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New Product Market Launch Part I

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Submitted By malaybiswas
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Executive Summary Tabby International is a startup planning to launch a budget category tablet in the market. By 2017 there is a projected growth of over 78% in the worldwide tablet market (Columbus, 2013). USA is expected to remain the market leader in terms of consumers and Asia, especially China (43% growth by 2017), is expected to be the growth market (Croker, 2014). There is over 50% difference between urban and rural expenditure in China (“China Household Finance Survey”, 2013). With an average tablet expected to cost about $416 by 2015 ("Average Selling Price Of Tablet Pcs Worldwide From 2005 To 2015 (in U.S. Dollars)", 2014), there is a huge potential to capture the budget tablet (priced 30-50% below current market price) segment. Tabby International selected US and China as their initial markets to startup with. The company has a leadership team with background in running hardware and mobile devices production. It has also recruited a team of engineers, and researchers to develop the prototypes. Tabby will initially sell its products through its websites and set up booths in key urban locations in US and China to launch and support its products.

Market Needs
Due to the value technology has added to the global marketplace, consumers are driving the demand for products and services that break the traditional cliches of working and socializing behind four walls. The need for a desk, chair, and office is being replaced with a stylus pen, wi-fi connection, and a tablet in the new fast past environment. Currently schools, businesses, and government agencies have found a wide range of uses for tablets that include but are not limited to teaching children academic courses to their parents signing and accepting overnight packages at their front doors. Businesses and government agencies have issued tablets to their employees to assist in training and development to in the field support with customers. The price, flexibility, and ease of use have continued to shift demand from desktop based computing environments to mobile devices. The demand for tablets is a new way of life that has potential to grow and be profitable in the long run.

Market Growth
As the demand for personal computers (PC) and laptops decreases, the demand for tablets and smart cell phones continues to rise. According to Hamblen (2013), PC shipments continued to fall in 2013 by 7.8 percent, the decline marked the second consecutive year of falling sales. Apple Incorporated, the tablet industry leader has owned the market for several years. Apple's tablets price range from $499 to $829 depending on the size of memory requested by consumers (Apple, 2014). According to Jones (2013), tablet shipments are expected to grow from 233 million (2013) to 1.094 billion in 2017. Consumer preferences are continually changing as innovations in technology and fluctuations in prices drive the demand for competition in the industry. Due to the potential opportunity for growth and profitability in the technology market, Tabby is pursuing the implementation and development of a budget friendly tablet. Its goal is to provide consumers with a favorably priced quality product while pursuing a major portion of the market share from the competition.

SWOT Analysis
The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses within Tabby and describes the opportunities and threats it’s facing.
Strengths
• Experienced leadership team
• Creative and ingenious product designers, and researchers
• Developed tablet prototypes that are at par with available alternatives, yet can be priced at least 25-30% below market average
Weaknesses
• Un-established brand
• Reliance on external capital to grow business
• Low distribution budget allows limited physical retail outlets insufficient for breakeven plan.
Opportunities
• Participation within a fast growing industry
• Decreased product cost through economies of scale and innovative product design
Threats
• Established and well-reputed competitors
• A major economic downturn within next 10 years can negatively impact sales targets

Potential Competition
The main competitors of the product are Google Android ™ powered tablets and iPad. Although tablets are available from Microsoft and Amazon, iPad is the single largest tablet by market share and Android has the largest OS market share in the world (Reed, 2014). However Tabby will take advantage of it by adopting Android as its OS. This will enhance its marketability among the existing Android powered tablet customer base. While most popular tablets are among the higher priced models, there are budget tablets available like Google Nexus, Acer ICONA (“Budget Friendly Acer ICONA B1-A71 to Compete with $99 Nexus Table”, n.d.) and Amazon Kindle. These have significant feature and quality differences compared to the popular models and do not own major market shares. This indicates customer inclination towards quality versus price. Tabby will bridge that gap between popular buy expensive models and cheaper models by providing cost effective models with alternatives for features and qualities in the current popular tablets.

Product Offering and Product Identification
The tablet will be developed on Google Android ™ platform and branded as “Tabby”. The initial offering will be in 6 variations: WIFI – Only, or WIFI + Data Network; each in 8GB, 16GB or 32GB capacity. Customized Android OS will be pre-installed on all devices along with standard apps for email, phone, messaging, chatting, photo and video capture. One of the differentiating features of the tablet will be a pluggable camera that allows camera to be placed facing towards and away from the user. This will provide the convenience of two-way camera with one device. It will also allow users to upgrade to higher resolution camera (will be sold separately) without having to upgrade to a new device. The tablet will be sold in metal and plastic bodies with a difference in price. Another key feature of the tablet will be a built-in microphone that can be used to make phone calls with VOIP service providers. The last differentiating feature will be 3 different screen sizes (7”, 11”, 13”) that allow “Tabby” to compete in the growing “phablet” market. At the initial stage Tabby will also offer 2 add-on accessories; an USB keyboard and a car charger.
Justification of Choice
With the advent of the Internet and our growing dependency on technology, mobility is a growing business segment. However the nature of mobile technology needs across the globe are just being tested and understood. Moreover widespread of mobile technology usage is still limited to a few regions in the world. This provides a huge growth opportunity in this segment. While there are many options like smartphones, tablets, smart watches, etc., Tabby’s decision to move ahead with tablets is primarily to balance the risk of introduction of a new brand and that of introducing a product that has not gained sufficient popularity. Regionally, the penetration level of mobile technology in these countries drives the choice of USA and China as the launch locations. There is sufficient infrastructure, demand and lack of adequate supply in both of these countries that will help Tabby to compete in the market.

Appendix A – Buyer Survey Questionnaire
1. What is your age group?
• Below 13 years
• 13 – 17 Years
• 18 – 35 Years
• 36 – 45 Years
• 46 – 50 Years
• 51 – 65 Years
• Above 65 years

2. What is your gender?
• Male
• Female

3. What is your education level?
• High School
• 4 year College Graduate
• Undergraduate
• Post Graduate

4. Which country do you live in?
5. What is your yearly income level?
• Below 20,000 USD
• 21,000 – 60,000 USD
• 61,000 – 100,000 USD
• 101,000 – 150,000 USD
• 151,000 USD or more

6. What would be your most likely reason to buy a new tablet?
• Lower price, standard features and functions
• Lower price (even if it comes with less features and functions)
• Better features and functions (even if it priced higher)
• I will not buy a tablet

7. What price do you feel comfortable paying for a tablet?
• USD 100 maximum
• USD 100 – 200
• USD 200 – 300
• Willing to pay premium for the right device

8. What tablet features and functions are important for you to own one? (Choose all that apply)
• Camera
• Battery life
• Variety of apps available
• Size and weight

9. Do you prefer buying online or in a retail store? Why?
10. How important is brand to you when buying a tablet?
• I’ll always buy ______
• I like to choose between a few name brands
• Not important. It’s the quality and functionality of the product that matters

References
Average selling price of tablet PCs worldwide from 2005 to 2015 (in U.S. dollars). (2014). Retrieved from http://www.statista.com/statistics/203769/average-selling-price-of-tablet-pcs-worldwide/

Budget-Friendly Acer ICONA B1-A71to Compete with $99 Nexus Tablet. (n.d). Retrieved from http://ibn.live.in.com

China Household Finance Survey. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.chfsdata.org/detail-19-30.html

Columbus, L. (2013). IDC: 87% Of Connected Devices Sales By 2017 Will Be Tablets And Smartphones. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2013/09/12/idc-87-of-connected-devices-by-2017-will-be-tablets-and-smartphones/

Croker, P. (2014). Forecast: Global tablet shipments, 2012-2017. Retrieved from http://research.gigaom.com/report/forecast-global-tablet-shipments-2012-2017/

Hamblin, M,. 3 reasons tablets thrive while pic's dive. Computerworld. Retrieved from www.computerworld.com

Lurie, M. (n.d.). Blue Mine Group. Retrieved from http://www.blueminegroup.com

Jones, C., Tablet market forecast to grow 5 by 2017. Forbes 2013, May 02. Retrieved from www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2013/05/02/tablet-market-forecast-to-grow-almost-5x-by-2017/ http://store.apple.com/us/buy-ipad

Reed, B. (2014). History repeats: Samsung helps kill iPad’s tablet dominance. Retrieved from http://bgr.com/2014/03/03/ios-android-tablet-market-share-3/…...

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