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charlesarthur : pricing   28

Apple TV+ finally gets its price: $4.99 per month • Yahoo Finance
Daniel Roberts:
<p>Since Apple (AAPL) first announced its big push into original programming at a star-studded event in March, questions have followed. Wells Fargo wrote in March that the event “leaves us/investors with more questions than answers.”

On Tuesday at its big event in Cupertino, Calif., Apple gave some answers. Apple TV+ will launch on Nov. 1 at a cost of $4.99 per month. “The price of a single movie rental,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on stage. “This is crazy!”

The low price clearly aims to undercut Netflix and Disney’s forthcoming Disney+ service, and shares of Netflix and Disney both dropped on the news.

Prior to Tuesday’s event, Apple had released just three trailers for some of its biggest original shows: “The Morning Show” with Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell, “Dickinson” starring Hailee Steinfeld as the poet Emily Dickinson, and “For All Mankind,” an alternate history about the space race.

…[Tim] Cook also said Apple will begin offering a free one-year subscription to Apple TV+ with the purchase of any new iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

To be sure, even with a slew of expensive originals, analysts had doubts the service can be an instant hit. Nomura, in a note in March, correctly predicted that pricing would have to be low “given the small content library at launch,” and added, “If Apple is playing the long game here it could pressure financials for years.”</p>


It definitely is a low price, and looks like a come-on with the one-year free offering if you buy something. (What, not with a Watch? Or - huh - an Apple TV?)
apple  tv  pricing 
5 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Peak Copper is back, thanks to Teslas and smart tech • TreeHugger
Lloyd Alter:
<p>Remember Peak Copper? Back when TreeHugger was young, we worried about Peak Everything – oil, corn, natural gas, water, electricity and even dirt. Copper was in there, too, with TreeHugger John noting that "ore extraction and smelting takes a serious toll on the environment, and that the 'easy pickings' are already either long gone or in places where mining companies and their nations of origin get no respect."

Apparently, Peak Copper is back. It takes a lot of it to build an electric car; according to Ernest Scheyder of Reuters, about twice as much as in a gas powered car, and there may not be enough of the stuff:
<p>Tesla expects global shortages of nickel, copper and other electric-vehicle battery minerals down the road due to underinvestment in the mining sector, the company’s global supply manager for battery metals told an industry conference on Thursday, according to two sources.</p>
</p>
copper  pricing  demand 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
512GB SSDs' price-per-GB estimated to fall below US$0.1 and hit an all-time low this year end • Trendforce
Alan Chen:
<p>According to research by DRAMeXchange , a division of TrendForce , the NAND flash industry this year is clearly exhibiting signs of oversupply, and SSD suppliers have gotten themselves into a price war, causing SSD prices for PC OEMs to take a dive. Average contract prices for 512GB and 1TB SSDs have a chance to plunge below US$0.1 per GB by the end of this year, hitting an all-time low. This change will cause 512GB SSDs to replace their 128GB counterparts and become market mainstream, second only to 256GB SSDs. We may also look forward to PCIe SSDs achieving 50% market penetration, since PCIe SSDs and SATA SSDS are nearly identical in price.

TrendForce points out that SSD adoption among notebooks had already come above the 50% threshold in 2018. Contract prices for mainstream 128/256/512GB SSDs have fallen a long way by over 50% since peaking in 2017, and those for 512GB and 1TB SSDs have a chance to fall below US$0.1 per GB by year-end. This will stimulate demand from those seeking to replace their 500GB and 1TB HDDs. SSD adoption rate is expected to land between 60 and 65% in 2019.</p>

$100 for a 1TB SSD. Amazing times.
Ssd  pricing  nand 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
First quarter DRAM contract prices see a rare, large down-correction, resulting in the sharpest decline since 2011 • DRAMeXchange
<p>The latest analysis of the PC DRAM market from DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, finds that most contracts are now monthly deals rather than quarterly deals, with February even seeing a most unusual, large down-correction in prices. The current quarterly decline dropped from the originally projected 25% to nearly 30%, resulting in the sharpest decline in a single season since 2011.

DRAMeXchange points out that, according to the most recent market observations, inventory levels have kept climbing ever since overall contract prices dropped in the fourth quarter of last year, and most DRAM suppliers are currently holding around a whopping six weeks' worth of inventory (wafer banks included).

