The impact of short cell phone life cycles in Japan

An article in the New York Times (June 26,2013) describes the example of Sony’s Xperia Z smartphone whose life cycle started on February 9 but ended one month later after selling 1 million units. The dominance of cell phone carriers who use constant model changes to attract customers, as well as the use of separate design teams within each cellphone manufacturer for each carrier creates significant cost stresses for Japanese manufacturers. But nonJapanese manufacturers like Samsung and Apple have longer life cycles with more stable feature sets and seem to also be competitive. Is the constant product churn amongst Japanese manufacturers aimed at a different market segment than the stable long cycle non-Japanese manufacturers ? Will short product life cycles incentivize handset manufacturers to divide up features across product versions to entice continual purchases ? Given the rapid product change creates a barrier to entry for other global handset makers, is this a strategic supply chain feature to protect domestic Japanese markets ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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