iphone 12 – Big Tech, foldable phones and The Metaverse are coming soon
OPINION: The length of one billion American $1 bills laid end-to-end would extend around the earth almost four times.
Why am I telling you that?
Because most of Big Tech had their quarterly earnings calls last week, and they posted some massive numbers – even by Big Tech’s standards – and I’ve long suspected that we’ve become desensitised to how much money one billion dollars actually is.
Remember, US$1b = 4 laps of the earth.
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Apple made US$21.7b profit – a 93 per cent rise year-on-year, with iPhone 12 sales increasing 50 per cent in the last quarter (year-on-year).
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, also did well, with revenue of US$61.8b, up 62 per cent, a profit of $18.5b – double what it made this time last year.
Facebook said its revenue grew 56 per cent to US$29b, with profit up 101 per cent to US$10.4b.
Microsoft reported revenue of US$46.2b, with a net income of $16.5b (up 21 and 47 per cent).
Samsung also reported that it was doing fine, bumping its earnings by 20 per cent to US$55.56b with an operating profit of US$11b.
You get the picture. Big Tech is doing fine.
They’re captains of industry. And not just kings of “supply and demand”- even when there’s a global chip supply shortage – but creators of it.
With that fresh in mind, it’s fascinating to look forward to what’s coming in the consumer-tech world.
What demand will be created next?
Interestingly, Samsung appears to be making the biggest moves in the immediate term. Using its earnings call to give investors a clue about its future products, the South Korean tech giant revealed how it was looking to “solidify its leadership in the premium [smartphone] segment by mainstreaming the foldable category”.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait long to see what “mainstreaming the foldable category” looks like, as industry rumours suggest Samsung will reveal all at its Unpacked event happening next week. Watch this space.
We will have to wait a bit longer for the thing Mark Zuckerberg spoke about during Facebook’s earnings call, though. Something he called “the successor to the mobile internet”.
What is the Metaverse? Good question. The term was first coined (probably) in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash.
In it, the lead character Hiro Protagonist (that’s really his name) is a pizza delivery driver by day and VR superhero in the “Metaverse” by night.
Nowadays, the Metaverse is a term that represents a potential future technology that combines physical, augmented, and virtual reality together via a connected platform.
Speaking to The Verge, Mark Zuckerberg expanded on his ideas for The Metaverse. Suggesting it will be a place where “you feel present with other people as if you were in other places, having different experiences that you couldn’t necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage, like dancing, for example”.
He also said that it’s not something one company will build on its own, but he wants Facebook to be a big part of it. Fortnite, Roblox and even Microsoft are some other big names making noise about this space.
It’s hard to disagree with Zuckerberg here. When you think about the past 18 months the world has gone through, the idea of a Metaverse sounds like a perfect tonic.
I’d wager all of us would have paid reasonable amounts of money to have been transported to another dimension during our first stint in lockdown. Suggesting that Big Tech’s ability to create demand for its products isn’t about to slow down anytime soon.