The iPhone

Product: The iPhone

People behind it:
Name: Jonathan Ive (pictured), Scott Forstall

Jonathan Ive CBE is senior vice president of industrial design at Apple and Scott Forstall is vice president of iPhone software and platform experience for Apple. British-born Ive has worked closely with Steve Jobs since the Apple founder returned to the company in 1997, and led the product design team behind the iMac, the iPod and the iPhone. Forstall, who also reports directly to Jobs, leads the team responsible for delivering the software at the heart of the iPhone including the user interface, applications, and operating system.

How innovative?
There are always problems with Apple products, but people tend to ignore them because of the design and the ease of use of the interface and software. Early complaints about the iPhone’s cost, the fact that it does not accept non-Apple modifications and mistakes in marketing and customer relations have failed to dent its success. The iPhone’s real impact in innovation terms will be in how its interface is imitated by rival manufacturers.

Market success
In January, Steve Jobs revealed that around 4 million iPhones had been sold in the first 200 days since its launch. Although there have been reports of poor sales in some territories since then – including the UK and Germany – Apple claims to be very pleased with the results so far. Some analysts, though, suggest the company should have been able to shift 5 million rather than 4, and that many consumers are waiting for a 3G iPhone to be announced.

How it fits
The iPhone has been successful because of its sleek good looks and its ease of use. Behind it is an estimated investment of around $150m in a joint venture development program with Cingular Wireless (now AT&T Mobility). Announcing the launch at MacWorld in 2007, Jobs said that the iPhone’s “killer app [the functionality that lets it deliver a knockout blow to rivals] is making calls! It’s amazing how hard it is to make calls on phones.”

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