Introducing iPhone 6’s new shape: Bent

Apple reveals iPhone 6 sales

With the recent introduction of the new iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, there has been a lot of controversy over one of the characteristics that constitutes its quality.  Both the new iPhones are a lot larger than the iPhone 5, but also a lot thinner. The current trend is moving towards thinner everything, so you might think this is great idea to create a thin iPhone. That is, until you realize that this feature can also turn awry.  As it turns out, in just the first 6 days, 9 customers complained about the iPhone bending from being carried in the back pocket.

For a prominent company such as Apple, which is known for their quality products, these news are terrible. Some might say that 9 is a very low number of instances comparing to the 10 million they sold. But, the publicity this issue is getting can drastically decrease the sales of the new iPhone, and its future products.


A company such as apple puts its products through so many different quality control checks, before they reach the market. Employees and machines, at different points in the process have to check the quality before it can move onto the next task. Apparently though, as mentioned in the statement by Apple, “Testing of the phones did not show any problems with bending or warping. IPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus meet or exceed all of the high quality standards to endure everyday, real life use.” Nevertheless, it is difficult to believe this issue never came up. Sometimes people overlook quality issues hoping someone else will catch them. And sometimes, it is just too costly to point out quality issues. If a product is already in production with an announced deadline of introduction, a design issue will cause a delay and an additional budget to fix the issue. This will create a bad reputation for the company. However, so will a bad quality product.


Releasing a statement that confirms the product has successfully gone through three-point-bending test, a sit test etc., does not fix the issue. Unfortunately the person, who has had their iPhone bent, might not be as happy with the company as he previously had been. And we all know, that the best form of advertising is from friends and family. If your friend has it and it is performing well, you want it. But, the same goes for when your friend has it and its not that great. Then, your opinion of it changes as well. Unfortunately, this may cause Apple to lose lots of loyal clients, and tons of sales.


What do you think about the bent iPhone?

Did you purchase the new iPhone? If so, any issues with bending?

Does this change your perspective on apple?

Will you continue purchasing apple products?



Arthur, Charles. “‘Bending’ IPhone 6.” The Guardian. N.p., 25 Sept. 2014. Web. 19 Oct. 2014.


The Hunger Games: Apple Edition

Since Apple’s latest press conference, who hasn’t been talking about the iPhone 6? It is easy to say that Apple products are incredibly popular in the U.S., and it is no secret that Apple has been trying to break into other markets abroad, especially Asia. However, few seem to realize the importance Apple has in countries in Asia, not because of their products, but because of the materials that make up their products. In “There’s a Downside to Making Parts for Apple,” Adam Satariano and Peter Burrows give readers a glimpse into the cutthroat negotiations Apple goes through with these companies, and how dependent they are on Apple products. Some companies simply exist because of Apple’s products. For example, 79.6% of Dialog Semiconductor’s, who makes chips within phones, revenue comes from Apple’s revenues. As scary as that sounds, the revenue from Apple is huge; their 79.6% revenue translates into almost $180 million. This seems like a lot of money and the benefits are obviously huge, but the suppliers worry that if Apple switches to a different supplier, as they did with Audience, who makes “mobile audio processors,” they will lose a ton of revenue. In Audience’s case, they not only lost 82% of their revenue from Apple products when Apple decided to use a different company to supply those audio processors, but their shares dropped from $22 to $6. Audience did find a new buyer in Samsung; however, their stocks never reached their heyday of $22 like they did with Apple. TPK Holding, which supplied Apple with the touch controls for the first iPhone, even held an IPO in 2010 because they felt so comfortable and reliable on Apple’s business. However, two years later, Apple decided to change its iPhone design, and began buying the same screens and controls from a rival. TPK Holding’s income fell by 50% in the last year, and its shares fell 73%. All of these companies lost majorly because they thought they could keep Apple around, but they could not.

The suppliers of Apple products are in a dangerous game. Their rises and declines come and go “in large chunks.” Companies often taste the sweet victory of signing a supplier contract with Apple almost immediately. For example, the revenues the companies involved in the iPhone 6 will receive will be huge, especially with a record setting opening weekend. However, there is a scary reality that a lot of these companies, in a few years, could lose Apple’s business, and depending on how reliant they are on Apple, it could be catastrophic.

