Product Failures of the 21st Century

Topics: HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc, DVD Pages: 8 (3184 words) Published: March 22, 2014
 NEW PRODUCTS MANAGEMENT Essay :

According to Cincinnati based research agency AcuPoll, as many of 95% of new products fail each year. So product failure is a pretty common occurrence, but some are more memorable than others based on how much the public anticipated the launch of these products. Some products that were predicted as the next big trend but inexplicably failed represent the kind of famous downfalls we are talking about here. There has been many throughout recent decades such as Apple Newton, new Coke or the Delorean car. In this essay, we are going to analyse one of the biggest product failures of the 21th century the High Density Digital Versatile Disc (HD DVD). We will first present the product and the marketing strategy used for this product before explaining how and why it flopped. We will then discuss what steps could have been done in order for it to have become successful. In 1996, Shuji Nakamura invented the blue laser diode which enables to attain a higher quality of vision. Therefore, from this discovery the world could watch TV in « High definition ». Scientifically speaking, blue lasers have a wavelength which is shorter than the red lasers used in standard DVDs. Therefore, this new technology expanded the DVD's cpacity and allowed to have a higher image quality. In early 2000s, two projects were created in order to build a High definition DVD. Sony started a project called Blu-Ray which will later be the name of the product they would develop. Toshiba replicated with a project whose goal was to create a product which would later be called HD DVD. Its project was supported by Microsoft, NEC and Intel. On April 18, 2006 in the United States, Toshiba launched the first HD DVD players . It was priced between $499 and $799. The price varied depending on the quality of the image delivered . On the same day Warner Home studios and Universal studios released the first HD DVD movies (notably The Last Samurai and One million Dollar Baby). The features of the HD DVD movie and players was that it could deliver three types of High definition image : 720p, 1080i and 1080p ; the latter being the highest. Its size was the same than the original DVD as it had a 12 cm diameter.

Its storage capacity was either 15GB for a single layer HD DVD or 30 GB for a dual layer. This was considered a major improvement compared to the old standard DVD who only stored 5GB per layer. Soon afterwards, the first Blu-ray movies were released in June 20, 2006. Thus started what is now called the « high definition optical disc format war ». HD DVD was an expensive product and as it was required to buy an adapted HD DVD player as well it was considered as a luxurious product, so Toshiba targeted wealthy customers as well as film admirers who were keen to switch to HD TV. By these assumptions, we could say the age span of the customers would be between 15 to 60 years old both male and female as more elderly customers would not want to switch to new technology this early. These types of customers did not take long to adopt the idea of watching an image in high definition, you can imagine that once they knew that you could watch movies in the highest quality possible with a great sound system, they were impatient to acquire this new technology. The question was why did consumers adopt the technology so quickly? Some were interviewed at the CNET and said that it was « as if you were sitting there watching the action, the image is so sharp », « you have clear images, it is better all around » or « it is more detailed more realistic, the bigger the TV the better the experience ». In terms of geographic location, Toshiba targeted mainly developed countries where they knew that a high percentage of the population would be able to afford switching to this new technology. At the...
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