Mobile wave – An Interlude (India centric)
Here I pick three questions of major consequence and answers made after a special lecture in a conference on “Mobile Technology and Digital Education” last fortnight :
Q. 1. With the Mobile Wave sweeping the digital landscape can we see more OS/new designs ? Is it the right time to venture in to this area ?
Ans. My short answer to that is “anytime” is the “right time” for neoteric designs & improvements in this “Digital World”. There is general agreement among the players that “Mobile Ecosystem” will witness transformation and see more of software changes creep in the system. [To cite the most recent – just last week – SAMSUNG wanted to pre-load its “Anti-theft software” in their mobiles as a theft deterrent feature, ‘sui generis’ in nature, called the “kill-switch” which was strongly resisted and suppressed by all the five major carriers in the U.S.A. viz. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US-Cellular. That is the end of it, for now.] But the spirit of innovation has not been lost on Samsung or for that matter with other players. Further, Consumers’ purchase decision based on design, usefulness, & price point is more mature now. They are willing to try new introductions. In this highly competitive market, aggressive marketing will, however, be the key to capturing a good pie of the market share.
Q. 2. Motorola Razr i with 2 GHz Intel Atom Processor – Is it really distinguishable and will it enhance the consumer purchase decision ?
Ans. In today’s smartphone growth, the major features distinguishing them from one another are the following Foursome : (a) Being tougher; (b) Faster; (c) Longer/wider screen; and (d) Battery. INTEL, the processor giant though late in Mobile entry is still the largest player in terms of REVENUE (Qualcom leads overall) from processors and that can carry well for Motorola which is now owned by GOOGLE – a Big name. To fight a giant like Apple one needs strategic partnerships and this can play well in this case. For consumers it will be a blessing that such players are bringing more VARIETY.
Q. 3. Why the mobile manufacturers slash prices after any giant introduces new phone with attractive features ? For e.g. Samsung slashing prices of its Galaxy after Apple’s new iPhone 5C and 5S.
Ans. Smartphone users witness additions in features and capabilities (Speed, Memory, Capacity) in each iteration by every manufacturer. Acceptance of these is usually measured by Sales growth, which gives an indication of these additions are perceived as valuable by customers. General rule is that if a manufacturer adds new features & drops prices market is deemed to be sceptical. In practice, however, PRICE REDUCTIONS are the most effective instrument to capture the market share – provided the features remain effective between manufacturers. (This is the case now & so with Samsung). Everyone is aware that in the last one year we witnessed new OS emerging (MS Windows & Blackberry) and with it new smartphones like Nokia Lumia and Motorola G and even Samsung’s new models. More players in this field and with almost similar specs, PRICES can’t be held steady. The earlier one gives “Better Value for Money” the merrier he travels in the market. This is the case with Samsung. Product improvements must be USED by the consumers. Product must be VALUED by the customer. These are the two affecting Sales Growth. There are scientific ways of gauging this and in this Samsung equals, if not betters its rivals today. Samsung’s Sales cycle and Development cycle score well.
“Dieu avec nous”
December 15, 2013 – 2.15 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : “What matters is the JOURNEY; and not milestones.” V.P. Nike .