Taking a leap into the future

Cash, credit card or apple pay, are you ready to ditch your wallet?

appley pay intoApple Inc. Reveals Bigger-Screen iPhones Alongside Wearables

When CEO Tim Cook announced Apple’s digital wallet method in early September he didn’t go into great detail about the security aspects of Apple Pay. Although a lot of people may be hesitate on using Apple Pay it turns out Apple Pay is safer to use than ordinary credit cards.

This is how it works, it lets you use and store your credit cards just by scanning your phone. The technology that sends the payment from your phone to the register is called NFC (near field communication) it’s basically an antenna inside your phone that delivers short encrypted radio waves with your payment data.  NFC has been around for a while it has been used in Google Wallet, PayPal, and Pay Express.

It’s a lot harder to steal data from NFC because your phone doesn’t give up your credit card number; instead it uses a one-time use code that gets approved by the bank for every transaction. Even if hackers managed to hack their way into a store and grab this payment data its useless to them because a code can only be used once, plus even if someone where to steal your phone you can actually wipe all the credit cards remotely.

apple pay

Unfortunately not all stores that once accepted mobile payments options are accepting Apple Pay. Stores like CVS and Rite Aid have stopped accepting Apple Pay for two reasons.

  1. The first being is that they developed their own payment method called CurrentC, it’s designed to one day let you pay at the register without using your credit card. Wal-Mart led the effort to CurrentC along with Target, Bed Bath& Beyond, Dunkin Donuts, Gap, Sears, Shell, Wendy’s and many more have joined it. It’s really no surprise that none of these stores are accepting Apple Pay.
  2. These stores feel that Apple Pay is giving more power to credit card companies. Every time you swipe your card, retailers have to pay the credit card companies between 1.3 to 3 percent of every transaction. Apple Pay relies on credit card networks so if Apple Pay grows, it would allow Visa and MasterCard to get stronger and the fees would stick around.


  1. Do you think people will find it difficult to put trust in Apple, after the continuous iCloud hacks that have been going on with celebrities?
  2. Why do you think retailers are so afraid of Apple Pay?
  3. Do you think it’s okay for stores like CVS and Rite Aid to deny the use of Apple Pay even though these companies can handle the tap to pay technology?




iPad mini 3 is skating on thin ice

The iPad Mini could soon be obsolete due to the new and exciting iPhone 6 plus. Apple users have been waiting for a phone that could match the size of the current Androids in the market. However, the arrival of the iPhone 6 plus has impacted the future of the iPad mini. Although, Apple has just released the new and improved iPad mini 3, this does not mean that there will one day be a fourth.

Apple is in the business of making money just like everyone else. According to Motley Fool of Nasdaq.com, “Apple’s iPad sales have suddenly declined in the past two quarters after phenomenal growth in the first four years of the product category’s life.” Customers were originally purchasing the iPad due to its large screen size and favorable portability versus a laptop. Since phones have increased in screen size, customers have been purchasing these phones and leaving their iPads at home. The fact that iPad sales have declined in the past two quarters is something that Apple will take note of and forecast for in the future.

Product Life Cycle
In my opinion, I would say that the iPad mini is just entering the decline stage of the product life cycle. New iPad minis are lacking product differentiation. Apple has released the iPad Air and I strongly believe that this will be the future for Apple as far as tablet computing goes. Additionally, iPad sales have declined and releasing an iPhone 6 plus close to the size of an iPad mini will only discourage customers to purchase the iPad mini since the iPhone 6 plus has comparable size. The iPad Air is a much larger tablet than the iPad Mini and this gives it a huge size advantage over the iPhone 6 plus.

iphone 6 plus ipad mini 3

The iPhone 6 plus actually has a faster A8 processing chip while the iPad mini 3 has an A7 processing chip. This means that the iPhone 6 plus will run faster and more efficient. The iPhone 6 plus is also equipped with the M8 motion coprocessor, which is much superior to the M7 motion coprocessor of the iPad mini 3. The iPhone 6 plus has to take the edge as far as performance goes due to its upgraded specifications.

Since sales are declining for iPads, Apple will have to adjust their inventory and forecasts for the future to make sure they are not making too many. We learned in class that having excess product and not enough demand is a huge negative for a company. Finally, Apple will have to make the decision on whether or not to discontinue the iPad mini depending on what stage of the product life cycle it is in.

Some questions to think about:

  1. Would you rather use an iPhone 6 plus over an iPad mini 3?
  2. What stage of the product life cycle do you think the iPad mini 3 is in?
  3. Should Apple discontinue the iPad mini 3?









