Perspectives

Case Study

Low-End PC Segment: Assessing Market Opportunities and Strategy for Profitable Growth

Industry and Client Situation

For years, the computer industry has seen average system prices continuously decline around the globe, improving affordability and helping drive market growth. Nonetheless, computer penetration in emerging markets is still relatively small, and many in the industry believe that explosive growth may be unleashed once computer prices get low enough to enable the next 1 billion users to join the market.

Concerned that it may not be well positioned to become a leading and profitable player at the low-end of the PC market, a major computer components manufacturer engaged Bridge to understand and to quantify the opportunities in this segment of the market, as well as to establish critical strategic implications for the organization.

approach

Bridge leveraged its market-driven strategy expertise, combined with its experience in the consumer electronics space, to answer critical strategic questions including:

  • What are the future market requirements of the low-end PC segment?
  • What can be inferred from competitive roadmaps targeting this segment?
  • How economically attractive is the low-end PC segment?
  • What are possible alternative business models and/or go-to-market approaches that should be evaluated to create demand and capture value in this segment?
  • What are the potential implications to the existing forecasts and product roadmaps?
  • What near-term actions should be taken to effectively compete in this segment?

In order to answer these questions, Bridge:

  • Performed a broad assessment of low-cost PC initiatives around the globe
  • Created a new, actionable market segmentation for the low-end PC market
  • Thoroughly analyzed industry trends (by form factor, geography, price band, etc)
  • Developed a highly analytical 10-year forecast by form factor and by price band, based on methodologies such the Experience Curve and the Fisher-Pry technology substitution model
  • Analyzed competitor position, behavior and investments to infer strategic direction
  • Performed profit pool analysis and determined investment priorities
  • Reviewed and proposed adjustments to product roadmap
  • Proposed tangible actions to ensure successful execution

results

Our analyses provided the organization with a much more structured platform to further their understanding of the low-end PC segment, dispelling previous misconceptions about the nature and the size of the opportunity. Our work also unveiled huge strategic implications for the organization, which went beyond addressing the specific needs of the low-end PC segment, and included strategic imperatives such as: 1) realigning the existing product roadmap, 2) rethinking the R&D investment decision process, 3) considering adjustments to cost accounting methodologies, and 4) reassessing the existing manufacturing strategy.