We believe there’s so much more that your portable wireless speaker should do for you. That’s why we made the AXX 200.
The AXX 200 is a Bluetooth wireless speaker + Sound Blaster audio processor. This means a portable wireless speaker with power for real-time audio enhancement.
Intelligence. That’s what the AXX 200 brings to the table.
- Make a call. Listen to music. AXX 200 intelligently adjusts the audio settings for you.
- The Sound Blaster Central App for your iOS or Android device places the control in your hands.
- Built-in quad array microphone – That’s FOUR microphones in a single wireless speaker for 360° of clear, unmatched audio pickup for voice calls and recording.
- A wireless speaker that automatically cancels out noise during voice calls. For real.
It’s for work, it’s for play.
It can be everything you need it to be.
The AXX 200 is now on sale for a limited time at Creative.com and Amazon.com.
We talk about CarPlay, MWC2014, Microsoft and Nokia, “Tim Cook’s outburst”, per-user value, and re-evaluating how we analyze companies in tech.
via 5by5 | The Critical Path #113: Takt Time.
When trying to assess the success of an ecosystem, the primary measure is the size of the user base or the “audience” for the product. Companies like FaceBook and WhatsApp and Twitter are measured first and foremost on this metric. Companies like Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are less so. When revenues are firmly attached to products the focus shifts to “follow-the-money” rather than “follow-the-users” metrics.
That’s as it should be, but for the sake of understanding the competition between ecosystems, they should be compared on some similar basis. If the basis of competition in this day and age is ecosystems how does one evaluate Facebook’s vs. Microsoft’s? Or, more poignantly, how does one compare WhatsApp’s valuation with that of iMessage?
It’s common to value a company which aggregates audiences at a multiple of that audience size. The implication being that each member of the audience returns a certain cash flow to the aggregator and the discounting of those flows is the net present value. Which is why, for example, a newspaper is valued in terms of its subscribers. As is a TV network and as might be a social network. Using this metric, a WhatsApp (i.e. free messaging) user is worth $40 and the average social media user may be worth around $100.
The implication is that users/subscribers/audience members are loyal and will stay with the programming for some time. There is also a second implication that businesses which are not measured by audience size don’t have this loyal and recurring revenue base. The absence of an “audience” implies transience and impermanence and results in deep discounting of long-term viability.
The orthodox vs. the unorthodox: Tata, Tesla and Toyota. Why might an asymmetric competitor lose and a symmetric competitor win?
We begin with Tesla and Apple. We continue with aluminum vehicles and re-visit information asymmetry as Horace exploits it to buy a Mercedes on eBay.
We talk about car APIs (Aux input jack and ODBII) and much, much more.
A brief discussion considers the perils of endless line extension up and down the market, perhaps fueled by financialization.
This is a good one.
Asymcar 10: Asleep at the switch | Asymcar.
Designing emails that look beautiful, render perfectly and drive strong response is increasingly difficult. That’s why Campaign Monitor compiled the top 100 emails of 2013 into a free eBook, alongside tips on design and content. The Top 100 Email Marketing Campaigns eBook features brands like Fitbit, SmugMug, Panic and includes:
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Check out the free eBook at campaignmonitor.com/top100.
Campaign Monitor makes software that lets you create and send beautiful emails. Today more than 800,000 designers, agencies, and amazing companies across the globe rely on Campaign Monitor to manage their email marketing.
One of the axioms of hardware business is that prices fall over time. The consumer price index for personal computers and peripheral equipment from 1998 to 2014 is shown below:
The price index suggests that prices for computers should be 54% of 2007 levels. Charles Arthur illustrated this on a global basis using a separate set of data.
The data shows that the weighted average selling price (ASP) of a PC has fallen from $614.60 in the first quarter of 2010 to just $544.30 in the third quarter of 2013, the most recent date for which data is available.
Prior to Apple’s earnings report I read at least one article suggesting that the most important indicator to watch was Apple’s margin. I suppose this was due to a recent decline in margins from a peak gross margin of 47.4% in Q1 2012 to 36.7%.
As the graph below shows, margins began to recover by Q3 2013 and are nearly on par with year-ago levels.
The guidance for the present quarter is a gross margin between 37% and 38%. This would imply a flat q/q GM line (blue line above.)
This is not quite catastrophic.
To better understand margins, it helps to compare them with other companies. When Apple reached that peak of near 50% gross margin I noted that such a level was higher than Microsoft’s and Google’s. The irony being that Apple was nominally an (implied) low-margin hardware company while Microsoft was an (implied) high-margin software company and Google was an (implied) high-margin internet services company.
Here is the picture with the last two years added:
Horace Dediu and Guy English discuss the future of TV, how we consume media, and the fate of console-style devices. From Apple to Nintendo and beyond, is there one box to rule them all, or can there be?
Interview segment: Cinematographer Barry Braverman talks about working with director Wes Anderson (uncut version to be posted as Screen Time #54)
via 1: Bicycle for the Mind.
Horace and Moisés discuss the excitement surrounding Microsoft’s hire of new CEO/poet Satya Nadella, Apple’s recent numbers announcement, and yet more on Google (and their sale of Motorola to Lenovo).
via 5by5 | The Critical Path #111: Man of Arts and Letters and Science.
The increase in net sales of iTunes, Software and Services in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013 was due to growth in net sales from the iTunes Store, AppleCare and licensing. The iTunes Store generated a total of $2.4 billion in net sales during the first quarter of 2014 versus $2.1 billion during the first quarter of 2013. Growth in the iTunes Store, which includes the App Store, the Mac App Store and the iBooks Store, was driven by increases in revenue from App sales reflecting continued growth in the installed base of iOS devices and the expansion in the number of third-party iOS Apps available. Net sales of digital content, including music, movies, TV shows and books, from the iTunes Store was relatively flat in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013.
Apple Inc. Form 10-Q.
During the last quarter Apple changed the pricing for iWork and OS X to zero.
I estimate the net effect to have been a reduction in revenues from those software titles of about $350 million for the quarter. Nevertheless, increases in services and app revenues means that the iTunes total reported revenues increased to a new record.
The total with estimated contributions by media and service components is shown below right.
Note that revenues do not reflect total billings. As Apple reports only the 30% of App transaction values, the full iTunes/Software/Services transaction values are shown in the above graph on the left.