Obsolescence Does Matter

Conventional Wisdom in the Blogosphere (actually Conventional ignorance) holds that announcing the obsolescence of a product has no effect on sales, because it only matters to the digerati. The great unwashed out there don't know and don't care according to this theory. The contention is (for example) that when Microsoft announced that Windows Phone 8 will not run on current Windows Phone 7 handsets, this will have no effect on current sales of WP7 handsets including the Lumia line from Nokia.

How does this stand up to examination? Back in 2011 Nokia was selling more Smartphones than anyone else. However, they had taken Symbian as far as it would go and Stepen Elop announced that future development would centre around Windows Phone 7. But no handsets would be available for the better part of a year. Nokia made the announcement at a trade show and didn't think Consumers would notice and sales of Symbian handsets would continue to go well. It didn't happen that way. Consumers and distributors stopped buying and selling Nokia handsets and marketshare plummeted. It's known as the Osborne effect. You announce a new product that isn't ready for sale and it kills off the market for your current product.

Had Microsoft been smart, they would have announced Windows Phone 8 on the same day as they introduced WP8 handsets. They just shot themselves and their OEMs in the foot. Not very bright.