Apple´s chief design officer to form own company – Bloomberg (updated)

According to Bloomberg News, Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, will depart the company later this year to form an independent design company. According to the news, he will continue to have Apple among its primary clients.

– Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built. After so many years working closely together, I’m happy that our relationship continues to evolve and I look forward to working with Jony long into the future, the CEO Tim Cook said in the press release.

According to Apple, the design team will in the future include for example Evan Hankey and Alan Dye to report to Apple´s chief operating officer.

-Design team leaders Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design, will report to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. Both Dye and Hankey have played key leadership roles on Apple’s design team for many years. Williams has led the development of Apple Watch since its inception and will spend more of his time working with the design team in their studio.

Apple (AAPL) shares were trading on Thursday down 0,03 % to 199,70 dollars, market cap 919 billion dollars.

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Hublot CEO: China markets the main focus (updated)

Hublot, one of the leading luxury watch makers in Switzerland, is targeting China markets even more. The company, part of the LVMH (LVMH) Group, market cap 186 billion euros, and its Watch division, said the same thing already a year ago, but the target is still the same. According to the CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot is aiming to become one of the leading watch brands in China and Greater China.

– We are focusing on China and Greater China markets. Our aim is to be one of the leading watch brands in China and Greater China, Mr Guadalupe said in the ComteamPUB+ interview on Thursday.

The company has not revealed the export figures, but according to Swiss Watch Industry information the China, Hong Kong and Singapore markets totalled nearly 30 % of the overall Swiss watch exports. In May the export totalled over 2 billion Swiss francs, growth 11,4 %. The biggest growth was in the premium & luxury watches, which are priced over 3000 francs.

The company is expecting a very strong growth for this year. The double-digit growth is said to continue “over the end of the year” according to Mr Guadalupe.

China is seen one of the fastest growing luxury markets in the future. In 2018 the Chinese consumers spent about 115 billion dollars on luxury items, which is one third of the global spending. And this is expected to growth in the future also so that by 2025 40 % of the world’s spending on luxury goods would be by Chinese consumers (McKinsey). So, it is not a surprise that Mr Guadalupe is talking about China.

Is luxury becoming more common?

This question is about the luxury spending and how the luxury markets are expected to develop in the future. But Mr Guadalupe has a point.

-Absolutely not for the real luxury, he says.

And he is referring for the real thing. Real luxury has always its prestige and value among its users. And this is also part of the demand for the vintage or retro luxury items in the markets at the moment.

For example financial markets are expecting the US company RealReal to be listed in New York. The company is an online marketplace for luxury products and according to the company info the trading of the shares are expected to start today, not yesterday as earlier estimated. The company raised 300 million dollars, at 20 dollars each, above the 17-19 dollars range earlier estimated. Sustainable, circular luxury is also entering the main markets.

Hublot and “Art of Fusion”

The clear sustainable standing point for Hublot is the materials. The company has been innovative and finding new ways to integrate different materials in the watch production over years. It is part of the company ideology of the Art of Fusion – the way the tradition of high-quality Swiss craftsmanship and innovation can be combined.

The material lists include magic gold, carbon, rubber, aluminium, ceramic, king gold, palladium, platinum, stainless steel, tantalum, titanium, tungsten, zirconium, osmium and aluminium. Hublot can say that it has clearly been the innovator in this area in the Swiss watch industry.

The company says that it is now also working with sustainable bags while the banning of plastic bags is already a trend in Europe.

Collaboration with Ferrari and FIFA

– The collaboration with Ferrari and our involvement in FIFA World Cup are our two main partnerships, Guadalupe says.

– This year we have two collaborations with Ferrari. The Classic Fusion Ferrari GT, which is an elegant and contemporary piece that draws inspiration from the “Gran Turismo” universe. And the Big Band Scuderia Ferrari 90 ans. This is a model that reflects the rich history and heritage of Scuderia Ferrari, he continues.

Japanese food and sea

But what does Mr Guadalupe do for the summer time? Japanese food and sea.

– Food can be compared to the watch industry in a certain way for their attention to quality, time and details. I like to spend my holidays in the Mediterranean, at Mykonos or Ibiza. Holidays is for me synonymous with relaxing, sport and good food, he concludes.

Hublot, which was founded in Switzerland in 1980, has made the journey with innovation and unique products. Watches like Big Bang have paved the way to new flagship collections like Classic Fusion and Spirit of Big Bang.

Picture: Hublot classic watches from BaselWorld 2017-2019

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Foxconn ready to move production out of China – good news for iPhones

The electronics manufacturer Foxconn is ready to move productions out of China for the US markets, if needed. The company spokesman made the comments about the situation related to the US China trade disputes and the iPhones manufacturing situation in China.

Foxconn is the leading manufacturer partner of iPhones for Apple (AAPL)  and according to the company 25 % of the total capacity is now outside China.

Apple shares closed  up 1,16 % to 194,69 dollars in New York on Tuesday. The market cap for the company is now 896 billion dollars.

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Apple manufactures most of its iPhones in China

The US mobile tech company Apple ( APPL) manufacturers most of its iPhones in China. According to Nikkei Asia, the China tops now Apple’s production site compared for example to the US.

