- In a short line
- New CEO at Intel
- Netflix drowning competitors or itself?
- New flagships: how Samsung was going to raise sales
In a short line
Logitech Introduces New Wireless Trackball
A curious press release about the wireless trackball has just arrived:
Logitech introduced the ERGO M575, a sleek and ergonomic wireless thumb-guided trackball that saves desk space. The trackball does not require you to move your hand to control the cursor, so your palm and forearm stay relaxed throughout the entire operation.
And there are also two sheets of text in the appendage. And the price is 3 rubles.
As I understand it, the idea is that you don’t need to move the mouse, but just use your finger to spin the trackball. This is such an answer to remote work, when it is not a fact that there is a lot of space at home. And here you can not move your hand.
Attention, question. Should I ask for a test? Is this interesting? My opinion is that the concept is a bit outdated, or what do you think?
New branded ringtone from Samsung
If you have forgotten, Samsung’s signature melody used to be called “Over the horizon”. This is a standard melody that sounds when a call is made.
Everything flows, everything changes, the same Exynos has come a long way from Exynos 990 to Exynos 2100, and the other day a new signature tune The Voyage was presented. I thought that I really wanted to share with you Samsung’s explanation about the melody:
The main motive of the new signature melody consists of four simple notes. The “Do” note symbolizes the reliability and stability of Samsung products. Modulation in the middle embodies a willingness to solve problems and keep moving forward. “Re” is the last additional note that expresses the company’s hope for the future and its optimism. The combination of these notes embodies the spirit of a tireless innovator who never ceases to challenge himself and introduce new technologies that improve the user experience.
That’s it. There are only 4 simple notes, and everything is there – from the spirit of a tireless innovator to hope for the future. By the way, sounds strange, right? Not confidence in the future, but hope for the future. Samsung is missing something? In the video below, you can listen to various variations of the new theme (from the basic to the playful funky version.
New CEO at Intel
Intel is shaking. In June 2018, they fired Brian Krzhanich, the then CEO. Formally, for the fact that he allowed himself “fraternization”, that is, to put it simply, sexual pleasures, with another employee.
And now it has been announced that the new CEO, Bob Swan, will cede the post to Pat Gelsinger, who will formally take over in mid-February.
Mr Pat Gelsinger
However, tomorrow (January 21) the company will hold a conference call for the quarter, which is likely to announce its position and plans for the future. So for everyone who is not indifferent to Intel and who knows English, I recommend listening.
Mr. Gelsinger has experience as an engineer, in fact he was the architect of the Intel 80486 processor. He is 59 years old. He worked at Intel as CTO, and since 2012 – as CEO of VMware. And now he returns to Intel again.
Mr. Gelsinger is a remarkable person. On his Twitter, he rarely talks about technology, but almost every day he quotes the Gospel and other sacred texts. I would like to believe that pure thoughts will help return the lost Intel to the right path. Because so far, revenue is expected to drop by 7% for the year, while competitors, such as TSMC, have grown by 31%.
Formally, Intel now has 3 main problems.
The main problem is factories. This problem has been addressed many times. Own factories have an advantage. Due to their high quality, Intel processors, although they are made using 14 nm or 10 nm technology, are not inferior to more advanced solutions of competitors. However, Intel is constantly looking for growing sales to upgrade its own factories to keep production at full capacity and cost-effectively. It should be noted here that all competitors do not have their own factories. They are stamped by TSMC or Samsung. Accordingly, they do not need to spend money on modernization.
Loss of the mobile technology market backfired
Intel has lost the market for smartphones, phones and other smart gadgets. Today, smartphones, TVs, and even coffee makers come with processors from MediaTek or Qualcomm. It was okay at first. Each has its own niche. But Apple has successfully started the movement, as a result of which mobile chipsets have quite a desktop ambition. Here, of course, there is a certain distortion of the facts, since ARM chipsets have long been successfully used in supercomputers and in certain versions of desktop machines. But it was Apple that showed just how awesome ARM chipsets can be in laptops.
Another point is that, according to rumors, cloud providers have also tasted the charm of ARM processors for their needs. Previously, they bought processors from Intel, and now, for example, Amazon is switching to its own ARM chipset.
There is no easy solution to this problem, because Intel lags behind in this area for many years.
Loss of the PC market
This problem overlaps with the previous one. Attempts to migrate Amazon’s cloud business to an ARM processor, as well as the success of Nvidia, which offers its servers for big data processing, is a direct blow to Intel’s server market. And this is the most important profitable path for Intel.
Let’s see what they say on the call for investors. Formally, Intel still has several years to make adjustments and expand the business. However, it is obvious that these will be cardinal changes – contract manufacturing at their factories, active investment in R&D and the transfer of production of some of their processors to outsourcing.
Netflix drowning competitors or itself?
2021 promises to be a tough year for Netflix. The global pandemic and quarantine had a positive impact, and the service received a significant number of new subscribers. The graph clearly shows a sharp jump in the subscriber base in the first two quarters of 2020. 10-15 million a quarter earlier and only 3 million in the 3rd quarter of 2020.
In one of the materials, he promoted the idea that because of the quarantine on Netflix out of boredom, everyone who could subscribe. And further the growth of the base will inevitably slow down, because miracles do not happen.
Netflix understands this. The company needed a powerful response. After all, it is necessary not only to attract new users, but also to keep the current ones. And it seems Netflix found him. A press release was released last week promising that the company will release a new film every week. And not anyhow, but with the stars (actors and directors) of the first magnitudes: Leonardo DiCaprio, Dwayne Johnson, Idris Elba, Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Zendaya, Meryl Streep, Gal Gadot, Halle Berry, Jason Momoa, Zach Snyder, etc. etc.
