Tuesday in CE: Amazon Didn't Kill Toys R Us But They Are Picking the Bones Clean
The dust has barely settled on the Toys R Us firesale and CE retail giants like Amazon are already chomping at the bit to take over their assets. Reports have already started coming through that Amazon is window shopping some of the impending foreclosures, expanding their retail brick-and-mortar footprint.
To get it out of the way, it's unlikely that Amazon will continue using the Toys R Us brand, opting to continue expanding on their $13.7 billion Whole Foods play, bookstore ventures, or cashier-less convenience-store concept. For the record, that acquisition gave Amazon 450 physical locations across the United States.
Toys R Us has over 560 locations in America, topping 1,758 worldwide.
Amazon has already started showcasing their Echo Dot at a long list of the Whole Foods locations, adding a ton of additional sales to the digital assistant. But this would seemingly be a different manner from the king of disruption. If you think about it, Whole Foods and a convenience store serve hyper-specific needs and also feel organic with their recent grocery shopping push. Opening an electronics store for the sake of opening one doesn't quite hold the same gravity.
Then again, this is Amazon and it's probably not that one-dimensional. This would also be the second time they looked to scoop up a bunch of empty locations, courting Circut City at the time of their bankruptcy. Nothing came of those talks.
The move right now is uncertain, and the sources are all unverified, but this would make a lot of sense. Amazon has a lot of interest in being the local big-box killer. They have shown time and time again that their brand recognition and ability to stay so agile keeps paying off.
Laser Shortage Means Android Notches Are Mostly Aesthetic
If you are like me, you hate to see the mass of copycat Androids running to copy Apple's latest smartphone tactic. Not only does it kill innovation it will create more complacency as companies don't have to bring a new product to the market, just one that vaguely resembles Apple.
And truthfully, I don't understand the logic. You won't convince Apple users to make the switch, they already like their iPhone ecosystems. On the flip side, you might convince your Android loyal users to just buy an iPhone to get the full benefits, effectively driving away the already minimal, yet loyal audience of people who believed in your product in the first place.
But I digress.
A new report reveals that the same lasers and 3D sensing cameras are in a massive shortage right now. In fact, they might not hit the market again for two years. In their findings, Reuters reports that three of the largest suppliers - Viavi Solutions, Ams AG and Finisar Corp - are "severely bottlenecked" on key parts that means “mass adoption of 3D sensing will not happen until next year.”
“We may have a potential introduction of a second handset maker into 3D sensing at the end of this calendar year,"Viavi’s senior director of investor relations Bill Ong told Reuters. "(But) the volumes would be very low. In 2019 you clearly will see at least two or more Android-based phones.”