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The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators

There is not much agreement about what makes an idea innovative, and what makes an innovative idea valuable. For example, discussions on whether the internet is a better invention than the wheel are more likely to reveal personal preferences than logical argumentation. Likewise, experts disagree on the type and level of innovation that is most beneficial for organizations. Somestudiessuggest that radical innovation (which does sound sexy) confers sustainable competitive advantages, butothersshow that “mild” innovation – think iPhone 5 rather than the original iPhone – is generally more effective, not least because it reduces market uncertainty. There is also inconclusive evidence on whether we should pay attention to consumers’ views, with somestudiesshowing that a customer focus is detrimental for innovation because it equates to playing catch-up, butothersarguing for it. Even Henry Ford’s famous quote on the subject – “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said fast…

Apple Leak Reveals First 'iPhone 7 Pro' Images

The iPhone SE launches next week giving Apple AAPL +0.11% fans the upgraded 4-inch smartphone they’ve long craved. But a beast will follow it…  
The beast in question is the ‘iPhone 7 Pro’, a new 5.5-inch flagship device that will sit above both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus when the three phones are released in September. It’s calling card? A revolutionary dual lens camera. And now MacRumors claims to have attained the first photo of it.
As you might expect for a device not due to be released 6 months, I suspect we’re looking at a prototype here but it ties in with the growing consensusthat the iPhone 7 models will carry over much of the iPhone 6/6S design.
iPhone 7 Pro leaked photo (left) and matching Feld & Volk render (right). Image credits: MacRumors and Feld & Volk
iPhone 7 Pro leaked photo (left) and matching Feld & Volk render (right). Image credits: MacRumors and Feld & Volk
Interestingly the discovery has also prompted aftermarket iPhone modification company Feld & Volk to release its own iPhone 7 Pro renders. This paints a far more compelling picture and the last time F&V did this was for the iPhone 6 in 2014 where it nailed every single detail.
Also standing behind the discovery was prolific (and highly accurate) smartphone leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer aka OnLeaks. Speaking to me, Hemmerstoffer was initially doubtful after trashing a less credible leakearlier in the day but went on to admit this “could be the real deal”.
My own thoughts? I’m personally a lot less interested in the design than the logic behind Apple possibly splitting its premium iPhone range into three models (four, depending on the pricing of the iPhone SE) and fragmenting their feature sets, which would result in:
  • iPhone 5S – Touch ID but no Apple Pay, 3D Touch or optical image stabilisation in the camera
  • iPhone SE – Touch ID, Apple Pay but no 3D Touch or OIS camera
  • iPhone 7 – Touch ID, Apple Pay, 3D Touch, possible OIS camera (not in iPhone 6S)
  • iPhone 7 Plus – Touch ID, Apple Pay, 3D Touch, OIS but no dual lens camera
  • iPhone 7 Pro – Touch ID, Apple Pay, 3D Touch, OIS dual lens camera
Yes, that’s a mess and is likely to create a lot of confusion. Sceptics would argue this isn’t very Apple, but then again look at the iPad range which currently consists of five – yes five – models: the iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 4 (the iPad Mini 3 is discontinued), iPad Air, iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro. It’s also a mess.
The iPhone 7 Pro may be even thinner than the iPhone 6S, but how thick its dual lens camera is remains to be seen. Image credit: Feld & Volk
The iPhone 7 Pro may be even thinner than the iPhone 6S, but how thick its dual lens camera is remains to be seen. Image credit: Feld & Volk
As such seeing Apple expand both its iPhone and iPad ranges to five models apiece would confirm a new strategy of trying to hit every possible price point (by using models of different ages) at the expense of its famous simplicity.
Instead I’d rather see Apple to adopt a simple ‘Small, Medium, Large’ approach of identically specified (or as near as possible) product lines. For example: iPad Mini, iPad, iPad Pro and iPhone Mini, iPhone, iPhone Pro. It would also largely tie in with Apple’s computers: MacBook Mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini, Mac and Mac Pro.
Then again Apple tends to be at its best when it surprises us and – based on the consistent leaks starting to appear – it seems the company may have a very big surprise for us in September…

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