It’s time for new “features” ?
Many consumer electronic products have reached maturity in recent years. What is left for companies to develop, to improve on their feature sets to differentiate their products from the competition in the market?
The magazine Popular Mechanics has since the beginning of the last century traced the development of “Faster Bigger (and Smaller) and Better”. It was predictable each year on year that products would become more powerful and offer increasingly sophisticated or quantitively more features that could literally “feature” in and advertisement campaign. The point is reached that customers can not differentiate any more in the quality of the display or the depth of sound. It was an easy sell when displays went from black and white to colour, or when the cost came down of a desirable feature that only years earlier was affordable to professionals or the most dedicated geek, the so called “early adopter”.
Now it is time to start thinking, albeit late, what products and services we need to develop that can tell a marketable message, that have enough value which people are willing to pay for… and how these products and services “feature” on the sales floor?
In their words:
Hardware- and feature-wise, cellphones have hit a plateau. The battle of millimeters in a rush to be the thinnest phoneis largely a thing of the past, and just about any hardware-based feature we want is now standard. That’s why, these days, a smart phone is only as good as its applications.
This is the new battleground for mobile technological supremacy, with stores such as the iPhone’s App Store and the Android Market leading the charge, and new entries from Palm and (coming in March) Blackberry close behind.
Just because a feature wasn’t thought of in a boardroom doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. All it takes is a good idea and a standard development kit.