Posted by Ben Berkon on July 24, 2013 12:43 PM
Apple’s comparatively diminutive third quarter earnings might have exceeded market expectations, but the announcement also solidified Samsung’s place as the worldwide smartphone king. Apple reported sales of $35.3 billion and a profit of $6.9 billion, down 35 percent and 46 percent, respectively, since the first quarter. In fact, Samsung earned $1.43 billion more in profit last quarter than Apple.
The mounting issue in Apple-land is that the company has failed to truly release a new, innovative product since the iPad. While iPhone sales jumped 20 percent to 31.2 million, the company's most popular product continues to be one of the most expensive smartphones on the market—posing a great opportunity for competitors like Samsung, BlackBerry and Nokia to tout their similar products and more cost-efficient models.
To Apple’s credit, the company has attempted to expand its brand into new realms. The debut of iTunes Radio, for instance, could give cornerstones Spotify and Pandora a run for their money. But perhaps the most interesting addition was hiring fashion guru Paul Deneve as a chief-level “special projects” officer. The assumption is that Deneve will lead Apple’s charge into wearable technology, most notably with the rumored iWatch
But radio and a watch might not be enough to save the once indestructible brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 9, 2013 11:39 AM
With a commitment to making a "Better World," Nike is determined to produce more environmentally conscious, and sustainably innovative, products. And it's not just looking at its own branded products, either. The sports apparel giant has released a new mobile app (now available for Apple's iOS devices) called Making with the lofty goal of helping designers and the fashion industry (as well as consumers) decide what source materials are the most environmentally responsible.
Using information from the students at London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion as well as the Nike Materials Sustainability Index, the app “ranks materials used in apparel manufacturing in terms of the use of water, types of chemistry, amount of energy and the levels of waste required during production,” Sustainable Business Oregon reports.
"Innovation is in Nike's DNA, and sustainability is an integral part of Nike's design process," said Lee Holman, Nike apparel design VP, in a press release. "We've created the Making app to empower any designer around the world to make better materials choices in the initial stages of the innovation process to ultimately create products that are better for consumers and better for the planet."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 3, 2013 12:56 PM
The next step in the remarkable evolution of the Apple brand may be just around the corner. In a move that "caught the fashion industry by surprise," Apple has announced it is adding Paul Deneve, CEO of fashion giant Yves St Laurent (YSL), as a vice president of "special projects," reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
While heads are still spinning in the fashion sector, it isn't as strange as it sounds. Deneve, after all, was with Apple's European operation on the marketing side from 1990 to 1997, so he is hardly an unknown. Not to mention that YSL's revenues just about doubled under his leadership.
While some see this move as directly related to Apple's anticipated launch of an iWatch, others believe it has broader implications. "More likely it is to explore the extension of the Apple brand, or its platform technology into clothing and fashion," notes Forbes. "Digital technology is in fact extending its reach to every aspect of life, including clothing and other wearables like glasses." After all, the computer wearables market "is perfect for Apple to mainstream. It advances contextual computing. And it has the added virtue of being a bigger potential market than smartphones..."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 28, 2013 02:36 PM
Sports rivalries can get pretty intense when fans take to the streets, but Microsoft has found a way to make a series of rugby matches between Australia and Wales into not just a peaceful exchange between rivals, but one of the coolest fan interactions ever.
To celebrate a series of matches between the Australian and UK rugby sides, the Seattle-based tech brand is using its Skype technology to enable a virtual "Hole in the World" that allows supporters from both countries to look into an eight-foot-wide “hole” and see fans from the other side, in real-time, thus creating an opportunity for exchanges between the two groups.Continue reading...
Posted by Taylorann Miller on June 25, 2013 07:02 PM
AT&T is looking to be better, faster and it hopes to achieve that with the help of two new Foundry facilities. The innovation centers, located in Atlanta and the Dallas-Fort Worth areas, will serve as open spaces designed for developers and engineers to collaborate in designing technology and applications.
“We said we’ve got to change the velocity of this business. It all has to be oriented toward speed," AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. "How do we move faster? How do we get things to market faster? And there is no way you could achieve the type of speed we sought to achieve if you didn’t do it an open environment.”
The centers, which already have locations in Palo Alto, Calif. and Israel have been supported through AT&T's corporate partners Alcatel-Lucent, Amdocs, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel and Microsoft. The Foundry program allows third party developers access to the framework and infrastructure needed to build out technologies while also providing AT&T a leg up in terms of differentiating itself in a highly competitive market.Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 13, 2013 04:46 PM
For a 93-year-old airline, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is pretty savvy when it comes to social marketing. In its latest social tie-in with its travel services, Dutch airline KLM is giving consumers a chance to experience the rush of running an international airline.
As announced at the Corporate Social Media Summit today in New York, on June 27th KLM will launch Aviation Empire, a Sims-like simulation game for mobile devices.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on June 12, 2013 03:49 PM
3D printing technology is putting two competitors on the fast track to remarkably rapid production while upping the ante for sustainability. Adidas and Nike are both using 3D printing to create prototype versions of new footwear products. The technology makes it possible to "print and modify prototype plastic soles with studs, or cleats, for football and running shoes," reports the Financial Times.
Nike's Innovation Director Shane Kohatsu told FT, "Within six months we were able to go through twelve rounds of prototype iterations that we fully tested, and ultimately we were able to make super dramatic improvements to our products." There are no current plans to use the technology to mass produce shoes, but that could be down the road. "What's really intriguing for us is not the volumes that you can make," said Kohatsu. "It's really more how rapidly you can make changes."
Adidas has seen similar benefits, informing FT that 3D printers have cut the evaluation time for a new prototype to a few days from four to six weeks. While Adidas previously relied on prototypes handmade by twelve technicians, they can now produce prototypes with two people.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 30, 2013 12:38 PM
Two unlikely global titans have partnered on a “mobile only” media deal whose footprint covers 16 countries, from developed markets in North America and Europe to emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
Mondelez International, the CPG giant behind billion-dollar brands like Oreo and Cadbury, announced today that it has inked a landmark deal with Google: a one-year partnership that will include mobile search, display and websites. While financial terms were not released, the deal will include branded mobile websites, training and mobile capability building, analytics and opportunity to opt in to Google's mobile beta programs.Continue reading...