Opinion: The Apple Car could run traditional automakers off the road

Apple’s brand extends far beyond technology and coolness. The company has accumulated incredible goodwill with consumers.

So whenever Apple AAPL, +0.43%  comes out with the Apple Car, it will grab a disproportionately large market share from General Motors GM, -0.70%   and other automakers precisely because of that deep well of goodwill. By the time my youngest child, Mia Sarah, who is almost two, learns to drive, internal combustion engines will likely be a relic consigned to museums (just like Ford’s Model T).

I had this “Aha!” moment recently when I visited a Tesla TSLA, +0.41%  store and saw its cars’ power train. It looks just like a skateboard — basically a flat slab of metal (which houses the battery), four wheels, and an electric engine the size of a large watermelon. That’s it — the Tesla has only 18 moving parts.

Wall Street nowadays is going gaga over the stocks of auto dealerships (especially after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought Van Tuyl Group) and automakers. I am in the minority in thinking that party will come to an end. Just like Tesla, Apple is not going to be using a dealership model to sell its cars. Just as with the iPhone, the company will want complete control of the buying experience.

If both Tesla and Apple bypass the dealership model, the GMs of the world will be at an even larger competitive disadvantage. They will have to abandon the dealership model too. Yes, I know, selling cars directly to consumers is not legal in many states, but if the U.S. Constitution could be amended 27 times, the law on car sales (which is an artifact of the Great Depression) can be amended as well. The traditional dealership model is unlikely to survive anyway, as its economics dramatically degrade in the electric-car world. A car with few moving parts and minimal electronics has few things to break. Consequently, electric cars will need less servicing, throttling the dealerships’ most important profit center.

​Three Companies ​That ​Could Be Safe From Amazon

What is also amazing about electric cars is that they aren’t that much different from smartphones. Smartphone prices have declined significantly because their components became ubiquitous and commoditized. The simplicity of electric cars and the declining ambition of Tesla, Apple, and whoever else enters that space to be known as a “car” company will likely lead to commoditization of components and thus lower prices. Tesla today is more a software and battery company than a car company.

Think back to the day when Apple introduced the iPhone. No one suspected that it (and the smartphones that followed) would enable a service like Uber, which is putting cabdrivers worldwide out of business.

The baby boomer generation romanticizes cars. Most boomers can recite the horsepower and other engine specs of every car they have ever owned. For the tail end of Gen-X (my generation) and Millennials, a car is an interruption between Facebook FB, +0.25%  and Twitter TWTR, -0.15%  . We know the brand of speakers in our car but if asked would have to Google its horsepower. We feel little romanticism for our cars and have much higher brand loyalty to Apple and GoogleGOOGL, +0.18% than to GM or Ford Motor F, +0.09%

When Apple makes its entrance into the auto industry, it will likely be successful and highly disruptive. After all, Apple has the much-needed software know-how to design a car. (Apple is already working with car companies on CarPlay, the iPhone-centered car infotainment system.) Apple boasts a global network of stores, possesses unlimited resources ($150 billion of net cash and $50 billion of free cash flows annually), and its imagination has not been damaged by decades of producing cars with internal combustion engines.

[Source”cnbc”]

Apple creates a new head of China role and names exec to run it amid falling sales

Isabel Ge Mahe, Apple's new vice president and managing director of China.

Isabel Ge Mahe, Apple's new vice president and managing director of China.

Apple
Isabel Ge Mahe, Apple’s new vice president and managing director of China.

Apple has created a major new executive role in China and appointed the head of its wireless technologies unit to run it, reporting into CEO Tim Cook, as the technology giant struggles with falling sales in the world’s second-largest economy.

Isabel Ge Mahe will take up the new role of vice president and managing director of Greater China, Apple said in a statement late on Tuesday. Ge Mahe is moving from her role as vice president of Wireless Technologies to take up the new job which is based in Shanghai.

The executive will report into Cook and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams.

Apple’s move comes at a time when the world’s second-largest smartphone maker by market share grapples with stricter regulation in China and struggling iPhone sales. In the quarter ended April 1, Greater China revenues fell 14 percent year-on-year, though iPhone sales were up 1 percent, pointing towards a slight recovery.

