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Managing Technology-Based Projects: Tools, Techniques, People and Business Processes by Hans J. Thamhain

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Chapter 1

Challenges of Managing Projects in a Technology World

APPLE IPHONE 5

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When Apple introduced its newest smartphone iPhone 5 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco in late 2012, it was positioned for success. “iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer device that we've ever created,” said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We've packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch retina display, blazing-fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think customers are going to love it.”

The announcement marked the end of an 18-month product development cycle that included intricate collaboration with several software developers, dozens of component manufacturers, partners and the iPhone fabrication at Hon Hai Precision Industry (also known as Foxconn in Zhengzhou, China). Indeed, the new product is state of the art. It is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, completely redesigned to feature the new display screen, the world's most advanced mobile operating system, and over 200 new features such as new maps, turn-by-turn navigation, Facebook, Passbook, and more Siri® features.

However, recovering the investment for product development and rollout of the new 16 GB iPhone is not without challenges. For one thing, the cost to produce the phone ...

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