Meanwhile, Intel's low-end CPU supply shortage is expected to last until the end of 3Q19, and PC-OEMs are unable to carry out the consumption of DRAM chips under demand suppression. The overall market has thus entered freefall, meaning that large reductions in prices aren't going to be effective in driving sales. The excessively high inventory will continue to cause down-corrections in prices this year if demand doesn't make a strong comeback.</p>


PC market not growing, smartphone market not growing... looks like demand isn't coming back.
dram  pricing 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
People don't want to pay big bucks for a new smartphone • ZDNet
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes:
<p>The survey of 1,303 smartphone buyers in the US, <a href="https://eu.usatoday.com/story/tech/2019/02/20/5-g-foldable-phone-better-battery-what-you-want-from-your-next-smartphone/2883789002/">carried out earlier this month for USA Today by SurveyMonkey</a>, makes hard reading for companies who expect buyers to drop a thousand dollars on a smartphone, because it seems that the majority of the market belongs to the sub-$500 smartphone.

Here's the breakdown

Sub-$300: 30%<br />$300 to $500: 26%$501 to $750: 25%<br />$751 to $1,000: 16%<br />More than $1,000: 3%

For comparison, a 64GB iPhone XR is $749, while a full-spec 512GB iPhone XS Max is a whopping $1,449. This means that the entirety of Apple's new iPhone line is at the upper end of what people are willing to pay, with the high-end devices existing at the very thinnest end of the wedge.

And it's the sort of price that most people would balk at when it comes to buying far bigger gadgets such as desktops and laptops.

Apple's cheapest iPhone currently on sale is the 32GB iPhone 7, which retails for $449. While this seems like a reasonable deal – especially when you consider that Apple's priciest iPhone is $1,449 – it's a lot of money for old hardware. It even raises the question of whether Apple could use a budget $300 iPhone designed from the ground-up to be cheap yet functional. 

That would certainly allow Apple the chance to go after a much bigger market share.</p>


In the words of Gregory House, MD, "everybody lies". Especially about what they're prepared to pay for a new smartphone. Though that $750+ group is nearly one-fifth of the whole market. And if you're looking just at revenue, 44% of the total is in the $750-1,000 space; just 9% in the sub-$300 space. You need revenue to make profit, given fixed overheads.
smartphone  pricing 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
Are Apple products overpriced? • The Washington Post
Geoffrey Fowler and Andrew van Dam:
<p>Apple says prices go up because it introduces new technologies such as Face ID and invests in making products that last a long time. Yet it has clearly been feeling price discomfort from some quarters. This week, amid reports of lagging sales that took its stock far out of the trillion-dollar club, it dedicated its home page to a used-car sales technique that’s uncharacteristic for an aspirational luxury brand. It offered a “limited-time” deal to trade in an old iPhone and get a new iPhone XR for $450, a $300 discount.

Apple offers trade-ins for many products now. And not everything Apple has gone up in price: An entry-level iMac and iPad have gotten cheaper since 2014, though in both cases the company has since added a new higher-end (and higher-price) “Pro” version to its lineup.

<img src="https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/rrjzWr9rboGb9cNEvIPbZmWiBc0=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/UDQXPLBEHNDZZHUW6OG5YNYTVA.png" width="100%" />


It’s a good time to take stock of what you’re paying for. Back at the end of 2014, when the iPhone 6 came out, the average price paid for any iPhone was $634, according to BayStreet. This year, it’ll be $898. (Samsung owners over the same period went from $635 to $710, not accounting for promotions.) Add in services such as iCloud storage and AirPod headphones, and our Apple bill climbs even higher.</p>


The graphic above, and the one below, both from the article, are quite telling - of Apple buyers' loyalty and the value they perceive, as much as anything.

<img src="https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/dEFXA1dBdhq5D6sljSV4VcOdBsc=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/Y36CM77JYBCEXN5DF7RIJX2RJE.png" width="100%" />
apple  pricing 
december 2018 by charlesarthur
Why PC builders should stock up on components now • PCMag UK
Michael Kan:
<p>NZXT is a popular PC desktop case vendor, but the California-based company recently had to raise its prices.

The reason? The new US tariffs on Chinese imports includes PC cases. In September, the Trump administration imposed the 10% duty, which also cover motherboards, graphics cards, and CPU coolers from the country. As a result, NZXT had to introduce a 10% price increase on PC cases to deal with the added costs, VP Jim Carlton told PCMag in an interview.

