Life and death of pagers

Posted by: | February 22, 2011 | 4 Comments

When I decide to write something about product life cycle, I began to ask myself: what kind of product has a short life cycle? Then it suddenly occurs to me that these little black pagers were once very popular when I was a child, but now they almost vanish from the mainstream market.

The introduction stage of pagers occurred in 1950s, and the earliest innovators are hospitals which use pagers as a means to sending messages to nurses. At that time, pagers are not available for the general public.

In 1980s, the pager industry enters the growth stage. During that period, there were 3.2 millions pager users all over the world, yet most of them are medical users. The pagers gained popularity mainly because of their portability and timeliness (when delivering messages.)

The early 1990s is considered as the maturity stage of pagers. By 1994, there are 64 million pager users all over the world, which is 20 times than ten years ago. On one hand, the competition in pager industry became intense. Main brands such as Motorolla and Apollo competed against each other to gain greater market shares. On the other hand, using pagers became a fashion. I can still recall how jealous I was when I heard the beep from my friends’ pagers.

In late 1990s, however, the advent of mobile phones totally ruined the pagers industry. When direct talk was available, people soon stopped using pagers. The decline stage did not stay long until pagers exit the mainstream market. However, one of the most famous company in pager industry, Motorolla, successfully established itself in the cell phone industry. I think it clearly shows how important it is to be innovative and reposition yourself.

It is a little bit sad that the tween generation probably never heard of pagers. But the beeper sound was all over here in the time when I grew up. It makes me feel so old….


4 Comments so far

  1. kaylin on July 21, 2011 11:47 pm

    Im 14 now and …to tell you the truth I wish I wish I had a pager Idk why but they just seem so flippen AWESOME! anyway I always liked the classics its so kewl I even have a gameboy haha I know most of my friends think its lame but I dont care:) and I wouldnt think your old if grew up in the time of beepers I like to think of most people as rich wine getting finer with age and that just makes you more interesting bcuz now you have really sweet stories to tell
    send me a friend request at Facebook if u wanna contact me–Kaylin Walters, lives in Shiprock NM and has a RED HAIR!!:D

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