Archive for September, 2012

i-Lag or Byte of the Apple

The smartphone has evolved from new gadget to just another gadget – it has become commoditized.  The Razr i will indeed allow you to switch quickly between the web, play games, send texts and take photos. Will iOS 6 disappoint as consumers realize that it begins to slow down your iPad2 and is backward incompatible with the new generation iPod touch?  A case of i-lag will emerge as random consumers begin to ask: why upgrade to iPhone5? Why queue? Why buy Apple product? The convergence of technology will trump the key players as spherical competitors from anywhere at any time enter the game. Google’s Motorola has now unveiled its first smartphone with Razr i, a social media and mobile advertising market game began without Apple, SmartTV technology resides with LG and Samsung, and the new spherical competitors in smartphones are likely to be the Chinese players, Huawei and ZTE. Forget the device; the game has evolved from a game of competing ecosystems, OS v Android and 4G technologies to one of consumer expectations. Rational consumers have no idea what they want, but whatever it is, they want it now.  So expectations are dangerously high, matching them with low prices may be an optimal response. Judicious pricing policies will facilitate a winning strategy. We have argued before in this Blog for a nano-iPhone – a strategy to compete on price against the impending challenge from Huawei in the US. Launching a nano is a dominant strategy for Apple Inc because its payoff in the smartphone game will be (i) always at least as much as that of iPhone5 [whatever Samsung or Huawei do] and, (ii) at least some of the time actually better in the evolving game of commoditized smartphones.

Refer back to Blog entry: Simon en-cycling to SMIN!

Refer back to early Blog entries: The  Brontosaurus paradox

Economic Damage & Spoiled Markets

Markets are spoiled when policymakers place greater worth on the value of a penny saved than on a pound spent on doing something. Consumers prefer to save instead of spend, as each fears to spoil the chance of getting a better price later. With a declining demand at a time of positive technology expectations, economic damage embeds itself into the spoiled markets, as the experience of buying and selling in bad times influence future behaviour and the damage will occur and recur in a pattern of lifecycle debt and deflation. G20 policymakers could endorse global policies that borrow more of the future and spend in the present. The economic damage today is in government cutbacks, indebtedness, redundancies, job losses and credit restrictions. Although technology and innovation cycles are visible across many products and services, although we are in an information business cycle, any expectant boost to world growth has been muted by the debt of economic damage. Banks had had converted a simple banking exchange of deposits and lending into a complex debt instrument exchange system – complex betting on the probability that a no income, no job or assets (NINJA) loan recipient would repay. They have spoiled banking, they have lost credibility as their profits continue to be privatised, and their debts socialised. The recent initiatives from ECB and the Fed represent a pan-QE3 frontal attack on a stubborn world economy that is stumbling into an era of deflation and economic damage. The QE3 is a positive signal, it has a chance of success, but more has to be done now.