Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Perils of Forcing Mobile Market Saturation

It's been a while since my last blog so apologies for that! I have little excuse but a short holiday as distraction.

With the release of the iPhone 5, the Android vs Apple debate has intensified with both parties feeling more superiority than ever. It made me think of the perceptions of different company's and the impact of an attempted market saturation on this perception.
      Apple famously release a single phone every 18 or so months and this makes its sales success even more impressive. Their 'one size fits all' models have captured an audience and got it hooked. Considering the competition, it really is an incredible feat. Regular readers will know that I'm not the biggest fan of the Apple ecosystem and its 'no way out' virtuous loop but you have to admire their success in the execution of that model. HTC initially followed this model with the the flagship HTC Hero. This has limited, and steady success but they wanted market share so they embarked on an old-school Nokia process of attempted market saturation bringing out the Desire, Desire HD, Desire S, Desire Z, Wildfire etc etc inside not much more than 18 months. Does this cheapen a brand in the eyes of the consumer, does it confuse the consumer or does it give the perception of power for a brand? Could the iPhone be successful because it is the simple option?

So has this attempted market saturation affected the perception of the likes of HTC and Samsung? Do people look at both company's and too readily remember the perhaps negative experiences of their friends who used each company's budget models and automatically dismiss the higher-end models on that basis? Perhaps that was poorly worded but I hope you see what I'm getting at. I've heard friends turn their noses up at the HTC One Series because of a friend who had the Wildfire and didn't like it. They then compare the Wildfire with the iPhone being completely oblivious to the sizeable difference in price.

I guess there is a big difference between HTC and Samsung. Samsung is a reputable and long-established, wide-ranging electronics company, HTC do not have that luxury as they joined the smartphone race as a young company. Their meteoric rise and fall in stock has been well publicised and that greed of shareholders could well be behind HTC's eagerness to grow at a rapid rate instead of focus solely on a good reputation. For many the first impression of HTC would have been the budget models and that affects long-term image. However, the counter is that HTC would not be in the public eye. Is the cost of image repair less than the cost of public awareness? And is that completely outweighed by impatience?

I would love to hear views on your perceptions of these brands and if you view either brand negatively because of their budget models after market saturation attempts?

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