Razr WAS the New IPhone



A couple years back in 2004 when the Mortorola Razr was first introduced, it caught everyone’s attention. The razr’s unique, thin and light design made it stand out from other flip-phones. It varied in many colors, including a very popular hot pink color and everyone wanted one. Over time, new technology had introduced smart phones and this is where Mortorala ran into a huge issue.

When the razr hit the growth stage of the product cycle; they kept the same design but would add to it. It was a flip phone that had a camera, was able to send and receive emails, and although a bit slow you could surf the web. The reason they kept the design the same was because it was known for its design. People loved the Razr for that reason and it was known for being the best flip-phone out there.

As this product matured there was fewer changes made because there was not much that could be changed with the design since it was known for its cool look. This is where the issue was because touch screen phones were now a hot product for consumers and Motorola was behind. “We didn’t look at what’s going to disrupt [the RAZR],” Wicks says. “Someone else was. We didn’t invest in disrupting our own leadership.” And even when Motorola did try to evolve and improve, it met resistance from the all-powerful carriers. “We got caught in that bad spot where we were locked into our next-generation product lines and specs based on everyone saying ‘we want the same thing,’ and once we were locked in everyone started to say ‘yeah, but that looks just like the RAZR.’ Then the iPhone came out, and marked another shift in the phone industry.”(“Status Symbols: Motorola RAZR.” ). Motorola was not prepared for the introduction of smart phones and did not know how to approach the situation. While Motorola attempted to change the Razr people kept saying they want the same thing and when they got the same thing they were not satisfied. Motorola was stuck in place and people started switching over to other companies. I believe that it was contradicting information for Mortorola because when they tried to compete with other companies and also satisfy consumers it didn’t work. Consumers did not like the fact that the new Motorola phone looked the Razr but yet were buying smart phones from Apple and Samsung.  “A 2008 report revealed that 24 percent of new iPhone owners in the U.S. switched from the Razr.” (“Remembering the Razr: The Device That Snapped Shut the Era of Flip Phones”). Consumers were clearly interested in trying a new product that did not resemble the Razr. This is where Motorola should have come up with a plan that would lure back their loyal consumers who indeed loved the Razr. They should have strategized in a way to target their loyal customers as well as new consumers. They were at a great advantage because the Razr was a hit a point and their next product could have also succeeded if it were marketed the right way.

In 2011, Mortorola had introduced the Droid Razr Maxx and it failed. They did not do a great job of marketing and trying to get consumers to switch over because I haven’t even heard of it before. They did not market themselves well and were competing against Samsung and Apple both major companies. “Motorola learned that companies have to excel at engineering, design, and marketing, he says, or they’ve got nothing.”(“Status Symbols: Motorola RAZR.” ). It’s true, in order to succeed you must do well at the engineering, design, and marketing part which Mortorla did not do and for that reason they declined.


Have you heard of the Driod Razr Maxx when it came out? How could have Motorola marketed to attract consumers?




“Remembering the Razr: The Device That Snapped Shut the Era of Flip Phones.” Digital Trends. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.<http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/ghosts-of-christmas-past-the-original-motorola-razr/>.

“Status Symbols: Motorola RAZR.” The Verge. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2014. <http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/3/4798828/status-symbol-motorola-razr>.


Are Super-size Smartphones the New Tablets?

Over the years, the sizes of smartphones are getting bigger and bigger. Designers are beginning to create phones with the idea of the bigger the better. The best sellers for smartphones are the ones with the larger screens. The resolution for the screen is as high as 1080p. Smartphones are becoming the size of tablets. This means small tablets can soon replace smartphones by implementing it with the same functions.