And building a PC could get even more expensive in 2019; US tariffs on Chinese-made goods will rise from 10% to 25% in January.


"If I needed to build a system in the next six months, I'd definitely build it before the end of the year," Carlton told us.

For PC builders, the tariffs risk adding a few hundred dollars to the total cost of components for a custom desktop. "If it's a $2,000 purchase on 25 per cent tariffs, it's going to be a $2,500 purchase," Carlton said. "So we are very concerned with the direction of where this is going."

"I don't have a 10 per cent [profit] margin I can just throw away and absorb the tariffs," he added. "And certainly no one has a margin for 25 per cent."

But retail consumers won't be the only buyers affected by the tariffs. MBX Systems is another US provider of hardware systems, which focuses on enterprise customers. The Illinois-based company specializes in assembling servers, which are then resold by its clients, such as cybersecurity firms.

Last month, the company told its customers the bad news; more than 30 component suppliers—including Intel, Samsung, and Seagate—had been affected by the tariffs, forcing server component costs to go up.

"We've seen anywhere from reluctant acceptance by the customer—where they're not going to increase the cost to the end user—to others that will push back heavily," MBX Systems president Chris Tucker told PCMag.</p>


Looking outside China doesn't help: manufacturing prices are higher.. by at least the tariff amount. Trade wars: not so easy to win.
china  us  pc  pricing 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Smartphone shipments set third quarter record clocking 400m units, growing 5% annually • Counterpoint Research
Shobhit Srivastava:
<p>According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, global smartphone shipments grew 5% YoY in Q3 2017.  Top 10 players now capture 75% of the market thereby leaving just a quarter of the market for the remaining 600+ brands to compete.

Commenting on the findings, Jeff Fieldhack, Research Director at Counterpoint Research said, “The global smartphone market continues to grow in single digits driven by growth in emerging markets. In such a scenario, we have seen key hardware differentiators proliferate to lower price points at much faster rates. For example, alternative aspect ratio 18:9 devices already penetrated sub $150 segment within two quarters of launch in the premium segment. This indicates how cut-throat the competition is within the industry.  Brands are striving for differentiation across price bands. In addition, the increasing share of leading brands is putting additional pressure on smaller brands which can lead to consolidation in some of the OEM-crowded regions going forward.”</p>


That "quarter of the market" still amounts to 100m units for those 600 brands - an average of 167,000 each. There must be some tiny players out there, given that Sony, HTC, Google and even Nokia make up a few million each - reducing that to 90m units for 590-odd brands. Doesn't change the maths much; a mean of about 152,000 each.

What's really going to hurt them is the rise in the price of RAM. Big suppliers will be able to get lower prices; small ones will lose their price competitiveness, and likely their business.
smartphone  ram  pricing 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
Here is the Pixel 2 in "Kinda Blue," White, and Black - starting at $649 • Droid Life
"Kellen:
<p>From what we can tell, it’ll arrive in three colorways and match the Pixel 2 XL in terms of storage, while sticking to prices very similar to last year’s original smaller Pixel.

The Pixel 2 will arrive in Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White. It’ll be sold with 64GB and 128GB of storage and priced at $649 and $749, respectively. Like the Pixel 2 XL, financing will be available for each storage option. The 64GB Pixel 2 will cost $27.04/mo over 24 months and the 128GB model will cost $31/21/mo.</p>


The XL will cost $840 (64GB) and $949 (128GB). These are made by LG, rather than HTC. Any arguments that this is a Veblen good?
google  pixel  pricing 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
Photobucket accused of blackmail after quietly requiring users to pay $400 a year to hotlink • The Verge
Natt Garun:
<p>Thousands of listings from online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are now filled with unsightly error images by Photobucket after the photo hosting site quietly introduced a $399 annual fee to users who want to embed images on third party websites. Users are now <a href="http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=77836">accusing Photobucket of extortion</a>, as the service failed to make the update to its terms of service abundantly clear.

It all began last week when Photobucket announced in a <a href="http://blog.photobucket.com/update-terms-service/">short blog post</a> that it had updated its terms of service that had begun taking effect from June 20th. Nowhere in the blog post did Photobucket highlight the most important change, which was that it will now cost uploaders $400 a year to insert their photos on another website using direct image links.</p>


That blog post in full:
<p>At Photobucket, we are committed to providing the best experience and services for all of your photo and image needs. We have updated our <a href="http://photobucket.com/terms">Terms of Service</a>, effective June 20, 2017. Please take a moment to review our updated terms and policies as they may affect your account.</p>


Those terms of service: you try to read them and it drops a giant modal saying "ENJOY ALL THE GREAT BENEFITS OF BEING A PHOTOBUCKET SUBSCRIBER ONLY $99 PER YEAR". Amazingly annoying.

