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Many products in the market tend to have a life that will see them move from the first to the last stage. This means that they will decline and finally reach the obsolesce level. A product’s life begins at the development stage when an idea of the product is conceived and developed. The second stage will involve the introduction of the product to the market, which will then see the product undergo a third phase known as growth. The fourth stage, which is the most important for the product, is the maturity stage. This stage will see the product perform optimally on the market. Therefore, the stage is the time the product will rake in profits by breaking even. After the maturity level, the product will start losing its appeal in the market due to different factors. Different products have different life cycles. The study narrows down to personal computers, which are in the market today despite their predicted declining demand.
Personal Computers in the U.S Market
Personal computers, which are commonly referred to as PCs, are among the most popular products in the American market. Their appeal in the market is slowly declining. Personal computers have been in the American market for as long as the computer was invented. The American market has been one of the largest markets for the product. Most of the top computer companies are found in the America thus making it the top industry in computer manufacturing as well as the top consumer for computers. Personal computers in the United States of America are used as office and household equipment (Lukas, 2013, p. 3). In this case, personal computers are mainly desktops and laptops to a lesser extent. Personal computers are popular due to the different functions they can perform both at home and in the office.
At home, personal computers can be used for data storage such as music, movies, photographs, and/or accessing the internet. On the other hand, personal computers are used in the office to do an array of functions that have made the present-day office fully dependent on their use. The use of computers has increased in the last two decades with the production of cheap and affordable computers and the development of user-friendly software that allows computers to meet so many different needs of different users (Lukas, 2013, p. 4). The target market for personal computers in the US’ market is distributed for official use, which is the use in offices and other formal places such as schools, and for use at home. Therefore, the target market for personal computers is the whole United States of America’s population. All people of different ethnic origins have almost the same access and use of personal computers. However, people from less privileged minority groups reported a higher number for not having a computer at home, but having access to one at work.
Why the Product is Declining
A product’s market will decline after it has reached its maturity stage. This case can be attributed to different reasons that have been stated in the previous paragraph. In the case of personal computers, there are many reasons that are leading to its decline in the market, especially in the US’ market (Lukas, 2013, p. 5). To start with, personal computers are slowly outliving their usefulness in terms of data storage, which usually defined the purpose of computers previously. Computers were rated according to how much storage space they had in them and/or how fast they were in terms processing and executing commands. This therefore made them important in places such as offices for the purpose of storing information, as well as for using them to process different kinds of data. This situation is changing so fast with the change in the way data is stored and managed nowadays. The emergence of remote storage services such as clouds has made the need to have a big storage machine in the office obsolete because an individual can store his or her data remotely and safely and access it from anywhere on the globe.
The emergence of smaller and smaller computers such as tablets has made the need for personal computers unnecessary due to the compact ability and portability of the new types of computers (Lukas, 2013, p. 5). This case has made the need for the traditional personal computer unnecessary. Tablets are small, light in weight, and portable. Besides, they can perform all functions a personal computer can perform. The computer market is steadily shifting towards smart phones, which are mobile phones with computer capabilities. Their entry into the market has therefore reduced the demand for personal computers due to the efficiency that is offered by the smart phones (Dedrick, 2008, p. 5). Most personal computers such as desktops are not easily portable. They require a lot more power to run when compared to smart phones and tablets. Therefore, it suffices to attribute the shift from personal computers to the advanced technological change that is shifting the tide in terms of preference to personal computers.
Recommendations for Action
The first recommendation for marketers is to change the target market that they have all along been relying on for the sale of their computers. They should now target secondary markets that still need the computers (Dedrick, 2008, p. 6). Such markets can be institutions, which need computers but could not afford them previously. Therefore, computer companies should market them at highly reduced prices that will allow them to enjoy economies of scale thus still making a profit. Although personal computers are becoming obsolete, they are still relevant in terms the services they provide. Nevertheless, they are not as portable as smart phones and tablets. The marketer should exaggerate on the advantages that personal computers such as laptops have over smart phones and tablets.
As much as new devices are more appealing to the market more than personal computers, they still lack some functions that personal computers have such as reading compact disks, which are usually virus-free. Smart phones depend a lot on the functions downloaded from computers. Consequently, marketers should use such advantages to market personal computers and/or revitalize their declining market or simply maintain their foothold. The third recommendation is that marketers of these products should identify new markets that are yet to embrace the personal computers since they are still developing in that field. Such markets can be found in the developing countries, which are slowly embracing personal computers (Dedrick, 2008, p. 7). Such markets are still on the raising gradient of computer use of the United States of America. Therefore, it will be recommendable for marketers of these products to embrace the emerging markets, which will continue giving them the edge they have had all along.
The Best Foreign Market for them
The best foreign market that can be recommended for sale of personal computers is India. India is emerging as the latest technology giant with a huge market potential for many types of goods. The Indian market has been described as an emerging giant in all aspects in terms of consumer goods. This situation has been promoted by a stable economy, which has led to the emergence of a big number of middle class people. The middle class people of the Indian population is what is providing numbers in the emerging markets of India because they are a group of learned people with jobs that have uplifted the buying power of the Indian economy (Lukas, 2013, p. 8).
This perfectly makes India the best market for the transfer of the declining American personal computer manufacturers. The availability of affordable software and technology has made it easy for India to reach its hands on it. Previously, technology was very expensive to many people. Thus, the majority who make up the middle class could not afford them. India comes with the advantage of a huge population that provides the economies of scale. This makes it cheaper to manufacture computers in India because, as a populous country, it is able to provide cheap but expertise labor that would be needed to manufacture computers.
The advantage of a huge population makes India ideal because the huge population provides numbers of people who can afford computers. The Indian market is still developing technology wise. It cannot be compared to the American market in terms of saturation in consumption (Lukas, 2013, p. 9). The American market is saturated in terms of consumption in that making sales has become difficult due to so many companies selling in the country and/or due to many people already having computers. A saturated market is difficult for marketers to work in because it requires them to come up with new ideas to sell the same thing, which can be very challenging and expensive to do in the end. Therefore, when one takes this situation to the Indian market, open hands are already waiting. Thus, a marketer may just have to do the basic marketing, which is not expensive as such.
The product segmentation for personal computers in the new market will be selling new computers to all sectors of the economy that need them. The new computers in this case will be already assembled computers, which will be ready to use so that what all buyers need to do once they buy them is to plug and use them. Computers will be coming with the necessary software. The company will offer warranties that will last for a period as decided by the company. The company will also provide spare parts for sale because such markets do well with spare parts. Many developing countries’ markets prefer buying goods that have accessible spare parts because they prefer goods that have a long life, which can be repaired once they spoil (Dedrick, 2008, p. 13). They do not like goods that have to be disposed once they are damaged. Thus, a spare-part option will be okay for them.
Products’ decline in the market is a common thing that happens to all products as long as there are new products being developed, which are more efficient in relation to the older products. The most important thing for the marketer is to be in touch with the trends of the market as well as with the needs of the emerging markets outside the traditional market. In fact, whatever is considered obsolete in the old market might just be very new in the emerging markets.
Dedrick, J. (2008). Globalization of Innovation: The Personal Computing Industry. Boston: The Alfred Sloan Foundation Annual Conference.
Lukas, B. (2013). Why do Customers Get More than they Need? How Organizational Culture shapes Product Capability Decisions. Journal of Marketing, 77(1), 1-12.