This week held some disappointing news in product sales for two hardware makers from different industries. Nokia announced its fourth quarter and complete 2013 financials, which showed an increase in smart device sales and a decrease in sales of basic mobile phones, which have historically sold well globally. Nokia enjoyed high adoption rates and market share when hardware was the most important component to a mobile phone, but as the smart phone market has shifted much of the attention from hardware to software, the company has struggled to keep up.
When Microsoft announced its acquisition of Nokia at the end of last year, the software giant spoke of it as a strategic partnership. Microsoft has bet big on hardware of late, not only investing in Surface, but also seeing success with Xbox One. Microsoft can still pull from Nokia’s areas of strength to regain market share including the hardware department, As PCWorld’s Mark Hachman points out. Many critics name the Lumia’s camera the best in the market. As Hachman notes: “four out of the top five cameras used by Flickr members are smartphone cameras,” illustrating potential for Lumia’s quality hardware to help drive sales based on user experience.
In other product news, Nintendo made headlines after reporting its third straight annual loss. The news raised questions about the future strategy of the company and its approach to gaming. As a hardware and software developer, Nintendo found success with Wii by focusing on casual games and developing a system that was simple enough for children and dinner party guests alike to enjoy. Unfortunately, the company has failed to keep pace with Xbox, which has focused on more dedicated gamers but also incorporated television, cable and Internet apps into the experience, providing a family entertainment hub. Nintendo’s casual gaming focus is being eroded by mobile apps – why buy an additional console when you can enjoy games from a device you already have?
Nintendo has continued to deliver quality products that have launched on time, but Modern Product Delivery (MPD) goes beyond that. The most important aspect of MPD is getting the right products to market quickly. As markets change quickly, no company can lock and load their strategy and make no room for refinement through validation and feedback. Teams must strategize, plan and refine continuously. Both Nokia and Nintendo have opportunities to improve their product delivery processes to better meet customer needs. The remaining question is whether or not they will.
Much hinges on how they respond to change and how empowered their teams are to make critical decisions in real time. Modern product delivery is empowering teams to have the right conversations at the right time and with the best data to do this. Learn about the latest trends in the Forrester Consulting commissioned report: The State of Modern Product Delivery.