End of Barriers, Part 4

This is the almost-final Econ 202 post on barriers that exist in the US hearing aid manufacturing and delivery system.1   Parts 1,  2 and 3 addressed regulatory requirements that discourage new entrants; legal and economic definitions of barrier to industry entry/exit; structural and strategic barriers in the hearing aid industry; and specific strategic barriers used by incumbent manufacturers in their…

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Barriers? We Don’t Got No Stinking Barriers!

“There are no barriers [that discourage new entrants to the hearing aid industry].  New entrants simply have to comply with regulations intended to safeguard our patients. This excerpt from a recent post on the PCAST report gives pause, prompting switching of hats from Audiologist to Economist. Though Hearing Economics has written on market barriers before,…

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Ear Devices to Anticipate Your Every Need: How Would Don Draper Handle This?

Q: What if the hearing aid industry  designed its own auditory augmentation “facilitory system” to compete with existing visions on the drawing boards of giant software and consumer electronics companies? That rhetorical question, posed previously, envisioned an industry-wide platform strategy built on existing binaural, Bluetooth-enabled RIC-type products with the requisite amplification features married to emerging…

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Samsung Comes Calling on the Hearing Device Industry

It makes sense for  companies like Apple and Samsung to gain competitive advantage through optimized supply chains that  “lock up key product and component supplies.” (4/21/15 post) Samsung Electronics agrees, judging by recent developments in its patent activity, infrastructure, component acquisitions, and newly announced products.  Moreover, Samsung Electronics thinks it makes especially good sense to focus on…

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Tech Giants Eye Hearing Device Industry as Target for Rape and Plunder

The last post described future ear-level devices as conduits for highly personalized, exquisitely targeted, near and far-field individual communication systems that work in real time.  Such a vision combines past and ongoing R&D efforts in Hearables, Hearing Aids, and Augmented Reality (AR).  As the media hypes it, these will not be your grandfather’s hearing aids…

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