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...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 3, 2014 09:33 AM
General Mills removes GMOs from Original Cheerios.
Walmart recalls tainted donkey meat in China.
BlackBerry drops Alicia Keys as creative director.
5-Hour Energy charged to prove ad claims by Oregon AG.
American Airlines staff vote to keep new livery.
Apple CEO Tim Cook takes pay cut for brand's performance.
AT&T goes after T-Mobile with up to $450 lure, and eyes mobile banking.
Ben & Jerry's appeals to Colorado potheads.
BMW builds bobsleds for US Olympic team.
Boeing faces key vote by machinists.
Burger King rebrands value menu.
Charlotte Hornets unveil new logo.
Chrysler posts best annual sales in seven years as GM, Toyota US auto sales stall in December.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 4, 2013 09:02 AM
BlackBerry sale to Fairfax falls apart as $1 billion in funding is secured, CEO Thorsten Heins steps down and shares plunge.
Kellogg plans to trim 7% of workforce by 2017 as part of global restructuring.
American Airlines and US Airways merger cleared in US, but only with broad divestitures.
AB InBev sees strong growth for Budweiser in Russia.
Alcatel-Lucent seeks to raise $2 billion for turnaround plan.
Apple's gold iPhone 5s continues flying off shelves, while Apple CEO Tim Cook backs LGBT anti-discrimination bill.
Billabong sells Canadian retail chain West 49.
Chevron pumps up spending to boost production.
Dr Pepper finds formula to Facebook success.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2013 04:11 PM
Confirming rumors, Apple today unveiled an updated line of iPad tablets and Mac computers and laptops, capitalizing on the market's renewed interest since its record-breaking iPhone launch last month.
But the tablet market is becoming nearly as saturated as the smartphone market, with new entries from Amazon's Kindle line, Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung and more, so Apple is hoping improved displays and more agile devices are enough to lock-in its market share.
Apple, which counts iPad sales as its second-greatest source of revenue behind its iPhone line, unveiled a slimmer, faster tablet, the iPad Air, which features the same 7.9-inch form as its predecessor but sports an improved processor, lighter (1lb!) design and Retina display. The $499 device, which is pricey compared to Amazon's line of Kindles, including its new HDX, will also come with Mac's operating and work software free of charge.
Apple also unveiled a faster, lighter MacBook Pro with new desktop operating system Mavericks (which upgrades Mac OS X), as well as as the new cylindrical Mac Pro, whose futuristic look promises "screaming speed" and functionality.
In a major shift in strategy, by giving away Mavericks for free, along with free downloads of iWork and iLife, it's a tacit acknowledgment by Apple that software is a means to sell hardware—and that it's now in the shareware business.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2013 11:15 AM
Apple will soon begin building Steve Job’s visionary "spaceship" campus as the Cupertino, Calif. City Council unanimously approved building plans last week.
"Steve transformed Apple into one of the most innovative companies in the world and we understand the responsibilities that come from carrying his legacy forward with this project," Dan Whisenhunt, Apple's head of real estate and facilities told the Council. "We've designed it with the same care and attention to detail as we do with all Apple products."
The 2.8 million-square-foot circular headquarters, due to be completed by 2016, will have four floors, an exterior made almost entirely of curved glass, and enough space for 14,200 employees, close to three times the number previously working on the site.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 18, 2013 02:58 PM
Maybe Steve Jobs was even more of a seer than people think. It was Jobs who had the vision to shape Apple into an upscale consumer brand that, in many ways, set the standard for both technology and design. In fact, Apple has become truly fashionable and a luxury/premium brand in its own right. Witness the apparent rejection of Apple's lower-end iPhone 5c by consumers.
The just-announced addition of Angela Ahrendts, the American CEO of British luxury brand Burberry, to Apple's senior management team in a move that will occur next year, may well be the exclamation point on Apple's evolution. Ahrendts will bring a deep understanding of the marriage between fashion and technology to her role. She also will bring the shine of a luxury brand that has been a fashion and digital innovator under her guidance, and another invaluable asset: her ability to turn around Burberry's business in Asia and particularly China, a market Apple craves.
For Ahrendts, who as the new SVP of retail and online stores becomes the first woman in Apple's upper echelon, it's an intriguing career move. Could it be that she stepped down to eventually step up? Business Insider speculates that "if Ahrendts fits into Apple's culture and does an excellent job running its retail business, she probably has a good chance to become the company's next CEO."
From Apple's perspective, says Gartner Research analyst Carolina Milanesi in a Computerworld interview, it's all about the brand: "I think Apple looked at Burberry and the challenges they had in the market, and saw her as the one that brought back that aspirational brand, and then grew it in places like China, Korea, and elsewhere. Those speak to the challenges Apple is having. Like Burberry, Apple has to deal with the fact that its brand is everywhere because of the iPhone, but they cannot run the risk that the brand is seen as cheap."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 27, 2013 05:12 PM
The near-saturation of the handheld smartphone market is ushering in a new era of wearable devices, with top tech companies neck-and-neck in the race to debut the latest and greatest personal mobile product. Doing so could potentially lock-in customers to the brands' range of smartphones, tablets and TV platforms. Unfortunately for struggling Apple, it looks like Samsung is going to beat it to the finish line.
Samsung's executive vice president of mobile, Younghee Lee, confirmed that the company would be "introducing a new wearable device concept called Galaxy Gear" at the IFA Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin on Sept. 4.
The "Gear," arguably a smartwatch powered by Android, has a 2.5-inch non-flexible display, 320x320 resolution, a dual core processor and is designed to complement the mobile experience.Continue reading...
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...