MarketLine Blog

Posts written in September 2013

Does BlackBerry have a future in smartphones?

MarketLine

It is a worrying time for Canadian smartphone manufacturer Blackberry Ltd. (BlackBerry) at a time when its largest rivals seem to be going from strength to strength. Apple Inc. (Apple) has seen huge consumer enthusiasm for its latest flagship, the iPhone 5S, with demand far outstripping supply at launch. Additionally, manufacturers offering products on Google Inc.’s (Google) Android operating system, such as Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Samsung) have enjoyed significant sales figures over the past few months. The news that BlackBerry has had to cut 4,500 jobs (40% of its… Read more

McDonald’s is going to pumpkin battle with Starbucks

MarketLine

To maintain profitability in the face of higher labor, occupancy and operating costs, McDonald’s is responding by adding more premium and also expensive, items to its menu. After introducing wraps and smoothies, the company is now looking to take a sip of the coffee market and win some of the Starbucks crowd. Pumpkin spice-flavored latte is the new battlefield. According to Starbucks spokeswoman Alisa Martinez, Starbucks has sold more than 200 million pumpkin spice-flavored lattes within the ten years since they were introduced in 2003. A 16-ounce pumpkin-spice latte sells… Read more

Global air passenger numbers to double in 20 years

MarketLine

Airbus, the European plane manufacturer, predicts that air passenger numbers will more than double globally over the next 20 years from 2.9 billion to 6.7 billion in 2032. The France-based manufacturer attributes this growth to a bigger global middle class, urbanization, migration and tourism. Airbus also predicts that 29,220 new aircraft will be needed over the next 20 years, in order to meet this increased traffic. About 10,400 planes of the total number will be necessary just to renew existing fleets. Overall, new orders for aircraft would amount to $4.4tn…. Read more

Merkel celebrates election win, seeks grand coalition

MarketLine

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel and her Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands party (CDU) are celebrating an astounding election win that saw them narrowly miss out on securing an absolute majority. Angela Merkel herself described the result, which saw the CDU and its sister party the CSU (Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern) increase their combined share of the vote by 8%, as “superb”. It was a more chastening result for the Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP) and Chairman Philipp Rösler has resigned following an outcome which means that the junior coalition partner will be without… Read more

Will biosimilar drug Inflectra be Remicade’s nemesis?

MarketLine

On 10 September 2013, Hospira announced that the European Commission had approved its drug Inflectra, a treatment for severe inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Good news for the company, and of course for patients suffering from these painful and debilitating diseases. Celebrations might be more muted at the headquarters of Johnson & Johnson, however, as Inflectra is essentially a legal copy of its blockbuster drug Remicade. Genuine generic copies of biotech drugs are not feasible, because competitors to the original manufacturer do not have access to… Read more

Alibaba: China’s answer to eBay and Amazon

MarketLine

Alibaba has grown from humble beginnings in 1999 to one of China’s largest e-commerce providers. An initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong stock exchange is rumored to happen before the end of 2013, with initial estimates valuing the offering at between $60-120bn. In terms of transaction volumes, the company easily surpasses both eBay and Amazon globally. The company shows no signs of slowing down, with acquisitions in social media and logistics announced in 2013, and even the possibility of expansion elsewhere. Alibaba began in 1999, and in 14… Read more

Cosmetic powerhouses turn to Brazil as Western European growth falters

MarketLine

Approximately 40 million Brazilians have joined the middle class in the past decade, rapidly turning Brazil into a beauty industry powerhouse.  As an unsaturated market, with high demand; there is huge potential for growth. In contrast, the European market is suffering from weak consumer spending. The European debt crisis added more downward pressure to the growth prospects within this industry. The European economy grew by 1.6% in 2011 and estimates show that it grew by just 0.6% in 2012. In addition, the European market has witnessed high rates of unemployment,… Read more

Are smart watches a smart move for Samsung and Sony?

MarketLine

Now that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Samsung) has officially unveiled its Galaxy Gear smart watch at IFA 2013, and with new offerings from other major manufacturers, such as Sony Corporation (Sony), also set to hit shelves within the next couple of months, it appears that wearable technology is about to step into the limelight. Whether the smart watch will enable such tech players to genuinely diversify their product offering, however, remains to be seen. Crucially, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is only compatible with its own-branded line of smartphones and tablets, and… Read more

Nokia sold to Microsoft: admission of defeat against Samsung and Apple in the Smartphone race, and Microsoft makes a precarious gambit

MarketLine

Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has agreed to sell its mobile handset arm to Microsoft in a deal worth EUR 5.4bn ($7bn). The deal represents the final hurrah of both the diminished Nokia, crestfallen by the advance of Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market, and current Windows CEO Steve Ballmer, due to step down in 2014. Over 32,000 staff will transfer from Nokia to Microsoft, with the deal expected to be completed in 2014. For Microsoft, their monopolistic control over the PC market has been compromised by the advent… Read more

Spain: Behind the glitz and glamor lies a sad tale of economic woe

MarketLine

If you spent this past weekend glued to the TV, you would be forgiven for thinking that Spain is a country with no worries and awash with cash. As Spanish trio Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, and Dani Pedrosa were racing round Silverstone on motorbikes that cost around €5m ($6.4m), Real Madrid were proudly announcing the €100m ($128.5m) purchase of the world’s most expensive footballer, Gareth Bale, taking their summer spending to an estimated €163.5m ($210.1m). However, behind the glitz and glamor of elite level sport lies a sad tale of… Read more