Apple has increased its suppliers in the Greater China during the last few years and much of the materials, manufacturing and assembly processes are now in China.

In January the company said that it will start to assemble the premium phones also in India. The reason for this was also the rising concerns of trade wars between the US and China.

But also to establish the production overall in Asia to be more competitive against Samsung and Huawei.

Apple said in its 2018 annual report that the US and China are the only countries to account over 10 % of the company net sales. The sales in China were 51,9 billion dollars last year and operating income was 19,7 billion dollars.

During the second quarter, which ended March 30th, the company net sales in America were 25,6 billion dollars and 10,2 billion dollars in China. In Europe the sales were 13 billion dollars.

According to Bloomberg News, the new trade tariffs between the US and China, may eventually increase the Apple’s retail prices.

Apple’s share price was trading down 2,23 % to 195,49 dollars in Wall Street today.

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Qualcomm shares continued up 12% in Nasdaq today 

The share price of the US wireless company Qualcomm (QCOM) continued in the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in New York today. The stock ended up 12,25 % to 79,08 dollars in the aftermatch of the yesterdays news of the global royalty settlement with Apple (AAPL). Yesterday evening the stock climbed over 23 % after the news release.

Apple-shares also rose and ended up 1,95% to 203,13 dollars. The settlement means that the companies have agreed the shipments for the next six years and also Apple made an onetime payment related to the royalties. In the future Apple will have Qualcomm chips in its iPhones while the current supplier Intel (INTC) has had delivery problems.

Intel also announced yesterday that it will exit the 5G modem markets and focus on other parts of 5G ecosystem. Intel shares ended up 3,26% to 58,56 dollars. According to markets the company sift is seen as positive action towards more profitable business sectors.

The overall market sentiment was down in spite of the positive outlook for the semiconductor and mobile industry. Dow Jones ended down 0,01 % to 26 449 points, the S&P 500 index ended down 0,23 % to 2900 points and Nasdaq ended down 0,05 % to 7996 points.

Euro was trading unhanged at 1,1296 dollars, as well as the UK sterling, unchanged at 1,30 dollars.

During the day the economic indicators showed that China GDP grew 6,4 % annual rate during the first quarter this year. The growth exceeded the estimates. On the other hand, the US trade deficit dropped in February due to the 20,2 % decline in the imports from China.

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Apple launches Apple News+ as a media platform

The US Apple (APPL) has today announced Apple News+, a new subscription service that brings together over 300 magazines, leading newspapers and digital publishers into a  Apple News app.

Available first in the US and Canada, Apple News+ presents the best and most relevant articles to meet range of interests from renowned publications such as Vogue, National Geographic Magazine, People, ELLE, The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

Later this year the Apple News+ service will be in Europe and Australia.

The company also announced a new credit card. The card called Apple Card is, according to the company, built on simplicity, transparency and privacy.

Apple is partnering with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard to provide the support of an issuing bank and global payments network.

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Stocks started up in Wall Street – Tesla and Apple in headlines

The financial markets ended slightly up on Wednesday trading in Wall Street. The year´s first trading day started with a small downside, but at the end of the day, the direction was positive with all the major Wall Street indices.

The electric car manufacturer Tesla (TSLA) announced its production figures from the fourth quarter and according to the information, the company produced 63.150 Model 3 Sedans during that period. Totally the company annual electric car production was about 245.200 in 2018. The official quarter figures are still to be published, the day is not yet confirmed. Tesla shares fell sharply first, but ended down 6,81 % to 305,50 dollars due to the published price cuts. The company informed that the car prices will be lowered by 2000 dollars in the US markets.

The second surprice for the markets was the mobile phone manufacturer Apple (AAPL), who said that the revenue forecast will be lower due to the economy situation in China. According to CEO Tim Cook, the China economy slowdown has been greater than earlier expected. Apple´s announcement sent the stock price to about 7 % decline.

Apple´s announcement was the first big information about the China economy and the trade talks situation. The President Donald Trump and his Chinese collaque President Xi Jinping are expected to continue the talks next week. During the holiday weekend president Trump indicated that the US and China trade talks have had positive signs.

In the US markets, the goverment shutdowns have continued and after the political leaders meeting the outcome was, that the shutdowns are expected to continue.

In the UK, The Brexit situation is the same as Prime Minister Theresa May said that the situation is not changed. According to Financial Times, PM May is going to have discussions with some of the European leaders during this week.  The UK Goverment has urged pharma companies and supermarkets to reserve enough drug and food stock in the case of no-Brexit. The UK Parliament is expected to vote on the deal in the middle of January.

Dow Jones -index ended up 0,08 % to 2344 points, S&P 500 -index ended up 0,12 % to 2509 points and Nasdaq-index ended up 0,46 % to 6665 points. In London the FTSE 100 -index was up 0,09 % to 6734 points and in Germany the DAX-index ended up 0,20 % to 10580 points.

In Asia the Wednesday trading was on negative side, while in Tokyo the stocks fell and Nikkei-index ended down 0,31 % to 20014 points and in Hong Kong  the Hang Seng index declined 2,77 % to 25 130 points.

Euro declined 1,04 % to 1,13 dollars as did the UK sterling, 1 % to 1,26 dollars.

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