Newley's Notes

Newley’s Notes 182: So Long, Jony; Sikh Truck Drivers; Rooney Golazo; Frolicking Beach Dogs

2019 06 30abstract

Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes.

⚠️ Editor’s note: NN will be on summer holiday for the following few weeks. Expect the next edition July 21.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🍎 1) Apple Design Chief Jony Ive to Depart, Ushering in New Era [WSJ]

“Apple Inc. said design chief Jony Ive will leave the company later this year to form his own independent design company, marking the end of an era at the iPhone maker as it shifts from an emphasis on product development to services.”

🎨 2) And, from 2015, a profile of Ive: The Shape of Things to Come [New Yorker]

“How an industrial designer became Apple’s greatest product.”

👂 3) Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students [ProPublica]

“‘It’s not clear it’s solving the right problem. And it’s not clear it’s solving it with the right tools,’ said Suresh Venkatasubramanian, a University of Utah computer science professor who studies how replacing humans with artificial intelligence affects decision-making in society.”

🦄 4) A Unicorn Lost in the Valley, Evernote Blows Up the ‘Fail Fast’ Gospel [NY Times]

“In a season of multibillion-dollar I.P.O.s for Slack, Pinterest, Zoom, Uber, Lyft and others, Evernote is nowhere close.”

🚚 5) Sikh drivers are transforming U.S. trucking. Take a ride along the Punjabi American highway [LA Times]

"‘You used to see a guy with a turban and you would get excited,’ says Pal, who is in his 15th year of trucking. ‘Today, you go to some stops and can convince yourself you are in India.’’

📚 6) San Francisco Will Spend $600,000 to Erase History [NY Times]

“All are fair game for censorship in a worldview that insists that words and images are to be judged based on how ‘safe’ they make people feel.”

⌨️ 7) 20+ Mac Productivity Hacks from CEOs, Artists, Developers, Youtubers and More [Boxy Suite]

“I’m always surprised by how many Mac hacks, tricks and workflows I keep finding out that boost my productivity and make my life easier.”

🗣️ 8) This map shows the most commonly spoken language in every US state, excluding English and Spanish [Business Insider]

German is the most commonly spoken non-English, non-Spanish language in nine states, with French most common in six states and D.C. Vietnamese was the most common language in six states.”

⚽ 9) Wayne Rooney GOAL from Beyond Midfield! [YouTube]

“Wayne Rooney scores from beyond the midfield stripe.”

😂 10) Water, water, OMG water! [Reddit]

💡 Quote of the week:

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training." – Archilochus

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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi – and happy summer!


India Journalism Tech

Foxconn Looks Beyond China to India for iPhone Assembly

2019 01 23foxconn

That’s the headline on a story I wrote yesterday with my colleagues Yang Jie, Yoko Kubota, and Rajesh Roy.

It begins:

Apple Inc.’s largest iPhone assembler, Foxconn Technology Group, is considering producing the devices in India, people familiar with the matter said, a move that could reduce Apple’s dependence on China for manufacturing and potentially for sales.

Executives at Foxconn, a contract manufacturer that assembles a large portion of the world’s iPhones in China, are studying whether to include an India project in budget plans, one of the people said. Senior executives, possibly including Chairman Terry Gou, plan to visit India after next month’s Lunar New Year to discuss plans, the people familiar said.

Foxconn’s look at India comes as sustained friction between Washington and Beijing over trade and technology is pushing many companies to consider diversifying their supply chains away from China, a global center of assembly for smartphones, computers and other electronics.

Click through to read the rest.

India Journalism Tech

iPhone Falls Flat in World’s Largest Untapped Market

IMG 0364  1

That’s the headline of my most recent story, which I wrote with my WSJ colleague Tripp Mickle. It’s on the front page of Wednesday’s print paper and online here.

It begins:

NEW DELHI–Amit Rajput, who runs a counter selling iPhones in a busy electronics shop here, cuts a lonely figure. He is lucky to sell one device a day, compared with the 10 or more smartphones his colleagues at desks for Samsung Electronics Co. , Nokia Corp. and China’s Oppo sell daily in the same store.

As customers walk past his display, he recalls a different time in 2013 when he sold as many as 80 iPhones a day. Now most people want to pay less than $300 for their devices—a fraction of what Apple Inc.’s newer models cost.

Smartphone makers, facing sputtering growth in the rest of the world, have looked to India to make up the difference. With 1.3 billion consumers, the country is the world’s biggest untapped tech market. Just 24% of Indians own smartphones, and the number of users is growing faster than in any other country, according to research firm eMarketer.

How has that worked out for one of America’s most valuable companies?

The number of iPhones shipped in India has fallen 40% so far this year compared with 2017, and Apple’s market share there has dropped to about 1% from about 2%, research firm Canalys estimates. The Cupertino, Calif., company posted revenues of $1.8 billion in India this fiscal year. That is less than half of what executives had once hoped to capture, said a person familiar with its targets.

“It’s been a rout,” said Ishan Dutt, an analyst at Canalys.

Click through to read the rest.


Why the iPhone Is Losing Out to Chinese Devices in Asia

2018 02 26 iphone asia

That’s the headline of my newest story, which ran last week.

It begins:

NEW DELHI—The iPhone X has set a new benchmark for smartphone prices and bolstered Apple Inc.’s bottom line, but its steep price may be hobbling its future in Asia’s biggest markets and allowing Chinese challengers to grab market share.

Buyers from India to Indonesia are opting for models from Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi Corp.—sometimes called “the Apple of China”—along with BBK Electronics Corp.’s Oppo and Vivo.

China’s manufacturers are increasingly churning out higher-priced devices that compete directly with Apple’s smartphones. They often have high-end features, but carry lower price tags than the iPhone X or even older iPhone models. They are targeting potential Apple customers by offering phones with robust hardware such as metal bodies, beefy batteries and unique features iPhones lack, including special cameras for taking better selfies.

Click through to read the rest.

India Journalism Tech

Our Facebook Live Video On Apple and India

Last week my colleague Eric Bellman and I conducted a live Facebook chat on Apple’s big gamble on India.

The video is embedded above and on The WSJ Facebook page here.

Eric and I discuss India’s promise as the second biggest smartphone market after China (hundreds of millions of people are getting online for the first time on low-cost smartphones), what Apple’s been doing to make strides here (assembling phones locally for the first time, working to open its own official stores, trying to boost the iOS ecosystem, etc.) and the challenges it faces (the biggest: price).


And for more, see a couple of our recent stories: