Back in the day buying something and it being outdated the day you got it wasn’t out of the norm. However it also wasn’t that big of a deal since by the time the next big product was announced you already had your new stuff and you were happy with it, because you had it now unlike all your friends who had to wait on the next greatest thing to actually arrive. These days the game is a lot different though.
With ship dates being pushed back at an alarming rate in today’s tech industry, be it due to production issues, shipping delays, or quality assurance problems, almost every major product that gets a release date along with its announcement gets that date pushed back. That’s not even the real issue at question here, what do you do when you pre-order the latest, greatest, and best product there is and then a similar product comes out before your pre-order is shipped?
Things are actually happening that fast, gone are the days when the next best product is announced around the same time as the product you ordered is being delivered. Now new products are being shoved out the door so fast and so competitively that in some situations, due to delays, the next best thing is already being sold at brick and mortar stores by the time your product gets shipped.
Take for example the CloudBook, it was hyped up to the hilt all the way until its release date, then less than a week later, while shipments were still suffering delays in China, it was already being made old news by the new HP 2133. How do manufacturers deal with such adversities?
My best recommendation is to make launch dates and announcement dates a lot closer so your product doesn’t lose all its hype before you can actually sell the damned thing. On the consumer side you are stuck with the same dilemmas, how do you as a consumer determine whether you should go ahead and get what is possibly the subpar product or do you cancel your order and go with the new widget?
I can no longer base my major electronics purchases on the actual products because they get bested by competitors so quickly. These days I’ve been driven to base my decisions on which product I think more other people will buy or which product will have the largest community of users behind it or which one is from the more reliable, consistent Company. No longer can I make my purchasing decisions based on such arbitrary things as which product is actually the better product.
What do you think manufacturers could do to solve or help eliminate some of this overlap? Or, do you think this type of overlap is better for the market and shouldn’t be ended, but encouraged? Most importantly, if you were put in a situation where you had to choose between going with the product you’ve already ordered and the one coming out in a couple weeks, what would/have you do(ne)?