined with a tight-lipped corporate policy about future products, helped foster an interest in the company’s activities.

No other company is in a daily focus of publishing media no matter authors like or hate what’s launched in Cupertino.

Summary …

The iPhone is Apple’s engine, the carrier of innovative technology. The credit belongs to Steve Jobs whose vision of the ‘Internet in your pocket’ initiated a fiercely competitive market in which all leading tech companies participate. Google, Samsung, and Microsoft force Apple to keep the innovative power in a transition phase from PC to mobiles.

Related links …

Fingerprint Technology

iOS Updates

iCloud, a paradigm shift

About Innovation

About Statistics

Designed by Apple in California

Apple’s Supplier Responsibility

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.





The Pareto Principle

5 08 2014

The Pareto principle, also known as 80-20 rule states that roughly only 20% of the causes affect 80% of the effects.

20140418-095204.jpg

I would like to give you some examples and an attempt to connect the rule with some aspects of Apple’s strategy to design hardware and software products although I didn’t find any hints published by Apple which explicitly refer to the 80-20 rule. But I’m sure it’s in the mind of Apple’s engineers and can be seen as a guideline for developing products.

Microsoft and the Pareto principle …

Paula Rooney published this noteworthy insight on October 3, 2002

Microsoft’s CEO: 80-20 Rule Applies To Bugs, Not Just Features

In recent months, Microsoft has learned that 80 percent of the errors and crashes in Windows and Office are caused by 20 percent of the entire pool of bugs detected, and that more than 50 percent of the headaches derive from a mere 1 percent of all flawed code.

In an e-mail update sent out broadly to enterprise customers on Oct. 2, 2002, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer highlighted initial progress being made on the company’s Trustworthy Computing initiative, an effort rolled out by the vendor last January to improve its reputation in the reliability and security arenas. For one thing, there will be faster bug-fixing as a result of an error-reporting facility embedded in Office and Windows. And that error-reporting tool will be part of the forthcoming Windows.Net Server 2003.

The automated error-reporting tool enables customers to relay errors to Microsoft in a condensed “mini-dump” format, which simplifies the process, Ballmer said.

“One really exciting thing we learned is how, among all these software bugs involved in the report, a relatively small proportion causes most of the errors,” Ballmer wrote in his three-page memo. “About 20 percent of the bugs causes 80 percent of all errors, and – this is stunning to me – 1 percent of bugs caused half of all errors.”

But one analyst said that customers should not come to the conclusion that the 80-20 bug ratio will make it easier for Microsoft to clean up problems with its software.

“The 80-20 rule is often believed to be true in most things. Most often it is used by vendors to distract people from the problem of inadequate quality with the implication that they only need to work on a small number of issues to correct that problem,”

said Rob Enderle, research fellow at Giga Information Group.

“What’s forgotten is that 20 percent are often the most complex, most difficult issues to correct and the most likely to spawn new problems as part of the correction process.”

The tool and debugging method, however, did help Microsoft address 20 percent of all Windows XP bugs in Service Pack 1, more than half of all application errors fixed in Office XP Service Pack 2 and 74 percent bugs of fixed in the beta test version of Visual Studio.Net, Ballmer claimed.

A summary …

Ready for a summary of Pareto’s principle?

So here it is and as usual on iNotes4You it’s summarized with the help of a mind map.

20140531-061531.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Apple and the Pareto principle …

Apple’s operating system for mobiles, the hardware, and software applications are as complex as other comparable systems. Only developers are deeply engaged in what’s going on in the code if a user e.g. taps on the touch screen of an iPhone or an iPad. Be sure, it’s a lot what has to be considered when designing the code and providing APIs (Application Programming Interface) to developers who then create their apps based on implemented functionalities of iOS.

20140418-105007.jpg

For us, as users of Apple’s mobile devices, there are only two but quite important things, the UX (user experience) and the UI (user interface).

One common adage in the IT industry is that 80 percent of all end users generally use only 20 percent of a software application’s features. Aside the concrete numbers this seems to hit the nail right on the head and I think nearly all of you can agree. Only a minority, the power users, get more mileage out of an application.

Basically there are two options to increase the UX of software products

  • two versions
    a standard and a professional version with extended features
  • one version
    with features limited to the commonly accepted needs of customers

Apple goes the latter way roughly according to the Pareto principle.
But there seems to be a problem.

