Innovation and the Durable Goods Monopolist: The Optimality of Frequent New-Version Releases
AbstractWhen an improvable durable good (such as packaged software) saturates the market, the seller could be tempted to release new versions too frequently, hurting her profit. A novel contractual device, which I term as a Free New Version Rights warranty (free NVR warranty), can help the seller overcome this temptation. In a two-period game-theoretic model involving a monopolist firm facing heterogeneous consumers, I derive conditions under which a rational monopolist can act suboptimally: She could face a commitment problem and offer the new version, even if doing so lowers her overall profit. Profit is hurt because when consumers expect a new version, (a) fewer consumers buy the initial version, and (b) the monopolist is forced to charge a lower price for the initial version. I show how the free NVR warranty, which requires the monopolist to offer consumers the right to receive the new version for free for a limited period, can solve her commitment problem. This is a new, surprising finding: By bundling new-version rights with the initial version, the monopolist at first appears to be denying herself future revenue. I derive conditions under which this apparently unprofitable action is optimal, which is my main contribution. When free NVR is offered, consumer surplus decreases and social surplus increases. This work extends prior literature on durable goods and the Coase conjecture to innovative durable goods with network externalities. The findings have important practical implications for firms selling new versions of innovative durable goods subject to network effects, as well as for their consumers.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.
Volume (Year): 26 (2007)
Issue (Month): 6 (11-12)
high-tech marketing; game theory; innovation; marketing strategy; product development; product life cycles; product policy; signaling;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Sumitro Banerjee & David A. Soberman, 2013. "Product development capability and marketing strategy for new durable products," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-13-01, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.