Apple’s Vision Pro Ignites Worldwide Interest as Sales Inch Up

Apple has reportedly sold about 200,000 Vision Pro units since its U.S. release February 2, the day before the tech giant’s quarterly earnings showed net sales increased by 2 percent to $119.58 billion for the three months that ended December 31. It was the company’s first quarterly revenue increase in a year, driving $33.92 billion in profit for the period, a 13 percent uptick year-over-year. Apple has yet to release official numbers for the Vision Pro, which it describes as “a revolutionary spatial computer that seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world.” Based on early estimates, sales of the $3,500 device are likely to be too small to significantly impact the next quarter. Continue reading Apple’s Vision Pro Ignites Worldwide Interest as Sales Inch Up

Black Friday Sets Sales and Mobile Shopping Records in U.S.

American consumers set a new online shopping record for Black Friday, spending $9.8 billion on November 24, a record for the famous sales day and a 5.7 percent increase over 2022, according to Adobe Analytics. Thanksgiving Day online sales were also strong, rising 5.5 percent to $5.6 billion, per Adobe, which predicts that Cyber Monday numbers will blow past both those days, projecting U.S. consumer spending of between $12 billion and $12.4 billion for another new record. A notable trend during the holiday shopping weekend was increased reliance on “buy now, pay later” deals. Continue reading Black Friday Sets Sales and Mobile Shopping Records in U.S.

LinkedIn Taps OpenAI to Upgrade Business Marketing Tools

LinkedIn is unveiling new AI features to improve job hunting, marketing and sales tools for its nearly 1 billion users. The Recruiter talent sourcing platform, LinkedIn Learning and more are all getting AI assists. A central use of AI is “to take on some of workers’ day-to-day drudgery, freeing extra time for the more people-centric, strategic aspects of their job,” according to the social business platform, which just wrapped its 12th annual Talent Connect Summit. The proliferation of evolving generative AI tools is triggering new workflows for recruiters, job hunters and employees. Continue reading LinkedIn Taps OpenAI to Upgrade Business Marketing Tools

Salesforce: 17 Percent of Shoppers Have Used Generative AI

Salesforce suggests “the retail industry is again on the precipice of major disruption” based on consumer adoption of artificial intelligence, which is being used to change shopping habits and inform purchases through things like personalization, browsing suggestions and recommendations based on past habits and visualizations. Other popular use cases include AI-generated marketing assets and customer service agents. Based on a study conducted in May and June of this year involving 2,400 shoppers and 1,125 retail decision makers, Salesforce notes that one in six shoppers, or 17 percent, have already used generative AI for “purchase inspiration.” Continue reading Salesforce: 17 Percent of Shoppers Have Used Generative AI

Apple’s Sales Decline Tempered by Record for Services Arm

Apple experienced its third consecutive quarter of declining sales in Q2, with a 1.4 percent slip to revenue of $81.8 billion. But the Cupertino-based company managed to generate record performance in its Services division, up 8.2 percent to $21.21 billion. Sales of the company’s largest device segment, iPhones, underperformed estimates with $39.7 billion in sales, a 2.4 percent dip year-over-year. Overall, however, Apple slightly overperformed Wall Street expectations, which were forecast at $81.64 billion for the quarter ending in June. For Q2, Apple reported 1 billion paid subscriptions — including Apple Music, Apple TV+ and third-party apps. Continue reading Apple’s Sales Decline Tempered by Record for Services Arm

AWS, Advertising Drive Amazon to 11 Percent Revenue Gain

Amazon’s AWS cloud-computing unit generated $22.1 billion in Q2, a 12 percent year-over-year gain that was a highlight in a strong quarter for the e-commerce giant. The company generated a total of $134.4 billion in revenue for the period ending in June, an 11 percent increase over the prior year. Advertising was also strong, jumping 22 percent to $10.68 billion. Cost-cutting and rebounding e-commerce helped propel the Seattle-based company to a quarterly profit of $6.75 billion (its strongest performance since Q4 2021), which contrasted sharply with a loss in the same period last year. Continue reading AWS, Advertising Drive Amazon to 11 Percent Revenue Gain

Enterprise Anticipates AI Impact but Few Execs Are Prepared

Generative AI has become a buzzword in the business community, resulting in 65 percent of executives in a recent KPMG survey saying they believe the technology will have a high or extremely high impact on their organization in the next three to five years. Yet most say they are unprepared for immediate adoption, with 60 percent estimating they are 12 to 24 months from implementing their first generative AI solution. Fewer than half of respondents say they have the right technology, talent, and governance in place to successfully implement generative AI. Continue reading Enterprise Anticipates AI Impact but Few Execs Are Prepared

