- In a short line
- In Yakutia, by 2024, a children’s technopark will appear in each district
- LG and smartphones: still floundering
- The harm of the Sber ecosystem and the reasons for Yandex’s greed
- Google figured something out (but really didn’t), or the trouble of all big corporations
- Apple is as relevant again as ever
In a short line
In Yakutia, by 2024, a children’s technopark will appear in each district
I continue to share with you the most impressive news from the mail. This week Samsung pumped up and did not give good news feeds. But the press center of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) sent an informative and succinct press release for 152 words. Let me quote the main theses:
- It is planned that by 2024 a children’s technopark will appear in every municipal district and city district. (Note: there are a total of 36 such districts and districts).
- The program assumes the creation of at least 17 centers. (Note: because plans are plans, and reality is reality).
- The government of Yakutia relies on the active development of innovations in the region. (Note: Correct and timely decision for 2021).
- In 2021, at the Gaidar Forum, the republic received the Digital Region nomination of the Digital Peaks award for the active development of innovation infrastructure. (Note: if Yakuts are reading us, tell us in the comments what kind of digital infrastructure innovations you have there).
LG and smartphones: still floundering
I was looking forward to the report from LG to find out what the company plans to do with the unprofitable mobile business. There have been many leaks on the network that are about to be announced for sale. As an incorrigible optimist, I believe that the company will not leave the market and that even Apple will be fine. Well, the chief pragmatically wrote in Spillikins that he would most likely leave, and wrote down the next issue of “Everything Apple”. Be sure to check it out (although we’ll talk about Apple a little later in the text).
So, on January 29, LG presented the next results. Still, I love the company for its stability. Another quarter, another losses of the mobile department. It is also important to remember that by the end of 2021, according to the promises of the company’s CEO, the mobile department should become profitable.
Sales have sagged, and no matter how the company has cut costs, it still operates at a loss. Interestingly, no news of the sale or the curtailment of activities was received.
The company sets goals for the development of the 2021G market for 5. And the fate of the mobile department is hidden behind the phrase: “It is planned to carefully analyze the direction of the business, objectively assess our current and future competitiveness and determine the direction.”
Objectively speaking, this is the darkest plan for the future in the last 10 years for sure. A quarter ago, LG wrote in its plans that it was going to storm and conquer the markets of North and Latin America and improve the efficiency of business processes.
I can only assume that the company is desperately looking for options to avoid closing or selling its mobile business, and the final decision has not been made. The agony of choice is described in the text on Android.Mobile-Review.сom (link above).
The harm of the Sber ecosystem and the reasons for Yandex’s greed
As you remember, Sberbank began to engage in incomprehensible matters. At first he said that he was not Sberbank, but simply Sberbank, then he said that not only a bank, but also a service company – to watch videos, listen to music, deliver products, and use cloud storage. He also presented smart speakers “SberPortal” and a TV set-top box. If Sberbank were a person, I would assume that my grandfather has a midlife crisis. He bought himself a leather jacket, fashionable personal belongings, a motorcycle and demanded to call himself not Alexei Petrovich, but Alex. Perhaps something like this is taking place. Maybe Herman Oskarovich read Elon Musk’s twitter and decided that it could be no worse.
Once again I drew attention to Sberbank when I went to the eapteka.ru website, where I order medicines from time to time. And only when the letter with the order confirmation came, I noticed that now it is SberApteka.
Nothing has changed except the logo and name. You go to the section “About the company” and there: “The company SBER EAPTEKA was founded in 2000. Today it is one of the largest online pharmacies in Russia with the widest range of products on the market ”… As if we went through an auto change.
Business diversification is definitely a good thing. But Sberbank’s approach raises questions.
Let’s take Yandex. So, Yandex has created its own ecosystem to get involved in services. Recently, for the same purpose, I replaced cashback discounts with bonus points that can be spent only within services. There are questions about the work of the bonus system. For example, I recently bought tickets to a theater and noticed that a ticket on Yandex.Afisha costs 100 rubles more than on the theater’s website. The secret turned out to be that 10% of the cost (that is, in this case, just 100 rubles) will be returned to my account with bonus points. Such was the awl for soap. By the way, the company has recently been frequently complained about on the Internet that it inflates prices for its subscribers. Yes, and I no, no, but I draw your attention that it is often more profitable to take a Citymobil taxi than to go to Yandex.Drive carsharing. However, in general, there are reasons for such greed.
For example, Yandex.Music and Kinopoisk are unprofitable. So, according to the latest available report for the 3rd quarter of 2020, the company lost 1 billion rubles on the services of KinoPoisk, Yandex.Music, Yandex.Afisha, production center Yandex.Studio and subscription service Yandex.Plus. Accordingly, this is about 3-4 billion rubles of loss for the year. Other products – Zen, Geolocation Services (“Geo”), Edadeal, Investments, Yandex.Cloud and Yandex.Education brought another 1.8 billion in losses in the 3rd quarter alone. Unpleasant losses. However, they are partially offset by taxis and food. There the margin is about 10%, or 6-7 billion rubles per year (before taxes).
