Last week was crazier than usual in the tech world – which is saying a lot.
Elon Musk was sued by Twitter for making a deal he initially didn’t want; some influential people wrongly blame Qualcomm for Apple’s inability to run 5G; and Netflix partnered with Microsoft rather than Google or Comcast for ad-generated content.
Let’s walk through some of this seeming madness and see what’s going on.
We close with my product of the week, a new smartwatch for Android with Qualcomm technology that gives the market-leading Apple Watch a run for the money at a reasonable price.
Musk-Twitter: Another so-called marriage from hell
Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter made no sense, no matter which side you were on.
Musk already has too many difficult companies to manage, he has no media experience, and Twitter is a fixer-upper, meaning anyone running it should focus solely on the project to change the business. Musk can’t.
From Twitter’s perspective, Musk disliked the existing management team, policies, and critical staff before taking over the company, meaning his term as CEO would not only cost many people their jobs, but he would likely try to outrun each and every one of them. past recoverable compensation to top management.
In addition, Musk would insult certain members of that staff, some of whom are part of protected groups, making him a potential HR nightmare. There’s also the recent revelation that he had impregnated a subordinate, which would typically be a termination-level violation at a company like Twitter.
Add to that the fact that Tesla buyers were off the track over Musk’s Twitter takeover attempt, and the SEC was anything but amused, this takeover looked like a train wreck in slow motion. Much of the damage to Twitter, including its inability to retain or acquire crucial employees, along with a disturbing drop in revenue as advertisers began to question the company’s future, is unprecedented.
Now that he’s seriously damaged Twitter, Musk doesn’t want to buy it anymore. I can’t blame him for walking away, given the shape Twitter is in now. However, since he appears to have caused much of that damage, I also can’t blame the Twitter board for suing Musk.
Ultimately, this highlights the need for better protection and control over CEOs to prevent them from derailing and crippling companies that would otherwise have remained viable — and to better protect workers and investors from avoidable catastrophic consequences.
Qualcomm-Apple: Let’s Play ‘Who’s the Bully?’
I was at an analyst meeting last week where Apple was again called out for bullying Qualcomm.
With resources far greater than Qualcomm’s, Apple supporters continue to try to convince courts and regulators that they are the victim and Qualcomm the bully.
This latest effort argues that two Qualcomm patents are stopping Apple from creating a viable 5G modem, though it’s much more likely that it was caused by the process of acquiring Intel’s failed modem efforts and a subset of the employees who own it. operated without success.
I liken this to acquiring a losing race team and then yelling that the winners took an unfair advantage because you can’t win. Maybe if you bought a winning team and didn’t break it?
Strangely enough, not only do the two patents literally have nothing to do with the 5G efforts, but Apple also has a Qualcomm license, so it should be able to use them without penalty.
If you have a design that infringes on another company’s patents, you usually either license the company that owns the patents or find a legal solution. Apple licenses it, but claims the small price (usually less than $10 per iPhone) is too high, though it’s clear that their workarounds are even more expensive.
Situations like these prove that licensing is a good value because it is much cheaper than reinventing the technology. Still, instead of admitting that Qualcomm gave Apple a very good licensing deal, Apple supporters argue that Apple should be able to set Qualcomm’s prices. This is despite the fact that Apple’s own pricing model is considered premium and contributes to the profit that makes Apple’s valuation much higher than Qualcomm’s.
Apple continues to lose this battle in court – but apparently it thinks bullying is something it deserves – so I really doubt this will end well for the company.
Netflix-Microsoft: Why Not Google or Comcast?
Netflix is in trouble because it didn’t expect many, if not most, of its major content providers, especially Disney, to choose to leave the platform and go it alone. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise as we were talking disintermediation since the dawn of the internet.
If Netflix owned most of its content, it would have prevented those other providers from depriving Netflix of its customers, and that’s exactly what happened. To address the related revenue shortfall, Netflix is looking for the symptom of the problem (the revenue shortfall) by partnering with Microsoft, a company that understands how to set up a digital store for both products and services.
Both Google and Comcast, which have similar services, could have helped. But those “similar services” are competitors to Netflix, so it wouldn’t be wise to use either one. In addition, Google and especially Comcast do not work well together and Microsoft has partnering as a key competitive advantage. That advantage only grew stronger under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, a strong believer in open source and partnership.
While Netflix is not yet directly addressing the root of its problem (lack of strong content ownership), assuming this move is successful, this move should improve revenues and profits, allowing it to acquire and retain more content providers, ultimately would solve underlying problems. issue.
However, to prevent history from repeating itself, Netflix needs to understand the mistake it made, which is that the company needs to determine what it sells. Otherwise, those who do have control over it are likely to make the company obsolete.
Musk’s bid to buy Twitter didn’t work for either side, and his misuse of that company should come with sanctions, as he nearly destroyed it in an effort that would likely be catastrophic for both parties.
Apple continues to bully Qualcomm. If it were me, I wouldn’t do business with that company just because of the abuse. But the courts continue to do the right thing by backing the abused party, Qualcomm.
Finally, while Netflix failed to understand the problems associated with not owning much of the most popular content, it is choosing a partner to solve the revenue side of the problem. It wisely chose by working with Microsoft which partners are better than other possible choices and will not use the information it extracts from the deal to harm Netflix. Still, Netflix will still have to solve the core problem: making sure no one can walk away with critical content in the future.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS
I keep looking for a smartwatch that is better than the Apple Watch and I keep coming up short. This is because Apple does a great job of integrating its smartwatch and phone, while those on the Android side are just no match for the competition.
TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS
Apple Watch’s biggest competitor to date is the new one TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS which is the best android based watch i have tested so far. Using Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon Wear 4100 smartwatch platform and Google’s Wear OS, this watch is impressive.
What does it better than an Apple Watch?
This list is short because I can only point out two things, but the first one is big. The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS has two overlapping screens. One is full color OLED, but the other is a very energy-efficient FSTN display that could potentially give the watch a week of battery life. This is significantly longer than any Apple Watch I’ve seen to date.
Not so big, but still important, the watch is round like most watches on the market, not square like an iPad mini on your wrist. I prefer a watch that looks like a watch and not a small TV screen.
The software is now down level. It should be Wear OS 3, but only uses version 2.36 for now (I understand there will be an upgrade in a few months). However, the watch is still snappy and has a few dedicated apps that manage your health, heart rate, oxygen levels, breathing, relaxation, hearing, and sleep.
I especially like how quickly you can configure this TicWatch for a walk or run. It has both a microphone and speaker, which is essential for the phone I have – the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 which looks great but is awkward to hold your face during a call.
Mobvoi did a good job with this watch and at a suggested retail price of $299 it’s not a bad deal. While I can hardly wait for the update to Google Wear OS 3, the latest TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS is a great alternative to the Apple Watch for those of us who don’t use an iPhone — and it’s my product of the week.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.