Friday, April 8, 2011
Globalization: Earthquake in Japan
The recent earthquake in Japan has had a ripple effect on many industries from computers to cars. A shortage in pigments manufactured at a plant in the inclusion zone has had some car companies halt production of certain car colors. According to The Detroit News, Chrysler Group LLC, Ford, and Toyota are all restricting orders for cars in that use some pigments. Including, tuxedo black and some shades of red as well as a pigment called Xirallic that gives sparkle to some paint jobs.
Other shortages in silicon and tape are affecting the broadcasting and production industries as well as the Semiconductor industry. The shortage in computer chips has predictions of increased revenue. Airlines are scrambling as well.
Sources: The Detroit News, The Vancouver Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, eWeek, Barrons, Computerworld, The Motley Fool
Another Tech Bubble?
Did we really learn our lessons from the Dot Com Boom? Are we in or headed towards a tech or social media bubble? Opinion pages abound with speculation. From Facebook to Groupon to Zynga, the makers of the hugely popular Farmville game, the tech industry is receiving a large influx of capital. Add LinkedIn and Twitter and these five social media companies are worth $71.3 billion combined and none of them are publicly traded yet. For now the companies are private meaning that the public would not get hurt if we have a repeat of the late 90s and early 2000s. Some of these companies are consider IPOs at the moment. Groupon is considering one with a $25 billion dollar value.
Sources: MarketWatch, The New York Times
Motorola Not Quite There Yet
Many people expected a stronger showing from the Motorola Xoom and the Atrix 4G. Unfortunately early estimates yield low sales. According to Endgadget, a cheap iPhone 3GS and the HTC Inspire are to blame in part. The success of smart phones using Google’s Android operating system fueled the expectation. The Xoom is trailing in the battle of the tablets though as Apple’s iPad still controls much of the market share. Smart phones are a part of the mainstream now but there are still people who don’t know why they should get a tablet over a netbook or laptop.
Sources: CrunchGear, Forbes