How do you feel about Apple’s negotiating tactics? Do you think it is smart for these suppliers to go into business with Apple, knowing they could lose a ton of business in the next few years? What do you think the suppliers could do  in order to prevent losing Apple as a client?



Is Microsoft going the way of the Apple?


Last Thursday, Microsoft announced that they would be dissolving their current structure and reorganizing. They currently have eight different product divisions, and plan to restructure with four new ones that will be organized around broader functional themes. The main reason for this is to allow for eliminating redundancy and waste, as well as to encourage their nearly 100,000 employees to work more closely with collaborative efforts to build future products. This will make Microsoft look more like its rivals (such as Apple and Google) as an organization – though on a much larger scale – and help it become more competitive in the product areas where it has been losing ground in recent years.

The organizational model used by Microsoft is one that was popularized by Apple (of course), and it focuses on software, hardware, and services rather than individual products or product groups as they had in the past. For example, one executive will be in charge of operating systems now, rather than separate teams developing products like Windows, phones, tablets, and Xbox. In the past, this sparked many rivalries between divisions, and project managers even went to great lengths to avoid dependency on other groups for software, so as to not be “at the mercy of someone else’s development schedule.” This resulted in things like software being developed for one product that had similar functions and features as another existing product. While this should lead to greater efficiencies in product development and can allow better integration among products, it does not address some of the more pressing challenges affecting Microsoft’s current and future revenue stream; for example, as personal computer sales continue to decrease, how does Microsoft plan to adapt its product line?

In my company, we have also begun to realign our departments and personnel around functional groups and are moving away from compartmentalizing each product group within its own line. Is it just coincidence that Microsoft has started doing the same? It certainly is, as Microsoft is the juggernaut of the tech industry and Invivo is a very small subsidiary of a sub-business unit of a division of Philips. In any case, one of the biggest moves came at the end of last week, when it was announced that our already small marketing department would be losing a few members, and everyone else was reorganizing into functional groups where everyone would cover the full product line as it fell under their area of responsibility. As some of our other departments and developers have also realigned similarly, I hope that it will do for us what Microsoft hopes it does for them – increase efficiency and effectiveness.

In light of the above, is your company more like old Microsoft or new Microsoft? If like “old”, do you find that project managers often butt heads with other departments on which they have dependence for aspects of their products or projects? If like “new” do you find that aligning by function rather than products yields better results?


Google Now Knows What You Did Last Summer!!!

Google Now is now a direct competitor to Apple’s Siri. Google Now is an intelligent virtual personal assistant similar to Siri. Recently Google Now became available on iOS for iPhones and iPads.

Google Now access a lot of personal information on someone’s iPhone/iPad. There are many privacy issues related to the use of Google Now. Google Now analyzes your browsing history, mail, calendar events, and other activity on your iOS device to “predict” information that you will need before you even think about needing it.

In order to begin using Google Now and iOS, you must first open Google Search, where Google Now appears at the bottom of the screen as a stack of cards. You swipe the stack of cards in order to access the main feature of Google Now, the “cards.”

Here is an example of how Google Now is your personal assistant: You have meeting scheduled for later today in Aurora. The meeting is scheduled in your Calendar app. Google Now accesses your calendar and from the information that it obtains, it creates a “card” that gives you map, directions, and current traffic conditions to the meeting. When you repeatedly search for a particular sports team’s score on the internet, Google Now automatically displays the previous night’s final score on a “card.” If Google Now detects that you are in a foreign country, it will provide a “card” with a translator and a currency convertor.
Google Now does allow you to select what information you share with Google Now. However, the less information you provide to Google Now, the less useful, reliable, and efficient it becomes.

Google Now can be a very convenient tool for everyone. However, Google Now on iOS does not allow you to send e-mails using only your voice and you cannot access with the push of the “Home” button like you can with Siri. Google Now also only works with other Google products, such as Google Calendar. It was also released with glitches and users have complained of battery problems when using Google Now.

