The finer differentiation in a product , or a n innovative feature using the same building blocks can be achieved by creative Apps, without having to redo the design and go thru the debug-test cycle for the whole product.
THis is definitely a right way to design the products but as we know some times its not so easy talk to distinguish the users for products like mobiles. Users expect to see everything working fine sometimes. The most challenging part would be to invest money into resources to actually develop the right framework. As you advised taking support from engineering services companies can be helpful.
"The manufacturer has segmented its market into three target user segments -- teenage gaming and social users, office productivity users, and Internet browsing and voice services users."
Sanjay, I love this idea. However, such differentiation to attract customer segments is only practicable when you have huge investments ($), flexible and sophisticated machinery and smart human capital. Not every manufacturer can afford that.
Also I can think of a segment which wants all of them. I am talking about myself. I feel all of them needful probably because of my age group. Such a product, that fulfills all needs may be costly to produce, hence price inefficient, but certainly this would have a demand too.
@Sanjay: the process you outline makes a lot of sense: create building blocks of basic functionality and then differentiate farther down the line. I am finding there are actually fewer choices within a single brand. For example, I can't replace my current Samsung phone with a comparable model becuase they don't make it anymore. But I don't need 75% of the functions most newer phones offer. Nice to have? Sure. But for day to day, nope.
@cryptoman, you couldn't of said it better. These manufacturers need better testing before releasing their products. It never fails that after a new release somebody runs into some issues that the manufacturer wasn't thinking of, the user blasts the phone all over the internet and you have a huge failure for the manufacturer. Send these units to be tested in real world environments by the types of groups they're aiming for.
I've found really interest your post p_d; it allowed to get back in my mind how for example famous software vendors have developed in the past specialized communities populated by final users in order to increment products test cases before the launch of their final version. I am not so updates, but it seems that attitude has been moved for example on other sectors, not related to specific products, as Google projects for istance.
With whatever use case scenarios we may visualise while designing the products , a customer may still find some unique use case which is most important for his use , but has remained overlooked in the design stage.
The key to quickly be able to implement such added use-case is having modular software and especially avoiding hard coding of the features. That way any mix and match of the basic features becomes possible with minimum changes at the hardware interface and driver level.
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