The electronic book market is looking increasingly hot, flat and crowded. A vicious price war has broken out among producers of digital readers thanks to Apple's success with the iPad. Companies such as Amazon hope that selling tomes across multiple devices will fill the profit gap. But competition in e-book distribution is heating up and could pressure margins there, too.
The Great Debate UK
Apple has taken another bite out of Nokia. As customers stampeded for the new iPhone, the Finnish cellphone giant warned of disappointing sales and operating margins. It lost another 9.7 percent, or about $3.5 billion, of its market capitalization on Wednesday. Nokia is increasingly at risk of becoming just a commoditized, low-margin manufacturer.
-Fraser Macdonald is the editor of Stuff. The opinions expressed are his own.-
Deciding on the Cool List turns the Stuff office into a maelstrom. Our Gadget Awards, held later in the year, involves a straightforward categorised decision process.
Apple has just lent a hand to Google in the search giant's increasingly tense relationship with regulators. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission worries Google's proposed purchase of AdMob may extend its dominance of internet search advertising into the burgeoning mobile Internet space. Apple's latest iPhone operating system will give the government less to worry about.
The FTC's concern is understandable. Google could well use the profits for a near-monopoly in its original business to muscle into the promising mobile advertising market. That business is currently small -- total spending of around $400 million in 2009 was less than 2 percent of Google's revenues. But research outfit IDC estimates $1.9 billion of revenues by 2012.
Apple has a reputation for developing hit products.
But the company also has a rep for maintaining an iron grip on its image and its message. Wednesday’s launch of the iPad, a product whose details have been closely guarded by Apple for months ahead of the launch, showed Apple’s operation at its best.
With Wednesday’s expected unveiling of the Apple tablet, the tech world is bracing for a device that could revolutionize everything from mobile computing to the newspaper industry. But what if the tablet doesn’t live up to expectations?
Five years ago the thought that we could be on the move accessing applications such as You Tube or Facebook, or watching TV or listening to music using our mobile phones was no more than a dream – today it’s a reality.
What’s the iSlate worth? It’s not an easy question to answer, as Apple isn’t even confirming it’s got a tablet computer gadget in the works. But the market gives a rough guide to what Wall Street expects from the new device. Investors seem to be slapping an “iSlate premium” of some $25 billion on Apple’s value. Though Apple boss Steve Jobs’ skill at launching new products is unparalleled, meeting these hopes will be a tall order.
from The Great Debate:
-- Aron Cramer is the president and CEO of BSR, a global business network and consultancy focused on sustainability. He is also coauthor of the forthcoming book Sustainable Excellence (Rodale 2010). The views expressed are his own. --