Free accounts, though, don't get hotlinking. In fact nothing does - not the 52GB storage plan ($60/pa), the 102GB plan ($100pa); only the 500GB plan, $400pa.

I don't know why Photobucket is tired of being on the internet, but clearly it just doesn't want people to use it any more.
photobucket  linking  pricing 
july 2017 by charlesarthur
Layoffs are the media’s own ‘carnage’ as the industry struggles to deal with oversupply and evolving technology • Talking New Media
DB Hebbard on the hundreds of job cuts at Time, Vocativ, Yahoo and Huffington Post:
<p>So, why is this happening? Is it only about traditional media’s failure to adjust to digital?

It would be nice to come up with simple answers, but the picture is far more complex than that.

Everyone seems to have an idea about what is wrong — but, to be honest, I’m tired of hearing from those who have never had success in media themselves, much less ever been responsible for creating a budget or meeting P&L objectives. Sometimes we just have to admit that the bottom line is, well, the bottom line.

But as I told one executive at a major media company this morning, things like diversification remain important. Having the right strategy is great, but successfully implementing it is important, too.

We are currently in an era where most media managers believe that there is a simple strategy that can be employed, and they are hellbent on seeing that strategy through, even if it means laying off staff every once in a while.

But it also has been said that, thanks to the increase ease of digital publishing, combined with the growth of social media, there is now an oversupply of content.

Just as once the only way to acquire music was the local record store, now nearly all music is available through iTunes, Amazon or through streaming — so too is media in oversupply. One voice is as loud as another, even if one voice comes from that of a trained journalist, the other… from who knows where.</p>


As Clay Shirky put it - <em>in 1995!</em> - "<a href="http://shirky.com/writings/information_price.html">Help, the price of information has fallen and it can't get up</a>".
information  pricing 
june 2017 by charlesarthur
Amazon ends its unlimited cloud storage plan • TechCrunch
Natasha Lomas:
<p>Amazon has sunsetted its unlimited cloud storage plan for Amazon Drive — although members of its Prime subscription club will still get unlimited cloud storage for photos.

From today, people signing up for Amazon Drive will not be able to select an unlimited cloud storage option. Instead they can choose either 100 GB for $11.99 per year, or 1 TB for $59.99, with up to 30 TB available for an additional $59.99 per TB. (The prior pricing was $11.99pa for unlimited photos or unlimited everything for $59.99.)

All sign ups still get 5GB of storage gratis. Best to think of that as getting your first hit for free.

As for unlimited storage, Amazon only introduced the option in March 2015 — when it was couched as an aggressive play in an increasingly competitive consumer cloud storage market. And lo and behold, two months later Google announced its own free unlimited photo storage service.

Two years later Amazon is now tightening the screws on those who have locked their data inside its vaults — an all too familiar story in the cloud storage space.</p>


For comparison, <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201238">Apple offers</a> 5GB for free, and then 50GB ($11.88pa), 200GB ($35.88pa) and 2TB ($119.88pa). Amazon's is still cheaper, but it used to be $60pa to stuff everything in. Brian Barrett in Wired in March 2015 heralded it thus:
<p>The steady march towards cheaper cloud storage has just turned into a sprint. Rather than being merely competitive with leaders like Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud, Amazon has decided to undercut their pricing by more than half. In some cases, much, much more… It’s hard to stress just how much these new offerings—particularly the Unlimited Everything plan—disrupt the current state of the cloud storage pricing structure… strictly in terms of price it’s an unarguably great deal. And even if you don’t bite, it should hopefully at least drive unlimited prices down across the entire industry.</p>


Important to distinguish in this field between things that are short-term promotions, and long-term disruptions. Surprise! Amazon's storage was the former.
amazon  storage  pricing 
june 2017 by charlesarthur
Is Amazon price gouging you? This browser extension will tell you • Vocativ
Joshua Kopstein:
<p>It’s no secret that Amazon, like many commerce sites, shows different prices for their wares depending on who’s browsing. Retailers can raise or lower prices depending on a customer’s race, location, age, browsing history, and more.