While I can see how Google Now can be a great convenience for me, I cannot get past the fact of how much information it will obtain from my iPhone. That information could be stored on Google’s server for years and it could sell that information to advertising firms that would creep me out with very personalized ads. Perhaps if my information was kept on my phone and it never went through Google’s servers, I would be more open to using it.

Would you be willing to provide extensive amounts of information in order to use Google Now? Are you concerned with your privacy in this technological world? What can Google do to alleviate the privacy concerns of its customers? Should Google be competing directly with Apple’s Siri on Apple’s own products? Is this Google’s strategy to win over Apple consumers? Did Google release Google Now on iOS prematurely since it still has bugs and is only compatible with Google services?



Google Now Takes On Apple’s Siri by Rich Jaroslovsky:

(Image) Google Now Opens Up To iPhone And iPad Users by Taylor Hatmaker:

Google Now for iOS: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know by Karen Tumbokon:

Does Apple Have A Supply Chain Flaw?

Apple, a company that holds power, and diligence in the business world, is considered to have a top line supply chain management system. The success of this powerhouse company is mainly due to the innovative thinking and approach when it comes to supply chain management. However, why is their stock falling like a sack of bricks, and how come sales have slowed down?

Apple has created a “closed ecosystem” where they control every aspect of the supply chain, and in turn this enables Apple to launch large product lines avoiding high costs. For example, when designing the green light that lets you know the camera is on in all their laptops, they designed special tools to create this “at the time impossible idea.” They concluded that they needed to create lazar beams to cut a perfect whole in to the aluminum, which saved money and shows how they have total control over their product supply. Another example of innovative thinking that complements Apple’s productivity in their supply chain is when they bought 50 million dollars worth of holiday airfreight space. This in turn limited competitors to get their product to retailers, and also gave a huge supply of Apple products in stores limiting consumer options. “They have a very unified strategy, and every part of their business is aligned around that strategy,” says Matthew Davis, a supply-chain analyst with Gartner. He has ranked Apple as the world’s best supply chain for the last four years.

Clearly they are doing something right, right? Well with the decline of the stock a lot of question has been raised. For example, if Tim Cook is such a supply chain specialist, then why does he only have one supplier for all it displays? Even worse, why is that sole supplier Samsung, one of Apple’s biggest competitors? Because of business related tension between the two, and lawsuits, Samsung is not supplying displays to Apple for the new iPad Mini which is a problem. Tim Cook is clearly forced with a rough decision, and now basically has to choose between two Suppliers, LGD, and AUO, who is a very new inexperienced supplier. AUO cannot meet the volume demands for Apple so that really only leaves one supplier, LGD.

Overall, if there is such a fantastic supply chain in the company, and Tim Cook, who was COO under Steve Jobs, is considered to be the specialist in that, why would he but sole supplying responsibility on Samsung, one of their biggest competitor? It seems to be a huge gamble, and almost idiotic. Do you think that this sole supplier Apple uses is their flaw? Do you think this is going to hurt them in the long run? Could Apple be giving away their “closed eco system” by doing this? Could it be the small size of the supplier market that is hurting Apple? How can they avoid this problem?


The End of A Dynasty?: Clash Between Industry Titans


The battle for technological dominance is beginning to heat up. Apple and Samsung have been at each other’s throats competing over market share and cultural relevance for years now, with Apple seeming to come away the victor year after year. However, the momentum has seemed to shift in Samsung’s favor recently. So why the sudden change? In 2013, Samsung took a huge leap forward against their arch rival by enjoying a monumental 56% surge in sales pertaining to smart-phones. Whereas Apple only saw a disappointing 6.6% increase in sales within the smart-phone sector. Samsung now has a stranglehold on the market share, controlling 33% of the smart-phone division compared to Apple’s mere 18%. With this sudden charge in 2013, Samsung experienced soaring profits and revenue sales of $47.6 billion, a 17% increase compared to Apple’s 11% increase.

