“Mobile is eating the world” and the weekly roundup in tech and retail

News and commentaries

You have probably read or browsed through Marc Andreesen’s 2011 essay on “Why software is eating the world”. If you haven’t yet, it’s a worthy read on software’s large scale implications on several industries and the skills needed for the future workplace. Andreesen’s partner at venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz, Benedict Evans, recently delivered a presentation at the WSJD Live tech conference – “Mobile is Eating the World.” You can see the deck that he presented here.

The death of the PC has been talked about for a long time ever since global PC shipments started shrinking. But, it does seem like the post-PC era is coming. Last year, Gartner reported the steepest drop in global PC shipments at 6.9%. Yes, we still need them for work but the rest of the time, as smartphones and tablets get more processing power and more useful apps. One of the slides (page 14) that resonates with me speaks on how smartphones know more about the user than PCs. Think about it, location-based apps mean that your phone not only knows your browsing history but also where you’ve been. It’s an argument that to me, is the most convincing yet on the death of the PC.

Here are this week’s most relevant news in tech and retail.

In tech:

  1. Beijing-based Lenovo officially takes control of Motorola from Google for $2.9B; Google retains ownership of the bulk of Motorola’s patent portfolio; the deal makes Lenovo the third-largest phone-maker only a day after Xiaomi held the spot
  2. Rite Aid, CVS join a list of merchants banning Apple Pay; the retailers belong to Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a group developing its own mobile payment system, CurrentC, set to launch in early 2015
  3. Social network earnings: Facebook‘s Q3 results beat estimates but shares drop on 50-70% costs projections increase next year, filing shows Whatsapp lost $230M in first half of the year on revenue of $15M; LinkedIn reports $568M in Q3 revenue beating estimates; Twitter reports $361M Q3 revenues, filing shows slowing user growth
  4. Other earnings: deals company Groupon reports $757M Q3 revenues beating estimates but lowers next quarter guidance; Sony fiscal Q2 results show increased revenues by 1.2% at $2.83B but writes down mobile division valuation by $1.59B; camera maker GoPro Q3 earnings per share of 12 cents beat estimates, issues strong guidance for the next quarter, and; Samsung Q3 report show shrinking profits, declining 60% from the previous year, blames results on weakening smartphone business
  5. India fundings: India’s Uber, Ola Cabs takes $210M in funding led by Softbank at $1B valuation, and; Indian vehicle-rental startup Zoomcar takes $8M in funding led by Sequoia Capital

In retail:

  1. Earnings: Coach fiscal Q1 results beat estimates, reports profit of 53 cents a share; but shares plunge as investors lose faith in the company’s turnaround plan; Ralph Lauren fiscal Q2 results post better-than-expected earnings at $2.25/share on $1.99B revenues, gives disappointing outlook for current quarter, blaming foreign currency movements
  2. Walmart to close 30 underperforming stores (operating under the Seiyu brand) in Japan
  3. Macy’s will open its first overseas store in Abu Dhabi scheduled for spring 2018 opening
  4. Estée Lauder acquires skincare company Rodin Olio Lusso for undisclosed sum
  5. Tory Burch opens 9,645 square foot store in Shanghai, the store is TB’s first store in Asia and the largest store in the world
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