Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin
I wish someone would inscribe the above on a baseball bat and beat it into marketing morons until they get a clue.
E.g. Apple has three iPhone models
and they sold 37 million units
for $25 billion in just the last quarter.
Yes it's a comparison between apples and denons. But the point is still valid. You need to have easily understood products at a few key price points.
You are taking selective examples. Apple has a computer line that does try to hit many price points. The MacBook Airs are at $999, $1199, $1299, $1599; the MacBook Pros are at $1199, $1499, $1799, $2199 and $2499; the iMacs are at $1199, $1499, $1699 and $1999. And those are just the base configurations. If you customize it, there are plenty more price points.
I don't disagree that the product line should be understandable. But having a wide range of products that hit many price points is still Marketing 101 and it's even more important in a poor economy where people are highly price sensitive. In fact, the web has made consumers far more price sensitive - people searching on the web will buy from a different vendor to save less than a $1. That's why you have such odd prices on many sites and why they change all the time.
There's one more factor and that is that the reputation of the top of the line drives sales at the mid and bottom of the line. So manufacturers have to have a wide variety of products. Nikon and Canon actually don't sell that many of their top-of-the-line DSLRs that sell for $6000 to $8000. But the reputation of those cameras drive sales of the rest of the line.
Personally, I do prefer simplified product lines. But companies with fewer products get less space on the shelf or on the web page and they wind up selling far less. That may be stupid, but it's reality. The only place that works is with esoteric products where price is generally no object. I happened to be at the NY Audio Show today. There were plenty of companies who were there selling just one speaker model or some single amp model at some ridiculous price: $20K or more. But you can only do that when you're selling essentially a Rolls-Royce.
In the end, you might get your wish anyway because most electronics companies, especially audio companies, are not doing very well these days and many have announced a cutback in the number of models they produce.