People are beginning to wonder why Apple has become so stagnant with their products, while Samsung continues to innovate, push the limits, and surpass new boundaries as a organization. As we all know, Apple as a company has gone through major changes when it comes to management ever since the passing of their charismatic and brilliant leader Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011. However, they are not helping themselves with their lack of new products entering the market, along with their rather “elementary” tweaks to the iPhone 5 that have left many longtime customers of Apple disappointed and looking elsewhere for new and innovative mobile devices. For example, Apple upset a good portion of their customer base by changing the adapter that charges the battery life for a majority of Apple products. One of the major draws for Apple’s iPhone line was the fact that their mobile devices had become standardized with the ability for users to charge their phones just about anywhere, even if they forgot their phone charger because they could just use someone else’s. All the while Samsung continues to focus on the quality of their products by offering a wider range of specifications regarding smart-phones that have consumers clamoring for more. Also, Samsung’s new handset, the Galaxy S4, has premiered to critical acclaim among customers and could potentially threaten Apple’s iPhone as the gold standard among smart-phones in the industry.

Samsung has been able to achieve this triumphant comeback through intense quality focus and strong leadership throughout the organization. Especially at the top with former Chairman Kun-Hee Lee who strove for product quality so much that he took a trip to one of the company’s plants that had developed a batch of defected products and required all 2,000 employees to wear headbands that read, “Quality First”. Through this philosophy, Samsung has been able to efficiently produce quality products at a cheaper price compared to industry standards, which in turn allows them to charge a higher price that consumers are willing to spend. The end result, an incredible first quarter of 2013 for Samsung and a devastating blow to Apple. Will Apple recover from this disappointing 2013 start? Possibly with  the iPhone-5S. Or will Samsung continue jabbing away at heavyweight champ?



How to forecast $43.6 billion?

Apple has finally decided to give its shareholders back more now from the profit of $145 Billion. The shareholders demanded more return even though Apple posted their first decline in decades. Apple heavily relies on new product launches to make the mass amount of money; knowing this fact the company has decided to not launch any new products until fall and 2014. The company has to give the raging market a rest for a couple of months before they come out with something that will make the crowd go wild. The fall in the revenue has challenged the company to think of something truly innovative that will gain a higher popularity in sales than its competitors.

 The company did better than forecasted $39.2 billion; the actual revenue was $43.6 billion, exceeding the forecast by $4.4 billion. Apple had under forecasted due to past months revenue being over forecasted. As we learned in class, companies usually use naïve approach to forecast for their next month. Apple has been over forecasting since their iPhone sale success. Apple is not coming out with new innovative technology, their revenue has been declining therefore forcing the company to under forecast their revenue. This is the error of using forecasting because the company might not sell the same as the previous month because the company has not been able to come out with a product that would stabilize their revenue. In Apple’s case new product launches raise their revenue and place them on top of other companies.

 Many people are thinking that since Apple is not going to be launching any new products for a few months, the market is bound to fall. Samsung has been giving Apple good competition and now has been able to take over the market with recent launches. If Apple waits until fall to hit the market again with something innovative, will Samsung have taken over the market? Will Apple be able to compete with Samsung after staying out of the market for a couple of months? Only time will tell how innovative the new Apple products will be. Will the Apple products be able to beat the Google Glasses? Many people are not really sold on the new idea of using glasses as their cellphone but again no one can really tell how the market will react to products until they are launched. Before Steve Jobs died, he mentioned that his new invention was to make the TV remote user friendly. He emphasized that the remote was too complicated with so many buttons. This might be just the product to beat the Google Glasses or not. We all will have to wait for the next invention until fall of this year to find out.

Click here to read the article:

Sources: Gupta, Poornima. “Apple unlocks more cash for investors as profit slides.” Chicago Tribune 23 April 2013, Web. 28 Apr. 2013.


Apple Lacking Innovation? Or Master Plan…

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?

Will HTC survive?