What are the features if all the options are roughly reduced to the mentioned 20%?

Well, it depends on the application and necessary features can only be identified by constantly looking on the behavior of customers.

If you settled all the needs of customers the next problem comes up.

How can the features be packed in a clean and tidy user interface?

It was Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s top designer, who once said

Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is so much more than just the absence of clutter or the removal of decoration. It’s about offering up the right things, in the right place, right when you need them. It’s about bringing order to complexity. And it’s about making something that always seems to “just work.” When you pick something up for the first time and already know how to do the things you want to do, that’s simplicity.

Regarding the UX and UI I found a noteworthy article by Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D., on uxmag.com about The Psychologist’s View of UX Design (please use the link under ‘Related link’ to read the full article). It can be seen as a validation of the Pareto principle in the sense of separate the vital few from the trivial many. And with this it also proofs Apple’s strategy of seamless usage of its mobile devices.

Here is a summarization of the main points visualized in a mind map.

20140419-205613.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

There’s a finite amount of resources to focus on finding and fixing issues or improving the user experience. It’s the task of designers and engineers to find out the small number of items account for a disproportionate amount of results. An effective strategy is to separate these vital few from the trivial many to improve the user experience.

If you use an Apple mobile device you already recognized that problems with the operating system can be solved with solely three methods

  • Reboot
  • Restore
  • Recover

This is a quite remarkable step to reduce the efforts of users to fix problems.

It’s definitely the wrong and most ineffective way to fill a knowledge base with thousands of articles, often not applicable for devices even if they run on the same version of an operating system. That’s my experience of working on Microsoft Windows based computers in the last 30 years. Problems with drivers, Dynamic Link Libraries, vulnerabilities, monthly published patches, etc. have been quite frustrating tasks, wasted your time, and, regarding the usage of Windows PCs in businesses, cost a lot of money. A reason could be the genes Microsoft put into the cradle of its operating system.

Summary …

Companies looking at the 80-20 rule have to identify the 20% in all areas which means find out the few vital from the many trivial.

Going along with this analysis more simple solutions for usability problems, feature requests, support calls, software bugs or revenues can be created.

If you recognize that reading just 20% of my blog post let you understand 100% of my intention than you have a further validation of Pareto’s principle.

Related links …

Apple’s Focusing

Apple’s Strategy and Ad

The Psychologist’s View of UX Design

Thanks for stopping by.





Apple Support

30 07 2014

Apple takes care and is well-known for seamless usage of it’s products, high build quality, and strong efforts regarding customer support.

Support options are …

  • Apple’s website
  • Apple Care Protection Plan
  • Genius Bar in Apple Stores
  • Apple Support Communities

Try to get help from Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, or other competitors and you will see the difference and it’s because Apple offers a complete ecosystem.

20140414-165911.jpg

Unlike Microsoft the company offers a powerful collection of support articles which are regularly updated.

Help yourself is poorly supported by Microsoft’s knowledge base because

1 articles are not highly ranked in Google searches, instead you get many results linking to uncountable forums usually presenting ‘trash content’ or personal conversations without any methodical approach

2 search results within Microsoft’s support site nearly never provide useful results; you also may find articles about products 10 years old or even older although their support is already suspended

3 articles are not translated by humans but translation software and the results are often a disaster

But there is also an advantage in Microsoft’s approach to organize the error messaging system. It’s the so-called MSID for errors, a unique, product related number which points to an error description.

Within iOS Apple doesn’t use error numbers. As a consequence your search is only successful if you enter main parts of the message displayed on your device in a search engine.

20140414-170148.jpg

If you enter ‘iPhone disabled’ as the search term in a browser you will immediately get a high ranked result pointing to an Apple support article.

Note
It would be an improvement if iOS lets you copy the message into the clipboard for later use as the search term in a browser.

A further step forward could be an optional control within an error message popup named ‘Support’. Tapping on it opens Safari with the error message as the search term.

Fortunately Apple sells high quality products so that error messages are rare.

Prepare for a support request …

If you need support you should have these data ready

  • Apple ID
    (password and answers to your security questions if you don’t use 2-Step Verification)
    to log into your profile, to contact the support by phone
  • Serial Number
    of the device
    Go to Settings – General – About to find it out. Tap and hold to copy the number to the clipboard.
  • OS version
    Go to Settings – General – Software Update to find it out.
  • IMEI and ICCID
    if there is a need to contact your provider
    Go to Settings – General – About to find it out.

