Emerging economies present the largest growth in the world, and thus tremendous growth opportunities. Developing products for emerging markets proves to be a difficult task requiring a fundamental shift in thinking, and the present paper aims at investigating the product innovation strategies available on emerging markets, theoretically and practically through examples and a case-study of the Romanian tablet market. At the beginning, the theoretical framework is described through the most relevant contributions to the field of product innovation. Some conceptual clarifications are provided, in the context of a widespread usage of terms in various fields of science. The second part of the paper attempts to define the ‘emerging markets’ and to find distinctive their characteristics, attempt hampered by their great diversity and complexity. The third part provides empirical support for the product innovation strategies used by local tablet producers in Romania. Findings show local tablet producers used the frugal innovation strategy in the first years of operations. Afterwards, the increasingly competitive market and the gradual sophistication of consumers made a shift in strategy, to new product development and innovation strategy, in the context of keeping the low-cost positioning of the locally produced tablets.

product innovation, new product development (NPD), frugal innovation, product innovation strategy, emerging market, Romania