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Apple’s reinvention as a services company starts for real

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When Apple Inc. boss Tim Cook takes the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater in Silicon Valley on Monday, he will usher in a new era for the world’s largest technology company.

The chief executive officer is expected to unveil streaming video and news subscriptions, key parts of Apple’s push to transform itself into a leading digital services provider. The company may even discuss a monthly video games subscription. Likely absent from the event: Any new versions of the gadgets that have helped Apple generate hundreds of billions of dollars in profit since 1976.

It’s a particular challenge for Cook, who took over after Jobs died in 2011. The current CEO is an expert in hardware supply chains who spent years wrangling eager component manufacturers in Asia to assemble the company’s blockbuster iPhone. Apple’s newer partners — Hollywood studios, movie stars, newspapers and magazine publishers — are more wary of working with tech giants, or have already teamed up with rivals like Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

‘This is a pivotal shift for Apple and in our opinion the biggest strategic move since the iPhone was unveiled in 2007,’ said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. ‘There is massive pressure on Cook and Apple to deliver on services, with streaming content a potential linchpin of growth.’

Apple’s three big hardware markets — smartphones, personal computers and tablets — are stagnating. To keep growing, the company has been trying to sell its existing device owners services such as Apple Music subscriptions, iCloud storage and AppleCare warranties.

Unlike the iPhone in 2007, which broke new ground, Apple’s video service faces stiff competition from well-established player ( REUTERS )

On Monday, Apple will add video and news subscriptions, and could unveil a similar offering for credit cards. The company may also discuss combining all these digital services into a single bundle, similar to Amazon’s popular Prime program. Apple already has discussed the possibility of discounts for users who subscribe to more than one service.

The venue itself indicates the importance of the event to Apple. The company has only used the Steve Jobs Theater at its new headquarters twice since it opened two years ago. The first time, Apple debuted the iPhone X. The second time, it launched the iPhone XS and latest Apple Watch. To ensure all attention will be on services, Apple took the rare step of announcing several new hardware products on its website last week, including upgraded AirPods, iPads, and iMacs.

Unlike the iPhone in 2007, which broke new ground, Apple’s video service faces stiff competition from well-established players. Netflix, Amazon, Walt Disney Co., Hulu, and AT&T Inc. are investing at least $20 billion combined each year on content, while Apple is spending about $1 billion this year, according to Ives. He thinks Apple needs to acquire a major video content company, although the iPhone maker has shunned big deals in the past.

Apple is also working on a premium games subscription for its App Store and discussing it with potential partners ( REUTERS )

Still, there’s a base of at least 1.4 billion active Apple devices, giving the company an advantage over rivals such as Netflix. The Apple video service will be tied to a TV app that is already pre-installed on Apple devices, putting the company’s content at the fingertips of hundreds of millions of potential viewers.

Apple Music and Apple’s App Store have already benefited from being standard features of iPhones and other gadgets made by the company. Services revenue reached almost $11 billion in the holiday quarter, up 19 % from a year earlier.

‘If Apple executes with minimal speed bumps and aggressively acquires content, given the company’s massive installed base and unmatched brand loyalty we believe reaching 100 million subscriptions in the medium term (3 to 5 years) is a realistic goal that could translate into a $7 billion to $10 billion annual revenue stream over time,’ Ives wrote in a recent note to investors.

Apple is also working on a premium games subscription for its App Store and discussing it with potential partners, according to people with knowledge of the plans. This service won’t take on new cloud-based streaming offerings like Google Stadia. Instead, it will focus on iPhones and iPads and bundle together paid games from different developers that consumers can access for a monthly fee. Cheddar previously reported that Apple was working on a gaming-related subscription service.

The company would collect these monthly fees, then divide up the revenue between developers based on how much time users spend playing their games, one of the people said. Apple is likely considering popular paid titles on the App Store and would exclude titles that are free to download but generate revenue via in-app purchases.

Apple could discuss the service as soon as Monday, or it may choose to detail the offering at its conference for developers later this year. Some of the most popular paid games on the App Store include Microsoft-owned Minecraft and franchises like NBA 2K and Grand Theft Auto.

Apple shares have risen more than 10 % in March to a four-month high ahead of Monday’s event. Here’s what to watch out for:

Apple Video

The service will focus on original content, including TV shows and movies from producers such as Damien Chazelle, M. Night Shyamalan, and Oprah. There are documentaries, such as “Elephant Queen,” and animations, like “Wolfwalkers” by Oscar-nominated studio Cartoon Saloon, along with a re-imagining of the “Amazing Stories” from Steven Spielberg, and a drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. An important, unanswered question: Will the company keep its streaming creations exclusive to Apple devices, or release them on Android phones and other distribution channels? Apple’s original content will begin rolling out toward the end of the year. A major component will be a feature for tapping into bundles of content from providers like HBO, Starz, and Showtime — similar to Amazon’s Channels offering. Netflix and Hulu won’t be involved. Apple has big ambitions for the service, and is hiring people with experience in promoting movies and TV shows for awards including the Emmys and Oscars.

Apple News

This service will combine stories from newspapers, websites, and magazines into a new tab in the Apple News app on iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Apple plans to charge about $10 a month. The service will come as part of an upcoming iOS 12.2 software update, which will also include a redesigned icon and interface for the Apple News app. The New York Times and The Washington Post are not part of the service, but The Wall Street Journal and Vox will participate. Apple based the service on Texture, an app it acquired last year. Texture lets users subscribe to more than 200 magazines, and most of those will transfer to Apple’s new service.