Netflix certainly needed a strong response. Especially after Warner Brothers announced that it will release all of its 20 films scheduled for 2021, including Matrix 4 and Dune, directly to its HBO Max streaming service.
Time will tell what will come of it. It’s absolutely clear that Netflix’s free cash flow will go deep again. In total, Netflix has presented a list of 70 new films, and that’s not counting the series. At this rate, Netflix is becoming one of the largest movie providers in the world. For comparison, Disney or Warner Brothers present 12-30 films each year. I wonder how long a company can go at this pace?
Another point is that with an increase in quantity, quality usually suffers. The most interesting thing is how the cinemas, which are already going through difficult times, will react to this. I have a theory that such a massive release of films online (we are talking about Netflix, and about HBO, and about Disney +), coupled with the closure of cinemas, will lead to a shift in consumer habits. And when cinemas reopen, viewers will not return. This will lead to the closure of cinemas and higher ticket prices. Of course, some of the cinemas will remain, since going to the cinema is an event aimed at entertainment and socialization. But if earlier it was the entertainment factor that was in the first place, now people will go to the cinema more to communicate. And cinemas will have to change and turn into analogs of theaters. More comfortable chairs, more refined food.
New flagships: how Samsung was going to raise sales
Samsung has unveiled new smartphones Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 + and Galaxy S21 Ultra, claiming to be the main Android flagships of the year.
Step one: start early
This year the presentation took place a month earlier. Some might say that Samsung is trying to close the time gap with new iPhones. And how it is: almost 5 months on the market there would be 5 nm smartphones from Apple without a proper response from Samsung. But, most likely, the main reason is different.
Samsung is no different from Apple. This is the same corporation in which top managers want to show shareholders beautiful numbers and upward-looking graphs.
By the way, Apple was to some extent even more open company, since for the time being it supplied analysts with iPhone shipments figures. In contrast, Samsung has never publicly disclosed how its flagships are sold. You can find information on total sales in pieces, but, in fact, this is just an abstract number, including smartphones for both $ 100 and $ 2.
A funny moment that not everyone pays attention to. Samsung and Apple cannot be compared because Apple sells about 200 million iPhones per year, the average price of which in 2019, according to Bloomberg, was $ 760. In 2020, according to forecasts of analysts at Deutsche Bank, the average price of the iPhone will be 720-730 dollars. While the average price of a Samsung smartphone was $ 2019 in the US in 247. Considering the sharp rise in prices for flagships in 2020 (+ launch of super-premium models), we can expect the average price of Samsung smartphones to be $ 260-270. Apple sells flagships, Samsung sells smartphones.
But back to the corporate games of numbers. The fact is that the Galaxy S20 turned out to be, judging by the sales data, almost the most (or the most? It seems that only the Galaxy S3 was worse) unsuccessful smartphones in the history of the line. There are no exact figures, as mentioned above, but, according to estimates, Galaxy S20 smartphones were shipped in the first half of the year in the amount of 25-28 million units. Accordingly, apparently, it was decided to increase sales simply due to the fact that retail smartphones will arrive earlier. Thus, the new Galaxy S21 has a head start of about 35-40 days compared to the Galaxy S20.
Step two: lower prices (and raise them in Russia!)
No one disputes the premium quality of Samsung devices, except for the buyers themselves, who decided that the price of the Galaxy S20 line is too high. It is difficult to estimate prices in rubles, because the currency is unstable. Let’s look at the dollar.
- Samsung Galaxy S20 – $ 1 (in Russia 000 rubles)
- Samsung Galaxy S20 + – $ 1 (in Russia 200 rubles)
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra – $ 1 (in Russia 400 rubles)
In turn, the cost of the S21 was cut by $ 200:
- Samsung Galaxy S21 – $ 800 (in Russia 74 rubles)
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus – 1000 $ (in Russia 89 rubles)
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – 1200 $ (in Russia 109 rubles)
The $ 200 price cut should make up for the lack of included charging.
Step three: support Exynos
2020 was arguably the worst year for Exynos. This chipset was not in favor anyway, and the abandonment of it in the home South Korean market made even the indifferent think: what happened?
However, Samsung cannot abandon Exynos. We have already analyzed the reasons why this is so. Accordingly, the company had to try to revive the public image of the product. For this reason, Samsung held a separate presentation for Exynos a couple of days before the official launch of the smartphones.
Frankly, the situation turned out to be funny. Samsung is first hosting an event where the Exynos brand is carefully highlighted. A couple of days later, at the presentation of smartphones, the name of the chipset is not even mentioned, as well as on official sites around the world. Just some faceless chipset.
I never understood why it is impossible to mention the name of the chipset on regional sites. Suppose it would be Snapdragon in the USA, and Exynos on the Russian site. But there is probably some logic behind this decision. Perhaps Samsung is afraid that buyers will start to actively compare Exynos and Snapdragon?
Conclusion: will the Galaxy S21 succeed?
Certainly, the new Galaxy S21 will sell better than the previous generation. The $ 200 price cut is no joke. And given the unsightly shipments of the Galaxy S20, it is likely that we will see victorious press releases about a successful start and a percentage increase.
As you know, Russia is going its own way, so while prices for the collapsing US economy are being reduced by $ 200, the increase in value in rubles was about 10% (+ lack of charging). On the other hand, it is widely known that God gives only those tests that a person can endure. The Americans are weak in spirit, and the inhabitants of Russia, as the chosen people of God, will easily survive this.
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