While the framework that Kim and Mauborgne (2004) outline may seem simple to understand..

While the framework that Kim and Mauborgne (2004) outline may seem simple to understand, it is very difficult to implement. In part, it is very difficult for companies to do new things, or to do things in new ways, because inertia is real in all organisations.

This unit’s Shared Activity has been designed to help you evaluate innovation strategies in the marketplace, through traditional innovation life-cycle frameworks, and through the more holistic blue ocean framework outlined by Kim and Mauborgne (2004). Think carefully, and fully, about potential ways that an organisation might do things in a fundamentally different way to meet its customers’ or new customers’ needs – given its particular skills and capabilities.

Companies in the global mobile communications industry must continuously innovate or risk losing customers. A smartphone is an example of this type of innovation. These devices use an operating system that has advanced computing and connectivity capability. These advances have shown the strongest growth in mobile sales in recent years. They also allow for greater access to mobile computing for users who do not have access to computers or Internet technology.

As mobile companies pursue new applications, they also seek to enhance the technical specifications of their phones. Companies are currently engaged in planning for future generation wireless systems. At some point, the number of mobile subscriptions will exceed the total number of people in the world.

Consider companies that have introduced smartphones and tablets. These companies strive to create innovative products that support a variety of information, communication and entertainment applications that will attract loyal customers. Some smartphones and tablets (or even ‘phrablets’) become successful in the marketplace, while others languish. Also consider the ESG aspects of each company’s overall strategy.

§ Select a minimum of two, three if possible, of the major corporations from the global mobile communications manufacturing industry (i.e., who are designing, manufacturing or having proprietary mobile communications devices made in their name)

§ Search the UoRL Library for scholarly sources and the online business and technology press for articles on companies in the global mobile communications manufacturing market. Be sure to cover the past 10 years.

§ Using the frameworks of Pitt and Koufopoulos (2012) and Kim and Mauborgne (2004) as a minimum, consider the innovation strategies that your selected smartphone or tablet manufacturers have followed.

§ Conduct a thorough and well-argued analysis of the past 10 years of innovation for your selected companies (particularly relative to one another), which explains the evolution of the industry through the lenses of both traditional and blue ocean innovative strategy frameworks.

§ Based on your analysis, provide a cogent argument on which company or companies you think are best positioned strategically (based on their innovative capabilities) to make the next important steps in the industry and to be most successful. Be sure to clearly argue how you have reached your conclusions and why you think they are appropriate.

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