If you want to have immediate access to all these data don’t keep it in an iWork document, instead use a password keeper like 1Password.

Support options …

If you visit Apple’s website you will find a comprehensive overview about support options. My mind map shows these options and an overview of essential FAQs. All topics come along with assigned links. If you use a mind mapping tool just tap on a topic to open the related website.

20140414-170355.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

If you download the map in the DOCX file format and open it with Apple’s iWork app PAGES it looks like this

20140414-170545.jpg

Just tap on a link within Pages to open the website in Safari.

Support documents …

Links to Apple’s support documents use structured web addresses using this pattern

support . apple . com / kb / HT

followed by a number (and a region identifier like ?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US)

Example for an article about Using Touch ID …

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5883

Apple repair services …

It rarely happens but if a recovery of your device (the most thorough way to solve problems) doesn’t solve the problem it might be the hardware which died. Apple offers the following options to reanimate your device.

In case of an iPhone you will find all support options on

Contact Apple Support

Tap on ‘Service Requests + Troubleshooting’ to see a list of possible problems.

If you already identified the problem as a hardware failure you must contact an authorized repair service which can be located here

Find Locations

Call the phone number for your country and a clerk will help you in any case, with or without an AppleCare Protection Plan.
I there is a nearby Apple Store it’s the best way to take your device there.

If not, use this link to see the options and contact an authorized dealer/repair service if you purchased anAppleCare Protection Plan.

Here is an example of the steps to do if an iPhone won’t power on any longer.

20140414-171742.jpg

20140414-171528.jpg

If there is an Apple Store nearby it’s always the easiest way to visit the store and take the device with you.

If you have to use the mailing route Apple will send you all the printed forms you need to pack the box and temporarily say Good Bye to your electronic assistant.

Apple Support Communities …

If you didn’t find an answer in one of Apple’s support documents you may ask for help in the Apple Support Community.

With your Apple ID your are granted to use this community if you agree to this

Use Agreement

Use this link to get started.

Apple Support Communities

Follow these steps …

  • Sign in with your Apple ID.
  • You can quickly ask a question from the home page or from within a specific community related to products and services. You can also click New > Discussion at the top of any page.
  • As you type your question, you’ll see a list of similar questions that other users have asked.
    You might find an answer in an earlier discussion.
  • Try to limit the question to one or two short sentences. You’ll be able to provide more details in the next few steps.
  • Choose the community that best relates to your question.
  • Type your question and describe the issue. It’s helpful to include details such as product specs, software version, actions that cause the issue, and any troubleshooting you’ve already done.
  • Select categories and add tags to help others find your question.
  • Click Post Message.

To help you track responses, you’re automatically subscribed to email notifications for any question you ask or respond to. To turn off email notifications, see Manage email notifications.

Encourage helpful community members by marking responses that help solve your question. This awards reputation points and increases the member’s status in the community. It also makes it easier for others to find helpful responses.

Summary …

If you have a question regarding an iOS device it’s likely that you find an answer or a workaround for fixing a problem within a few minutes. An iOS device usually just works. If not you fortunately have less options to solve the problem. Try a reboot, a restore or a recovery in this order. If nothing helps go to an Apple Store or send your device to Apple Repair. It’s that simple.

Related links …

Specific topics …

The Apple ID

Troubleshooting

Recovery

Emergency Guide

Security made by Apple

2-Step Verification

General topics …

Apple’s Customer Relationships

Apple’s Ecosystem

Thanks for contacting iNotes4You.





About Innovation

18 07 2014

Apple is an innovative company and discussions about its innovate power first need a close look on what innovation means for a tech company.

The term …

On Wikipedia we find …

Innovation is the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments and society. The term innovation can be defined as something original and, as consequence, new that “breaks into” the market or society. One usually associates to new phenomena that are important in some way. A definition of the term, in line with these aspects, would be the following: “An innovation is something original, new, and important – in whatever field – that breaks in to (or obtains a foothold in) a market or society”.
While something novel is often described as an innovation, in economics, management science, and other fields of practice and analysis it is generally considered a process that brings together various novel ideas in a way that they have an impact on society.

Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a better and, as a result, novel idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.

