Stark Insider https://www.starkinsider.com Arts, Film, Tech & Lifestyle Thu, 08 Apr 2021 17:29:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7 Smartphone Depreciation Report: Apple iPhone 12 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21 https://www.starkinsider.com/2021/04/smartphone-depreciation-report-apple-iphone-12-vs-samsung-galaxy-s21.html Wed, 07 Apr 2021 17:55:36 +0000 https://www.starkinsider.com/?p=213091 Just like we see in the auto industry, firms like to track how leading smartphones depreciate over time. The latest report via SellCell compares two of today’s biggest sellers: the Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Apple iPhone 12. Both are the respective flagships so it’s interesting for those looking to make a smart buy and maximize […]

By Clinton Stark - Stark Insider.

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Just like we see in the auto industry, firms like to track how leading smartphones depreciate over time.

The latest report via SellCell compares two of today’s biggest sellers: the Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Apple iPhone 12. Both are the respective flagships so it’s interesting for those looking to make a smart buy and maximize their return when making shopping for a new (or used) phone.

I don’t think the results will necessarily surprise anyone. Apple has been known to be a premium positioned product with a strong secondary market. Meantime, Samsung runs Android which is more readily available across hundreds if not thousands of devices; many (and most when compared to the upscale Galaxy line) are priced lower than its phones.

In any case, here’s a quick summary of the key findings.

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12: Which Smartphone Holds Its Value?

On average the Samsung Galaxy S21 has depreciated about 45-57% since launch in January 2021.

The Apple iPhone 12 has lost 18-34% since launch in late 2020.

Ouch. Based on the findings from this marketplace vendor the results easily confirm that the Apple iPhone holds its value better. Not by a little. But by a lot. You can see based on the summary above that the iPhone 12 held anywhere between about 23-27% of its value when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S21 line.

Depreciation — again, like we see in cars — is dependent on the model:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Depreciation

Samsung Galaxy S21 Depreciation vs Apple iPhone

Apple iPhone 12 Depreciation

Apple iPhone 12 Depreciation Report

Source: Charts by SellCell

A key takeaway from this report is that the more expensive models such as the Samsung S21 Ultra 5G 128GB and Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 128GB depreciate less on a monthly basis when compared to their lower-priced siblings such as the S21 5G 128GB and iPhone 12 Mini 128GB.

Another interesting point: phones with less memory depreciate slower.

Interestingly, models with more ram such as the Samsung S21 Ultra 5G 512GB and Apple Pro Max 512Gb depreciated faster than the same models with less ram, at 53.3% and 30.7% vs 46.9% and 18.1% respectively.

Clearly, if you want the best return down the road and can live with less memory it’s the way to go, at least if you want to retain the maximum value.

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12: Why Do Samsung Phones Lose Value Faster Than iPhones?

Apple brand loyalty remains high.

Samsung buyers are more likely to switch when upgrading.

SellCell concludes with some thoughts about why Apple phones tend to hold their value better than the Samsung Galaxy phones.

It’s hard to pinpoint a specific reason. Several likely apply here including brand loyalty (Apple scores 92%) and that “demand is still there even after that initial sale.” Further, since Samsung buyers are less loyal to the brand they are more likely to switch to an iPhone when upgrading hence further reducing demand and resale value for Galaxy handsets.

In the end, I think this data and the results are consistent with what we generally see from other marketplace vendors and analysts. Of course SellCell has a vested interest here to draw buyers and sellers to its platform, but that doesn’t necessarily reduce the credibility of the results as they are likely privy to lots of real-time pricing information as sales happen on its site.

Consistency reigns: Apple is the premium brand with premium pricing, and Samsung (and Android as a whole) is the value play with a lower cost of entry, but also less value retention.

Whichever matters to the buyer is a matter of personal preference. But at least it’s good to know what’s likely to happen to the value of your smartphone over its lifetime.

By Clinton Stark - Stark Insider.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Depreciation vs Apple iPhone Apple iPhone 12 Depreciation Report
Camera News: Olympus is (likely) developing new cameras, committed to Micro Four Thirds https://www.starkinsider.com/2021/04/camera-news-olympus-is-developing-new-cameras-committed-to-micro-four-thirds.html Tue, 06 Apr 2021 17:56:23 +0000 https://www.starkinsider.com/?p=213062 Update: A potential strategic twist when it comes to Olympus camera strategy. And I think a good one at that if the rumor indeed becomes reality: Olympus cameras will feature on the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 and / or Samsung Galaxy S22, according to reports (Digital Camera World) Small bit of camera news for the […]

By Clinton Stark - Stark Insider.

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Update: A potential strategic twist when it comes to Olympus camera strategy. And I think a good one at that if the rumor indeed becomes reality: Olympus cameras will feature on the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 and / or Samsung Galaxy S22, according to reports (Digital Camera World)

Small bit of camera news for the diehards out there who follow the camera market beyond the smartphone:

Olympus — now owned by OM Digital Solutions — says it is committed to Micro Four Thirds.

Even better for fans of the compact mount is the news that Olympus is, according to Digital Camera World’s reporting, “developing a new product family.”

