In my Essay I will discuss the role of technology as it‘s incorporated as an explicit component, focusing on the conceptualisation, Invention, innovation, and diffusion of Apple technologies, specifically aiming the topics towards the development of the Apple Mac. Whilst also looking at how the fundamentals of the mac’s core competencies has a ripple effect on the development of new technology across the Apple range and how this contributed to an understanding of information technology and productivity throughout the company.The developments of the original conception of the first generation of Personal computers were focused on hard core developers who used them to write programs. From this the need for a universal machine that operates between program and Data was being conceptualised quasi-simultaneously by new innovators who had realized the need to bring the “personal computer” to the average user but couldn’t previously as it had an inchoate form. Invention Apples CEO Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh to the market in 1984.
It was the first personal computer that was affordable and using an infusion of existing technology created a machine which was a “spin off” invention that lay the foundation of the technology which we use today on a daily basis.
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“What makes a business resource truly strategic-what gives it the capacity to be the basis of a sustained competitive advantage you gain an edge over rivals only by having something or doing something that they can’t have or do.”- Carr “Generations acquire knowledge from the preceding generations, create new inventions with new knowledge, and transmit the modified knowledge to the next generation which is expected to create more innovations” – Thomas Schott Inventions are created in every era, most of the time as an adaptation of a previous work or concept made for the purpose of practical activity to solve some form of a problem.
The invention of the Mac is attributed to Jeff Raskin whose Semiotic labor when developing the idea of the computer at an intellectual level was quickly forgotten once the Mac was seen as an amazing new invention even though the conceptual basis of the technology already existed, Apple merely amalgamated it. Once again like many times throughout history the “hero inventor” who was the Front man of the project Steve Jobs, was attributed with the creation of the Mac.
When in reality the material technology was created by a team of humans pooling their intellectual knowledge and encompassing it into this new invention.
The problem arises when people confuse innovation potential with practical value, assuming the lack of limits on development necessarily implies a lack of limits to its usefulness”- Steve Lohr Innovation The situation had been created where Apple has placed themselves with a competitive advantage over their competitors and as Maurice Holmes Chief Engineer of Xerox Corp tells us “The only way we can sustain competitive advantage in I.T is to learn faster than the rest of the world” In Today’s world, Technology diffuses so rapidly it is hard for us so determine which new technologies are going to change “society” as we know it and which are going to be forgotten in the dustbin of history. Apple found itself in difficulty once its CEO was removed from the board. The new leadership wanted more products and particularly with the Mac there were new versions coming out every six months.
Apple had lost its competitive advantage and was in a poor state. They survived in an extremely competitive industry by returning to its original source of sustainable advantage, a flair for design, tight integration between hardware and software particularly with the Mac and its successors and a strong brand image. Along with a CEO whose goals were to innovate the technology of the future which would change the world.
They were in a position to Pursue the innovations of The Mac and the new handheld device market more so than their competitors’ as they knew competitors would have a hard time adapting their strategies, being either held back by the need for new technological changes, infrastructure changes or timeframe constraints to adapt to the new markets. “Some companies may find that the risks of aggressive innovation outweigh the potential benefits, there are still times when it makes strategic sense to get out in front ahead of the game” - Carr Diffusion
A perfect example of someone coming into a market as a late adaptor is Apple. They took great advantage from previous products made from other companies. By observing the new products which were being constantly diffused and tracking trending patterns Apple were able to see what the consumer wanted, more importantly what the other products lacked. The application of their ability to create cutting edge designs, and manufacture this to the highest of quality and couple it with the well established brand apple exploded into the market.
“The technological progress has no bounds, and acts of innovation can and will demolish all barriers to growth and success” –Carr Technology has been into the workplace at an exponentially increasing rate over the last few decades. Many companies see new technology as the means to increase profit margins and to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Apple is the market leaders because they have been able to penetrate major markets in the U.S such as the private and public sector, education and transport. The increase in this technology, over the last decade in particular the Apple brand has increasingly become more successful is their constant focus on user-experience. Many businesses have benefited from incorporating the Mac and other apple products into their businesses organisations. One of the more notable businesses is Pepsi-Co. “With iPhone and iPod, we can be more efficient and get in front of problems before they even happen.”- Brian Spearman
The Mac, along with the IPhone and Ipad have transformed Pepsi’s business operations substantially through their logistics demand having to be coordinated, communications systems, their Mac and IPhone Apps and even manage their orders to meet retail and consumer demand. There is no question that the efficiency of the Mac and the apple brand has caused some companies to realize that they may not need as much man power because the technology is there to replace them.
Taking into mind a decade ago information technology only: “delivered great benefits to a handful of firms, but for most it has been a source of frustration and disappointment than of glory. It was a simple factor of production, a commodity input that was necessary for competitiveness but insufficient for advantage” –Carr Now technology is not only being implemented into organisations but is transforming and surpassing human capacities in certain fields.
Some distinctions do penetrate our discourse as it becomes useful to us. The Macintosh has evolved into Apple’s current lines of computers, the iMacs, Mac Mini, MacBook’s, and more, but the original Macintosh system will always be an icon, and an innovative product that changed the way we use computers and what we use them for. It has helped apple go from selling computers to becoming a top seller in IPods, and now more recently the strongest brand in the smartphone market and one of the most recognisable brands in the world.
It can be seen that the distinctions between the conceptualisation, invention, innovation and diffusion of the Apple Mac are essential. Through the original idea of the computer and the concept of the need for a universal computer, and how this idea has developed and seen the invention of new technology of the Mac and the many different versions we have seen since its invention.
From the invention of this new technology, Apple have innovated the way we interact with each other had have also played an essential role in how businesses are able to run their companies more effectively and efficiently, cutting out non-essential costs where they are no longer needed and replacing them with technology. Through the constant diffusion of new innovation products it is clear to be seen that Apple as a company have reaped the reward of being the an early adaptor, taking the first step into an new market and flourishing it into a strong brand and making it a part of our everyday life.
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