But the hidden “black box” algorithms that make those determinations are being pushed into the light, thanks to a browser extension that detects when the price you see on Amazon and other sites might be altered.

The <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/price-comparison/gppbmlnjiobkdgpbcmlobgganlmdjhfh/">Chrome extension</a> is the result of a project by members of Volunteer Science, a “citizen science” platform that connects networks of volunteers. They took findings from a 2014 study that showed how Amazon’s algorithms change prices depending on the user’s location and whether they’re logged in, as well as other factors. Volunteer Science then reverse-engineered the automated pricing systems of sites like Amazon, Priceline, and and Google Flights, which in theory are kept completely hidden from the public.</p>


A rather more comprehensible writeup of the work <a href="http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/citizen-science-salon/2017/05/03/citizen-scientists-donate-data-for-online-price-personalization-research/#more-3168">described at Discover magazine</a>.

More generally, it's an important point: we expect that the internet looks the same to everyone when they're buying, just like a physical shop. That turns out to be a dangerous assumption. Ideally, you want the site to think you're really poor so it will depress its prices.
amazon  pricing 
may 2017 by charlesarthur
Brexflation: Lenovo, HPE and Walkers crisps all set for double-digit hike • The Register
Paul Kunert:
<p>A second wave of double-digit price hikes are coming to a reseller or retailer near you from the start of next month, both Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo have confirmed.

Since the referendum, the UK's currency has fallen from $1.49 per £1 to $1.21, a drop of 18.7% and many IT makers have reacted, from the cloud giants including AWS through to hardware players.

American titan HPE already raised its list price by between 6% to 10% on 1 August, and Lenovo pushed up its prices by 10% on the same date – both blamed depreciation of the pound.

Now all of Lenovo's kit is going to jump by another 10% from 1 December for UK customers and HPE will raise its gear by 6% to 12%.

A Lenovo spokesman told The Register: "Like any global company we always take currency exchange rates into consideration in our pricing strategy.

"This is business as usual and part of the market conditions in which any international company operates. Any changes form part of our ongoing communication with our channel partners."</p>


It's the <em>second</em> price rise. Wow. Apple seems to have done the same, but holding off for longer and then doing it in one single 20% hike.
brexit  pricing 
november 2016 by charlesarthur
Prices of low-end smartphone panels hit new historical highs in september as demand outpaces supply • TrendForce
Julian Lee is an analyst at research company Trendforce:
<p>strong demand is pushing up prices of LCD panels for smartphone displays of the lower resolution specs. With demand for high-end device models falling short of expectations, smartphone brands are now relying on low-end devices with bargain-priced panels to boost their product shipments. However, limited supply and increasing demand have caused prices of 4-inch WVGA and 4.5-inch FWVGA panels to reach new highs in September, with monthly increases at over 50%, respectively. Looking ahead, prices of lower-end smartphone panels are expected to keep rising in the fourth quarter.

WitsView’s latest analysis indicates that this year’s high-end smartphone models have not been well-received by consumers due to various reasons, such as the lack of innovations, unclear product positioning and even serious product quality issues. Adjusting to the market conditions, smartphone brands are now stepping up shipments of mid-range and low-end devices to achieve their annual shipment targets. Though lower-end smartphone panels are not actively promoted by suppliers due their weak product margins, their demand has soared recently as smartphone brands need them to sustain their overall device shipments.</p>


That bit about "annual shipment targets" - and the miss on the high end (and the "various reasons") - is notable.
smartphone  pricing 
september 2016 by charlesarthur
Subscribe and Save on Amazon? Don’t count on it • The New York Times
Brian Chen:
<p>What do subscriptions to a newspaper, magazine or Netflix account have in common? Once you sign up, you expect to pay the same rate every month.

Yet that’s not the case at Amazon when you subscribe to its Subscribe & Save program, which automatically refills orders for household staples like instant coffee, napkins or trash bags.

Amazon’s subscription program, which was introduced in 2007, lets consumers register to have their favorite consumables delivered regularly — monthly, for example — in exchange for a discount of at least 5 percent off each order. Buried in the e-commerce company’s terms and conditions is that the Subscribe & Save discount is applied to the price of the item at the time that the order is placed. And on Amazon, prices change frequently — including sometimes rising.

