Apple strengthens suppliers and fortifies the tech economy

Apple uses its weight to benefit partners

Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund has invested another $250 million in glass maker corning, the primary supplier of glass for iPhones, iPads and watches. The program saw investments of $60 billion in 9,000 American suppliers in 2018, representing 450,000 jobs. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: If you weren’t an Apple fan before, maybe this will convince you. Using its massive cash reserves to strengthen the overall health of its partners is a admirable use of Apple’s strength, and another reason why it is important for the company to continue being a vital, growing tech powerhouse.

More Google Nest woes

CNET bashes Google’s changes of the Works with Nest program and the device connection experience altogether in this scathing criticism of the “improvements” Google has made to Nest products.

dis-rup-shun: The irony of Google’s moves is that Nest, when introduced, was finally the win the complicated and disjointed smart home industry needed. The Nest thermostat was great looking, worked well, and installation was beautifully designed. It was the poster product for the future of smart home — reliable, attractive and cool. Google has transformed a hero product line into one plagued by incompatibilities — spawning user frustration and, inevitably, anger. Perhaps the bigger irony of this unfortunate turn of events is that Google’s device woes are the result of its response to threats from an online bookseller turned smart home master. Amazon’s Echo has not only become the focal point of the smart home, but the company has purchased many strong product companies, such as Ring, and implemented smooth integrations between the product families.

The curious future of the compact camera

Sony’s RX100 VII compact camera sports the photo quality of a large DSLR camera, but is the size of a smartphone. It offers zoom lens range of up to 200mm, fast exposure, and a 1” image sensor — far more than you will find in any smartphone. The price is $1,200. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: The camera business is rough, and Sony’s high end compact is a bold, high cost move into a market that barely exists. Consumers who want a professional-grade camera that will fit in their pocket, yet doesn’t also have to make phone calls or send text messages are rare. Sony, the Apple of the 1980’s, continues to try to thrive on the edges of the mass market that was its bread and butter.

Facebook finding AR glasses more difficult than social media

Facebook, for several years now, has been building augmented reality glasses that enable one to see text messages, speak commands and get directions and additional information without the use of smartphone. Facebook has turned to Luxottica, the parent of Ray-Bans and Oakleys for assitance. The Orion glasses may be available by 2023 to 2025. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: One will be hard pressed to find an example of a smart glasses “hit,” despite a half dozen or so serious attempts. Smart glasses have some obvious applications, like helping with driving, battlefield maneuvers, bar tending (all those recipes) and manufacturing, but consumers have yet to be convinced. Maybe a company like Luxottica that understands fashion can score a hit, but Facebook has enough problems with social media security and protection of personal information to be dabbling in the hardware business. Not every company can be an almost-anything company like Amazon.

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