Ecosystem, service and lifecycle – predictions for mobile in 2013
As the holiday season nears, the product launch cycle of the next new things is coming to an end. We are now tempted by a range of faster, thinner, lighter and brighter devices and of course they have bigger screens. However, with mature markets reaching a saturation point, stimulating demand for new devices has to extend beyond the simple creation of desire for the latest products and the industry must look at emerging customer expectations.
Today’s targeted device replacement cycles are considerably shorter than the products’ useful lives, therefore providing consumers with a user-friendly mechanism to realize the value of their old products is an important part of financing new device sales. Trade-in programs are here to stay, but delivering true value to the market requires reliable refurbishment, data wiping and greater assurance to the customers of refurbished devices.
As functionality has increased, the customer experience extends beyond the physical hardware to include an ecosystem of software, content and applications. Consumers expect synchronized mobile, tablet, traditional computing and gaming experiences, as well as integration between business and social environments. As if on cue, the rise of cloud-based solutions helps achieve that synchronization and also provides protection for the increasing value of content on the devices.
Finally, with new devices costing up to $700 USD without a carrier subsidy, the issue of repair must be addressed. Out-of-warranty issues such as cracked screens or devices dropped in water may not be the fault of manufacturers, but loyal consumers will expect more than a “not our problem” response from leading brands. An important extension to service and repair programs will be an easily accessible out-of-warranty service.
Today’s devices are tools for photos, video, email, social, mapping, gaming and yes, they can even make phone calls. Consumers buying the latest devices expect more than just the initial thrill of a shiny new package. It’s up to manufacturers, carriers and their reverse logistics partners to work together to manage the expanding ecosystem and address the increasing service expectations that come along with that yearly purchase.