Fractal Product

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Apple Computer's product and feature release cycle is fractal-like[1]. The iPhone was released an a direct response to the complexity of existing mobile devices. Jobs' keynote speech announcing the iPhone showed rows of phones with many buttons and interface elements.[2] He dissolved those interfaces with a single screen and one sensor - the accelerometer. The allowed the iPhone device to take on the form of many other devices from sensors to games, books and whoopee cushions. The first iPhone was a simple set of capabilities, and each version increased in complexity until the phone became a bundle of sensors accessible by a small glass screen and reachable by other external wearable devices.

Apple innovation cycle resembles a fractal S-wave of innovation in which a simple object is released at a high expense for a limited audience, and then a more complex object is introduced more cheaply because the supply chains are set up to produce the more complex items at a lower cost.

Apple also utilizes multiple  levels  of  aesthetics  within  a  systems and objects. Stores, packaging, programs, apps, customer support are all self-referential.


  1. The fractal product curve greatly resembles the cycling of a Julia fractal set. Julia sets are generated by the formula z=z^2+c,where c is a complex parameter and correspond to areas outside the Mandlebrot set curve. Julia sets are created by shifting around the outside of a Mandlebrot set. T=30
  2. Jobs, Steve. Keynote at Macworld Conference & Expo 2007. Posted to YouTube by taro yamada 20 Jan 2011. Accessed 28 Jan 2013. 5:40.