But this is Yandex, the market leader with authorized taxi fleets, branded Yandex.Lavki and Yandex.Eda, and its own production center. The company loses on something, but is trying to build the ecosystem in such a way as to increase engagement and compensate for losses from other services. Yandex products are united by a common idea.
The Sberbank ecosystem is based on simple thoughts. We have 900 billion in net profit and 100 million active customers every year, let’s try to use economies of scale and make money. Accordingly, Sberbank simply buys everything that works more or less normally and pours it into its ecosystem.
Obviously, this is a project for the distant future, which in the next 3-5 years will only eat up money. Just look at Yandex, which, as the current leader of the subscription market, earns minimal money on it.
Sber’s product is harmful to the market because, unlike Yandex, the company does not create, but simply buys. And at the same time, it can dump for a very long time in order to sit out competitors. At the moment, this can be pleasant for users, as other companies will be forced to respond and reduce prices. But in the end, this will lead to a halt in development and another monopoly.
Google figured something out (but really didn’t), or the trouble of all big corporations
Another clumsy, but more innovative (than Sberbank) giant is also trying to diversify its business and is looking for ways to develop. I might be wrong, but Google had a lot of plans and hopes for the Google Stadia game streaming project. The company even launched its own game studio, believing it could create their own super cool games. However, the pink dreams quickly shattered on the cast iron of gray reality, and on February 1, a notable entry appeared on the company’s blog in which Google reveals that it is closing its homebrew studios in Los Angeles and Montreal. I especially liked the phrase that explains what is happening: “Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially.”.
Experience the insight that Google has gained over a year in the gaming industry. It turned out that making games is difficult, time consuming and expensive. I wonder how the launch meeting went on. Isn’t it too difficult? We’re Google! Isn’t it too expensive? We’re Google! But this will take a long time! WE ARE GOOGLE!
The funny thing about this situation is that Google isn’t unique at all. Absolutely the same delusions reign in every large corporation.
– Isn’t it too difficult to make a good operating system for smartphones and attract users? They say it’s not enough just to buy someone. – We’re Microsoft!
– But Microsoft did not succeed with the phones, maybe we will think over everything more carefully? – They are suckers, and we are Yandex! We are also making a smart speaker!
– Launching a streaming service from scratch with absolutely no experience in it is not easy. Maybe not worth it? – We will shove this service for them, along with our entire ecosystem, so deep that they will have no options. We’re Apple!
Probably, when you work in such a large corporation, there is a certain distortion of the perception of the world. Employees look at posh headquarters, see their products being used by millions or even billions of users around the world, and it begins to feel like anything is possible. On the one hand, the dizziness of success is dangerous. On the other hand, if the company can afford it, then why not? After all, there is always a possibility that even if 999 ideas do not work, the thousandth one will shock the world.
Apple is as relevant again as ever
The big news last week was Apple’s phenomenal report. Revenue 111.4 billion dollars, an increase of 21% over last year. The total base of Apple devices in the hands of users is 1.65 billion, of which more than a billion are iPhones.
Apple products sold well around the world, but fared especially well in China and Japan, where 5G networks were already commonplace.
Recently I did material about the Samsung Galaxy S21, in which I studied the sales of flagships from Samsung.
And I could not help but pay attention to one pattern. Starting with the Galaxy S8, sales of the company’s flagships have been declining, and company representatives and third-party analysts explain what is happening by the lack of innovation in products, which is why users do not see the point in updating. This is an absolutely typical situation for the entire market, and, I think, needless to say, the life cycle of a smartphone has grown to 2-3 years. This is a problem, but at the time it arose, affluent users had no options. And if you want a fast Android smartphone, then you need to take the flagship.
Today the situation has changed, and a fast Android smartphone with a normal camera can be found even in the segment under 20 thousand rubles. Accordingly, there are fewer and fewer reasons to overpay for the flagship. If earlier flagships had fundamental differences – screen, camera, performance – now inexpensive smartphones can give a similar perception. Just look at realme, Xiaomi’s Poco, and Samsung’s A-series.
And if Samsung was accused of lack of innovation, then the iPhone was not hesitated to say that it was an outdated smartphone. What’s true is true. Apple does not seek to run ahead of the engine by introducing new technologies. And if a couple of years ago this could be the reason why a potential buyer could choose Android over iPhone, now it doesn’t matter.
Though slowly, the iPhone has mastered almost all the features of Android, including picture-in-picture mode, widgets, changing icons, etc. That is, in general, the technologies have become equal. At the same time, Apple retains such advantages as extremely long software support (for example, iOS 14 can be installed even on the iPhone 6S, released in 2015), the perception of the company’s products as quality things that last an extremely long time (by the way, educational institutions are guided by this logic all over the world. If they can afford it, they prefer to buy Apple products). I will not talk about the halo of fashion-premium, but the marketing story of the iPhone with its concept of “Think Different” and “just works” still captivates many.
Accordingly, for ordinary wealthy people who are not too keen on technology, if they are not allergic to iOS, there are practically no alternatives to the iPhone. It makes sense to buy this Android, which will stop being updated and will lose value if you can be in the warmth and comfort of the Apple ecosystem, where you will be taken care of for many years (unless, of course, the company doesn’t keep up).
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