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Connections - post-PC world

Apple’s revenue experiences first annual drop since 2001

Apple’s revenues had its first annual drop since 2001 after seeing a decline in iPhone sales. For the fiscal fourth quarter 2016, which ended in September 24, the company saw its revenue decline 9.8% to $46.9 billion and profit down by 23% to $9 billion. Sales of the iPhone dropped 13% year-over-year to 45.5 million units. Mac sales decreased 17% to $5.7 billion. Revenue from the iPad were more stable due to the new iPad Pro line. Its services division which includes Apple Music saw a 24% growth to an all-time quarterly high of $6.3 billion. Apple’s China market is not growing as fast as before, posting a 30% year-over-year decline in the fourth quarter. The company expects revenue for the December quarter between $76 billion to $78 billion, higher than what analysts are forecasting. The company will introduce new Mac products at its launch event Thursday.

Key Takeaway: 

Apple posted its first yearly drop in sales since 2001 after reporting its fourth quarter results which saw iPhone and Mac sales drop as well its China market decline; its services unit, however, grew double digits to a quarterly high of $6.3 billion.

Transforming Business Models: 
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Publication Date: 
October 25, 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

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: 
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Publication Date: 
October 17, 2016

Amazon introduced its own music streaming app

Amazon introduced a music streaming service competitor to Spotify and Apple Music called Amazon Music Unlimited. Monthly subscription fee is same as Spotify, at $9.99, but for Amazon Prime Customers, the price is cheaper at $7.99. Amazon sees the connected home as the next battlefront for music streaming, after desktop and mobile. The company hopes to get customers to switch to its streaming service with AI features that enable users to play songs by quoting lyrics, mentioning the period when the song was released or through the use of adjectives such as playing happy songs on Echo using voice or through the Music Unlimited app. Echo users also get a discounted price of $3.99. It will be initially available only in the US. Aside from Spotify and Apple Music, Echo competes with the recently released Google Home, a smart speaker that also streams music from Google Play.

Key Takeaway: 

Amazon launched a new music streaming app called Amazon Music Unlimited which also works with the Echo device to play songs with artificial intelligence; the service is a direct competitor to popular streaming services Spotify and Apple Music as well as the newly released Google Home, a smart speaker, that streams music from Google Play.

Market Disruptions: 
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Publication Date: 
October 12, 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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