Supply Chain Matters has been calling attention to pertinent industry examples of how agile new product development and introduction (NPI) efforts are critically linked to the ability to integrate end-to-end supply chain fulfillment strategies with new product plans.
Today brings an important example in consumer electronics, namely the competitive battle among Samsung and Apple in the smartphones arena.
Readers will recall from our prior update on Apple’s current iPhone 6 product ramp-upand market introduction, that Apple’s prior plans to launch the two new models of smartphones concurrently within China were postponed. Apple communicated this last-minute decision to delay availability to the three state-owned mobile service providers even though these carriers had already queued advertising and launch campaigns. Increased speculation across Wall Street and business media corridors is that China’s regulators are still voicing concerns regarding national security associated with the iPhone itself.
Today, rival Samsung attempted to take advantage of that situation and announced that its new Galaxy Note 4 smartphone, which features a slightly larger screen, compared to the iPhone 6 Plus will go on sale in China later this month. According to a report from global business network CNBC, all three Chinese mobile carriers will release the large screen Samsung model smartphone before the end of this month offering Chinese smartphone consumers a potential alternative choice.
Further noted is that the Samsung announcement marks the first time the consumer electronics provider has chosen to release a flagship smartphone in China before other major global markets. As a supply chain community, we can all vision how Samsung’s supply chain planning, fulfillment and product teams had to scramble because of the decision to move the product launch ahead one month and to target China.
It is yet another today example of the increased informational and NPI decision-making dependencies across the extended supply chain, with the ability to ascertain unplanned impacts across the supply chain business network.