Innovation differs from improvement in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something different rather than doing the same thing better.

Regarding the major tech companies Apple, Samsung, and Google we can see an ongoing war between fanboys each claiming their beloved company is innovative.

In the organizational context, innovation may be linked to positive changes in efficiency, productivity, quality, competitiveness, market share, and others. However, recent research findings highlight the complementary role of organizational culture in enabling organizations to translate innovative activity into tangible performance improvements.

The measure of innovation at the organizational level relates to individuals, team-level assessments, and private companies from the smallest to the largest. Measure of innovation for organizations can be conducted by surveys, workshops, consultants, or internal benchmarking. There is today no established general way to measure organizational innovation. Corporate measurements are generally structured around balanced scorecards which cover several aspects of innovation such as business measures related to finances, innovation process efficiency, employees’ contribution and motivation, as well benefits for customers. Measured values will vary widely between businesses, covering for example new product revenue, spending in R+D, time to market, customer and employee perception and satisfaction, number of patents, additional sales resulting from past innovations.

So we are faced with a complex topic but what should be clear is that a final assessment whether a company is innovative can only be done by knowing all the facts and waiting until the society respectively the market shows any reaction.

In 2010 Apple released its first iPad and some years later we can definitely say that it was innovation born out of many preceding scientific results, above all the touch screen and the appropriate software to control apps.

20140717-211916-76756842.jpg

What we can see is that scientific results taken for its own are not enough to be innovative. It needs a vision, persistent efforts, and outstanding people motivating each other to bring an innovative product to the market. Steve jobs once said …

Customers don’t know what they want but are looking for something new and exciting

The iPad was a high level innovation, an ‘ocean boiling’ new kind of device whereas follow-ups could be described with the words of Tim Cook

Some people see innovation as change, but we have never really seen it like that. It’s making things better.

I would like to add an important point

An innovative product is only born if it provides space for essential improvements in the future. So in an essential first step the conditions for a long-term impact already must run in the blood.

It needs a close look on and into products to see innovative steps which, in some cases, are only laid out. If the basis already includes technically feasible visions, the new product usually will be successful.

20140403-084006.jpg

A more superficial view on the iPhone 5S, Apple’s flagship, could lead to an assessment like “same shape, same size, same everything”. But the truth is that there is a fingerprint scanner solving the dilemma of security in a much more convenient way than before and the M7 motion processor which could later be used in a new kind of device like an iWatch, possibly disrupting the health care system. And be sure, it will not be a shiny new gimmick like the Galaxy Gear watch.
And there is iOS 7 supporting a 64-Bit architecture, designed for future software capabilities. And there is much more only visible if colors and shapes are disregarded.

The process …

Here are the steps to innovative products.

Step 1

in any innovation process is to generate ideas. This includes gathering ideas both internally and externally, within the company and by looking at competitors.

Note
The ongoing war between fanboys e.g. of Samsung and Apple only reflects a psychological problem of the involved people because collecting information from everywhere is a normal process in which lastly lead to the many benefits we have in our modern society. No scientist would ever get a Nobel Prize if he wouldn’t refer to results of his colleagues.

Then it’s inevitable to prioritize and make sense of these ideas. The goal must be to find a structured way to catergorise and prioritise your ideas, so that your long list becomes a shortlist.

Step 2

is to incubate the best ideas. Incubation could just be further theoretical development, or it could move into piloting or an initial roll-out of the idea. That’s what Samsung did with its Galaxy Gear Smartwatch. But also Apple with its M7 motion processor and the fingerprint scanner first introduced in the iPhone 5S in late 2013.

Step 3

needs excellent engineers and designers to focus on an issue, a solution and implement your idea fully.

Step 4

is an essential step for a business oriented company. It’s effective marketing. A product shouldn’t be called innovative if it doesn’t have an impact on society. This needs a significant number of customers, worldwide. It’s one if the strengths of Apple to push customers with sophisticated ad. The Motorola Atrix with its fingerprint scanner is an example for a good idea but poor marketing and the result is well-known, it was a product without significant impact.

20140403-061339.jpg

Step 5

in any innovation process is choosing to either exit or sustain the project. Innovation can’t go on for ever!

