The downturn in the global smartphone market highlights the need for companies to focus on the Value segment and Services as the Middle Market disappears. iPhones are now 49% of the booming second-hand market, allowing Apple to gain more Services revenue via its App Store.
Chemicals and the Economy
Food prices have stayed high due to the disruption caused by the war. They are unlikely to fall back quickly as the war continues and economic volatility intensifies.
Cheap used phones priced at<$200 are now the only growth area in the smartphone market. Companies who just sell hardware are now set to be Losers as their profits tumble. Companies like Apple, with a strong brand and service offering, will be long-term Winners.
Doing nothing is no longer an option. The plastics industry has a game-changing opportunity to take a global lead in developing a circular economy. It now needs to focus on developing the new products and services needed to create the new business model.
As the World Food Programme warns, “High fertilizer prices could turn the current food affordability crisis into a food availability crisis, with production of maize, rice, soybean and wheat all falling in 2022.”
As the photos from New York in 1900 and 1913 remind us, transitions happen very quickly once they get underway. One day, we are saying “it will never happen”. The next, we are telling our friends “I can’t understand why it took so long”. So it seems safe to assume that the auto industry will see major change in the next few years.
Russia’s invasion has dramatically accelerated the need to transition from fossil fuels to renewables, and from single-use plastics to recycled product. In turn, this will create Winners & Losers. Some companies will decide to take advantage of the new opportunity. Others will continue to hope the issue will go away.
The smartphone market has now been in decline for 5 years. And whilst the Fed would clearly love to get stocks racing to the moon again, history suggests that Apple’s CFO is likely to be right when talking about the importance of cost control for the future.
The ‘digitalization of everything’ has transformed the global economy over the past 30 years. The rise of the internet is just one example. Now electrification is set to have a similar impact, starting with the world’s largest manufacturing industry. Fasten your seatbelts for the ride!
Winners and Losers are becoming inevitable in the world’s largest manufacturing industry. Companies and their suppliers have to manage fixed costs to survive the recession. But they also have to invest in EV/AVs if they want to have a business in the future.