Friday, 10 January 2014

It's its Birthday so how old do you think the Iphone is?

In fact it's 7 years old. 

Steve Jobs presented his great new idea for the phone market and everybody thought, What? A phone?

And it brought the whole concept of touchscreen, firmly to the market.

Today it accounts for over half of Apple's total revenue with about 450 million units sold. Of course, the revenue isn't just in the expensive handsets but rather in the applications through ITunes, App Store sales and so on. 

The Apple Store alone, generated 10 Billion usd in 2013 with over 50 BILLION Apps being downloaded since the start. 50 Billion!

The Iphone 5S by the way, is 20% lighter than the original Iphone but 40 times faster. 

The Iphone now makes more money than all of Disney and all of Coca-Cola. It makes more money than all of Microsoft!

It's pretty impressive for a 7 year old idea don't you think?
And a helluva tribute to Steve Jobs.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

San Fran Chronicle Shock! Puts Reporters through Digital bootcamp!

Interesting idea from one of America's oldest newspapers, The San Francisco Chronicle. It's 149 years old and owned by Hearst.

Audrey Cooper, the new Managing Editor appointed in May 2013 and only 37, has started a digital incubator or 'boot camp'. She is making all staff, notably reporters, to go through this incubator and understand more about digital publishing, for training.

It is to give a better understanding of clicks, metrics and referral sites (like Reddit, LinkedIn, Pinterest) to bring better insights into how stories get pushed out there. And to understand reader habits better.

They have had declines in their printed circulation to now, 300,000 readers only, but their website is picking up readers, although not fast enough to compensate for the printed readership decline. So it's a mindset change to put digital first, something I've spoken about before. It's new young publishers that have the digital savvy to embrace online and this scheme seems a good way to start.

For a lot of traditional newspaper people, they simply don't understand digital and frankly, most of us are embarrassed to ask when we don't. Absolutely understandable and reflects the general populus. But this is charming way of enlightening them all, without that embarrassment and in a way, motivating them. 

When you talk about the digital world, it tends to become exciting and opportunistic, rather than threatening.

She's on Twitter (@audreycoopersf) and LinkedIn ( and I've no doubt all other Social Media. A lesson there too for publishers - if you're not online, you'll never understand how it works.

But let's hope it all works out and proves to be a business success. It's certainly to be applauded. 

Monday, 6 January 2014

ECommerce, Retailers and the need to focus online.

Interesting retail data from The Financial Times.

Best Buy, an electronics chain, saw a 15% rise in online sales in Q4 to 499m usd. Home Depot, the DIY stores, online rose by 50% to 600m. Walmart online sales expected at 13 billion for 2014.

Very strong rates of growth but ecommerce is still low in their overall sales. Only 6% at Best Buy, 3% at Home Depot and less than 3% at Walmart. Whereas generally, online now accounts for an average of about 11% of all retail sales.

Consequently in fact, these traditional 'bricks and mortar' retailers have a lot of catching up to do. In particular, they need to win against pure online retailers (such as Amazon) who are offering better shipping times and better customer service. Amazon will do 75 billion online this year.

The view is to be able to offer both experiences (online and offline) is the ideal notably at stores (like Home Depot) where customers feel they need to have the advice of a sales person. Indeed, 'click and collect' is seen as a classic example as to how to compete with Amazon's same-day delivery.

I'm not sure they're right.

Online is the new way to shop and will eventually overtake bricks + mortar. Consequently, these retailers need to focus on their online shops and start thinking like tech companies, not as pure retailers.

Online is cheaper to provide (fewer staff, no high street rents/overheads) and it's better margin being direct. It's also global so provides the opportunity to sell into a new customer base, previously limited by store location. 

Online media is also cheaper, targeted and more effective in promoting online shopping and reduces the big advertising overhead that these large retailers hold. 

The switch from high street shopping to online is now well upon us and growing fast. That means that new retail ventures are starting online every day and chipping away at traditional customers of the large retailers. It has to be the focus now, instead of shops. And not a bit of both.

It's what the customer wants.