Consumer Electronics are the new “IT” girl of Silicon Valley. Everyone wants to make mp3 players, phones and god knows what. Given that commoditization of components is running rampant, the barriers to entry are not as high they used to be say ten years ago. Getting IN is easy, staying there, however is difficult. Virgin Electronics despite a well known has left with a bloody nose, humbled by a one-two jab from Apple’s iPod. Gateway tried and back pedaled in its CE foray. And now there is news that HP is pulling the plug on its h6315 Pocket PC phone, after users complained of many problems, and the company could not offer support to its customer T-Mobile. This is a lesson for everyone else – consumer electronics and mobile phones business is not about just selling devices; its about after sales service and a great consumer experience. Its not selling PCs where most of us expect a mediocre experience. I expect more flame outs in the CE space. Also read, why Silicon Valley doesn’t really understand the consumers.
3 thoughts on “CE is not that easy”
I completely concur on this point. The quality and user experience have taken a backseat in the rush to get to market. And most technologists I know don’t know a thing about doing a consumer product – they are so caught up in the coolness of a technology as well as cramping in features after features. Even Palm has done the same mistake – in recent times with Treo 650, the product wasn’t simply ready for primetime.
explain why you think treo 650 wasn’t ready for prime time? i am interested in learning. I had the same sneaking suspicion that it was rushed to the market. but that’s just me.
I have had a handful of people ( and most of them avid Palm fans) having trouble with those devices and some of them even returned the devices – mostly the problems seem to be around telephony and SDIO. In my view, a lot more carrier and user testing should have been done. Treo650 was just an evolutionary product, and we shouldn’t have to expect those kind of problems.