Apple stock rises on strong earnings
Apple reported on its Q4 earnings, which showed better than expected results, despite iPhone sales down 9% from last year. Strength in Apple’s recently beefed-up services offering and wearables (watches and AirPods) led to a strong quarter. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: What do you do when your flagship product’s sales are slowing due to market saturation and differentiation is becoming more difficult? You diversify, of course, and seek to differentiate your products by creating more add-ons (AirPods, news, music, TV and gaming services) that strengthen the value of your core product (iPhones). Apple is a master at execution — both device building and marketing, and its success with new products and services is playing out in text book form. The Cupertino hero continues to lead not only technology, but the tech economy.
Ford improves user interfaces to be more tablet-like
Ford will be equipping cars next year with a 15 inch touch screen which will enable simultaneous display of navigation, radio and phone, via either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Over the air updates will keep the features and applications current unlike today’s static systems. Wired
dis-rup-shun: We can thank Tesla for showing the auto industry that big screens are not only possible in-dash, but highly desirable. For a decade or more, the technology in cars has been significantly inferior to that of consumer electronics, creating a disappointing experience. Automakers are waking up to the reality that they can differentiate the car driving (and buying) experience with leading edge technology. Just notice that half of car commercials now are not about the car but about the apps available in the the car. Expect future car tech features to be so engaging that consumers will increasingly decide to purchase an additional wireless account for the car.
Tesla debuts solar roof 3.0
Tesla’s slate-looking solar roof tiles are made of a new unspecified material that is easier to install, will withstand 110 mph winds and hail up to 2 inches in diameter. The new tiles come with a 25 year warranty. California’s rolling blackouts to prevent wildfires makes solar much more desirable. Wired
dis-rup-shun: The concept is brilliant but the past application flawed, and Tesla has struggled to be an energy company. Musk, however, like most great pioneers, is unfazed by failure and may get this right. If roof tiles can, in fact, reliably generate electricity and cost about the same as a composite shingle roof with solar panels installed, or can be heavily subsidized by an energy company, then this can be a highly desirable innovation in home building. Climate change is no longer science’s theoretical problem, and as fires, floods, big tornadoes and hurricanes wreck our lives, we are ready to spend more money to be more prepared, and this is one way to confront the increasing perils of home ownership.
We’re not making it hard for hackers – a list of crappy passwords
More than 21 millions stolen passwords used by Fortune 500 employees were found on the Dark Web by researchers. Of these, 95% were plain text and only 25% were unique. Some of the worst passwords commonly used include:
000000, 111111, 123456, password, abc123, opensesame, penispenis, welcome. Forbes
dis-rup-shun: The password game is maddening, with many accounts requiring different rules and all urging users not to use the same password. The only relief is the dubious yet effective encrypted browser based password control program, but placing all of your keys in Google’s hands seems to be a gamble in itself. The market is ripe for a new technology for authentication, but there seems to be little innovation other than two factor authentication. Opportunity?