tech in the spotlight

Say Hello to Mr. Roboto: SoftBank's Pepper Will Be Sold in US Sprint Stores

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 3, 2014 05:24 PM

Asian telecom giant SoftBank claims that its robot, Pepper, which was developed by SoftBank's Aldebaran robotics division, is the first robot “with a heart.” Americans will soon be able to judge for themselves, as Bloomberg reports that the robot could be on sale in SoftBank-owned Sprint stores as soon as next summer. 

Whatever the future holds, the company has already “received between 300 and 400 inquiries about Pepper from companies in finance, food service and education,” for the 4-foot-tall dancing, joke-making, emotion-reading robot. When SoftBank debuted Pepper back in June, the initial market was thought to be for families and the elderly, but businesses apparently came calling.

“We will sell Pepper in the United States within a year after gathering information in Japan,” Fumihide Tomizawa, president of SoftBank Robotics, told Bloomberg. “I won’t be surprised if Pepper sales will be half to business and half to consumers.” Japanese consumers willing to spend around $1,900 will get the first crack at Pepper in February.Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Super Bowl Who? Chinese New Year is Where It's At for Brands

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 7, 2014 04:56 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Spring Festival special messages from Darth Vader, the minions, Legos, Chloe, Newcastle and more… Audi's Sochi viral ad... Wechat's rise and Weibo's decline… KFC and bird flu… Aston Martin recall… fat internet users… wearable tech… Porsche and Volvo's cutting edge… gunning for Xiaomi... sales crash for liquor makers… Avon settles… and more.Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Happy Chinese New Year!

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 31, 2014 05:42 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Transformers 4's new China car... the rise of Chinese smartphone brands... how Bailey's explains the rise of women's purchasing power... breast milk soap... Walmart can't catch a break... Weibo losses... Diageo losses... KFC faces bird flu again... JD.com wants you to shake it... Jissbon condoms just being Jissbon... Virgin's space ban... Toyota... Hyundai... more Year of the Horse marketing... and more.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

30 Years After Mac, Apple Cranks Up Innovation for Eager Consumer Market

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 24, 2014 05:02 PM

While today marks the 30th anniversary of Apple's iconic and game-changing Macintosh computer, the Best Global Brand isn't spending much time on nostalgia. Instead, it's pressing forward into new product realms and perfecting the ones it currently rules after a period of static development, to the dismay of competitors like Samsung.

With new ventures in wearable technology on the horizon, expansion of its iPhone line to suit bigger tastes, and budding partnerships in TV and autos, Apple has never been better. As for the competition, well, they've seen better days. 

Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker and Apple arch rival saw its growth "slow sharply" in the fourth quarter—the first time the company has recorded a decrease between quarters since 2011. While prospects for the first-half of 2014 are weak for Samsung, Apple can expect a marked boost now that it has officially sealed a deal with China Mobile, the world's largest carrier, as well as one with Japan's largest carrier, according to the New York Times.Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Apple's 'Muted' iPhone Sales, Spending Cuts Hit Travel, Booze Brands and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 24, 2014 02:47 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Luxury hotels shed stars to avoid spending crackdown… are Apple China Mobile sales "weak" or good… the move away from flashy logos… Tesla's China price tag… Nu Skin… Caterpillar's fraud revisited... Lady Gaga ban lifted... top 2013 search topics… retail sales increase… Boeing's record sales… Mercedes "panda bonds"… Carrefour food safety… Air China to Hawaii… a baijiu aircraft carrier... and more.Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Apple and China Mobile Make Friends, Walking Wallets and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 17, 2014 06:23 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Chinese "walking wallets" park Europe's "handbag wars"… the future of Apple and China Mobile… Coca-Cola goes mobile for Spring Festival… box office booming… Tetra Pak in trouble… diaper makers… Chinese tycoons at rest… Goubuli "lis" a US coffee chain… Quaker milk… car sales explode and Tesla aims to get some… My Little Pony copyright violations... and more.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Microsoft, JCPenney and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 16, 2014 09:22 AM

In the News

Apple settles FTC complaint over app charges on kids with deal to refund $32.5 million, while China Mobile eyes iPhone sales bonanza, with more than 1 million pre-orders ahead of Friday's launch.

Microsoft may pay $2.6 billion to Samsung and others to make Windows phones as rumors cite Ericsson CEO to replace Steve Ballmer.

JCPenney plans to close 33 stores and slash 2,000 jobs.

AOL unloads most of Patch to private equity firm.

AT&T ends long-running American Idol sponsorship.

Axe features Kim Jong-Un lookalike in Super Bowl spot.

Best Buy reports holiday sales decline.

Charter is talking with Comcast about new bid for Time Warner Cable, report says.

Citi replaces debit cards after Target data breach.

Facebook revamps ads to compete with Google.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: HP, China Mobile, Cadillac and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 15, 2014 09:21 AM

In the News

HP sets to announce two large smartphones today.

China Mobile receives 1.2 million iPhone pre-orders.

Cadillac updates its crest. 

Axe strikes a more earnest tone in advertising.

Bud Light challenges football fans with digital gaming ad and prepares new tag line for A-B InBev's reduced Super Bowl effort.

Charter woos Time Warner Cable shareholders.

Coca-Cola releases interactive mini-bottles to honor World Cup.

Daimler wins as US Supreme Court throws out Argentine human-rights suit.

Dunkin' Donuts focuses on expansion and one-to-one marketing.

Facebook CEO calls Snapchat a "super interesting privacy phenomenon," and it makes inroads in Russia.

Fiat will give first batch of new Alfa Romeos to top-selling US dealers.Continue reading...

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