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Transforming partnerships

Airbnb and SolarCity provide incentives for hosts to install solar systems

Airbnb partnered with SolarCity to offer financial incentives for hosts that install a solar system in their properties being rented. Hosts that install a solar energy system from SolarCity will receive a $1,000 cash back from the company. The offer is valid until the end of March next year, after which the incentive will drop to $750 for the rest of 2017. Homeowners with solar panels already installed and want to join Airbnb can also receive a $100 gift card from the company. The decision may appeal to travelers, particularly Millennials, interested in staying at an environment-friendly home. It could also help Airbnb establish itself as an environment-friendly company. The company published a study that says home sharing saves the environment billions of liters of water, tons of waste and large amounts of energy.

Key Takeaway: 

Airbnb and SolarCity have partnered together to offer incentives for hosts to purchase a solar system from SolarCity, which can help to position Airbnb as a sustainable company as well as attract Milennial renters that are interested in environment-friendly homes.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

Nintendo Switch is a mobile and TV console in one

Nintendo is touting a new mobile and TV console hybrid in the new Nintendo Switch, codenamed NX, which will be released in March 2017. The tablet device is powered by an Nvidia Tegra mobile processor and has detachable controls that turns it into a mobile console when locked in at both ends or becomes a joystick for multiple players when taken out. The tablet also has a stand at the back. It can also function as a home console to be played with a television and a separate controller. The company demonstrated in a video how Switch is played with on-the-go and at home, and how multiple Switch devices can connect to each other for multi-player games. Major game developers and publishers have already announced their support for Switch. Games will be sold digitally as well as in memory cards.

Key Takeaway: 

Nintendo Switch is a new mobile console and home gaming device in one; it has a modular, detachable and multi-controller design, which can be played with on-the-go, with friends, and at home.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 20, 2016

Wal-Mart adopts blockchain for first time to track pork supplies

Wal-Mart has partnered with IBM to use the latter's blockchain technology to track its pork supplies in China. This is the first time that Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, is adopting blockchain technology. Tracking pork is just a start for the company. If the project is successful, it could also expand to include other commodities. Wal-Mart wants to be able to monitor where the meat goes in its supply chain using serial numbers and record systems. The retailer giant is also partnering with Tsinghua University for academic research on the project. The news is reported as a significant development for the growing blockchain as a service (BaaS) industry.

Key Takeaway: 

Retail giant Wal-Mart is adopting blockchain technology through a partnership with IBM to monitor the pork supply chain in China, which could be the beginning of a new solution for tracking commodities and food supply chains.

Transforming Business Models: 
Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 19, 2016

Modem that supports gigabit speeds will be available at year end

Qualcomm, Netgear, Ericsson and Telstra announced the first product, a hotspot, to support gigabit LTE speeds which will be available at the end of the year. The hotspot, a modem called X16, uses different technologies to reach gigabit speeds, including carrier aggregation and is faster than the 600 megabits per second maximum speed the current X12 modem offers. Qualcomm believes carriers will launch gigabit LTE services once X16 is available. It will also include the modem in its new chip for smartphones, expected in the market in 2017. It has also announced its plans for the Snapdragon X50 which will have speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second and will be commercialized in 2018. It will be featured in the next Olympics in Korea as a testbed for 5G technology.

Key Takeaway: 

The first modem to support gigabit LTE speeds will be available at the end of this year, which can be a gateway for carriers to introduce services with fast gigabit speeds.

Transforming Business Models: 
Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 17, 2016

Apple will open two research facilities in China

Apple announced it will open a second research facility in China next year at the manufacturing hub of Shenzhen, a month after it stated it will open its first research and development center in Beijing. Both centers will allow the company to collaborate more strongly with local partners to support and develop talent in the country. Apple plans to spend $45 million in its Beijing center which will be staffed by 500 employees. Analysts have said that the center will help the company understand the Chinese market and maintain good relations with the Chinese government.

Key Takeaway: 

Apple will open two new research and development centers in Bejing and Shenzhen, China, which will allow it to work more closely with manufacturing partners and local universities.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 12, 2016

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