Even if the project becomes self-sustaining, at some point you will need to send it back through the innovation process to check that it is still relevant, delights people, is useful for their everyday lives and perhaps make plans to adapt or replace it altogether. In these circumstances, the innovation process is very much an iterative one. The iterations of the iPhone, and not to forget, of the environment (stores, iCloud, iOS 7, 64-Bit processor, etc) are a shining example of this last step a company is faced with.

Looking on more than 4 decades of Apple there is no doubt about a constant improvement of all hardware products, software and services. This long-term strategy made the company to the most valuable brand in the world.

About Apple …

Nearly nothing comes out of the box. So innovation is always combined with the ability to
connect the dots in a way that people are excited, benefit from a new technology, let them change the way to do things more efficiently or even with more fun and engagement, and inspire them to think different and force creativity.

And it’s not only the iPad initiating a paradigm shift there are also Apple’s desktops which have to be taken into account.

When the iMac appeared it made everyone look. It was meant to be a “look-at-me” product. It was meant to show Apple was not dead. Last year Apple showed off their new professional grade desktop machine and those who do serious computing and media production have been lining up to get them. Apple is still making the finest desktop machines in the field.

See what I found on Google+ in a comment section written by Dave Trautman who once again hit the nail right on the head …

For those in America, where is there a huge problem with respect to personalized health care? Like – everywhere! In other developed countries with public health care the emphasis on personal responsibility has been the best way to both reduce costs and make the system more efficient. In America you have to go through the gauntlet of health care providers and insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies to take charge of your own good health. If Apple’s iBeacon software is installed in the next ambulance to arrive at my home then my phone might light up with my emergency information automatically once I am inside the vehicle. I might not even be conscious. But my phone can give them what they need to know to start treating me. My phone might also tell them I have had high blood pressure for the past six weeks and rising. All this with a personal tracking iStrap and the M7 chip on my phone.

I am thinking Apple has been slowly and carefully putting the seeds into the ground for some years now which will later be sprouting a completely new category of personal device(s) which we cannot live without.

So let’s put all these considerations together. If you are a regular visitor of my blog you already recognized that I like to do it with a map, a mind map or a concept map.

Innovation targets …

It needs a close look on all the activities of Apple, it’s leaders as well as it’s excellent engineers, to screen a picture on what the targets of innovation are. I added some quotes of Steve Jobs and Apple’s Industrial Design Group (IDg) to point to some basics of the company’s philosophy which is primarily influenced by Steve Jobs and Sir Jonathan Ive.

It needs a company DNA and blood flowing through the veins of responsible people to be innovative.
This DNA is followed by innovation not only brought into sold products but also into the corporate structure and the infrastructure customers are faced with.

This all is also a lesson for successful leadership which compels admiration and a cult-like status. If this happens over decades a company becomes a brand and in case of Apple the most valuable brand in the world. The worst case hampering innovation and customer satisfaction are early releases of unfinished products with less benefits for customers and follow-ups which manifest the lacks of predecessors.

So an essential part of innovation is simply time even if there is an increasing pressure from which side soever, market, shareholders or deliberately provoked by publishing (or in case of Apple one could often say ‘punishing’) media.

I purchased my first Apple device (an iPhone 3GS) in 2010 and started blogging in late 2012 with just one target, to learn more about the company and its mobile devices, an exciting journey through technologies of an amazing company.

So this concept map is based on what I learned and published on iNotes4You. See the different articles under ‘Related links’.

20140404-222136.jpg

I tried to connect each topic with an Apple product which, I think, is a meaningful example for what the content stands for.

Summary …

To decide whether a technical product is innovative or not is a quite difficult task and in many cases it’s also a very personal assessment. Innovative features of products might change the life of an individual and can be useless for others. And there are developments which can be seen as useful for all people like a smartphone automatically sending information to health care assistants in case of an accident.

Related links …

About the company …

Steve Jobs Timeline 2000-2011

Apple’s Focusing

Apple’s Ecosystem

Apple’s Strategy and Ad

The New Philosopher

Apple’s Intangible Assets

Apple, a unique company

About some products …

Sensitiveness

Fingerprint Technology

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.





iOS 8 Beta

9 06 2014

When introducing iCloud services on June 6, 2011, the roadmap for Apple’s vision about device connectivity was already quite clear.

  • Seamlessly connect all devices.
  • Use standardized data structures to support syncing between computers and mobile devices.
  • Assimilate the UIs of computers and mobile devices to seamlessly work on either of them.

