Hardware Updates: Who is really benefiting?

May 21, 2014

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Technology is changing our world. And with that change comes positive and negative effects on the consumer and the business. One of the more common technology changes that we have seen a lot of in the past few years is hardware changes. Sometimes you might not notice a change in an upgraded product’s hardware. But other times you can’t miss it.

The infamous iPhone 5

For example, consider the new iPhone 5. That charger looks a little bit different right? If you have a new iPhone 5 you soon realized that all your old universal iPod/iPhone gear was going to have to be trashed. For long-time Apple fans who purchased accessories for their iPhones, that might have been a little frustrating. But for Apple, it was a great marketing and revenue decision. Because now all the tech junkies had to purchase new gear for their new phone. And in turn Apple made a couple extra dollars off a wise product design decision.

Another example of a hardware update is Blu-ray players. If you’re familiar with Blu-ray disks you know that they won’t play on a normal DVD player, they have to be played with a special Blu-ray player. Some smart companies like Playstation capitalized on this new update. When Sony came out with the new Playstation 3 they were sure to build it with a Blu-ray player to reach that interested audience. In this example instead of the consumer paying for the hardware update the companies involved did.

So when there is a hardware update on a product who is really benefiting? And is it a wise decision for a product developer or marketing company to make? It depends.

Who wins?

In the example of the iPhone the company benefited from the product design change. Because the change forced customers to purchase new accessories. But they lost in the fact that customers were angry and frustrated with the new design and the way that Apple forced them to buy new products. But those people aren’t enough in numbers to do much harm to a company like Apple. As for Blu-ray players the customers really benefited and makers of DVD players were put in an awkward situation.

When it comes down to deciding whether or not to got through with a hardware update, our advice is if it’s cost effective do it. In most cases your customers will thank you. And in the event that they don’t, just realize, there is going to be a hate group to every decision that a company makes. That’s part of being in the business world.

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