Business World Asks if Generative AI is Ready for Enterprise

IT pros are grappling with the ways ChatGPT can be worked into the enterprise stack. The generative artificial intelligence from OpenAI has demonstrated the ability to compile reports, craft marketing pitches and write software code, which makes it seem convenient for business use. Yet concerns remain, including potential security risks and sometimes erratic or inappropriate data feedback. In the past week, one third-party tester had ChatGPT pledge love for its interlocutor, while another received a detailed lecture on why cow eggs are bigger than chicken eggs. Continue reading Business World Asks if Generative AI is Ready for Enterprise

Apple Hardware Sales Decline, Services Remain Bright Spot

Apple’s three-year streak of record-setting sales and profit came to an end with the company’s fiscal first quarter for 2023. The three-month period ending December 31, 2022 produced revenue of $117.2 billion, down 5 percent year-over-year. Apple said the results capped an earnings season “in which the world’s biggest technology companies mostly struggled to shake off a postpandemic hangover.” It was the Cupertino-based company’s first quarterly revenue decline in almost four years, attributable largely to supply chain disruptions in China causing a holiday sales season shortage of the high-end iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. Continue reading Apple Hardware Sales Decline, Services Remain Bright Spot

Apple Has Record Quarter but Slowed Growth Worries Some

Bolstered by iPhone 14 sales, Apple reported fiscal Q4 revenue up just over 8 percent, to $90.1 billion, with a 7.8 percent increase to $394 billion for the 12-month sales session that ended September 24. “We set an all-time revenue record for Mac and September quarter records for iPhone and wearables, home, and accessories,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts, noting “services notched a September quarter record as well, with revenue of $19.2 billion and more than 900 million paid subscriptions.” Even so, the company’s earnings produced a Rashomon effect as peak performance triggered pique among some. Continue reading Apple Has Record Quarter but Slowed Growth Worries Some

Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Surmounting inflation and supply chain delays, Apple posted revenue of $83 billion, up 2 percent year-over-year and a record for the company’s third quarter. However, profit declined 11 percent to $19.4 billion, the worst performance since 2020. Sales of iPhones were strong, generating $40.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 2.8 percent increase over the same period in 2021. But wearables did not prove as resilient, with revenue down 8 percent to $8.1 billion. On the earnings call to discuss Apple’s fiscal 2022 third quarter ended June 25, CEO Tim Cook said the results were “better than we expected.” Continue reading Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Decline in Global PC Sales Expected to Impact Chip Demand

A slump in PC sales and crashing cryptocurrency markets appear to be tempering a demand for semiconductors spurred by COVID-19 era supply chain shortages. Inflation is another mitigating factor, as sales of laptops and high-end GPUs for gaming and cryptocurrency mining slacken. Research firm Gartner predicts global PC shipments will contract by 9.5 percent in 2022, with consumer demand projected to decline by 13.5 percent. Enterprise sales are also expected to drop, by 7.2 percent, according to Gartner. Those numbers align with the 10 percent PC sales decline Micron Technology has forecast. Continue reading Decline in Global PC Sales Expected to Impact Chip Demand

Apple Said to Be Exploring Production Options Outside China

During Apple’s Q2 conference call a few weeks ago, CEO Tim Cook admitted China’s new COVID-19 lockdowns would result in supply chain disruptions causing as much as $8 billion in lost sales this year. Although Cook tried to emphasize Apple’s supply chain as “truly global,” with manufacturing in the U.S. and elsewhere, the company’s reliance on China could be problematic, and reports are surfacing that sources at the company are saying Apple is now on the hunt for production locations outside China, with India and Vietnam, where Apple already has small manufacturing operations, mentioned as candidates. Continue reading Apple Said to Be Exploring Production Options Outside China

Facebook Groups Launches New Tools to Empower Creators

Meta is offering new tools for Facebook Groups to help admins further develop and engage the communities they manage. New features introduced at last week’s Facebook Communities Summit include subgroups, fee-based subscription groups, real-time chat for moderators, personalization tools and community fundraiser enhancements. Group admins will be able to customize the look and feel of groups, including greetings, colors, fonts and backgrounds, as well as the emoji available for content reactions. Facebook said the changes combine “the best of Pages and Groups into one place,” while making it easier, safer and more fun to collaborate. Continue reading Facebook Groups Launches New Tools to Empower Creators

KidHQ: Walmart and Mattel Renting Space in Virtual Store

Online toy shopping is getting increasingly creative, as digital reality tools rise in popularity among retailers and consumers. Walmart and Mattel are now leasing “floors” at the BuzzFeed-produced interactive video experience KidHQ, a virtual reality store that allows users to browse products via choose-your-own-adventure-style videos. Both companies are looking ahead to the holiday season as they try to sell toys ranging from Barbies to “Frozen 2” merchandise, and are using interactive video to connect with consumers to do so. 

Continue reading KidHQ: Walmart and Mattel Renting Space in Virtual Store