Local Chinese brands like Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei, have posed a big challenge to Apple in China, taking away market share. But Apple is hoping its upcoming device releases, especially the souped up iPhone 8 anniversary edition phone, will win back Chinese consumers.

Cook still sees China as a crucial market.

“We continue to be very enthusiastic about our opportunity in China,” Cook said in Apple’s fiscal second quarter earnings call.

Technology firms in China also have to grapple with ever-changing regulation, something that Apple has felt the effect of. Last year, for example, Apple’s iBooks and iTunes Movies services were shut down.

But Apple has been making moves to appease regulators. Last week, Apple said it is setting up its first data center in China to comply with stricter cybersecurity laws that were introduced in June.

In Ge Mahe’s role heading up the wireless team, she focused on the development of cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, location, and other technologies for many of Apple’s products. She has also overseen the engineering teams developing Apple Pay, HomeKit and CarPlay.

In China, she worked with Apple’s research and development teams to develop features specifically made for that market.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Ge Mahe hinted that her role would include liaising with government, something that Apple increasingly needs to do.

“Everyone at Apple is proud of the contributions we make to the communities where we do business, and I am looking forward to deepening our team’s connections with customers, government and businesses in China to advance innovation and sustainability,” Ge Mahe said.

Apple’s new China MD is fluent in Mandarin as well. Ge Mahe will begin the role later this summer.

“Apple is strongly committed to invest and grow in China, and we are thrilled that Isabel will be bringing her experience and leadership to our China team,” Cook said in a statement on Tuesday.

[Source”cnbc”]

How to Start and Run a Successful Web Design Business?

How to Start and Run a Successful Web Design Business?

While listening to the stories of great web designers it seems that starting a web design business is much easy. But the process of starting your own business is not that easy as it seems; you not only need to have designing skills but along with that, a full-fledged plan and sincere efforts are also required to get your business run successfully.

Once designers get experience and acquire skills to handle projects on an individual basis, they think of working as a freelancer or starting their own web designing company. No doubt it is a good idea but it requires a blend of strategic thinking, thoughtful and skilled efforts, and tenacity to convert your dreams into reality. However, all those, who are planning to start their own web designing business, can refer to the below-given tips for a perfect start and seamless running of their web design business.

  • Know your strengths and weaknesses

Your strengths will let you choose main services you would be offering and your weaknesses will help you at avoiding wastage of time and energy on the things that can be handled by someone else.

If you have planned to start your own business then definitely you will be hiring some staff for it. So, a thing that you need to do at first is knowing the tasks you are excellent at and you would handle yourself, and knowing the ones for which you would need someone’s help.

  • Know your market

No doubt you would be delivering the services you are good at but don’t offer people what you are trying to sell. Instead, try to know what they are looking for and tailor your services to their needs. If you are finding it hard then you can get some potential clients to tell you about their requirements for web designs.

Ross Williams of Rawnet Ltd explains: “In the beginning there was a rush for everyone to have a website. Now the focus is on the most innovative and exciting.”

  • Have a clear thought about your offerings

Once you have known your market, enlist all your offerings. It depends on your skill set and talent that what services you would be offering to your clients. More clarity about offerings means greater chances of success. Here are some questions that you should ask to yourself for finalizing your services:

– If you want to deliver services all over the world or just to local clients?

– If you want the payment for the whole job or on an hourly or daily basis?

– If you will be managing the client relationships yourself or would hire a professional?

  • Design an attractive website

As people would be hiring you for web designing services, they will definitely notice the design of your own website to have an idea about the quality. So, design an attractive website to reflect your business to the best. It should be responsive, fast and engaging so that viewers will just enjoy the browsing process on it. Clear and easy navigation along with the relevant content are the two main things that will add value to your business website.

Andy Budd of Clearleft explains. “The quality of design work is so high, that you have to be really, really good to actually get work.”

  • Be active on the Social Media

Social Media is no more restricted to establish social connections among the people, its approach has reached a far behind that. It has become the excellent way to promote your services, drive traffic to your website, attract potential customers and form a network of the people who have the same niche. So, understand the importance of all the social media platforms and the way you can use them to maximize your business profits.

  • Show your credibility

When clients shop around for web designing services, they look for the experts. So, showing your credibility to the world is really essential. Mention all the essential educational details, certifications and work experiences on your profile as it would give people a reason to trust you and your services. Enhance your credibility by posting visual content about your area of expertise and by updating yourself as per the latest industry trends.

In the last, we would like to say that this is an era of tough competition, so you would need to keep patience and show perseverance regardless how many hardships you face to get started. And once you have an effective and thoughtful foundation in place, success will come your way on its own. It is well said by Gurpreet Walia, CEO at Suffescom Solutions- “The way to get started is to stop talking and start working as per your plans”.

 

 

[Source:- Entrepreneur]

 

Marketers Poised to Run the Customer Experience Show, Survey Says

Marketing will shape the customer experience by 2020, based on a recentMarketo study of nearly 500 chief marketing officers and senior marketing executives worldwide. The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted the research on behalf of Marketo.

Marketers Poised to Run the Customer Experience Show, Survey Says

Eighty-percent of the respondents believed their departments would exercise significant influence over business strategy by 2020, and 78 percent expected to have the same influence over corporate technology decisions.

More than half the respondents believed marketing in coming years would be impacted most heavily by a combination of the accelerating pace of technological change, a shift to mobile lifestyles, and the explosion of the Internet of Things.

The survey results suggest a number of changes are on the horizon:

  • Mobile devices and networks, personalization technologies and the IoT will have the biggest impact on marketing organizations by 2020.
  • The billions of possible interactions enabled by the IoT will weaken the mass media further, as companies will connect directly with customers through technology and personalization rather than through media and advertising.
  • Loyalty and customer acquisition will be tied very closely to pioneering new and emerging technologies.
  • Finally, marketers will dominate corporate business strategy and IT by 2020.

Expanding on the Findings

“The advent of technology — specifically marketing automation — enables companies to have these two-way personalized conversations with customers at scale,” remarked Marketo CMO Sanjay Dholakia.

“As technology evolves — such as the rise of virtual reality, augmented reality and the IoT — the number of potential interaction points with customers exponentially multiplies,” he told CRM Buyer. That makes it critical for companies to have “a single customer interaction system of record to effectively and efficiently conduct these conversations.”

Mass media will transform, as shown by the increasing inclusion of digital calls to action in traditional mass media advertising, such as on billboards and in TV commercials, Dholakia suggested.

Customers will interact more with brands across social media, the Web, mobile apps and the mobile Web because “these channels allow for greater personalization,” according to the Marketo survey.

The Problem With IoT Dreams

Whether the IoT can help advance marketing is open to question.

“Just because a consumer’s refrigerator or dishwasher is connected to the Internet does not mean the consumer has a relationship with the brand that produces the appliance,” observed Larry Chiagouris, a professor of marketing at Pace University.

“Most consumers will ignore much of the connectivity until real benefits are delivered to them via the Internet and the things concerned,” he told CRM Buyer.

Marketo is “way aggressive in terms of the timeline,” noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

“To get where they say companies will be by 2020, we have to be much further than we already are. The direction is correct, but the timing’s off by an order of magnitude,” he told CRM Buyer.

As the IoT progresses, the sensors deployed “will know what you’re doing and where you are,” Enderle noted, “but those data streams are not well defined yet, and they have to flow into a common service, and the marketers have to get access to that data in an uncompromised form.”

Security will continue to be an issue, and the IoT will enable further DDoS attacks, predicted Lamar Bailey, senior director of security R&D for Tripwire.

“The number of connected devices is expected to rise to 4.3 per person by 2020,” he told CRM Buyer. “Couple that with increasing Internet speeds, and it’s a recipe for massive debilitating attacks in the future.”

The Marriage of Marketing and Technology

Customers “are the lifeblood of any business — from their acquisition through to their advocacy on a brand’s behalf,” Marketo’s Dholakia said. By 2020, loyalty, retention, cross-sells and upsells “will become the domain of marketing [that] becomes essential to a much bigger transformation around the customer.”

Marketing will take the leadership role “only when marketers demonstrate that they understand how to leverage tech developments and create real ROI,” contended Pace University’s Chiagouris. “Right now, the IT professionals are in the driver’s seat. Executives from the tech companies, including Oracle and Adobe, are driving the process.”

 

[Source:- Technewsworld]