For Innovations to be successful in addition to them being desirable they also need to be affordable and interact with existing ecosystems. Just look at the original iPad; tablets and touch screens were not new but when you added the App Store and the interoperability with the iPhone it became a resounding success. Since the introduction of the Smartphone and constant refresh cycle battles between manufacturers the number of Innovations being seen is immense with major changes emerging every other year. The difference with the Smartphone market to others is its massive global penetration and hence any new Innovations suddenly get scale and can drive down the price point for any new technology which suddenly makes it reusable in other form factors. Just look at the recent announcements at CES and in the press this year. We have seen flexible displays, thermal cameras, earthquake tracking and the removal of headphone jacks to name but a few. In isolation these seem interesting however to be successful in Innovation you need to look past the obvious and look at the second generation use of any new invention. Most Mobile Innovations end up commercially viable due to their scale and in the enterprise, so just looking at the above you can see numerous uses outside of the mobile arena.
When you are looking at innovation in addition to deciding if you “play to win” or have a strategy of being a “fast follower” you also need to look past the obvious and suddenly a multitude of possibilities will arise and rather than just following the crowd suddenly you could become a disrupter.