For example, Android smartphones have grown in size over the years, from “4 inches, quickly followed by 4.3 inches and 4.5 inches, and now up to 5 inches and even beyond” (Tofel 2). Android created their products according to their consumers’ desires. The majority of the people wanted larger screens of “4.5 inch display or larger” (Tofel 2), which made using it more enjoyable. Most people use their phones for web browsing rather than to use it for calls. A larger smartphone means users will need to hold it with two hands. The convenience and mobility of using it with two hands is not a problem, because most people use it while they are sitting down. The majority of the consumers want larger screens, which is about 77% of the people. What about the other 23% of the consumers who do not desire the large screens? Android will lose about 23% of their consumers to their competitors with smaller phones available.

The growth of smartphone functions has made it necessary to increase the screen size. The more functions that are put into the phone, the more pixels are needed for the graphics to look visually good. Research has shown that most consumers’ ideal good quality smartphone are the ones that offer the most functions and has the largest screen. It is also viewed as a better value for their money. The dimensions of quality define this as user-based. It is the products with the desired attributes that satisfies the consumers’ needs the most. In this case, smartphone consumers want more functions and a larger screen. The product attributes only meet the needs of majority of the consumers. Android phones are designed to appeal to the majority and neglecting those who do not want a larger screen. The problem with this is that, not all consumers want the same product attributes. The quality is determined by the consumer’s needs and wants them self.  The product attributes need to meet the customer’s expectations for them to be satisfied.

As a consumer myself, if a phone can do more than other phones can for the same price, it would be considered a better deal. The size of the phone does matter to me, as it has to fit in my pocket for convenience. I would prefer to have a smaller phone than a larger phone that requires two hands to hold. My idea of a good quality phone is different from other consumers because it has to fit my needs. The quality of a product is subjective and every consumer’s needs and wants are different.



  • What is your idea of a good quality phone?
  • Is it true that most smartphone consumers want bigger screens?
  • Do you think tablets will soon be replaced by smartphones?



Have a Point-and-Shoot Camera? Probably Have a Flip Phone Too.

With the increase in technology, smartphones seem to be getting better and better. Let’s look at the cameras on smartphones for example. The iPhone 5’s camera is 8-megapixels while the new Samsung Galaxy S4’s camera is 13-megapixels. To make it even more convenient for users, these high quality cameras on smartphones also have access to various photo apps to upload and share pictures. These apps are often linked with Facebook, Twitter, and you know the rest of the list. Now with all that being said, are people still purchasing point-and-shoot cameras? Do people even remember what a point-and-shoot camera is? This huge craze with smartphones with all the features they offer makes it seem like point-and-shoot cameras are ancient. With the popular photo app Instagram announcing that their monthly users have passed 100 million, it’s safe to say that people don’t need point-and-shoot cameras anymore.  Although nobody may be thinking about these cameras anymore, the manufacturers have suffered from the neglect.

Olympus Corp., a Japanese camera maker, has caught on to the trend of smartphone cameras and the various photo apps and has decided to drop out of that market. Olympus has decided to eliminate its compact cameras which sell for less than $200. Their camera business suffered a loss in the last fiscal year through March because the market for compact cameras was so small, or even nearing nonexistence. The situation Olympus Corp. is currently in ties in with a topic covered in class: Quality Function Deployment. The first step of QFD is to identify the customer wants. In the age of smartphones, it’s safe to say that consumers want a phone that has numerous features which include a high definition camera. People want more things in one, which makes it more convenient for them. Why carry a phone and a compact camera when you can just carry one smartphone? Remember those annoying and somewhat unfashionable pouches for compact cameras back in the day? The next thing on the list for QFD is identifying how a company’s good will satisfy the customer wants. If people are wanting smartphones with nice cameras that have access to photo apps, compact cameras are clearly not satisfying these customer wants. As you continue down the list for Quality Function Deployment, the last check mark is evaluating competing products. Now for Olympus Corp., do they evaluate themselves compared to camera makers such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. and base these evaluations off which company suffered the least, or do they compare themselves to smartphones?

