iPad 2 provides an opportunity to demonstrate a value cycle rather than exercising a value chain.
What if you had a trade in program, where people buying an iPad 2 could trade in their iPad 1 and it would be donated to Public Schools.
The iPads are virtually new, less than a year old. The education solutions on the iPad are powerful, particularly in math and science two areas where the US is lagging. Finally, the program would do some good. Sure you can hand down your iPad 1 to family and friends or most likely it will sit in your house either as a secondary device or gathering dust.
Target, eBay and others already have trade-in programs based on selling new models, but what are they going to do with the ones that they take in? Sell them again or can they close the retail supply chain loop?
My question is why not close the loop – create a value cycle rather than just participate in a one-way value chain. I learned about this idea after reading Umair Haque’s book The New Capitalist Manifesto and thought that this is a great idea to put those thoughts into practice.
I may be wrong and a program may already exist, but what a terrific way to pass on technology that is virtually new, do some good, and demonstrate the power of people to make things better. If only 10% of the estimated 7 million devices were returned to schools, then almost a million children would have new tools to learn and practice on.
Its also a management hack in terms of an innovative way to handle the full lifecycle of a new product in a productive way.
Note: This is my first contribution to the MIX so if this is not appropriate for this forum please accept my appology.
Mitch, thanks for your comment and the points you make are valid in general and have been a weak point in similar programs related to PC's, peripherals, and other tech devices. However, I think that the iPad and Apple represent a unique opportunity which is why I called them out in the hack. First the iPad technology is only a year old and with an installed base in the millions Apple will keep them backwardly compatible for some time. My 2003 iPod still works, but you are right it has not video, etc. but it still performs well. The teaching software uses these basic functions and therefore would be viable in the class room for some time. Finally you are right that technology requires some support, but the iPad technology seems to be able to be end user supported to a greater degree than other devices, meaning that its possible within the capabilities of the class room/school.
The main point I was trying to make in the post, from a management innovation perspective, was that this represented an opportunity to close the consumer loop, which too often is open ended from manufacture to land fill. Eventually things need to be recycled, yes, but in the interim and given the potential annual hardware update cycle, this seemed like a good opportunity to try and build a closed consumer loop.
Apple did announce a program with Teach for America which is great. Here is the link http://www.teachforamerica.org/ipad/ but that program is aimed at one part of the world. There are a few others that I found, but not many.
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