In the recent months, Apple has been the hot topic of debate for almost every media source. This can be derived partially due to its 25% stock price decrease in the past year, but also because of an increase in competition from companies such as Samsung. Despite record profits, critics argue that Apple is “lacking innovation,” which is vital for its continued growth. Does apple not understand what consumer’s want/desire? Or could their upcoming innovations be so groundbreaking that it just takes longer to unveil?
Despite popular belief, Apple produces almost none of the components that are in its products. What makes Apple products both beautiful and efficient is their ability to integrate the hardware and the software so seamlessly. This is done through their remarkably efficient and streamlined supply chain.
In my opinion, Apple tends to innovate backwards. Apples innovation can be described like this; Apple solves the puzzle first, and then finds the pieces they need to make their vision a reality. Apple’s size, power, and money give them the ability to do this, but the actual timeline for a finished product may not be so clear and defined. This is why an efficient and communicative supply chain is so important to Apple.
Most analysts would agree that the biggest upcoming feature on the iPhone 5S is its fingerprint sensor. This is not a new concept, but the way Apple will use it will be remarkable. The mobile payment system is the way of the future, yet is has failed to take off. This is not due less to lack of technology, but more because of security concerns. By having someone’s phone password, one could gain access to every credit card they own. A fingerprint sensor would basically eliminate this problem, and would allow the mobile payment system to grow exponentially.
Apple sold over 50 million iPhone 5s, so a small glitch in hardware or software can be detrimental. First, Apple needs to make sure the hardware is functioning properly. Last week Reuters reported this, “A supply chain source in Taiwan said Apple was trying to find a coating material that did not interfere with the fingerprint sensor, and this may be causing a delay.” Second, Apple needs to make sure its manufacturers can produce the product that keeps up with demand. Third, the software needs to be 100% accurate to prevent possible fraud. Last, Apple needs to beta test the product until they know it is absolutely perfect.
Personally, I believe that Apple’s master plan is much smarter and more innovative then any analyst can predict. Critics thought the first iPhone would fail because it didn’t have a keyboard. They thought the iPad was just a “big iPhone,” and no one would buy it. Currently, these are two of the most successful and profitable consumer devices on the market. Apple’s master plan is bigger than we think. Supply chain issues may slow its product cycle down now, but I think it will only be a minor speed bump in Apple’s continued dominance.
What is your current view on Apple? Are you continuing to buy Apple products? Will a fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S be the deciding factor on whether you will upgrade or not?