How they do it: Nespresso coffee system is protected by more than 100 patents. This allowed the company to keep competitors from selling coffee capsules compatible with the Nespresso system similar to printer companies. The coffee machines usually come at a low price with a large amount of test capsules from Nespresso. Over the lifetime of the device the customer usually spends much more on the high-margin coffee capsules.
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How they do it: The Amazon Kindle e-reader sold through Amazon.com is very competitively priced. Through the offer of e-books and other media formats to be used on the Kindle device, the revenue potential from these is far bigger than the price for the physical device.
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How they do it: Hewlett-Packard sold both inkjet and laser printers individually as well as in multi-function products incl. scanner, copier and fax functionalities. Whereas the electronic products were sold at low prices, the company earned a lot of money with the special ink cartridges as a consumable.
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How they do it: Standard Oil Company is considered a pioneer of the Razor and Blade pattern. It sold cheap petroleum lamps alongside expensive oil to be used in the lamps as a consumable.
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How they do it: Although the iPhone is not given away for free, Apple uses it as a platform to access to much more revenue opportunities through apps and other services beyond the pure hardware revenue.
Learn more about Apple iPhone/AppStore →