Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Recently, after years in court, a three-judge panel dropped the hammer on Samsung, and Apple is laughing all the way to the bank. According to the ruling, Samsung smartphones can no longer copy specific iPhone features. These features include the very popular trifecta slide unlock, autocorrect and quick link software, all of which reportedly “directly mimic” similar features on the iPhone.
Monday, September 21, 2015
If you needed any more notice that the digital tablet has become the latest Former Luxury Item to Become a Necessity, look no further. Amazon recently released a $50, seven-inch Fire tablet. Yes, $50. Sure, it’s bottom of the line, but, hey, you can even buy the thing in six packs like your favorite microbrew. Yes, seriously. A tablet for every room in your house.
Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Hackers have struck again, and this time the problem might be in your pocket. According to media reports, hackers have stolen more than 225.000 Apple accounts from iPhone customers. Now, if you are using the phone as you bought it, you are probably in the clear. So far, the only phones reportedly hacked have been jailbroken models.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Monday, August 17, 2015
Since the debut of its new streaming service, Apple Music has already racked up 11 million members. Not bad for five weeks. Apple executives said they are “thrilled” with the numbers … and why shouldn’t they be? Even though the service is free (for the first three months) users are still flocking to it in what could be described as amazing numbers.
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Recently, it was announced that Amazon stock value topped retail giant Walmart, making the ersatz online “everything” seller the top retail powerhouse. That title is more than just a name. Owning the top spot is the result of consumer trends as much as it is company value. And trends are changing. This could spell doom for brick and mortar retailers. Maybe not Walmart, but many of the also-rans that are desperately trying to hold ground against Sam Walton’s international behemoth are now staring at the real engine of their extinction. And it’s logo is smiling back at them.
Friday, July 31, 2015
Any time the subject of raising the minimum wage comes up, the narratives seem to split between workers and management. The narratives are so set that you can nearly predict the conversations before they happen. But now one national chain is breaking the mold. Starbucks just reported a massive jump in profits, even while wage hikes are hitting it hard in multiple major cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Starbuck’s home city of Seattle. New York may soon follow.
That’s not to say operating expenses are minor. According to reports, Starbuck’s operating costs have jumped 18% in the past year. Why? Well, according to Starbucks executives the biggest reason for the increase was, quote, “Investments in our store partners.” Translation – wage increases for employees. They had to pony up the cash and increased their expenses 18%.
While Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has been adamantly against a wage hike to $15 per hour, the company seems to be doing okay. Some are saying this example should put to bed the notion that doubling the minimum wage wouldn’t “really” hurt companies. Leaders such as Schultz and Dunkin’ Brands CEO Nigel Travis, continue to argue that the problems will come.
But there’s no doubt that the PR narrative has shifted. While CEOs and business owners are still saying doubling the minimum wage will mean huge cuts for their businesses, proponents are already beginning to point to Starbucks’ recent quarters as proof that businesses can take the increase.
To successfully counter this narrative, the companies must prove to people these conclusions are preliminary. It may also work to do something the larger companies have been reluctant to do – reach out to small businesses. If the idea of a $15 minimum wage catches on it will be the smaller mom and pop shops that face the biggest hurdle. They could close their doors, providing a wider customer base for the big brands that can more easily absorb the loss. But if they don’t want the sky to continue falling, the big brands will have to take control of the national narrative before they can reap those rewards.