It seems as if Olympus Corp. is comparing themselves to smartphones which resulted in the elimination of their compact cameras. With their biggest business coming from medical equipment, Olympus has chosen to focus on high-end cameras with interchangeable lenses. Of course medical equipment has a whole different Quality Function Deployment, but that’s another topic. Do you think Olympus is making the right decision by withdrawing from the compact camera market? What do they need to do in order to succeed in the medical equipment market? Will compact cameras eventually be wiped out for good?






Olympus Reduces their Camera Lineup

As technology continues to advance, companies that are built around tech-based products are being forced to alter their tactics to avoid growing deficits in the market. Olympus is currently facing such difficulty with regards to their cheaper line of cameras. The fact of the matter is that cameras are now becoming mainstay secondary functions in phones, tablets, and the like. These devices such as smartphones are often offering more quality and pixels than the competing cameras Olympus offers on the lower side of the price spectrum. It doesn’t help Olympus’ case that something like a smartphones offers the ability to quickly share pictures rather than the more lengthy process of a typical compact camera.

As a result Olympus is reducing their product strategy by cutting the low cost option. Something like a camera is considered to be in the mature stage of the product lifecycle, and the standardized camera can already be found on existing devices. Accordingly Olympus will be placing more emphasis on higher-end models and reducing their product line. Their new objective is attempting to focus more on the differentiation that expensive lenses offer to consumers. Interestingly enough is that while lenses can be unique in their mechanics, they’re still standardized to be used for a variety of cameras. This means Olympus can put their effort into an already reliable camera design and construct more lenses around that which can be used interchangeably. Modular design is a simple way for companies to provide variety for consumers while cutting production costs.

It should be noted that it’s not just Olympus that is suffering in the market. Canon, arguably one of the most well-known brands, had a 34% decline in net profit according to the article. The same surge of profit loss can likely be said for any company doing business with stand-alone cameras. Canon to me seems like a company that focuses heavily on their expensive cameras and lenses, and yet they’re still suffering from such losses.

I’ve never known much about Olympus as their cameras always seemed to be low-rated when it came to their offerings for compact cameras. The article I read, however, really surprised me. Their biggest business isn’t even cameras, it’s medical equipment. I looked on their website and they offer a variety of devices for endoscopy, ultrasound, and so on. One could easily imagine that medical equipment is on the rise now more than ever before when considering the aging population.

Do you think it would be more beneficial for Olympus to completely cut all their camera offerings, and focus on their more profitable sectors (e.g. medical equipment)? Is there still a place for cheaper cameras amidst the evolving smartphone market? Could Olympus possibly offer anything for their expensive lenses/cameras that would cripple strong contenders like Canon?


Apple Lacking Innovation? Or Master Plan…

In the recent months, Apple has been the hot topic of debate for almost every media source. This can be derived partially due to its 25% stock price decrease in the past year, but also because of an increase in competition from companies such as Samsung. Despite record profits, critics argue that Apple is “lacking innovation,” which is vital for its continued growth. Does apple not understand what consumer’s want/desire? Or could their upcoming innovations be so groundbreaking that it just takes longer to unveil?

Despite popular belief, Apple produces almost none of the components that are in its products. What makes Apple products both beautiful and efficient is their ability to integrate the hardware and the software so seamlessly. This is done through their remarkably efficient and streamlined supply chain.

In my opinion, Apple tends to innovate backwards. Apples innovation can be described like this; Apple solves the puzzle first, and then finds the pieces they need to make their vision a reality. Apple’s size, power, and money give them the ability to do this, but the actual timeline for a finished product may not be so clear and defined. This is why an efficient and communicative supply chain is so important to Apple.

Most analysts would agree that the biggest upcoming feature on the iPhone 5S is its fingerprint sensor. This is not a new concept, but the way Apple will use it will be remarkable. The mobile payment system is the way of the future, yet is has failed to take off. This is not due less to lack of technology, but more because of security concerns. By having someone’s phone password, one could gain access to every credit card they own. A fingerprint sensor would basically eliminate this problem, and would allow the mobile payment system to grow exponentially.


