Apple turns to bundling
Bundling, the practice of offering a number of services or products together for a discount, has built many a company including AT&T, Comcast, Amazon, and soon Apple. Apple will be bundling Music, streaming TV, gaming and iCloud storage, and perhaps other benefits including an online workout service, in an Amazon Prime-like subscription that gives the faithful so much for a flat monthly fee. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: How can you refuse it? Services that you really want (Apple TV) along with some nice-to-haves, like Apple News and Arcade, for just a few more dollars per month. The good people at Peloton probably didn’t see an Apple fitness channel coming, but the data about home workouts is too enticing to pass up. Apple, with this move, is moving more deeply into the wheelhouse of Amazon and AT&T, providing attractive service revenues as well as its blockbuster lineup of Apple devices. Seems that Big Tech’s formula for the future consists of three critical components: cloud-based services, specialized content and apps, and consumer devices.
Microsoft seeks to create a new class of computing
Microsoft’s Surface family of products have been a wild success — offering Apple like design for the Windows crowd. Now Microsoft is going out on a limb with the Surface Duo, a foldable two screen device that is not a Windows computer, but too big to be a phone. The Android-based device is thin and elegant, offering two very portable screens for those who want more screen while on the move. Microsoft has decided to pass on 5G for the first release. The device can be pre-ordered at AT&T, Microsoft.com or Best Buy. CNET
dis-rup-shun: It is rare to see Microsoft go all “Apple-like” and think it can create a new product category. The company traditionally has not been good at firsts, but excellent at second or third offerings. After the dismal failure that was the Nokia acquisition, Microsoft has decided to be an innovator. The device looks very tempting to pair some earbuds as a media player and phone, but will an Android-based computer satisfy the mobile office worker? If you want to play with $1,399, it will be a great experiment.
Waze adds contactless fueling to its app
Waze has partnered with both ExxonMobil and Shell, incorporating those companies’ rewards app into its own, enabling the user to purchase fuel at the pump without touching payment screens. CNET
dis-rup-shun: COVID-19 continues to reshape the new normal, and buying gas may never be the same. Even if you have resisted the fuel rewards programs, as you don’t think of yourself as loyal to a gas station, Waze has found a way to keep you from straying to the convenience of Google Maps or Apple Maps. Touchless payments have been popular in other parts of the world, such as Asia, for a number of years, but slow to catch on in the USA. Touchless fueling will accelerate mobile payment adoption assuming Americans start driving again.
Intel counting on next generation chip to put it back on top
Intel, the golden child of the era of computing, has been beaten up lately. Apple has bailed on Intel, AMD’s chips have bested some of Intel’s, and Qualcomm and Nvidia continue to eat away at Intel’s core customer base. Intel’s next generation, generation 11 chipsets, called Tiger Lake, should put the company back on top. Tiger Lake processors are faster, smaller, provide better graphics and use less battery power. CNET
dis-rup-shun: Competition is tough in the chip business, and China has just announced more emphasis on chip making given icy relations with the west. Intel’s corporate structure has served it well in traditional markets, but the company has been slow to be the engine inside of new connected device categories. The future of computing looks a lot less like a computer, and Intel needs to c