Apple’s Ruthless Supply Chain Management

For the loyal Apple customer, Apple can do no wrong. Apple reported Four million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus’ pre ordered in the first 24 hours. Last year Apple sold over 150 million phones.(Satariano and Burrows) The company’s success is attributed to their innovative products which have superior functionality and exceptional user experience. Second to the product is the supply chain management that allows Apple to deliver the high demand products on time to the users.

The iPhone is the most popular phone in the world, in order for Apple to produce and deliver the sheer volume of phones to meet the demand they must create exclusivity agreements with suppliers in exchange for volume guarantees. Working with its supply chain partners, Apple helped develop new manufacturing processes, some of which have been the subject of patents filed by the company.(Apple’s process,pars 5)

Apple is always innovating their products and they do it at no cost and without any consideration of the suppliers. Suppliers of Apple sometimes come out winners and sometimes losers. The iPhone alone has components that come from dozens of different companies. Apple has a reputation as a brutally tough negotiator with companies in its supply chain, demanding advanced technology at razor-thin margins, and it doesn’t hesitate to drop longtime suppliers with little notice, says Francis Sideco, a senior manager at market researcher IHS (IHS). At least nine publicly traded companies get more than 40 percent of their revenue from Apple, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.

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Audience, a mobile audio processor maker saw their stock plummet from a high of $22 a share to about $8.50 a share when their parts were left out of the iPhone 5 in 2012.(Satariano and Burrows) Peter Santos, chief executive officer of Audience says they struggled to replace lost orders with business from other phone makers because he had no notice. Apple didn’t tell him his company was cut out, and he only knew for sure when his engineers bought an iPhone 5 and took it apart.

What makes Apple great is also what gives them the reputation of being ruthless. Apple is very involved in all aspects of the supply chain management and it’s been that way since late Steve Jobs return in 1997. Apple has a lot of power and leverage when they negotiate the terms on parts, manufacturing and transportation, this in large is what allows Apple to make a superior product to its competitors at a price that is hard to rival and still make a 25 percent profit margin. The bottom line is the company is highly regarded by the end user. Apple’s ruthlessness is what gives them the advantage and keeps them in the green year after year. Some suppliers have begun to reduce their dependence on Apple.

Is the old idiom, business is business, always true? Is it okay for a company to have a ruthless mentality? When the end-users are happy and the company sees huge profits, is it all that matters?




From #Bendgate to #Hairgate

We’ve all heard about the infamous crowd of customers camping out for days outside the golden gates of the Apple Store, anxiously waiting to get their hands on the new iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 plus.  Shortly after the initial “new toy” excitement, it was reported that the iPhone 6 plus was suffering a design failure and bending while stored in people’s pockets.  This bending property quickly began trending on twitter as #bendgate and started a frenzy of “who can bend their iPhone 6 plus”.


As soon as the bending ordeal began to simmer down, a new problem arose with the iPhones.  Known on twitter as #hairgate, users are complaining that the new iPhones are snagging the hair from their heads and faces.  The issue here lies within the small empty seam between the glass interface and aluminum casing.  While iPhone owners are talking on the phone, their hair gets stuck inside the seam.  As the user moves the phone away from their head to put it down, their hair is torn out of their head.


Both the bending and hair pulling kinks are design issues that have no noticeable affect on the actual usage of the phone.  So what’s the big deal? Well customers don’t want to wait days for a phone that works great but bends after a few days of regular use.  Customers want a phone that has the whole package, software and hardware.

Although I think it’s safe to say that the pros have definitely outweighed the cons when it comes to the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the question still remains, why does this highly awaited phone have two significant design issues?  I believe that the answer lies within the operations management of Apple Corporation.  Somewhere along the deign process, employees decided to turn their heads and ignore pertinent issues with the design of the new iPhones.

The lack of design in the iPhone reminds me of the paper puppet activity we did in class.  Two sheets of green paper were noticeably damaged, however, not a single employee in the design process tried to communicate the damage.  Why? Well it could be for various reasons, but the most obvious answer would be the idea that someone else will take care of it.  Each employee saw the damage and brushed it off since it was not part of their job description.

Lack of communication occurs in the operations management of many companies, Apple is simply the latest to be publicly criticized for it.  Had some of their employees simply verbalized their observations on test models, perhaps Apple would not be obliged to replace so many bent iPhones.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the new iPhone’s design issues could have been avoided with more effective operations management? Or do you think this was simply an accident?