Friday, April 29, 2016
One of the most robust electronics markets has stalled in its growth. Manufacturers from Apple to lesser known Chinese brands were selling smart phones by the tens of millions with huge jumps each quarter in shipments. Now that has stopped. The market is flat. Everyone who wanted a smart phone has one. Growth has turned to conquest sales -- booting out a competitor's phone in favor of yours. It is time for a change in marketing and PR. Apple, in particular, will need to learn how to compete in a commodity environment. It has long depended on the "cool" of its products with extensive features and functions to carry the day. Now it is trying to go downscale to appeal to the masses who cannot afford its high-priced approach. This could be a problem for the company, which has long depended on making new markets in which it dominates. No one is worried about Apple yet, but its stock is under pressure and questions are being asked. Every market hits maturity -- some faster than others. The smartphone had a good run, but it's over.