Goldman Partnership

Apple and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are working on a joint credit card tied to the iPhone and Apple Pay app. Goldman CEO David Solomon is planning to attend Monday’s event, suggesting the partnership will either be announced or a deal is near. Apple’s iOS 12.2 update will include a new Wallet app that lays the groundwork for the Goldman credit card. The card will support a new virtual rewards and tracking system to encourage timely payments.

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Business

Swiggy Instamart figures, Mumbaikars ordered 570 times more condoms in the last one year

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Customers are also ordering medical-related things through online shopping platforms. In metros like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Bangalore, people are buying goods online in large numbers. People living in metro cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, and Mumbai ordered an average of 6 million eggs in the last year.

These days people are doing online shopping fiercely in the country. Through Grocery Service Platforms, the goods of need are easily reaching people’s homes. From vegetables to medicines, just a few clicks on the smartphone are reaching people’s doorsteps. According to a survey, Swiggy Instamart has provided service to more than 9 million users between June 2021 and June 2022. In metros like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Bangalore, people are buying goods online in large numbers.

Healthcare products orders

Customers are also ordering medical-related things through online shopping platforms. According to a survey, Mumbaikars have ordered 570 times more condoms in the last 12 months. At the same time, in 2021, Instamart received orders for about two million sanitary napkins, menstrual cups, and tampons. Apart from this, a lot of orders have also been received for grocery items.

56 lakh packets of noodles ordered

According to the survey, between April and June last year, there was a 42 percent increase in the demand for ice cream in these metro cities. It was also learned that most of the orders were placed after 10 pm. In metro cities, people have ordered 5.6 million packets of instant noodles. In Hyderabad, users ordered around 27,000 bottles of fresh juice during the summer months.

60 lakh eggs ordered

The demand for eggs has increased manifold in the last two years. People living in metro cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, and Mumbai ordered an average of 6 million eggs in the last year. According to the report, customers from Bangalore and Hyderabad ordered the maximum number of eggs for breakfast. At the same time, people of Mumbai, Jaipur, and Coimbatore have ordered the maximum number of eggs online at the time of dinner.

Demand for dairy products

There has been a huge jump in orders for both tea and coffee. According to the report, there has been an increase of 2,000 percent in its demand. At the same time, 3 crore orders of milk have come for milk. People from Bangalore and Mumbai have placed more orders in the morning. Regular milk, full cream milk and toned milk are the most ordered dairy products.

Ordering fruits and vegetables

Orders for 62,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables have been received in the last year. With 12,000 orders, Bengaluru tops the list of organic product buyers. At the same time, Hyderabad and Bangalore together have ordered more than 290 tonnes of green chilies in 12 months. Over 2 lakh orders have been received for bathroom cleaners, scrub pads, drain cleaners, and more in the last year.

Source: Aajtak

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Zepto, 10-minute grocery delivery app, raises $100 million

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Only five months subsequent to dispatching, 10-minute basic food item conveyance application Zepto on Tuesday reported it has raised $100 million driven by Y Combinator, taking its valuation to $570 million.

Other than the raise money, Zepto has been developing staggeringly rapidly and is significantly increasing its client base consistently.

In the course of recent months, Zepto has extended past Mumbai by dispatching in Bengaluru, Delhi, Gurgaon, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Pune (Kolkata to follow), the organization said in an assertion.

“Financial backers are reliably deciding to back Zepto due to our top tier execution. This is giving us extraordinary energy – we’re developing at an amazing rate, clients are adoring the item experience, our center unit financial matters are solid, and we have one of the most outstanding startup groups in India today,” said Aadit Palicha, Co-Founder and CEO.

The Series C raising money round saw support from new and existing financial backers, including Glade Brook, Nexus, Breyer Capital, Lachy Groom, Global Founders Capital, Contrary Capital, and that’s just the beginning.

The round came 45 days later the organization reported its $60 million raise money in November.

Conveying food in a short time is a game-changing encounter for clients in the nation, and a few players are presently joining the race.

“We are eager to twofold down and lead this round in Zepto. They initially dispatched with an alternate model, quickly turned to speedy trade in August 2021, and are presently adding 100,000 new clients consistently, 60% of the ladies,” said Anu Hariharan from Y Combinator.

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Business

One stuck box of fertilizer shows the global supply chain crisis

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Somewhere in the world’s busiest port of Shanghai, a container of fertilizer sits among tens of thousands of boxes, waiting for a ride to the U.S. It’s been on the dock for months, trapped by typhoons and Covid outbreaks that have worsened major congestion in the global supply-chain network.

While the fertilizer has been stranded there since May, the port is just one stop on the long journey from central China to the U.S. Midwest. Delays have stretched a delivery that ordinarily would take weeks to more than half a year. And that time frame will keep expanding, as the goods have barely started the roughly 15,000 kilometer (9,300 mile) trek.

This is the tale of one humble shipment and its arduous journey across the world. While some of the barriers keeping it from its final destination may be specific to this particular case, the journey is emblematic of the inertia that has gripped global trade during the pandemic.

From the U.S. to Sudan to China, container boxes have been lying at ports, railyards and in warehouses as the pandemic rages on. In an industry with 25 million containers and some 6,000 ships hauling them, it’s easy to see disruptions as one big headache confined to the shipping world. But each container that’s delayed is economic activity that’s restrained, heaping costs one box at a time on consumers and making it more challenging to put corn on consumers’ tables or deliver presents for the holidays.

It’s also a lesson in the ripple effects across global supply chains, showing the limits of diversification as all networks are still closely connected with China.

“All roads lead back to China, and that has a major effect across the entire supply chain,” said Dawn Tiura, head of U.S.-based Sourcing Industry Group. “Congestion at one port or factory has far-reaching implications for neighboring facilities, which trickles out across the world.”

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