2019 iPad 10.2-inch versus the new 2019 Fire HD 10
It’s the perfect illustration of the cost being just one part of the equation. True, it is invariably going to be an urgently important part, and maybe even an overriding one, as if you can’t afford an iPad, all other comparisons are irrelevant.
Equally, though, if you can afford an iPad and you buy the Amazon tablet solely because it’s cheaper, you’ve not saved money. Instead, you’ve thrown cash away, because when you need an iPad, an Amazon Fire HD 10 is not going to cut it.
|Apple iPad (2019)||Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019)|
|Screen size (ins)||10.2||10.1|
|Resolution||2160 x 1620 at 264ppi||1920 x 1200 at 224ppi|
|Processor||A10 Fusion Quad-core 2.34GHz||Octa-core 2GHz|
|Capacity||32GB, 128GB||32GB, 64GB with microSD expansion|
|Dimensions (ins)||9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29||10.3 x 6.3 x 0.4|
|Speakers||Stereo||Dual stereo, Dolby Atmos|
Amazon is narrowing the gap and the latest update for the Fire HD 10 is a big improvement. Amazon claims longer battery life and generally better performance from its new 2GHz octa-core processor. We’ll have to wait to learn how that works in the real world, but one thing that’s undeniably better is that the tablet now has a USB-C power connector.
That means it will charge faster, and also that we’re finally rid of the old micro-USB cable. Even so, choosing between them is less about specifications and more about use cases.
Where the new Fire 10 HD wins
There is one more thing about the cost. Even though the newly updated Amazon Fire HD 10 costs $150 and that’s not an amount you’d casually throw away, you’d be somewhat less happy if you broke a $329 iPad.
The new Fire HD 10
So, you could be a bit rougher with your Fire HD 10, just about. Amazon expects something like this, though, as it is also going to offer a Fire HD 10 Kid’s Edition. It’s the same device, but for $50 extra you get a protective case, two years of accidental damage cover, and one year’s subscription to Amazon Fire for Kids.
Unquestionably, you could use the new Fire HD 10 as a family tablet, though the iPad would do more for everyone, and it’s built more sturdily. Where the Fire HD 10 wins out is in using Amazon software or services. If you want to watch Amazon Prime video or read Kindle books, this tablet was explicitly built for you.
It’s also running a fork of Android, which means there’s an app store with a great many Android apps that the table can run, albeit from Amazon’s own store and not Google Play. Plus, it has voice-activated Alexa.
Amazon hasn’t improved the screen this time, as it remains a 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 pixels display. It has added a Picture-in-Picture mode so you can watch videos as you work, which is a nice plus point.
There are also claims of an improved battery life, rising from 10 hours to 12, so you can work more. Plus the processor has been updated from a quad-core 1.8GHz to an octa-core 2.0GHz. It might not sound spectacular, and it isn’t startling, but at least it is moving in the right direction.
Where the iPad wins
Everywhere else. Seriously, we came into this thinking that the tablets were roughly the same size, they might be very different in their operating systems and apps, but they were broadly similar. It was going to be a pretty fine line between which device would suit which people.
If you want to do any actual work, like writing or editing, you need to choose the iPad. We’re less concerned with how Amazon’s app store lacks the giant number of titles that regular Android users can have, and more with how it hasn’t got Microsoft Word. You can cross-load apps on the Amazon tablet, but it is a pain.
It’s not a surprise that it lacks, say, Pages, but Word is an extraordinary omission when Microsoft’s app is on regular Android.
Apple’s iPad is like a superset of the Amazon Fire HD 10. Everything you can do on the Amazon device, the iPad can do, and it does more.
Then if Kindle books do always look best on Amazon Kindle devices —the Fire HD 10 included —than on the iOS Kindle app, the iPad wins in the looks and quality department every other way.
The HD in Fire HD 10 does still stand for High Definition, and Amazon has improved the display over the years. However, the 10.1-inch screen is 1,920 by 1,200 pixels.
In comparison, the iPad’s screen is 2,160 x 1,620 pixels.
Creation, not consumption
The iPad has often been criticized for being solely about reading or viewing rather than creating anything, but that must be by people who haven’t seen the Fire HD 10. Any tablet that’s lightweight and around the 10-inch mark is going to be good for reading and viewing. Yet even so, the iPad wins for the sheer visual quality of what you’re watching.
