The Future of Consumer Electronics 2015
At the Rotterdam School of Management MBA students Vivek Chaturvedi, Petra Doelman Sander Smit and Marco Tenthof have as part of their assignment for the course New Global Business Environment looked at the future of Consumer Electronics Industry in 2015. To download their full report in PDF please click here.
What are the likely scenarios for the CE industry in the period 2005-2015, in view of rapid changes such as digital convergence?.
It seemed as if the heydays of the nineties were back and the sky was the limit. Consumers were intent on replacing their outdated ‘stand-alone’ electronics equipment. There was a run on the market for state of the art, integrated units. Digital media adapters linking traditional TV’s with PC’s had been in high demand for some time but the all-in-one LCD TV-PC running Microsoft’s Windows Media Centre OS was beginning to take off. The gentle push by CE firms towards innovation in 2007 had snowballed into a pull from consumers for everything and anything to do with digital convergence.
It is 2013. The industry has realized that the mass adoption of connected home products is severely hindered due to the lack of homogeneous standards and open platforms. Although consumers are willing to buy these products and have already embraced flat screens, the market has not really taken off because of lack of compatible products and applications/ services. A group of five leading companies decides to define the standard together, instead of trying to reach consensus on an industry level. It works and other companies decided to follow the defined standard.
Less is More
After a series of terrorist attacks and severe floods, an increasing group of people became aware of the limitations of a society driven by materialism and individualism. It was widely recognized that these were major sources of the increasing political and economic instability. The widened gap between rich and poor was considered a prime source of conflict in the world. If rich people in the North would not be willing to help the poor, they would simply come and get it or turn to violence and terrorism. People also increasingly worried about the greenhouse effect and realized that a climate change could be disastrous for the world their children would live in. The anti-globalists and environmental groups strongly contributed to this awareness and gained more and more support.
The economic recession impacted consumer behaviour strongly, in particular the consumer spending on luxury goods and durables. This in turn put CE companies’ profit levels under pressure, lengthening the pay back cycles of previous product developments. Moreover, the dire straits in which most CE companies found themselves created pressure on budgets for new product development and the next generation of digital convergence products.