Category Archives: Tech News

Tech News

Apple’s Death Spiral

Yesterday it was, kinda, announced that Apple are acquiring Beats for $3.2bn. Dr. Dre and Tyrese Gibson even posted a video of them bragging about the acquisition which was promptly pulled once it got the attention it was obviously going to get! (It seems they don’t know the etiquette of the acquisition process). Anyway, to me the acquisition signals the slow decay of Apple Inc as we know it.

Many people have written about what a smart acquisition it is because Beats is a solid business with a great brand that is at the higher end of the market which fits perfectly with Apple’s position at the higher end of the computing and mobile industries. But for me, these are the exact reasons it’s spells the end of Apple. Apple are not about buying existing brands and selling them alongside their products, they are about buying products or software, repackaging them as Apple and building them into global brands (i.e. NeXT becoming OSX, SoundJam becoming iTunes etc.)

Do we really think they’re going to do this with Beats? Would they remove the Dre brand? Will they just be called ‘Apple Beats’? I don’t think so. In fact, this looks like they’re trying to piggyback for the first time ever.

This whole acquisition smacks of desperation from Apple and makes it way too obvious that they’re trying hard as hell to stay relevant. Apple are one of the most iconic brands in the world, so a diversion into another brand makes no sense at all. No doubt they’ve acquired a good business, but integrating acquisitions into existing businesses, and especially combining two massive brands, is bloody hard. Some people are speculating that Beats have some advanced technology, I’d be very surprised if this is the case. I just don’t see what they could have.

If I was you I’d short Apple…this, to me, is the first signal of a slow downward spiral.

Opinion, Tech News

Facebook buying Oculus makes complete sense

I’ve been reading a lot about Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus and many commentators are saying the deal makes no sense at all…I disagree 100%.

What Facebook have done with this acquisition is prepare themselves for the potential next wave of interactive technology, not just for gaming but for everything. The excitement around the Oculus Rift revolved mainly around how it’s technology could be used to enhance gaming experiences but there were many companies getting as excited about it’s potential for films and education. Now, I’m pretty excited about it’s potential for social technology in general. Imagine sitting in your living room and interacting with friends you haven’t seen in years through a connection between your Oculus Rift and your Facebook account. When it comes to education, I think it’s pretty obvious how online tutoring services will eventually evolve. Why not have a class learning French by walking around Paris virtually with your tutor and interacting with the locals? Second Life on steroids basically.

Tbh, at $2bn the deal was cheap, cheap…CHEAP! and I know the gaming community is seriously pissed off but this move could accelerate a massive shift in how humans behave and interact. I bought an Oculus dev kit 6 months ago and at this point I feel torn, because on one side I love the thought of a young, punchy startup coming out of nothing and becoming a “game changer” (like Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.) but on the other side I understand their chances of success were slimmer without someone like Facebook attached.

Time will tell.