All good things must come to an end, and those electronic components you love so much are no exception. Watching sought-after electronic components slowly disappear into a blackhole, rarely to be seen again, could be tough. But unfortunately, that is what a product’s life cycle is all about, and End–of–Life (EOL) is the final stage.
EOL doesn’t always necessarily mean a product is going to disappear from the face of the Earth. Most times, a newer version of the product is released; a version that is “bigger and better” than before.
Let’s say a car manufacturer releases a new car model (Model A); it’s innovative and unlike any other car out there on the market. It becomes a huge success and a few years later, the manufacturers go back to the drawing board and design an upgraded version of the car (Model B). The body style is sleeker and more modern, the technology inside is practically unheard of, and it’s now electric. The car is what the future of the automotive industry will look like in the next couple of decades and this manufacturer is already ahead of the game. Model A will no longer be manufactured and the push for promotion and purchasing of Model B will now begin. Model A has officially reached the EOL stage in the Product Life Cycle.
This is only a small example of how the EOL phase would work in one of many different industries. But this can also be applied to products like cellphones and the evolution of an iPhone 3G to an iPhone 13 or even the journey we’ve taken from tape recorders to CD players to MP3 devices to our current music streaming apps.
There are four stages in a product life cycle: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. The decline stage is where EOL comes into play but identifying the stages before the decline is important to fully understand how the cycle works.
Introduction: This stage involves the launch of the product and the advertising and marketing efforts put into building awareness and target potential customers. Sales are typically slow in the introduction stage.
Growth: Sales and profits are increased, and demand is at an all-time high during the growth stage, leading to more money being invested in the promotion of the product.
Maturity: This stage is about maintaining the greatness of a solid product all while surviving in a competitive and sometimes, overly saturated, market. Unfortunately, this is when sales begin to take a dive and prices are reduced to keep up with the competition.
Decline: And now we’re at the stage where we have to say goodbye. Sales have hit a decline, competition is out of this world, and new and advanced product alternatives have now hit the market.
The end of a product isn’t typically something that happens overnight. Being familiar with the product life stages and knowing the signs of a product’s current position is a great way to identify the growth and decline of a product and ultimately begin to prepare for when the product cycle eventually ends.
Most suppliers have defined EOL dates that will show when a product becomes obsolete. Having EOL alerts in advance of these dates can help customers take advantage of the product’s life cycle and stock up on components before they are no longer accessible. By regularly monitoring the EOL status, you are given enough time to test new parts and ensure a smooth transition if moving onto the next product is something you want to do.
Communication is key when it comes to the final stage of a product’s life cycle. By staying in touch with customers and updating them of impending EOL issues, distributors can create and maintain customer trust by providing them with updates and preparing for a seamless transition between products.
Remember that blackhole we mentioned earlier? So, yes, products do get sucked into it once they hit the EOL stage, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gone forever. The products may have been tossed into the void, but there are distributors who can get those products into your hands.
Take the cars and electronics we briefly talked about as an example. Just because a car stopped being manufactured doesn’t mean it’s not still on the road and in demand by some drivers. A 1970 Volkswagen van could be someone’s ultimate dream car. Maybe an iPhone 5 is ideal for someone who doesn’t like too much change and they simply cannot live without having a home button. Or there could be someone out there with an entire album of customized CD mixtapes they’ve put together for years and love listening to them from time to time. Volkswagen stopped manufacturing those vans, only the latest generation of iPhones are in stores, and a CD player is hard to come by.
But guess what? There are ways to source out these products, whether it’s searching online or going through a distributor. Obtaining products that have reached their final stage is a service that Area51 Electronics provides.
We can’t promise to find a retro 1970s van, but we can absolutely help you find those end-of-life components you’ve been searching high and low for.
Finding hard-to-find, out-of-date, end-of-life, and highly allocated electronic components is one of Area51 Electronics’ core competencies. Using our procurement skills and sector knowledge, we help customers throughout the whole supply chain lifecycle by maintaining a large inventory of both current and out-of-date components.
As an independent distributor, we allow you to tap into our own inventory of electronic parts and components, and our collaborative network of suppliers, including original equipment manufacturers (OEM), contract manufacturers, and other distributors from all over the world and different ends of the supply chain.
Area51 Electronics is your main source for obsolete, inspected and verified electronic components. We care about the people who depend on our products and services, and every electronic component we distribute to you. We offer the highest level of quality control and industry-leading counterfeit mitigation processes.
Our quality management system is certified to AS9100D, AS9120B, AS6081:2012, ISO 9001:2015, ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014, and FAA AC 00-56B.