GMAT : Analysis of An Argument
85. The following appeared as part of an article in the business section of a daily newspaper.
Company A has a large share of the international market in video-game hardware and software. Company B, the pioneer in these products, was once a $12 billion-a-year giant but collapsed when child became bored with its line of products. Thus Company A can also be expected to fail especially given the fact that its games are now in so many American homes that the demand for them is nearly exhausted.
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underline the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate in conclusion.
In this argument the author reasons that the failure of Company B portends a similar fate for Company A. The grounds for this prediction are similarities that exist between the two companies. The line of reasoning is that since both companies produce video-game hardware and software and both enjoy a large share of the market for these products, the failure of one is a. reliable predictor of the failure of the other.
The major problem with the argument is that the stated similarities between Companies A and B are insufficient to support the conclusion that Company A will suffer a fate similar to Company B's. In fact, the similarities stated are irrelevant to that conclusion. Company B did not fail because of its market share or because of the general type of product it produced. It failed because children became bored with its particular line of products. Consequently, the mere fact that Company A holds a large share of the video-game hardware and software market does not support the claim that Company A will also fail.
An additional problem with the argument is that there might be relevant differences between Company A and Company B that further undermine the conclusion. For example, Company A’s line of products may differ from Company B's in that children do not become bored with them. Another possible difference is that Company B's share of the market may have been entirely domestic whereas Company A has a large share of the international market.
In conclusion, this is a weak argument. To strengthen the conclusion the author would have to show that there are sufficient relevant similarities between Company A and Company B as well as no relevant differences between them.