You can’t easily get away from the fact that you could buy two Amazon tablets for the cost of one iPad. But, equally, you can’t get away from how if you placed a Fire HD 10 next to an iPad, you’d buy the iPad.
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Updated November 8, 2019 with video
These ten enterprise M&A deals totaled over $40B in 2019
It would be hard to top the 2018 enterprise M&A total of a whopping $87 billion, and predictably this year didn’t come close. In fact, the top 10 enterprise M&A deals in 2019 were less than half last year’s, totaling $40.6 billion. This year’s biggest purchase was Salesforce buying Tableau for $15.7 billion, which would…
It would be hard to top the 2018 enterprise M&A total of a whopping $87 billion, and predictably this year didn’t come close. In fact, the top 10 enterprise M&A deals in 2019 were less than half last year’s, totaling $40.6 billion.
This year’s biggest purchase was Salesforce buying Tableau for $15.7 billion, which would have been good for third place last year behind IBM’s mega deal plucking Red Hat for $34 billion and Broadcom grabbing CA Technologies for $18.8 billion.
Contributing to this year’s quieter activity was the fact that several typically acquisitive companies — Adobe, Oracle and IBM — stayed mostly on the sidelines after big investments last year. It’s not unusual for companies to take a go-slow approach after a big expenditure year. Adobe and Oracle bought just two companies each with neither revealing the prices. IBM didn’t buy any.
Microsoft didn’t show up on this year’s list either, but still managed to pick up eight new companies. It was just that none was large enough to make the list (or even for them to publicly reveal the prices). When a publicly traded company doesn’t reveal the price, it usually means that it didn’t reach the threshold of being material to the company’s results.
As always, just because you buy it doesn’t mean it’s always going to integrate smoothly or well, and we won’t know about the success or failure of these transactions for some years to come. For now, we can only look at the deals themselves.
Jumia, DHL, and Alibaba will face off in African ecommerce 2.0
The business of selling consumer goods and services online is a relatively young endeavor across Africa, but ecommerce is set to boom. Over the last eight years, the sector has seen its first phase of big VC fundings, startup duels and attrition. To date, scaling e-commerce in Africa has straddled the line of challenge and…
The business of selling consumer goods and services online is a relatively young endeavor across Africa, but ecommerce is set to boom.
Over the last eight years, the sector has seen its first phase of big VC fundings, startup duels and attrition.
To date, scaling e-commerce in Africa has straddled the line of challenge and opportunity, perhaps more than any other market in the world. Across major African economies, many of the requisites for online retail — internet access, digital payment adoption, and 3PL delivery options — have been severely lacking.
Still, startups jumped into this market for the chance to digitize a share of Africa’s fast growing consumer spending, expected to top $2 billion by 2025.
African e-commerce 2.0 will include some old and new players, play out across more countries, place more priority on internet services, and see the entry of China.
But before highlighting several things to look out for in the future of digital-retail on the continent, a look back is beneficial.
Jumia vs. Konga
The early years for development of African online shopping largely played out in Nigeria (and to some extent South Africa). Anyone who visited Nigeria from 2012 to 2016 likely saw evidence of one of the continent’s early e-commerce showdowns. Nigeria had its own Coke vs. Pepsi-like duel — a race between ventures Konga and Jumia to out-advertise and out-discount each other in a quest to scale online shopping in Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation.
Traveling in Lagos traffic, large billboards for each startup faced off across the skyline, as their delivery motorcycles buzzed between stopped cars.
Covering each company early on, it appeared a battle of VC attrition. The challenge: who could continue to raise enough capital to absorb the losses of simultaneously capturing and creating an e-commerce market in notoriously difficult conditions.
In addition to the aforementioned challenges, Nigeria also had (and continues to have) shoddy electricity.
Both Konga — founded by Nigerian Sim Shagaya — and Jumia — originally founded by two Nigerians and two Frenchman — were forced to burn capital building fulfillment operations most e-commerce startups source to third parties.
That included their own delivery and payment services (KongaPay and JumiaPay). In addition to sales of goods from mobile-phones to diapers, both startups also began experimenting with verticals for internet based services, such as food-delivery and classifieds.
While Jumia and Konga were competing in Nigeria, there was another VC driven race for e-commerce playing out in South Africa — the continent’s second largest and most advanced economy.
