It is said that nothing lasts forever. There is a product life cycle that all products and services eventually fall prey to, even if it’s a favorite product with great market penetration. Case in point: in April, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was officially declared dead.
Microsoft announced that it will stop manufacturing Xbox360 and the product will not be available once stores sell out of current inventory. Xbox 360 was launched in 2005 – and it had a few technical problems (i.e., the “red ring of death”) initially. However, as of June 2014, the company had sold 84 million console units. The Xbox One launched in 2013; thereafter sales of Xbox 360 were on the decline.
In technology, all gadgets eventually fade, and are then replaced by newer technology. While Microsoft stated that Xbox 360 has meant a lot to the company, “the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are starting to creep up on us.”
Consider what other products might be nearing the end of their life span – and how companies should respond to the decline.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the various stages of the product life cycle: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.
- Discuss the diffusion of innovation: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.
- Show the blog post announcing the demise of the Xbox 360: https://news.xbox.com/2016/04/20/xbox-360-celebrating-10-years/
- Where does the Xbox 360 fit in the product life cycle? In the diffusion of innovation?
- Divide students into team. Have each team identify at least three products that fit into each of the PLC stages.
- Next, for each product that is in the decline stage, have students discuss how the product could be redesigned and launched anew.
Source: Washington Post, other news sources