I learned this the hard way while reviewing an email summary of my Amazon subscriptions. A pack of lint rollers that I had subscribed to for more than two years recently jumped to $18.04 a pack, up from $12.44 since the last delivery a few months ago, or almost a 50 percent increase.

A quick web search revealed other consumers were also surprised by price jumps for Subscribe & Save items. One Amazon customer said he signed up for a $10 box of chewing gum and was charged $100 for the same product a month later. In Amazon’s online forums, dozens of people posted about prices of Subscribe & Save items fluctuating, with some calling the program a “bait and switch” subscription scheme.</p>


Often suspected, now confirmed. What about for one-off items when you're logged in, logged out, or accessing by Tor? That varies too.
amazon  pricing 
august 2016 by charlesarthur
Exploring the App Store’s top grossing chart • MacStories
Graham Spencer:
<p>Diving in a little deeper, we can see that the IAPs offered range from $0.99, all the way up to $399.99.1 Unsurprisingly, a large proportion of the IAPs are in the $0.99-$19.99 price range. But you'll also notice huge spikes at $99.99, $49.99, and $29.99.

<img src="https://dfb3eb60d1841da975de-14520dd7230e61cd34ae17e34731e7a7.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/IAP%20Price%20Points.png" width="100%" />

Games dominate the Top 200 Grossing charts, representing an overwhelming majority of 68% of the apps. The next closest is Social Networking at just 11% and comprised mainly of various dating apps. This is followed by Music at 7% (a mix of music streaming and music creation apps) and Entertainment at 5% (a variety of streaming video apps, mostly).

<img src="https://dfb3eb60d1841da975de-14520dd7230e61cd34ae17e34731e7a7.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/Categories%20Pie.png" width="100%" /></p>


I really hope Spencer was able to do this in an automated fashion. Note that this barely overlaps with the introduction of Pokemon Go. And the $400 IAP? A "forever subscription" to Headspace.
appstore  pricing 
july 2016 by charlesarthur
Acer, Asustek consider raising PC prices in the UK, says report • Digitimes
Joseph Tsai:
<p>With Dell and Hewlett-Packard (HP) both having decided to raise their PC prices in the UK by 10% beginning August, Acer and Asustek Computer are also considering following suit and will make decisions within two weeks, according to a Chinese-language Apple Daily report.

With the pound depreciating nearly 15% in the past few weeks, PC vendors have started raising their prices to avoid losses. Lenovo reportedly is also evaluating whether to raise prices, the paper added.</p>


Expect everyone to follow suit. None of the PC makers can afford to eat a 15% change in price.
pc  brexit  pricing 
july 2016 by charlesarthur
A May 2016 look at Big Five ebook pricing Author Earnings
"Data Guy":
<p>One of the key points we made in <a href="http://authorearnings.com/2016-digital-book-world-presentation/">our recent DBW presentation</a> was that higher ebook prices end up hurting newer debut authors far more than they hurt long-established authors, who already have existing fanbases and sustainable writing careers — especially those perennial bestsellers who have managed to become household names. We could see in our data clear indications that, between 2014 and 2016, higher prices had progressively damaged the earnings of new Big Five debuts, and even more crucially, crippled their *discoverability* — that all-important key to establishing the brand-new readership and fanbase necessary to establishing a long-term writing career. The triptych of slides below make that case with glaring starkness: in them, we can see Big Five debut authors dropping from 22% of ebook sales by debut authors in early 2014, down to barely 9% of those vital, career-launching initial sales in early 2016.

<img src="http://authorearnings.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Slide52.png" width="100%" /></p>


I wonder if ebooks have some lessons for app stores - as ebooks have been around for slightly longer, though with less volume, and so might have worked out the trends that app stores are revealing. Discoverability matter, but people won't spend on things they're not familiar with already.
ebooks  pricing 
june 2016 by charlesarthur
TalkTalk to scrap separate line rental charge » TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC
<p>TalkTalk is leading the way in making broadband pricing simpler and more transparent by putting an end to separate line rental charges.

The UK’s fiercely competitive broadband market has been increasingly characterised by attention-grabbing broadband prices, underpinned by less prominent – and more costly – landline charges. Government, consumer groups and the Advertising Standards Authourity all agree that presenting landline and broadband costs separately adds unnecessary complexity and risks broadband deals appearing misleadingly cheap. However, TalkTalk is the only provider to have openly and consistently called for change.

