Jul 17 2013, 7:53am CDT | by Deidre Richardson
Apple’s iPhone has always been in the spotlight, from its birth in 2007 until now. No matter where I go on a daily basis, I always see iPhones in the room. One night, I went out to my local Red Robin restaurant and I saw iPhones everywhere in every booth I could see with the naked eye. There was not one Android smartphone in the room, which is interesting when you consider that Android has such a large market share.
Apple’s recent WWDC 2013 Conference has ushered in a chapter in the life of the Apple Corporation that has not existed until now. Prior to the WWDC 2013 announcement on iOS 7, numerous renders and drawings that circulated across the web pointed to an iOS 7 that was more vibrant, more alive, than anything we’d seen in iOS 6.
At that point in time, I just believed that iOS users wanted more of an Android experience (Android sites would agree with this). Sure enough, Apple’s parallax/3D motion on the home page in iOS 7, followed by AirDrop file share, among other things, pointed to a more “open” iOS than we’ve ever seen.
Remember Phil Schiller’s famous statement of “Can’t innovate any more my (expletive)?” It seems that the whole conference was aimed at showing that Apple’s “still got it,” from the beginning quote on the powerpoint to the presentations themselves. Apple wanted to make it clear that it can still innovate and that its place in the tech world has not been overthrown.
At the same time, the tech world continued to tell us that Apple’s stock prices were in constant decline, and that investors were “losing faith” in our favorite fruit company. According to recent news sources, however, Apple’s situation may be more precarious than any Apple fan could have ever imagined.
A new document that has surfaced (the picture above) shows that Apple is interested in gathering iPhone sales advice from its employees (managers excepted).
According to the letter sent to Apple employees, the company wants its workers to present ideas over an eight-week period (from August to October 2013) and work with Apple’s Market Support team to improve how the iPhone is sold in its stores. The letter includes the following attention-grabbing statement:
“Do you ever wonder why Market Support hasn’t implemented something to better support you in selling or suggesting the iPhone? Do you have a thought about something that is missing in the store environment that would help bring iPhone to life?”
From these lines, it seems as if Apple is focused on in-store retail; at the same time, however, Apple seems to also be focused on increasing its sales. Think about it: Apple can implement changes in its stores, but this will not be enough to make people purchase iPhones if they 1) can’t afford to and 2) are interested in other smartphones.
The fact that Apple wants to support its workers in “selling or suggesting the iPhone” means that it wants to provide a store atmosphere that will entice customers. Everyone knows, however, that you can bake chocolate chip cookies for your five-year-old, but this may not make him or her eat their vegetables.
Aside from these goals, Apple wants each employee that is interested in participating on this team to provide a one-page response about some ideas he or she would like to see realized. The one-page idea proposal must be done “during work hours on the clock,” so that employees can be compensated for the idea proposal as they would be for normal work hours each week.
The end of the letter states that, even if an individual is selected for the cross-group collaboration over eight weeks, “your idea may not necessarily be implemented.” At the end of the day, it’s still Apple’s call, either way. That may not be comforting to the employees, but give Apple credit: at least the company's trying to listen. It’s a generous start.
Deidre Richardson is a long-time Apple fan and reports passionate about the latest Apple news and rumors.
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