Industry Report July 30 – August 3
The Big Mac has been dominating fast food culture for the past 50 years. This year, McDonald’s will celebrate the burger’s anniversary by rolling out a new way to pay for this guilty pleasure. Introducing “MacCoin”, a play off the term “Bitcoin” that has dominated the world of crypto-currency these past few years. How do you acquire these coins, you ask? Buy a Big Mac! What can these coins buy you once you have them in your possession? Another Big Mac, of course! It’s like a never-ending cycle of 563 calorie meals filling up your body with preservatives delicious burger goodness. The coins will show off five different designs, representing every decade the Big Mac has been around to slowly destroy your insides keep you smiling while your kid cries about the Happy Meal toy they forgot to put in the box. According to USA TODAY, the designs are as follows:
The ‘70s: Flower power and hippy movements
The ‘80s: Pop art
The ‘90s: Bold, abstract shapes
The ‘00s: Technology that shaped the turn of the century
The ‘10s: “The MacCoin calling attention to the evolution of communication” (umm, what?)
If you love Big Macs so incredibly much that you just can’t live without them, you should head over to North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania where you can find a 14-foot high sculpture of that big, juicy double. Maybe if you post a picture on Instagram with your burger in front of a statue the company will gain back some of the following it has lost over the years to places that serve much healthier, fresher foods thank you for supporting them throughout the years! McDonald’s rolls out this new burger currency beginning this Thursday, August 2nd, at lunchtime.
T-Mobile US and Nokia have agreed to a huge $3.5 billion deal allowing Nokia to supply T-Mobile with 5G next-generation networking gear, hopefully, to start rivaling first and second place telecom companies AT&T and Verizon.
For those of you who have no clue what half of those words mean, like me with 99% of the things I read about technology when I have yet to do deep research, I’ve broken it down for you:
“Next-generation networking gear”: You know how every time you get a newer version of a phone, it works a lot faster and has a lot more interesting features/ ways to interact with one another than the last one? That’s pretty much what this means to the average cell phone user.
“5G”: Right now, your phone runs on a 4G (or LTE) network. Remember how 10 years ago you could only access the very basics of the internet on your phone, and now you can do pretty much everything your computers or laptops allow you to do? That’s where 4G speeds come in. Up until now, that was the fastest network created for a smartphone to run on. T-Mobile and Nokia want to change that.
With a 5G network, you would be able to gain faster networking speeds for your phone, but it also makes the network your phone runs on more reliable. (They’ve only been promising no more dropped calls for my whole life.) A faster network will also help make huge strides in the medical field, driverless cars, and much more when it comes to business.
“Telecom Companies”: The companies who make sure your phone bill is getting charged $15 dollars for every second your daughter goes over her data (sorry mom) give you phone and internet service.
What does T-Mobile get out of the $3.5 billion they just handed over to Nokia? The foreign company will provide T-Mobile with 5G hardware, software, and services that will help the company gain an advantage over network speeds and coverage in majorly populated urban cities. They’ll also provide “AirScale radio access” and cloud hardware and software for the company, among other things.
Hopefully, this ends up benefiting all of us, no matter what company makes the switching costs so high that we cannot possibly get out of our contract keeps our phones up and running every day because eventually, we will all be running on this crazy fast network.
It seems like just yesterday we were splurging on our favorite artist’s CDs at the closest Walmart or Best Buy and playing them over and over again until we knew every lyric by heart. But it wasn’t yesterday, it was actually over four years ago. In 2014, streaming revenue took over CD sales for the first time. Personally, I don’t think I’ve bought a hard copy of a CD in over 10 years, but I guess I can understand the four-year statistic when you include digital downloads from iTunes and such.
Billboard reported in February that Best Buy would be phasing out all their CDs by July 1 but, after much social media outcry, Best Buy decided it would be a better idea to get everyone above the age of 50 excited and then break their heart slowly reduce the shelf space of CDs and only offer “Select CDs”.
In other words, streaming music is incredibly cheaper than buying CDs, especially when you can pay $9.99 a month to listen to any song from any artist’s discography in the past century with the click of a button. It doesn’t make much sense for Best Buy to take up shelf space with CDs that aren’t being bought when they could use it to sell more popular items.
If I had to take a guess, I would say 2020 will be the last year you will be able to buy a hard copy of a CD in a store. After that, I would venture to say that the company quickly taking over our wallets and putting everyone else that ever mattered out of business Amazon will sell them and somehow find a way to turn a profit.
On Monday, Harley Davidson announced their plan to add a new line of products and cut costs so that a new age group of motorcycle riders could enjoy the iconic bikes, while also expanding into international markets.
This new strategy is largely due to Harley Davidson’s declining sales in recent years. The company has really struggled to find a place in the hearts of people who can’t afford to eat more than one meal a day because of their ridiculous amount of college debt millennials. Even though sales rose internationally by .7%, sales in the United States marked a 6.4% decline.
Harley Davidson is also majorly affected by the Trump Administration’s 25% steel and aluminum tax from the European Union. Even though the company is based out of the land where Aaron Rodgers could light a child on fire and still be praised for the Superbowl he won 7 years ago Wisconsin, they have announced their decision to start producing any bikes sold in Europe out of the United States because the European Union decided to create their own karma impose some retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. According to Fox Business, duties on bikes that used to be only 6% have increased to a whopping 31%, which adds about $2,000 big ones onto the average cost of every motorcycle built in the United States and exported to the EU.
To make a long story short, Harley Davidson will be introducing lots of new bikes to their line, including “middleweight platform bikes”. These bikes are not as heavy as most HD bikes, resulting in cheaper manufacturing. Also, in 2019, they will launch their first electric motorcycle called “The 2-Wheeled Kia Soul” “LiveWire”, with plans to build new models through 2022.
Ahh, the good ole Disney days. Does anyone else remember going to Disney World as a child and riding your favorite rides, taking pictures with your favorite characters, eating your favorite foods, and watching your mom run over your favorite grandma with her wheelchair because she was eight months pregnant and didn’t see her standing there? Just me?
Aside from one terrible visual the three people that read this you all just pictured in your head, Disney was the BEST. I will go to my grave singing Colors of the Wind Disney’s praises because many of my childhood memories revolve around this company.
On July 26th, Disney released a press release announcing their goal to completely eliminate all plastic straws and stirrers from every Disney-owned location around the world. The company stated that this would reduce usage of over 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually.
I really love the effort Disney is putting in to try and make the environment less of a manmade waste hole hazard for people and animals alike, but I do see some potential issues with this. What are 175 million drinkers going to use to consume their beverages? Are these children just going to be able to run around like Tiger Woods on his ex-wife wild animals without lids because they don’t have straws for their drinks? I’m sure Disney will figure something out.
In the meantime, I’m going to contemplate whether I should throw away all the straws in my house to save marine life or be selfish and keep them for my own drinking desires.
Kate’s back next week. 😀
Signing off, the office coffee maker Intern.