New products can either be an entirely new product to the marketplace, or more commonly are an extension of a product line or an iteration of a pre-existing product. One new product released in the past year was the iPhone 6S. This is an extension of the iPhone line in general, or more specifically the iPhone 6 line that was originally launched in 2014. The 6S represents some tweaks to the older products, but nothing so dramatic that an entirely new name for the product was warranted. Thus, this product is an extension of the older line, intended to replace older models of the iPhone, as anything before the 6 series is now discontinued. The biggest challenge that Apple had with this product was to differentiate it sufficiently from its other offerings. The existing iPhone 6 proved popular, and the 6S was viewed by the marketplace favorably as an extension. The 6S may have essentially replaced prior iterations, but came quite recently after the 6, so would not have enticed too many buyers. Rather, there are likely many 5 and 4 owners who felt it was time to upgrade, and made that move.
Another new product that was released in the past twelve months was the Samsung Gear VR. This is a brand extension of the Samsung Gear line of personal electronic accessories, but it is also an entirely new product innovation. . The Gear VR is a headset device for virtual reality immersion. The headset is primarily used for gaming and simulations. The Gear VR is built in conjunction with Oculus, a company that has specialized in virtual reality for a while. The device is equipped with a variety of features, but adds a new wrinkle to Samsung’s personal computing offerings, one that represents a leap into an area where it will not directly compete with Apple, or many other manufacturers, although Google is expected to join this business. The Gear VR, at this point, is a fairly significant innovation.
The biggest challenge that Samsung is going to face in marketing this product is to build out the applications for its use. The headset is a new experience that will appeal to early adopters, but the casual user is where the real money lies, and the only way Samsung will recoup its development costs. Thus, it has to provide enough games/simulations to go along with the device so that it will be able to entice enough casual buyers to add the Gear VR to their roster of consumer electronics. This will require, in addition to software, an informational campaign to make sure that consumers are aware of the product, and what it can be used for. A lot of people are not yet aware of it, or think of it as a niche product, so those perceptions are something Samsung…