Why you should care about Apple becoming the largest manufacturer of cameras?

Did you know -- Apple has single handedly become the largest manufacturer of cameras in the world.  The camera in the iPhone and the iPad is (more than) sufficient for most consumer uses of camera and video.    Apple didn't set out to dominate and transform the camera market.

I'd argue Apple's dominance in the camera market is a direct result of the introduction of the iPod in 2001.  There was no camera on the device.  In my opinion, it was the introduction of the iPod in 2001 that led to the rapid adoption of the iPod as a music platform in the minds of consumers, that provided the product and consumer adoption foundation for the introduction of the iPhone in June 29, 2007 and the subsequent introduction of the iPad on April 3, 2010.  

Canon and Minolta are the reasons why you should care about innovation at your company. The evolution of Apple's camera dominance makes me wonder what the executives at Canon and Minolta thought about when they first saw the iPod. Did they think that this music device would lead to the elimination of their business' revenue?  And what did they think about when they saw their first iPhone? And what do they think about their situation now?  I'm sure both camera  companies had smart and competent managers that just didn't see, couldn't believe that they were under such a serious threat by Apple.  And even if they did see the threat, what could they have done? 

These are awesome questions that if I had time, I'd want to go and interview the management and board of directors of each company.  I think this kind of market evolution will increasingly happen in the next decade or two as technology companies like Apple disrupt traditional markets.  And moreover, I think the rate of speed of the transformation of markets makes it more imperative for companies like Canon and Minolta to prioritize the search for innovation.

When one thinks about the implications of this market dominance from a business strategy perspective they are profound.