Smartphones

Smartphones have become perhaps “too smart” for many consumers. I don’t know about you, but I guess ,on the average, I only get to use less than half the functions on my phone.

I suspect I am not the only one with the experience.

With the news that Apple is planning to come up with a cheaper  phone about half the price of the current model, I can’t help thinking this maybe the direction smartphones go in the future.

Hopefully, soon we’ll be able to just pay for the functions we use.

Laissz-faire 201 ?

Hoping to help stop the local property price from going up too fast, the Hong Kong government has just imposed a 15% tax for  residential homes to be bought by foreign buyers. However, the real effect of this new policy remains to be seen.

Perhaps, to keep up with the times, a Laissz-faire economy with proper government intervention would be necessary?

The Magical 199

Many popular smartphones are priced at USD 199. And now, same price is being charged for an increasing number of Tablets as well, such as the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 and possibly the upcoming Microsoft Space.

Apparently,the 199 price tag does great wonder in prompting consumers to buy such products without much hesitation.

Perhaps, any price ending in 9 cannot be wrong?

China Ventures

With a rising middle class, China certainly has the potential of becoming a top global market for consumer goods. However, many foreign businesses only find themselves exiting it soon after arrival.

Some causes:

1.Absence of unbiased Feasibility Study before plunging in

2.Lack of understanding of Local Market and Culture

3.Blanket implementation of Management and Marketing Practices from home without proper adaptation

4.No Mid and Long -term Strategy, just trying to make a fast buck

5.Failure to do as the Chinese do while in China…

Irreplaceable, short-term

There has been much talk about shifting manufacturing from China because of rising labor cost etc. The process, however, will be gradual and not likely impacts China greatly at least short-term due to :-

1. Well-established supply chain not available elsewhere for now

2. Fully-developed logistic infrastructure

3. Pool of skilled and trained labor

4. Rising productivity and manufacturing efficiency

5. Stabilization of RMB, China’s currency with its recent appreciation losing momentum

The cheaper, the better ?

Not necessarily !  When it comes to sourcing products in Asia in particular.

In order to get your business amid cut-throat competition, the supplier initially lowers the price deliberately to outdo others oftentimes to the level where reasonable profit margin is very thin,or even non-existent.

The likely outcome of this is that he will subsequently deliver a product made with cheaper and inferior material and/or with scaled-down dimension/size to make up for his “lost” margin.

A seasoned buyer, before commitment, makes sure that he has a clear understanding of the cost involved and related market info,plus a good check on the background of the supplier for reliability and reputation.

At times, he even ups the price asked for to ensure goods are properly made with reasonable profit for the supplier.