E-tailers Takealot and Kalahari had been jockeying for market share since 2011 after raising capital in the hundreds of millions of dollars from investors Naspers and U.S. fund Tiger Global Management.
So how did things turn out in West and Southern Africa? In 2014, the lead investor of a flailing Kalahari — Naspers — facilitated a merger with Takealot (that was more of an acquisition). They nixed the Kalahari brand in 2016 and bought out Takelot’s largest investor, Tiger Global, in 2018. Takealot is now South Africa’s leading e-commerce site by market share, but only operates in one country.
In Nigeria, by 2016 Jumia had outpaced its rival Konga in Alexa ratings (6 vs 14), while out-raising Konga (with backing of Goldman Sachs) to become Africa’s first VC backed, startup unicorn. By early 2018, Konga was purchased in a distressed acquisition and faded away as a competitor to Jumia.
Jumia went on to expand online goods and services verticals into 14 Africa countries (though it recently exited a few) and in April 2019 raised over $200 million in an NYSE IPO — the first on a major exchange for a VC-backed startup operating in Africa.
Jumia’s had bumpy road since going public — losing significant share-value after a short-sell attack earlier in 2019 — but the continent’s leading e-commerce company still has heap of capital and generates $100 million in revenues (even with losses).
Airbnb’s New Year’s Eve guest volume shows its falling growth rate
Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. It’s finally 2020, the year that should bring us a direct listing from home-sharing giant Airbnb, a technology company valued at tens of billions of dollars. The company’s flotation will be a key event in…
Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.
It’s finally 2020, the year that should bring us a direct listing from home-sharing giant Airbnb, a technology company valued at tens of billions of dollars. The company’s flotation will be a key event in this coming year’s technology exit market. Expect the NYSE and Nasdaq to compete for the listing, bankers to queue to take part, and endless media coverage.
Given that that’s ahead, we’re going to take periodic looks at Airbnb as we tick closer to its eventual public market debut. And that means that this morning we’re looking back through time to see how fast the company has grown by using a quirky data point.
Airbnb releases a regular tally of its expected “guest stays” for New Year’s Eve each year, including 2019. We can therefore look back in time, tracking how quickly (or not) Airbnb’s New Year Eve guest tally has risen. This exercise will provide a loose, but fun proxy for the company’s growth as a whole.
Before we look into the figures themselves, keep in mind that we are looking at a guest figure which is at best a proxy for revenue. We don’t know the revenue mix of the guest stays, for example, meaning that Airbnb could have seen a 10% drop in per-guest revenue this New Year’s Eve — even with more guest stays — and we’d have no idea.
So, the cliche about grains of salt and taking, please.
But as more guests tends to mean more rentals which points towards more revenue, the New Year’s Eve figures are useful as we work to understand how quickly Airbnb is growing now compared to how fast it grew in the past. The faster the company is expanding today, the more it’s worth. And given recent news that the company has ditched profitability in favor of boosting its sales and marketing spend (leading to sharp, regular deficits in its quarterly results), how fast Airbnb can grow through higher spend is a key question for the highly-backed, San Francisco-based private company.
- 2009: 1,400
- 2010: 6,000 (+329%)
- 2011: 3,1000 (+417%)
- 2012: 108,000 (248%)
- 2013: 250,000 (+131%)
- 2014: 540,000 (+116%)
- 2015: 1,100,000 (+104%)
- 2016: 2,000,000 (+82%)
- 2017: 3,000,000 (+50%)
- 2018: 3,700,000 (+23%)
- 2019: 4,500,000 (+22%)
In chart form, that looks like this:
Let’s talk about a few things that stand out. First is that the company’s growth rate managed to stay over 100% for as long as it did. In case you’re a SaaS fan, what Airbnb pulled off in its early years (again, using this fun proxy for revenue growth) was far better than a triple-triple-double-double-double.
Next, the company’s growth rate in percentage terms has slowed dramatically, including in 2019. At the same time the firm managed to re-accelerate its gross guest growth in 2019. In numerical terms, Airbnb added 1,000,000 New Year’s Eve guest stays in 2017, 700,000 in 2018, and 800,000 in 2019. So 2019’s gross adds was not a record, but it was a better result than its year-ago tally.
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