The Economist On Apple Innovations: Not Inventive, Just Innovative

from the how-you-put-it-all-together dept

We've suggested in the past that Apple's iPhone perfect demonstrates the difference between invention and innovation (i.e., there's nothing really "new" in the iPhone, but what's impressive is how Apple packaged all of it in a way that consumers find appealing). The Economist has picked up on this, apparently, with a cover story on how Apple innovates, where it notes that Apple isn't particularly inventive, but knows how to package up a bunch of outside inventions and make them useful. This is important, since so many discussions around innovation tend to confuse innovation and invention, and it can greatly distort policy debates when you think that the two are the same (or even that one is a proxy for the other). With that in mind, it's nice to see the Economist highlight the difference at Apple.

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  1. identicon
    suv4x4, 12 Jun 2007 @ 12:27pm

    On morons and overpayment

    "I have owned 2 iPods: the 60GB (years back) and the 80GB. Both times, when looking around, reading reviews, comparing prices and capacities, the iPod in question was the best choice...in fact, both iPods were by far the best storage-capacity/price deal around.

    It sure sounds like they marketed the hell out of lil ol moron me"

    It really sounds like it. What on Earth are you going to put on 80 GB that you can play within the battery span of the device? Hell, within twice, or quadruple the battery span?

    If I offered you a 4 TB player for $1000, would it make a better player just because it hits a better storage/price ratio?

    It's not just about the ratio of feature/price. It's about what this feature brings you. It's about value. Value isn't linear as you increase a spec into obscenely large numbers.

    I'm a proud owner of a tiny cheap Chinese mp3 player with a humble 512 MB storage, FM tuner, and USB mass storage interface. It costs $50. I'm using the damn thing for years and years with stock rechargeable batteries, and I never ever felt the need to cram 80 GB of content on it.

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