HTC has been a leading competitor in the smartphone market for years. Recently, their revenues plummeted by 98% compared to last year. HTC claims this is due to the high competition from the market, especially Apple and Samsung. With the decline in revenues, it is only natural that their stock prices fell as well. HTC is struggling to keep up with Apple’s iphones and Samsung’s Galaxy models. HTC was supposed to release the HTC One smartphone in March, but they dropped the ball on that plan due to no revenues coming in and still having their fixed costs. In an attempt to hang on in the market, they recently announced a collaboration with Facebook for the feature of Facebook Home.

In class we had discussions that just because prices of stocks went down, does not necessarily mean that the quality of their product went down. The problem with the smartphone, and technology, in that matter, is that everything is fast-moving and changes are always taking place quickly. I have an HTC Thunderbolt smartphone, and there were extremely high hopes for it. It was a great phone until software started getting updated, such as different apps, but HTC Thunderbolt did not come out with a new update for the phone. Apple has a software update very often. Samsung has come out with the Galaxy and Galaxy 2 during the time that loyal HTC customers have been waiting for the update.

Part of the reason for HTC’s struggle is because they cannot keep up with the quick pace of change. That is one of the main complaints of customers.  This is why benchmarking is crucial. HTC does not need to come up with a new update every week, but they should try to improve their products so that they could keep up with app updates. I waited two years for my update. Before I received it, basic apps such as GMAIL, were not running properly on my phone because the app was no longer compatible with my phone’s software. My phone was essentially outdated. What did I decide to do? I am switching over to Apple and getting an iphone. Many customers have lost faith in HTC because they are taking their time with launching new products and updates.

A decline in revenues means that HTC’s products are not selling. In even a simpler way of putting it, customers are not interested. HTC is in big trouble if more customers start moving away from them and looking into Samsung or Apple products. HTC’s collaboration with Facebook is also up in the air because Facebook Home has not been fully tested out with customers. Currently, it will be an optional feature for your phone, but whether customers will want it is unknown. Before making this a permanent feature on the market, Facebook and HTC should run surveys to see if customers are even interested in something like this.

Do you think that HTC will survive in this constantly changing market? Is the collaboration with Facebook a good idea or a desperate measure to stay competitive in the market?


The Fall of Apple?!?!?

There has been tons of speculation recently about the way the most interesting company in the world, known as Apple, is headed. Stock prices fell below $400, an over 40% decline since an all time high last September. The company has not introduced a new product in over six months and it will be at least another three by the time a new one is available in the marketplace. Lastly, competition is rising as the  HTC One and Galaxy S4 are slated to be on the market soon which could lead to a decrease of sales of the iPhone. Apple will release its quarterly results next Tuesday April 23rd and the numbers are expected to fall short of Apples quarterly forecast, which will decrease the stock price even more.

While there is cause for concern, as with any major corporation, Apple does have many thing to look forward to with one of them being customer loyalty, great management, and near future product releases.

There is not a consumer base out there that are as loyal as Apple consumers. An easy way to prove this is look around any DePaul classroom. First of, the vast majority of students have some a Macbook as their laptop. A greater portion of these students also have an iPhone as their phone. Finally, I would bet that these students also listen to iPods on their morning commutes to school or work. To truly find a company that has better customer loyalty would be a task in itself.

Another reason that Apple will rebound is because they have great management. Many people say that Steve Jobs made the company what it is today. That is true in a way but the support and management around Jobs had to be up to his level as he could not control every part of the company. Apple did not become one of the most valuable companies in the world because of one person.

Many investors proclaim that the reason the stock price is falling is because Apple has not released any new products. That is about to change in the upcoming months as there are speculations the new version of the iPhone is slated to come  out late this summer. When Apple states the new iPhone release date, that alone will boost stock price. As shown by the image to the right, stock prices increase significantly when a product is released.




As we know, Apple has been one of the most dominating and valuable companies in the world. Recently stock prices have dropped over 40% and sales are predicted to fall short of the quarterly forecast. Many loyal consumers are waiting for the next big thing from Apple but the company is not delivering. What do you think about Apples recent struggles? Has Apple really lost its touch in the market as competition is constantly increasing or will the release of the new iPhone restore Apples value and investor confidence in the company?