Connectivity only makes sense if people use more than one device.

This is the case in businesses, families, and it’s also valid for many single users purchasing both kinds of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets.

iCloud is the global hub of Apple’s powerful services.

If you remove all iCloud related features Apple devices are demoted to phones and data processing machines for which the old-fashioned tasks of syncing, transferring files, and backing up have to be done manually.

The WWDC 2014 …

With the WWDC 2014 (June 2, San Francisco, Moscone Center) further essential steps to a unique user experience were made and Apple set the milestones for the future usage of their electronic devices.

20140606-165017.jpg

The device you use doesn’t matter, it’s just the task which matters.

WWDC 2014 is the 25th event which began in 1990 with 1,300 developers. Tim Cook presented some stats showing us that there are over 9 million registered Apple developers in 2014 – that’s up 47 percent since 2013 – and the youngest developer at WWDC was just 13 years old.

Apple’s developer conference again unveiled the power of the company in offering vertically integrated and seamless to use devices and services as well as a perfect infrastructure for partners, the developers.

iOS is one of the two most dominant platforms for mobile devices with Android in the pole position if you just look on market shares.

Regarding a product line-up which includes computers AND mobiles it can be said that

iOS and OSX together are the leading software technologies for processor-based devices regardless of any stats.

Apple’s sophisticated ecosystem including all the powerful apps will be massively improved by the new features announced for iOS 8. This all can be called a disruptive concept for using processor-based technology and device connectivity via cloud services.

Seoul, start your photocopiers

But copying won’t help because there never was a vision running like a golden thread through all the activities and technological developments of Apple’s competitors. Neither Google nor Samsung can compete with Apple because most of their services are based on stand-alone developments which require deep-sea diving into countless help articles to successfully administrate them all.

As an Apple user just go to Settings and turn on iCloud.
That’s it.

Fandroids again may argue: It’s all copied.

Let me tell you the truth about just one example which could be brought forward from people just looking on the screen layout:

Desktop widgets (commonly just called widgets) are interactive virtual tools that provide single-purpose services such as showing the user the latest news, the current weather, the time, a calendar, a dictionary, a map program, a calculator, desktop notes, photo viewers, or even a language translator, among other things.

Everybody should know that these tools were already introduced decades ago on Apple’s Macintosh computers, are available in the notification center of iOS 7 and iOS 8 now provides APIs for third-party widgets.

iOS 8 features …

I summarized what Apple published on its websites shortly after the event in San Francisco.

20140606-165200.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts for iOS (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

See this magnified part of map and a preview of what you get when you download the DOCX file format.

Note

If you don’t use a mind mapping tool it’s recommended to download the DOCx file format which immediately can be opened with Apple’s Pages. The document contains the map as an image, textual information, and referred hyperlinks. Just tap on a link from within Pages to open the article.

iCloud …

iCloud already got a significant improvement in October 2013 when Apple introduced iWork for iCloud.

The new iCloud Drive will be a unified file system bridging iOS and OSX.

20140606-165941.jpg

At the time Apple gives you 5GB free storage and this will not be changed. It’s for storing documents, photos, device backups, and application data. 5 GB is a little on the paltry side if you extensively use iCloud e.g. on an iPhone and an iPad. I use an iPhone (23.8 GB used) and an iPad (30.9 GB used) and had to update my storage plan with additional 10 GB to save device backups on iCloud.
Cormorant space eaters on my devices are photos (2.5 GB), Keynote presentations (2.3 GB; mainly collages for my blog), mind maps (1.5 GB), and PDFs stored in iBooks (2.8 GB).

How much will it cost if more storage is needed?

For just $1 a month, you’ll get additional 20GB and for $4 per month you’ll get 200GB. As a point of comparison, that $48 a year is just slightly more than the $40 a year you currently pay for 20GB. Apple says it will have tiers all the way up to 1TB of storage.

iCloud’s new pricing plans compete with …

Provider GB $/year
Dropbox 2 free
100 100
200 200
OneDrive 7 free
100 50
200 100
Google Drive 15 free
100 24
1000 120
iDriveSync 5 free
150 49.50
500 149.50
Box 10 free
100 60
unlimited 180

And here is the ranking …

20140607-071519.jpg

What should be mentioned is that costs are just one criterion. Please note that iDriveSync is the only provider offering client-side encryption during transit (sending and receiving data) and at rest (saved data on servers of the provider).