Today, TalkTalk is going one step further by announcing that it is set to become the first major broadband provider to end the practice of separate pricing. TalkTalk will instead move toward a single monthly cost including line rental, known as ‘all-in pricing’, which will come into effect this autumn.</p>


Good move. The additional line rental cost has always been a bugbear. And it will stop some of BT's behaviour in this space.
broadband  pricing 
may 2016 by charlesarthur
The first rule of pricing is: you do not talk about pricing » Medium
Tom Whitwell, in a terrific essay that has been doing the rounds, but should be bookmarked by everyone who ever has to set a price:
<p>It’s tempting to talk to customers about price.

Your customers — real or potential — will certainly have views about prices that they are keen to share.
Ignore them.

“It is not your customer’s job to set pricing. An optimal price is one that is accepted but not without some initial resistance” as <a href="https://leanstack.com/why-you-should-never-ask-customers-what-theyll-pay/?curator=MediaREDEF">Ash Mauyra explains in this great piece</a>.

It is almost impossible to predict how a customer will react to a particular price by asking them. That’s because they don’t know how they will react.

They have no idea.

“Are you in the market for tea lights on this trip to IKEA?” you might ask. “No” They might say. Or “Yes”. Neither is a useful signal, because they don’t have a clue.

There’s one easy way to find out what customers think about prices. By selling them things.</p>


Whitwell was one of the teams at The Times digital edition, which raised its price in 2010 from zero to £2. Calamity didn't follow. Why not?
pricing 
april 2016 by charlesarthur
The realities of a $50 smartphone » Engadget
Daniel Cooper:
"If you had asked me this a year ago, I would have said that it was impossible." Wayne Lam is the principal telecoms analyst for IHS, a market intelligence firm that looks at the technology market. As part of the experiment, he offered to cook up a hypothetical device that, if someone built it today, could probably be mass-produced for under $50. He worked out that the upper limit for a bill of materials would be around $42, and worked backward to build out a spec list from there. It wasn't pretty, since "any time you put a constraint on the design, like a maximum price, you end up having to make compromises."


Really impressive. Of course, that doesn't leave any margin for distribution, marketing, or R+D, but it's amazing the market has come so far in just eight years.
mobile  phone  pricing 
august 2015 by charlesarthur
DRAM spot prices hit 28-month low, says Taiwan Central News Agency » Digitimes
Jessie Chen:
Spot prices for 4Gb DDR3 chips already declined 17.55% in the second quarter, after falling 12.77% in the first quarter, the report quoted DRAMeXchange as saying.

Since 2015, DRAM spot prices have been dragged down by sluggish PC sales and a slowdown in smartphone demand, the report noted.


Hadn't heard about this slowdown in smartphone demand anywhere else. China has, but elsewhere? Dram prices are often an early warning though.
dram  pricing 
july 2015 by charlesarthur
Weak euro puts pressure on hardware pricing » InCONTEXT
Marie-Christine Pygott is senior analyst at the research company:
Towards the end of January, the euro hit a new low against the US dollar. Having lost 11% of its value between July and the end of December last year, the Eurozone currency was down by another 6.8% against the US dollar in January after the new year opened with a series of events that led to increased pressure on the currency.

For the large, non-European IT manufacturers, this has been bad news; where components are sourced in US dollars and revenues generated in euros, the devaluation has meant a significant increase in production costs and a strain on margins. Our distributor pricing data shows a 7% rise in the euro cost of components in the few months between July and December last year, despite a small decline in dollar terms. While prices did not go up to the same extent in real life, it is only a question of time before pricing shifts will show in our Channel data.

And show, it will. It is clear that IT vendors cannot just simply absorb the recent rise in costs.


List prices are already rising for PCs, it seems. That's going to be a problem. Will smartphones be affected too?
euro  pricing  dollar 
february 2015 by charlesarthur
This is how Xiaomi keeps the cost of its smartphones so low >> TechCrunch
Jon Russell spoke to Hugo Barra, who explained:
“A product that stays on the shelf for 18-24 months — which is most of our products — goes through three or four price cuts. The Mi2 and Mi2s are essentially the same device, for example,” Barra explained. “The Mi2/Mi2s were on sale for 26 months. The Redmi 1 was first launched in September 2013, and we just announced the Redmi 2 this month, that’s 16 months later.”

That’s important because the longer runway for devices gives Xiaomi leverage to secure better component deals with its suppliers.

