“This month, General Electric’s (GE) health-care division will begin marketing a first-of-its-kind electrocardiograph machine in the U.S. Although packed with the latest technology, the battery-powered device weighs just six pounds, half as much as the smallest ECG machine currently for sale. It will retail for a mere $2,500, an 80% markdown from products with similar capabilities. But what really distinguishes the MAC 800 is its lineage. The machine is basically the same field model that GE Healthcare developed for doctors in India and China in 2008.
As such, the diagnostic tool exemplifies a way of thinking that may be ideally suited to dealing with the widening recession: creating entry-level goods for emerging markets and then quickly and cheaply repackaging them for sale in rich nations, where customers are increasingly hungry for bargains. The term for this new approach is trickle-up innovation.”
Business Week reports on how some companies like General Electric, Nokia, and others are reversing the traditional process where products are created in rich nations and repackaged for emerging ones: