CES 2019 is over the hump, closing tomorrow. But the top tech stories are pretty big and pretty clearly defined – and will be quite exciting, when they appear…someday. The top tech stories include – LG’s rollable, bendable OLED displays, Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G – the next generation wireless tech, 8K TVs, autonomous vehicles – both car and motorcycle, and Apple & Siri strike back.
Mastercard’s SpendingPulse retail shopping survey reports a robust increase of 5.1% for holiday sales this year – well over the expectations of many trying to handicap the shopping season. In fact, according to MasterCard, this is the biggest holiday sales increase in the last six years. But not every category is celebrating. And overall retail trends in 2018 offered some troubling results.
Check out our retail and holiday sales report for 2018… [Read more…] about Retail Struggles Continue; But Holiday Sales are Up
Intros ‘Carbon Collection’ of Home Décor Items
Monoprice, the company most successful at pursuing a low-price, cut-rate strategy in regards to cables, adapters, and accessories, and the bane of many upscale cable companies in the consumer electronics space, has continued to grow and expand, now adding housewares and home goods to their growing assortment.
See more on what Monoprice has been up to recently… [Read more…] about Monoprice: King of Cut-Rate Cables, Expands
Best Buy has launched a corporate rebranding that is both sweeping in style and represents a shocking reversal of course, undoing much of its original mission that was created when founder Dick Schulze, President Brad Anderson and crew launched an entirely new store concept known as “Concept II.” Concept II was a reinvention of their formerly more traditional superstore design to a new warehouse style discount store designed to deliver the “Best Buy” on all things tech. This new branding change is to such a significant degree that even Advertising Age Magazine (AdAge) devoted significant space to an analysis of it.
See more on this surprising reversal of the genesis of Best Buy’s founding concept… [Read more…] about Best Buy Rebranding Reverses Historic Course
Ah…those geeks on Best Buy’s Geek Squad. They’re so cute aren’t they? With their little white shirts, clip-on black ties, and nerdy glasses taped on the nose bridge. You just know that when you give them your misbehaving computer, they’re going to get right to fixing it. But would you hand your computer over to a member of the Geek Squad if you knew he was acting as a kind of paid FBI agent by proxy, one who intends to scour your hard drive and look through your files to find anything possibly compromising to hand over to the FBI…and collect a bounty? Or would you choose a different repair center, one that simply focuses on repairing your computer?
Yes, some Geek Squad members are paid informants for the FBI… [Read more…] about Geek Squad: Nerdy Repair Man or Proxy FBI Agent?
Popular Executive Leaves the Company
Just one week after Amazon made a widely reported purchase of video doorbell maker Ring (for a reported eye-popping $1 billion), we learn that it has made another investment into the smart home space, taking a share of smart thermostat maker Ecobee. Although this was an investment made through their Amazon Alexa Fund and not an outright acquisition, it seems pretty clear that Amazon is getting very serious about the smart home business.
See more on this unexpected development from Amazon… [Read more…] about Amazon Invests in Another Smart Home Startup
Unless you live under a rock, you most likely have heard about Amazon Go, the experimental grocery store that uses technology to allow shoppers to bypass the checkout counter and simply walk out the door with their purchases. Within minutes of leaving, they receive an email of the items they left with, and the receipt with the charges to a card of their (previously registered) choice. The idea is to eliminate a signficant pain point – standing in line for the sometimes time-consuming checkout process.
But what do consumers think about the idea? You might be surprised… [Read more…] about So How is Amazon Go…er…Going?
Majority Say They Use Smart Speaker to Shop
New research conducted by NPR and Edison Research has revealed what is likely the key motivation for Amazon and Google to aggressively attack the mass market by offering attractive smart speaker products at ever-decreasing prices – they are a Trojan horse. The data also shows the remarkably rapid adoption of the technology in just a couple of short years.
See more on this important research on smart speakers… [Read more…] about New Research: Are Smart Speakers a Trojan Horse?
ProSource, one of the larger retail buying groups in the U.S. announced today that it has added 13 new members to their organization. As a multi-tiered group, these new additions were in two different groups – 12 dealers were added as custom integrator members, while one was added as an Associate PRO level member.
See more on this news from ProSource… [Read more…] about ProSource Adds a Lucky 13 New Members
Amazon Tests In-Home Installations
Recode is reporting that Amazon is testing an installation service for smart home products in several key test markets – in direct competition with Best Buy’s Geek Squad. While these two giants battle over the rights to install smart home solutions into the home, where does this leave the independent integrator?