“The reason we do these price cuts is because we’ve managed to negotiate component cost decreases [with our suppliers] over time, which ends up leaving us with a bigger margin than we’d like to have, so we do a price cut,” Barra added.


Ben Thompson did a <a href="http://stratechery.com/2015/interview-xiaomis-hugo-barra-part-2-accusations-copying-xiaomis-product-roots-money-comes/">similar (and I'd say better) interview with Barra</a>, which is on Stratechery; subscriptions are cheap and recommended.

In Thompson's interview, he ranges over the problems for rivals of channel conflict, what Apple has done with Android's ideas, and handset profitability. I'd say Thompson's interview is better than Russell's - in part because it doesn't use the grandstanding tone that so many <strike>trade papers</strike> tech blogs do; Thompson assumes intelligence in his readers. Thus:
Barra: Component prices, like if you look at a chipset today, if you want to buy the same chipset a year from now, the price would have dropped much more than 50%, sometimes the price will have dropped 90% for that same component. So the bill of materials for a product will fall dramatically over time.

Thompson: How much? What percentage?

HB: Well, the Mi 2 S started selling at ¥1999, and the last time we were selling it before we had to take it off the market because we could no longer source components otherwise we would have kept making it, was ¥1299. So the price dropped substantially, what are we talking about here, 40%. The [bill of materials] dropped a lot more than that.

BT: Ballpark?

HB: I don’t know.

BT: But at ¥1299 it was more profitable than at ¥1999.

HB: Yes, certainly, at least ¥1999 at the beginning.
xiaomi  smartphone  pricing 
january 2015 by charlesarthur
How Amazon tricks you into thinking it always has the lowest prices >> Re/code
Jason Del Rey:
a study conducted by a startup called Boomerang Commerce reveals that Amazon’s pricing strategy is much more nuanced than simply undercutting the competition.

Boomerang, founded by Amazon veteran Guru Hariharan, makes software that tracks prices on shopping sites that compete with its clients, then recommends price changes dynamically. Those changes are based on rules its clients set about which products to match prices on and which to boost higher or drop lower than a competitor’s to boost profits or sales, respectively.

The study of Amazon’s pricing uncovered some interesting tactics. First, Amazon doesn’t have the lowest prices across the board, which may not surprise industry insiders but might surprise Amazon shoppers.

Instead, according to Boomerang’s analysis, Amazon identifies the most popular products on its site and consistently prices them under the competition. In one example, Boomerang observed Amazon testing price reductions on a $350 Samsung TV — one of the most popular TVs on Amazon — over the six months leading up to Black Friday. Then, on Black Friday, it dropped the price to $250, coming in well below competitors’ prices.

But when it comes to the HD cables that customers often buy with a new TV, Amazon actually pushed up the price by 33 percent ahead of the holidays.
amazon  pricing 
january 2015 by charlesarthur
Corrupt Apple exec sentenced to 1 year in prison >> Associated Press
A former Apple executive who sold some of the iPhone maker's secrets to suppliers will serve a year in prison and repay $4.5m for his crimes.

Paul S. Devine was sentenced in San Jose federal court earlier this week, more than three years after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. The US Attorney's office announced Devine's penalty Friday, but declined to explain the reason for the lengthy delay in his sentencing.

Devine faced up to 20 years in prison.

The scheme funnelled millions in kickbacks to Devine for passing along confidential information to Apple suppliers and manufacturers who used the secrets to negotiate more favourable deals.


Considering this. The suppliers got better deals - so they were paid more by Apple? So either Apple's profit was reduced, or it had to push up prices. Devine was a global supply manager at Apple between 2005 and 2010.
apple  supply  pricing 
december 2014 by charlesarthur
App-pocalypse Now >> Coding Horror
Jeff Atwood:
Nothing terrifies me more than an app with no moral conscience in the desperate pursuit of revenue that has full access to everything on my phone: contacts, address book, pictures, email, auth tokens, you name it. I'm not excited by the prospect of installing an app on my phone these days. It's more like a vague sense of impending dread, with my finger shakily hovering over the uninstall button the whole time. All I can think is what shitty thing is this "free" app going to do to me so they can satisfy their investors?


His argument is that the low price of apps is inevitable, and that you're paying with your time. Also, apps are in a mess.
mobile  apps  pricing 
november 2014 by charlesarthur

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