Amazon: sadly faced a rather large misfit, even in their core US marketplace. Their organizational resources allow them to excel as an online retailer, but are not suited to coming up with a marketing strategy that responds to market needs and conditions in the high-end smartphones segment. Customers want the basics (e.g., battery life and look and feel of the phone) to be done well, plus technologies that really add value (touching the screen with your fingers is more accurate and predictable than the 3D display that tracks your head’s movement) in a fun way. Amazon figured they could enter a highly competitive market with their first product and make a difference. That proved not to be the case. Apple made mistakes when it first entered the smartphone market, as the case study shows, but the difference is that they were pioneers and were shaping customer needs. They had the opportunity to come back with a better product. Amazon is a late-mover, facing serious competition from a range of firms experienced in the sector, and needed to get it right first time. It would have had a better chance if it went to market with a mid-level entry product playing to its efficiency strengths.
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- Fall '16
- Sandra Bernie