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Apple’s Product Improvement

Apple’s Product Improvement

Students will complete an 8-10 page research paper on a topic of interest in the field of Organizational
Development.(Apple Company)
Students may go into more depth in an area covered during the eight weeks. The topic choice for the final
should be based on intellectual or professional interests and the paper should address the basic concepts
of the course. This includes an overview of organizational development, dynamics of organizations,
organizational change, and interventions. Students may want to chose an organization and evaluate their
current Organizational Development processes. Papers should synthesize insights from readings, class
discussions as well as outside research (interviews, published documents).
Theoretical and empirical research is required.
A minimum of 6-8 peer reviewed references are required.
Papers needs to have an abstract page and should be 12 point, double-spaced, and should adhere to
APA style 6th edition.



Apple has annual product launches for its products. In September 2014, it released the iPhone 6.
This paper analyses the production process of the company with special attention to the iPhone 6.
The research paper has been prepared through the research of past materials that relate to the
iPhone company including research papers, news articles and the company’s website. It follows
the iPhone 6 from its earliest stages when the company considered improving the iPhone 5C/S to
the time of launching the product into the market.

Keywords: Apple Inc., iPhone 6, production process, launching.


Apple’s Product Improvement

Apple Inc. is in the habit of launching its products periodically. This helps to increase the
sales of the company without having to increase its customer share. For product launches to be
successful, companies must have a strategic approach for the entire production. Specifically,
Apple Inc. performs a constant product improvement (Mallin & Finkle, 2011). This paper
analyzes how the production process is managed to ensure a successful launch. Special attention
will be given to the recently released iPhone 6.

The iPhone 6

As is to be expected, iPhone 6 is an improvement of earlier models of the iPhone. One area
that has been improved is the screen size. iPhone 6 is slightly bigger than earlier models of
iPhone (McCormack & Plus, 2014). iPhone is also faster; it has been recreated to offer speed and
reliability. Third, the iPhone is also more sustainable. It uses less power die to its possession of
two accelerometers. Finally, iPhone 6 is stronger. It contains a better camera that is invaluable
when taking videos and photos.
Research at Apple is a continuous process. To be able to keep improving it products all
along, Apple has a method of ensuring that its employees are always research on new
improvements for the iPhone. This way, the company is always able to offer a little improvement
at a time (Mallin & Finkle, 2011; O’Grady, 2008). The company is also wise not to hurry
improvements. If an improvement will not be met without causing inconveniences, then the

company does not insist on using this improvement until on the next launch before which time
the company completes the research process.
The company rewards innovation. It is the culture of Apple to ensure that innovative
employees are highly rewarded. The company also keeps spaces available for new employees if
they can offer innovation to the company. This culture prompts employees who are involved in
software development to stay awake for days while they polish the ultimate products. Teamwork
is also encouraged. Throughout the research process, the entire team is aware of the need to stay
intact. They also stay on the ready in case someone needed to call a consultative meeting (Mallin
& Finkle, 2011). With self-driven individuals, it is very easy for employees to call others to a
meeting. This way, if an employee discovers something that is likely to make an impact on the
next launch, the employee may contact others for consultation.
Finally, studies show that employees are selected on a passion to work for Apple. Those
who are selected are all individuals who would want to contribute to the next product. For the
recently released iPhone 6, for example, employees may all have worked very hard towards the
improvement of the former devices (Finkle & Mallin, 2010). While all employees may not be in
a place make an improvement, they understand it is their role to make differences on the old
product by identifying weaknesses and ways to get of them.
Once employees discover something that can be used to the advantage of the company,
they introduce this concept to their team. The team then furthers the research on the concept and
probably identifies ways that this concept can be improved (Mallin & Finkle, 2011). They then
work together as a team towards the improvement of that idea until they are sure that this is the
best option for the company. The team then communicates this information to the management

of the team. This is now presented to the company in the form of a report and request for
The request for funding is often taken positively within Apple. While the company
understands that not all research projects will end up with something of value, the company
allocates each department with funds for research. This concept allows the company to take
advantage of the capabilities of its employees maximally (Han & Park, 2010). As these
employees study, they come up with ideas that may be used to improve the products. Again, the
ideas of the research are communicated to the rest of the company through a report. The rest of
the company by request form the management look into the report and either recommend or
oppose the content of the report.

Integration of the iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 as mentioned earlier is an improvement of the earlier version of the iPhone.
Once the various ideas are obtained assessed and accepted, models are formed with available
materials. Materials that are unavailable at the moment are also outsourced (Han & Park, 2010).
This having been done, the company tests the models created and determines which areas need to
be improved. If there are areas that need to be improved, the company goes ahead and makes the
improvements that are needed (Rogers, 2014). Since the releases are annual, the company is
sometimes in a position to make improvements to these models until a decision is reached at.
Once the final version of the model is completed, Apple starts to outsource the components
and the services of the new product. Apple outsources for various reasons. The most recognized
reason for outsourcing is to reduce costs. Most of the outsourcing is done in the East. In those

countries it is possible to obtain cheaper labor (Eadicicco, 2014). Apple also outsources to get
more expert services. It is generally accepted that those countries are also better in the production
of electronics.
For Apple speed is everything. The launched products are usually in high demand and a
slow production process implies that demand will not be met. According to reports it is much
faster to do production in the East (Heracleous, 2013). In some cases, Apple may opt to
outsource to get access to resources that are otherwise not available to it. The unavailability
could be as a result of restrictions by governments as is the in China.
Apple itself produces some of the elements that will be required for the manufacture of the
product. These include:

 The A8 chip which is the brain of the iPhone 6
 Software(first party applications and iOS 8)
 Music applications

Other elements are outsourced from different producers from USA and abroad. In the US
the company obtains the following elements:

 Radio frequency which is obtained from OR-based Triquint Semi Contactor ,Inc
 Audio chip obtained from a Texas based company known as Cirrus logic
 Controller chips obtained from Broadcom Corp from California and PMC sierra
 Gorilla 2 glass manufactured by a company based in Kentucky
 Marketing campaigns provided by TBWA

Apple also outsources from China and Inner Mongolia. These two Countries have an
advantage of owning over 90% of rare earth minerals (Eadicicco, 2014). Most of the components
that require rare earth minerals are outsourced from these two countries. They include:

 A vibration unit
 Speakers
 Glass polishing
 Color screens
 Phone circuitry

Korea and Taiwan are also major outsourcing destination for Apple. The World’s largest
chip makers are Samsung electronics SK Hynix. While Samsung remains the largest competitor
to Apple, the company still outsources from them (Heracleous, 2013). For the iPhone 6, Apple
has outsourced over 40% of its computer chips from Samsung. Samsung also produces the
batteries that are used in iPhones. Other elements that are outsourced from these two countries

 LCD panels and
 flash memory
 Fingerprint sensor chip and assembly by ASE, Xintec and TMSC

In Italy, Apple Inc. outsources a gyroscope from STMicroelectronics. This is the
mechanism that allows an iPhone user to rotate their iPhone vertically and horizontally.

China obtains the lines share of the production process. Foxconn is Apple’s largest
manufacturer and produces over 85 % of all of Apple’s iPhones. Foxconn has multiple lines of
production. Each line is capable of producing over 72000 factory workers. Foxconn also
produces for other companies like Nokia, HP, Nintendo, Motorola and Sony. It produces over 40
% of the world’s electronics. During peak periods, one Foxconn factory can employ over
230,000 (Heracleous, 2013).
Before the launch date, the company runs advertisements to ensure that their customers are
set for the new products. Complemented by the consumerism of Apple’s customers, the release
dates are looked forward to. Apple has often changed the focus of its advertisements. Initially,
Apple focused on the music aspects of its iPhones. iPhones are superior as far as the quality of
music is concerned (Bergen, 2014). This along with the music download service of iTunes made
the music aspect of iPhones a reason to advertise.
Recently, however, Apple has moved from its former idea to a completely new aspect.
Today, just before the release date, they advertise the new features of the iPhones. The recently
released iPhone 6 saw to the advertisement of features such as sharing through swapping, the
superior 3D camera, the slim architecture and the wider screen size. As always, the features
advertised mean a lot to the consumers (Diaz & Morrison, 2014). On top of the consumerism that
advertisement has brought about, the features could mean something to the clients.
Apple uses a variety of ways to advertise. The first method is the use of an advertising
agent to advertise for the company. The advertising agency is known as TBWA. The company

offers all the advertising needs of the company, including advertising creating adverts for the
company and placing them on the right platform (Diaz & Morrison, 2014).
The second method is the use of network operators to advertise its product (Hinds et al.,
2010). Apple creates a set of requirements for the adverts that are to be placed by the various
network operators. As these companies advertise for Apple, they gain a customer share simply
because of selling the Apple’s product.
The last method that Apple has used to advertise is through the word of mouth. Apple has
always hard a lower supply than the demand of its products. This has resulted to some form of
conflict between those who possess iPhone and those who do not (Hinds et al., 2010). The
conflict can be seen on various platforms for example internet forums. As these two groups
conflict, they attract the interest of those who had no interest in the beginning. This way the
company ends up creating a new market for its products.

In conclusion, Apple has developed a clear path on the way it creates, improves and
launches its products. This has been made possible by the fact that the company has laid down a
mechanism for making most of the company processes flawless (Hinds et al., 2010).
Organization culture within Apple is an important ingredient in the development of products that
surpass the expectations of the products. The company employs selectively only those people
who want and are able o make an impact in the company’s processes. These individuals are
further improved by training that shapes them with regard to the needs of the company.
Once the employees are picked, they join a highly innovative group of individuals.
Employees have a culture of being self-driven to the extent being able to call meetings once

individuals discover something that may be important for the company (McCormack & Plus,
2014). Employees are also highly encouraged to work within their teams. This enables
employees to consult and have access to a wider amount of human resource to their exposure.
With this it is possible for the company to annually make improvements to its products.
Improvement of products goes through a thorough process that is intended to produce a
flawless product. Moreover, the products produced by Apple are supposed to be of superior
quality. Apple sells its products at higher prices and its products must therefore be of high
quality that its competitors’ (Miller, Vandome & McBrewster, 2009). It is, therefore, very careful
when doing its research as to identify as many errors as possible before the product moves to the
product line. The company therefore chooses to employ all the tactics at its disposal to ensure its
The company outsources most of its services rather than creating them internally. While the
company employs the services of various companies, it also ensures that no one single company
is able to produce the products. The main reason why Apple outsources is to save time. It uses
the services of those companies that are able to meet its high demand early enough. One such
company is Foxconn. Apple outsources the manufacturing services of this company due to its
vast capabilities. This company has hundreds of factories to create the products. Furthermore, the
company is also is able to employ over 230,000 employees to work for it. With such vast
numbers, Apple’s productivity cannot be limited, hence, assuring its success.



Bergen, M. (2014). A History of Apple’s Product Launch Marketing. Adage.com.

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