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Amazon’s Advantage; Smartphones Disrupted

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Hold The Phone

The smartphone industry took a beating this month, and Apple in particular has to rethink its plans for the long term. Thirty-eight percent fewer total smartphones were shipped last month, as consumer spending fell and manufacturing shuttered in China. Apple will struggle to make the number of devices it expected for this fall and holiday season, since it needs supplies months ahead of time and those lines are still down, The Wall Street Journal reports. Chinese factories are reopening, but now California is under a shelter-in-place order and there’s still no travel. Apple is racing to avoid wholesale product delays, including taking the unprecedented step of allowing engineers to take prototypes home with them – a shocking change considering Apple’s obsession with secrecy. There is also real concern that the market for $1,000 phones has essentially vanished. More.

The Essentials

Amazon recently delayed shipments and new warehouse inventory for nonessential items. People understand that some products are in high demand and have real need right now, not to mention the added potential exposure for warehouse and delivery employees. But that doesn’t explain the fact that Amazon-owned items are considered “essential,” while rival alternatives are pushed back a month, Android Police reports. Amazon Fire TVs are delivered in a day or two, while Rokus won’t ship for weeks. Amazon’s smart home speakers and product lines, plus routers and Wi-Fi equipment, all ship now, and alternatives do not. Recode also reported last week that some items on Amazon are still being delivered quickly (those sellers don’t use Amazon for fulfillment), but Amazon hid their product listings.

CMOs, Unite!

The Association of National Advertisers launched a coalition for CMOs to address the coronavirus crisis. Made up of marketing leaders across the world’s biggest brands from McDonald’s to Target, the group aims to share insights, create frameworks and work collectively to respond to the crisis as a marketing community. Its immediate goals are to share insights to help CMOs better manage the crisis, examine global experiences during and after the crisis and identify the most reliable sources of information for marketers. “We’re once again turning our leadership community of CMOs into the force for action that our industry needs now,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “This new group’s mission is both clear and urgent. It is to help chief marketers shape intelligent practices and provide functional guidance through this unprecedented time.”

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