Apple sold over 50 million iPhone 5s, so a small glitch in hardware or software can be detrimental. First, Apple needs to make sure the hardware is functioning properly. Last week Reuters reported this, “A supply chain source in Taiwan said Apple was trying to find a coating material that did not interfere with the fingerprint sensor, and this may be causing a delay.” Second, Apple needs to make sure its manufacturers can produce the product that keeps up with demand. Third, the software needs to be 100% accurate to prevent possible fraud. Last, Apple needs to beta test the product until they know it is absolutely perfect.

Personally, I believe that Apple’s master plan is much smarter and more innovative then any analyst can predict. Critics thought the first iPhone would fail because it didn’t have a keyboard. They thought the iPad was just a “big iPhone,” and no one would buy it. Currently, these are two of the most successful and profitable consumer devices on the market. Apple’s master plan is bigger than we think. Supply chain issues may slow its product cycle down now, but I think it will only be a minor speed bump in Apple’s continued dominance.

What is your current view on Apple? Are you continuing to buy Apple products? Will a fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S be the deciding factor on whether you will upgrade or not?



Samsung to Take a Bite Out of Apple Enterprise Market

Last summer, Samsung Electronics agreed to customize a version of their popular Galaxy S II smartphone for a health care start-up company that needed a device that would transmit heart monitor information directly to doctors. Since then, it seems that Samsung has officially decided to “play” in the enterprise solutions market. In fact, a Samsung spokesperson noted that Samsung has “made the decision to be No. 1 in enterprise.”

It seems to be a fairly bold statement, seeing as Apple and RIMM have dominated the enterprise market in the recent years. In fact, Apple was said to have recently passed RIMM (Blackberry) as the leading provider of company-issued smartphones and could maintain that position through 2016. (BusinessWeek). The overwhelming majority of large companies are testing iPhones and iPads for employee use.

On the surface it would appear that the barrier to entry in this market is very difficult, if not almost futile. How could Samsung possibly think there’s an opportunity here?  The answer is customization. Apple has a history of cutting edge products, but ultimately doesn’t customize ANY of them. What you see is what you get, and for most, this is quality product that needs no customization. However, Samsung sees an open door. So many companies are now looking for enterprise solutions that will best fit their structure, and Samsung feels it can meet these demands better than Apple or RIMM. By being open to customization as well as working with third party vendors to target specific industry’s needs, Samsung plans to fight to become #1 in enterprise solutions. The company is taking a good hard look at competitors like HTC and even Google, and notice that neither seems to be interested in the enterprise space. The business strategy seems to be to attack a market segment that has not yet been saturated.

Of course, to play in this segment, Samsung must be prepared for the new challenges it will bring. For example, an advantage of Android is that it’s highly customizable. However, it can be a disadvantage for the same reason, making it difficult to standardize security and management software to sell across multiple corporations due to so many different versions of Android currently available. To address this challenge, Samsung has already invested in designing its own software for this purpose which will make all Samsung devices operate consistently.

Samsung will have other challenges to consider as well. For example, the company will need to be sure to market to corporations accordingly to re-brand itself as an enterprise solution provider. Also, it will need to continue to offer a sustainable competitive advantage over time. Finally, resources will need to be reallocated or added to support corporations’ customer service requirements as well as to meet their customization needs.

How do you think Samsung will perform in the enterprise market? What would you say your biggest concern would be if you were the CEO of Samsung?


Samsung and Apple Duel in Enterprise Tech

Mobile Technology: a FATAL error

Mobile technology exists almost anywhere we go today. Whether we carry it with us or whether we just interact with it at work or school, mobile technology is a big part of our daily lives. But what happens when mobile technology takes complete control and affects the quality of our work?

The healthcare sector is one area where mobile technology is making a major impact. While hospital, physicians, and nurses have adopted mobile technology to help reduce errors, mobile technology seems to be doing just the opposite in this field.

