Air Pod Pro Launch; Spotify Returns to Profit; Electric Mini- Mini Price and Mini Range; Instagram Bans Self-Harm ImagesPosted: October 28, 2019
For those who have ears that they fit (I do not), Apple has dropped the new Air Pod Pros. The headlines: active noise cancellation, Transparency mode, in-ear design with multiple tips, wireless charging case, and water and sweat resistance. They run $250, which is a bump of $50 from the regular AirPods with wireless charging case. Apple has room to price them up with the extra features, and noting that they already sell pricey Beats models…not to mention there are other premium brands with ear buds that can run from $300-$500. Still to come, but maybe in 2020…the 16 inch MacBook Pro previously touted by Cupertino.
In a surprise, Spotify has returned to profit. This is only the 2nd quarterly profit that the streamer has had in 13 years! According to 9to5mac.com, the stock jumped 7% on the news. Spotify claims 113 million paid subscribers, a bump of 5 million in the 3rd quarter. When you add in free members on the ad-supported tier, Spotify has 248 million monthly users. Spotify points to podcasts as playing a big roll in the move into the black. The company claims to be doing better than either Apple Music or Amazon Music…saying they are adding twice the users per month as Apple. They say they have half the churn of Apple. As for Amazon, Spotify says they have about 3 times the engagement that Amazon has.
BMW has announced the Mini Cooper EV, the first totally electric Mini. Theverge.com says the diminutive electric vehicle will be out in March in the US, and BMW says the MSRP is $29,000. With the destination fee of $850 and taxes, it will still break the $30,000 barrier, but not by much. That seems to be the magic number that everyone is shooting for to get EVs to truly become a mass market car. On the down side, BMW says the car will go 146 miles on a full charge, and that number could well be lower when the EPA does a more realistic test. Most buyers get range anxiety with less than 200 miles, but Nissan has been selling the Leaf with 150 to 226 miles of range…and the original Leaf didn’t even make it 100 miles. The Mini EV will be nicely equipped with Apple CarPlay, heated front seats, keyless entry, auto rain-sensing wipers and headlights, and a driver assistance package all coming standard. It will have 181 horsepower, so should be fine tooling up freeway on ramps and the like. Keep in mind that even at a touch over $30 grand, BMW cars are still eligible for the full federal tax credit, so your price could drop to $20 grand or below, depending on your state’s tax credits.
In something of a baby step, Instagram has promised to remove images of self-harm. According to bbc.com, this will include drawings and even cartoons. This is largely in response to the public outrage over the death of a British teen named Molly Russell in 2017. Instagram says it will take time to fully implement the takedown, and they also said this won’t be the last thing they do with regards to the problem.