Swift for yield hedging …

iOS is still the preferred platform for developers offering mobile apps. Apple’s App Store is a heavy weight champion when it comes to quality and quantity of apps for mobile devices.

To keep the quality and acquire even more creative young developers Apple is apparently offering a much faster and more effective means of building software applications with an “interactive playground,” significantly improving on its own Objective-C.
The new programming language Swift will use the same LLVM (Low Level Virtual Machine) compiler and runtime as Apple’s Objective-C implementation, and its simplified syntax gives it an easier learning curve. The reason behind introducing Swift was to make it easier for developers to create apps for Apple’s mobile platform. Apple Developers write codes line after line and then compile those results to see output, but using Swift language they can see results in real time instantly while writing their codes.

My suggestion for the developers of the official Google+ app:

Try out Swift.
Maybe it helps to bring some stability into an app crashing daily since months.

Some tidbits …

  • Per App Battery Usage
    Another feature that has been part of Android since its inception and extremely useful at that, will finally make its way to iOS 8. Apple did not mention this during their keynote but it will be part of the iOS when it is released. Users will be able to see which app is draining the battery and take relevant action.
  • AirPlay
    won’t need Wi-Fi in iOS 8, it can use a form of peer-to-peer networking. This means an Apple TV should be able to connect to your iPhone even when both devices aren’t on the same wireless network.

20140606-170401.jpg

  • AirDrop
    will now work between iOS devices and Macs, meaning you can exchange files on an ad hoc basis between the two, without the need for an Internet connection or even being on the same local network. Need to get a photo to your Mac from your iPhone or want to send a PDF from your Mac to your iPad? Just fire up AirDrop.

Apple’s move …

Let’s dispense with the preliminaries. The WWDC 2014 confirmed a move in Apple’s strategy of controlling what’s going on if a device is in use.

I found this excellent article published by the well-known Apple evangelist Jonny Evans on Computerworld.com.

It’s not about ‘Made in Cupertino’ any more:
the new Apple is all about PARTNERSHIP.

… here’s a few ways in which today’s Apple conceded it doesn’t want to control every aspect of your experience – it just wants to ensure it secures the environment to make sure it’s platforms are platforms you can use:

  • CarPlay
  • Third party app support in iCloud Drive
  • Massively improved integration between iOS and OS X
  • Support for third party Widgets for Notification Center
  • Support for non-Apple apps in iCloud
  • DuckDuckGo support in Safari (OK, that just accentuates how much more secure Apple is than its troublesome mobile foe)
  • Third-party keyboard support
  • Health app, which works with third party devices
  • Support for third party devices for the smart home (HomeKit)
  • added by me
    API to access functionalities of Touch ID ( Apple’s implementation of a fingerprint scanner)

All of these moves are explicit moves that mean Apple is answering critics who call it “too controlling” by permitting users a hitherto unprecedented environment in which they can work with the devices they choose. It’s also a shot in the arm for developers, who can now work to develop their own solutions and have these underpinned by the secure power of Apple’s ecosystem.

Note
Jonny Evans is an independent journalist/blogger who first got online in 1993 and began writing about Apple in 1999. He’s author of Computerworld’s AppleHolic blog and writes on numerous tech topics here in the US and UK. Jonny has no shares in any technology company, enjoys new and disruptive technology and likes music almost as much as he likes his large and shiny dog.

20140606-203037.jpg

Stay tuned and join Jonny’s Appleholics Kool Aid Corner on Google+.

Summary …

Since WWDC 2014 Apple is turning over a new leaf when it comes to developer relationships. MacWorld’s headline ‘A love letter from Apple to developers’ hits the nail right on the head. It’s seems to be a win-win-win situation for Apple, developers, and customers. The WWDC 2014, iOS 8, and OSX were the biggest steps forward since the opening of the App Store on July 10, 2008. The gap to competing platforms – operating systems and stores – approximates to the depth of the Mariana Trench.

Related links …

iCloud, a paradigm shift

Apple’s Ecosystem

App Development + Marketing

WWDC 2014 Apple puts its fighting boots on

About my preferred mind mapping tool …

iThoughts, …

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 183 other followers

%d bloggers like this: