apple perception

Apple’s Success



similar innovate dirty work
battle come out win/won/won
legal court (3) spend/spent/spent
fail feature the dust settled
touch obvious perception
pocket precursor home free
set (2) deserve buy/bought/bought
screen release salivate (2)
finger gesture major (2)
lawsuit campaign buy/bought/bought





Minute MBA: Three ways Apple actually innovates.

One: They let others do the dirty work.

SeaHan’s MPMan, the first mp3 music player, was released in 1998 in Asia — three years before the iPod came out.

The MPMan was actually a bit smaller than the iPod.

So why did the iPod win?

Because SeaHan and other early innovators spent most of their time and money in court, battling digital music lawsuits — not spending money on advertising campaigns.

Two: They wait for the dust to settle.

Released in 2000, Symbian by Nokia was the first smartphone. It featured a touch-screen and a camera. Another major player, the Blackberry, taught professionals the value of having email in their pockets.

By 2007, and the release of the original iPhone, the market was set, and Apple was home free.

Three: When all else fails, they buy it.

While iPads had fan boys salivating in the streets, the technology has been around for decades. One of the most obvious precursors to the iPad is FingerWorks, a finger gesture operated keyboard with a mouse very similar to Apple’s iPad controller.

Fingerworks was bought in 2005 — by none other than Apple — not surprisingly, a couple years before the release of the iPhone and later the iPad.

Of course, this isn’t to say that Apple doesn’t deserve to be the most valuable tech company in the world . . . just that innovation isn’t always about being first or best.

Sometimes, it’s just perception.

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1. Apple was the first company to release a portable mp3 player, the iPod. True or false?

2. What do they mean by “They let others do the ‘dirty work’?”

3. The iPod took the market from the MPMan. Yes or no? Why did iPod succeed, while the MPMan failed?

4. Was Apple the first to launch a smartphone? Was the iPhone the first smartphone? Why did the iPhone succeed while Nokia and Blackberry couldn’t?

5. Did Apple spy on FingerWorks to learn trade secrets? Did Apple conduct industrial espionage on FingerWorks to incorporate into their products?

6. Apple has been successful only due to its technical creativity, innovation and inventiveness. Is this right or wrong?


A. Apple products are very popular. Is this right or wrong? Is Apple a popular brand?

B. What do people think of Apple and Steve Jobs?

C. What will happen in the future?

D. Can you think of other product brands that are very popular and successful? What is their secret? Why are they so successful?

E. What can your company or organization do to become more successful?


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