More doctors and nurses are relying on mobile technology for day to day tasks. The technology is meant to help prevent common types of errors. However, some doctors have reported that there is a lack of control on these mobile devices. Doctors and nurses are using mobile phones and iPads to browse the internet at their own convenience. Anything from checking personal email, browsing Facebook, and shopping online goes. What is even scarier is that this is occurring during important surgeries and when attention should be on the patients – and not mobile technology.

Already, medical errors due to mobile technology have occurred. A neurosurgeon was making personal calls during a surgery. This resulted in the patient being paralyzed. In another report, 55% of technicians who monitor bypass machines during heart surgeries said they talked on their phones and half said they texted.

Some doctors are outraged by the abuse of mobile devices in the medical world. While some are trying to implement some kind of control, it seems to be a hard effort. Most medical schools now encourage students to use iPads while in schools. Some schools like the Stanford Medical School are even giving students free iPads. Once they begin their professional careers, it becomes hard to decrease dependence on such devices.

Personally, I think that this is a very scary situation. I understand that technology is just about everywhere, but to have doctors and technicians use mobile devices while a surgery is being performed – seems very frightening to me. There needs to be a stricter control system in place that monitors what devices can be brought into an operating room. Doctors should not be making personal phone calls while operating on someone and technicians should not be texting while monitoring operating machines.

With the types of quality control standards that we discussed in class (ISO 9000, Six Sigma, and the Baldrige performance) I think that hospitals should look at Baldrige criteria. One of the criteria in Baldrige performance is workforce focus. Workforce focus deals with the workforce environment and building an effective workforce environment. It also looks at how you can engage your workforce to achieve organizational and personal success. Mobile technology could be monitored by Baldrige criteria. By looking at these types of issues, hospitals could improve how technology in the work environment affects quality and success outcomes.

What do you think? What kind of measures could be implemented so that mobile technology is controlled better in hospitals?

Source:   http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/health/as-doctors-use-more-devices-potential-for-distraction-grows.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Are Smartphones Too Smart For Our Own Good?

Although the term is commonly know, identity theft is when someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person’s identity.  This is usually to obtain some sort of financial information or some other benefit.

In years past, it was common for someone to have their wallet stolen and their accounts drained.  However, today there is a spike in a new form of identity theft.  Certain banking branches are releasing applications that allow users to access their financial information via their smartphone.  For example, Chase’s smartphone application allows for the user to check their financial balance, transfer funds, and even deposit checks.   This initially seems to be very convenient for smartphone users.  However, this has become a very serious issue today.

Recently there has been a number of seminars taking place.  These seminars began in 2008 courtesy of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.  The seminars have shifted gears.  They are now strongly urging the protection of financial information as it is used through smartphones.  “Although smartphones brought great convenience into people’s lives, they also brought with them another opportunity for thieves to access personal data and use it to their advantage,” foundation Vice President Gail Cunnigham said.

After this statement, the article explains that this form of identity theft is taking place due to weak security by the smartphones.  “A study by Javelin Strategy & Research found that smartphone users are 33 percent more likely than non-users to become victims of ID theft.”  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to fall into that 33 percent.

The article expresses a number of ways to help protect yourself from this form of identity theft; one example, “protect your smartphone with strong passwords.”  This seems to be somewhat of a give-in; however, what part do the smartphone manufacturers, designers, and producers play in all of this?

Do you think it would be an ethical undertaking for companies such as Apple to make it a requirement that you use a password?  Would it look good on Apple’s behalf if you had to set up a password when you turn your new iPhone on the for the first time?  I know that certain varieties of Motorola phones have a fingerprint option for a lock.  Do you think this type of need or feature only appeals to people who might have “more to lose,” or would it appeal to the average college student as well?

If these companies were to implement a new security strategy, do you think it would be beneficial for them to zero in on, or forecast based on specific demographics who would see more value in the added security measures?

Here is an interesting video about this topic:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5_H9dxUO_g

Link:  http://bit.ly/RnqhFc