Alphabet Earnings Miss; Alphabet Looks to Buy Fitbit; Apple Bluetooth Tracker; iPhone SE 2 Release Rumor; Amazon Drops Fresh Fee- Free Prime Grocery Delivery

Google parent Alphabet missed on Wall Street’s earnings expectations, mainly due to some investments. Businessinsder.com reports that it was a $1.5 billion loss that blew a hole in what otherwise was a quarter of solid growth in their advertising and cloud businesses. Although Alphabet didn’t indicate which investments they took a haircut on, it is widely thought that Uber and Slack are among them. Google’s net revenue grew 21% during third quarter, hardware sales were up 39% year over year, to now account for 16% of the company’s total revenue.

Google’s parent Alphabet has made an offer to buy Fitbit. After halting trading on the news yesterday, Fitbit resumed, and was up 30% on the news. According to CNBC.com, there hasn’t been any reveal on the pricing. Google did acquire some type of smartwatch tech back in January for $40 million, but that was reportedly for a ‘new product innovation that’s not yet hit the market.’ Google had toyed with a Pixel branded smartwatch, but with Fitbit, the name and wide use might encourage them to stick with the existing branding.

Apple is apparently working on a Bluetooth tracker similar to the Tile, and it may be called AirTag. Macrumors.com says Bluetooth tags have appeared several times in previous iOS updates. A folder in the latest version says ‘AirTag.’ There is also a BatterySwap video asset in the latest update, suggesting that the AirTags will have batteries that can be swapped out. As opposed to Tile’s square configuration, it looks like Apple is going with little round tags that can be attached and Bluetooth connected to iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other devices. (I know a relative who could also use them for his glasses, keys, and wallet, but that’s another story!)

In other Apple news, the latest from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is that we can expect the iPhone SE 2 by around March. It’s not clear that Apple will actually call the handset that, but the diminutive and less pricey iPhone will have most of the innards of the new iPhone 11, so it won’t be a slug. It’s expected to sell for $399, by far the cheapest iPhone with the latest tech. Apple still sells the iPhone 8 at $329, but it has the tech of 2 generations ago, and Apple may kill the model when the new SE 2 bows.

Amazon has dropped the $14.99 Amazon Fresh fee, making grocery delivery free for Prime members. Techcrunch.com reports that the service is in operation in 2,000 cities. Amazon is also giving users one and two hour options, and making local Whole Foods store inventory available online and via the Amazon app. So far, no one has been able to determine if Amazon Fresh is turning a profit, or even how many users are availing themselves of the service. The free delivery, however, will increase pressure on Walmart and on the various grocery delivery services.



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