Posted by Abe Sauer on May 28, 2013 11:57 PM
Apple is the mine's canary. That's the takeaway from a recent press conference in China where the head of corporate sustainability for China tech giant Huawei told reporters that, unlike Apple, it will "learn from the issues that Apple has faced in China" and "never let supplier issues tarnish our brand.”
Whether Huawei means to "learn" from Apple or just copy it, the brand that has been singled out for a beating in the last few years over everything from China labor issues to tax avoidance has come under fire for a failure to innovate. But those critics all have tunnel-vision for Apple's electronics products.
What about innovating its "cultural product"? What if buying a iPhone 6 meant buying a better future? That just might be what Apple's aiming for with its latest high-profile hire. (Plus, the one better future we already have with Jackson's addition.) Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2013 07:10 PM
While Apple has had some good news lately (it reached 50 billion downloads from its App Store, signed a deal with CW to have the network’s content appear on Apple TV, and its UK retail locations received the top customer-service rating in Britain), it also is going through some tough times as a brand.
A recent poll from Bloomberg notes that, “71 percent of poll respondents say the Cupertino, California, company has lost its cachet as an industry innovator, which includes 28 percent who say it is permanent and 43 percent who say it may be a temporary hiccup.” While some Apple loyalists remain dedicated to the company that has brought the world such innovations as the iPod, iPhone, and iTunes, plenty of folks in the general population aren’t as high on Apple as they used to be, with some turning to competitors like Google and Samsung. “Google plays offense while Apple has recently settled for playing defense,” Forbes reports. “Apple is struggling to maintain its position in the market, while Google is expanding its position.”
Google’s shares have gone over a record $900 while Apple’s are now just above $400 after being over $705 in late September. While it can be difficult to keep up with its own track record of innovation, Apple apparently has got to keep pushing in order to keep the masses satisfied. “Where Apple went wrong is they began to confuse version releases and feature improvements with innovation,” Forbes reports. “What Apple is learning the hard way is even the most loyal base of consumers will jump ship when provided a valid reason to do so.”Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 1, 2013 04:04 PM
China's state-run media including CCTV went into the weekend bashing Apple and came out the other side doing the same. Tech writers and journalists agree China's smear campaign against Apple has backfired because the effect China's smear campaign is having on Apple's brand is worse than you think in some quarters, and not such a big deal in others (depending who you read).
China's "attack" on Apple certainly doesn't have a simple black or white outcome. The impact will be seen after the dust settles, and it will (especially now that CEO Tim Cook has reportedly apologized), with one Citi analyst projecting that the showdown could cost the company up to $13 billion in sales in the market.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 19, 2013 09:58 AM
Retailers OfficeMax and Office Depot are close to becoming one entity, a source tells Reuters, in order to pose a more serious threat to competitors like Staples and Amazon. It isn’t a done deal just yet but the expected stock-for-stock merging could happen—or fall apart—this week.
The rumored merger has already set both retailers' stocks aflame, with Office Depot jumping 28 percent to $5.89 per share and OfficeMax surging 19 percent to $12.77 per share. According to Bloomberg, the companies have been discussing a possible stock swap that would "create a single office supply retailer to compete with Staples."
While the two companies wouldn’t comment, “one of OfficeMax's top shareholders, Neuberger Berman, said it would support a merger with Office Depot depending on terms of the deal,” the Chicago Tribune reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2013 12:55 PM
If there is any specific forthcoming initiative tied to why Apple CEO Tim Cook's will sit with First Lady Michelle Obama at tonight's State of the Union Address, Cook's morning remarks at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference offered no clue.
But Cook — who also made no major product announcements or huge news in remarks made in conversation with analyst Bill Shope — nonetheless revealed that cash-rich, acquisition-shy Apple has evaluated far more companies than it has ultimately absorbed — and will likely continue to do so.
"We have looked at large companies," Cook said. "In each case that we've done that thus far, it didn't pass our tests."
He added: “Cash is not burning a hole in our pocket."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2013 09:01 AM
AIG considers suing U.S. government despite federal bailout aid.
J&J sells Roloaids brand to Sanofi.
Samsung caps best year ever.
ABC spurs questions for marketers with move of Jimmy Kimmel's show.
Apple sees CEO Tim Cook make second visit to China as mainland footprint doubles.
Bacardi snaps up St-Germain liqueur brand.
Bank of America extends retreat from mortgages.Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2012 04:22 PM
Outsourcing jobs has been a topic that kept coming up over and over again during the battle for the US presidency this year. And for good reason. American companies have been moving their manufacturing jobs elsewhere for eons, ia fact that wasn’t exactly helping the nation’s economy recover from a bruising recession.
Apple, which has manufactured most of its products in Asia for years, is doing an about-face following its bruising over labor rights at its Foxconn manufacturing plant in China. Now CEO Tim Cook tells NBC's Brian Williams (in an interview that will air Thursday night) that Apple will manufacture an entire Mac line in the US starting next year.
“I don’t think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job,” Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek in its new cover story on his first year helming the brand. “But I think we do have a responsibility to create jobs.” Cook estimates that the company has created more than 600,000 jobs in America since 1980 (WSJ.com does a nice job summarizing Apple's US manufacturing history.)
Perhaps this is a way for Cook and Apple to give a little back to America. The New York Times reports that Apple is planning to shell out $100 million for American manufacturing next year. It currently manufactures some parts of the iPhone in the US. It's also, of course, a way for Cook to carve his own brand and legacy apart from his predecessor and old boss, Steve Jobs.
“My own personal philosophy on giving is best stated in a [John F.] Kennedy quote, 'To whom much is given, much is expected,’” Cook told Businessweek. “I have always believed this. Always. I think that Apple and Apple’s employees have done enormous good and can do even more.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2012 09:01 AM
Apple plans limited US manufacturing as it lands back in court with Samsung and baffles Eric Schmidt.
Starbucks agrees to pay more UK tax, capitulating to criticism.
Rolls-Royce is caught in bribery probe in UK.
AmEx works on social engagement that closes the loop with consumers.
AT&T is on track for record smartphone sales.
Barclays Africa is sold to Absa in $2.1 billion transaction.
Bob Marley trademark spat settled as 'relaxation drink' comes under fire.
Deutsche Bank is probed by SEC.
Dish will start selling mobile phones at its Blockbuster movie rental stores.Continue reading...