PC makers understand better than most manufacturers the challenges of operating in a commoditized market. Standardization on the Wintel architecture famously enabled the proliferation of PCs to the mass market, but left OEMs with little room for differentiation and constant downward pricing pressure.
In the world of wirelessly connected devices, similar market forces are at work. From smartphones to tablets to cars and consumer electronics, today’s buyers find the same feature set: a sleek touch-screen powered by a high-level operating system connected to a robust application market.
The combination of open source operating systems such as Android and Linux, chipset vendors that supply a full SoC (system on chip) with their boards and low-cost manufacturing resources in countries like China and India has significantly lowered the barrier to become a device OEM. As a result, over the last few years, hundreds of new manufacturers have entered the market with competitively priced, feature-rich products that challenge big brand manufacturers.
Whether marketing to consumers or enterprises, or selling direct, in retail, through channels or online, mobile device manufacturers are rethinking their go-to-market strategies and business models. Their goal is to compete with a differentiated user experience that can build lifelong customer relationships and that can generate ongoing revenue streams beyond the product sale.
This white paper is for manufacturers of mobile phones, tablets, automotive vehicles, consumer electronics and other wirelessly connected devices (in the paper, described as “mobile
devices”) that are interested in using their hardware products as platforms from which to deliver value-added services.
The paper describes how Mobile Software Management (MSM) can be used to achieve this strategy. With MSM, manufacturers can leverage a range of over-the-air technologies—firmware updating, application management, device analytics, policy management and Type-1 virtualization—both as differentiating features that can strengthen their offerings and as services to their customers. Readers will learn from case studies of how to successfully use MSM to deliver new integrated services.
Whether helping enterprise customers to manage thousands of devices in the field, or making a single consumer happier with their device experience, over-the-air software updating and device management services offer a strategic way for OEMs to differentiate their products and avoid the pitfalls of commoditization. In doing so, OEMs can transform their business and perhaps the entire industry.