1. Apple’s iPhone Decline
Apple hit a decline in iPhone sales last quarter, which account for ⅔ of the company’s revenue stream. CEO Tim Cook cut their revenue outlook from an original $93B to an estimated $84B, a move that hasn’t been done in almost two decades by Apple. This could be the first holiday quarter slowdown since Cook came onboard as CEO in 2011. Their shares also fell by 10%, which is the biggest drop in 6 years. Who’s to blame? Apple has put some of the blame on President Trump’s trade war with China, as most of the sales declines came from Greater China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan). iPhone upgrades were also shortsighted. Consumers are sending the message that paying to upgrade your phone every year is so 2018.
2. Netflix Hits a Flock of Headlines
Ringing in the New Year, Netflix has hit headlines with a multitude of viral events. These events, however, are a mix of bad and good, black and white, boy and girl… you get it. Not so good is the amount of criticism received from human rights movements after Netflix removed “an episode in Saudi Arabia of comedian Hasan Minhaj’s Patriot Act series that criticized the kingdom’s powerful crown prince.” This particular act was seen as a “relentless crackdown on freedom of expression.” Netflix seems to be unintentionally instigating some bad caws with the #BirdBoxChallenge. Fans of the new original Bird Box movie, starring Sandra Bullock, are blindfolding themselves while partaking in everyday tasks, a trend based on Bird Box’s plot.
What’s more? Netflix’s interactive Black Mirror episode, Bandersnatch, was released last month, allowing viewers to choose their own storyline when prompted. Apparently, this data is paramount, providing insight into what Netflix subscribers want out of a story and generating robust pattern discoveries and key insights into audience behavior. Netflix: “Are you still there?”
(Source: The Hustle)
3. Hackers Steal 5M Passport Numbers
Back in November, Marriott released a statement, which predicted 500M users had been hacked. After an investigation, Marriott is now saying the numbers are closer to 383M, making it the largest data breach in history (even greater than the Equifax fiasco). The attack came from Marriott’s Starwood branch (think: Sheraton, W Hotels, Westin, Le Meridien, Four Points, Aloft and St. Regis), tracing all the way back to 2014. The stolen data included names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card information, emails, passport numbers, and travel details. What made this attack different was the passport numbers. Some believe the lost data is part of a Chinese intelligence-gathering effort to track those crossing borders using these numbers. Specifically targeting government and industry position personnel, locating where they work, their contacts, where they travel, etc.