Given that the company is apparently shying away from trendy large format sensors (like so many full-frame models we’re seeing these days from Sony, Canon, Nikon) if we read between the lines that means we might expect a new line of Olympus MFT cameras.

Digital Camera Info captured this quote from a Live YouTube broadcast:

“We are on the path of Micro Four Thirds,” replied product strategist Eiji Shirota, formerly planning manager at Olympus Imaging. “We don’t do full size.”

Why is this small bit of Olympus camera news relevant?

The dedicated camera market (i.e. DSLR and mirrorless) is slowly — maybe quickly depending on your perspective — being eaten by the smartphone. Most notably by the Apple iPhone and its ever increasingly impressive built-in camera.

Because Apple is so good at software it can expand the functionality of the camera’s capabilities far beyond what a traditional DSLR or mirrorless camera could ever do with mostly hardware alone. For example, artificially blurring the background to better highlight subject matter. There are many software tricks, and Apple leads the way in the field called computational photography. Traditional camera makers run behind in this respect.

So we’re seeing a few things happen as a result of the rise of the smartphone camera:

  • Camera companies are scrambling, many are shutting down or selling off divisions.
  • We’re seeing an increase in “full-frame” cameras; with larger sensors these models can capture higher resolution photos and hence separate themselves from the smaller sensors found on Apple iPhone cameras (this moat is not for long in my view).
  • Further, traditionalists are generally moving up-market; most new Sony, Canon and Nikon models are on the pricier side, giving them margin plays on lower volumes, while also keeping them away from the circa $1,000 USD price point where the premium photo-centric Apple iPhone (and others such as the Samsung Galaxy) smartphone models compete.

Olympus was and is certainly a traditional camera manufacturer I’d consider at risk. Consider that they don’t have the product diversity of giants like Sony and Canon which benefit from other product lines and larger resources (especially cash flow).

Per the OM Digital Solutions web site, the new Olympus owner was founded just last year in 2020, employs about 2,000 headcount, and reports share capital of approximately $336 million USD (37 billion yen).

Net-net: this is a relatively small player. But it still has resources.

Given its short history we don’t have much reference as to what to expect the new management to do. However, for fans of the MFT ecosystem the announcement of a commitment (of sorts) to the mount and a possible new camera line-up suggests there is demand, however niche, for such products and that there are potentially ways to navigate the new world of smartphone domination.

It will be interesting to see if anything develops later this year. Also, it’s worth pointing out that the other big MFT player, Panasonic, has so far taken a different approach. I’ve been a long-time user and fan of the (incredible) Panasonic Lumix GH5 mirrorless camera. That followed a long succession of increasingly powerful MFT-mount bodies, from the Gh1 through to the GH4 and finally the penultimate (and still worthy, even in 2021), GH5.

Stark Insider - Camera news, reviews, videosOlympus Core Product Lines

As of April 2021

Olympus Imaging - product lines include ILE bodies (MFT), compact PEN cameras, lenses, and compact zooms

Four core product lines:

  • OM-D camera bodies (ILE)
  • Olympus PEN compact zoom cameras
  • M.Zuiko Digital lenses (MFT mount)
  • Tough point-and-shoot cameras

In addition, Olympus offers products in smaller segments including:

  • Digital audio recorders
  • Binoculars
  • Software & applications
  • Accessories

But Panasonic hasn’t introduced a successor to the GH5 which was released about four years ago in 2017 — an eternity given today’s focus on 6K and 8K resolutions, larger sensors, and faster image processing, among other capabilities.

Instead the Japan-based company has also seemingly embraced the full-frame movement, following the lead of Sony (Alpha A7 line with E mount), Canon (EOS R line with new RF mount) and Panasonic.

Recent models including the S1, S1H, S1R and most recent S5 all feature full-frame sensors (and Leica L Mount), eschewing the compact size of Micro Four Thirds in favor of more robust imagery (some of its new models are even Netflix approved).

MORE: Camera news, editorials, videos on Stark Insider

Olympus seems committed to MFT.

Panasonic seems to be going for full-frame. Maybe we won’t ever see a GH6 after all?

In any case, the smartphone is only going to get more savvy in its ways.

We’re already seeing specifics models such as the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max with even more impressive lens hardware over the base model with even more advanced software — computational photography — to go along with it. Users have tremendous power in their hands, no heavy equipment needed to haul around.

Traditionalists like Sony, Canon and Nikon will need to continue to cater to the new world, and push innovations quickly. Things like:

  • Better dynamic range
  • Better codecs
  • Higher resolutions
  • Improved user interfaces with better ease-of-use (as Apple and Android UIs have spoiled us)
  • Competitive and diverse lens options

Many mirrorless and DSLR cameras already do a better job on many of the above factors. However, long-term the likes of Apple, Google and Samsung are only going to continue to pour more resources into advancing their camera technology.

Olympus appears to be hanging in there for now. That’s a good thing. It gives consumer’s choice. And, further, it keeps an iconic brand alive that much longer. Hopefully a year from now we’ll be celebrating new models and the continued success of the Micro Four Thirds mount.

By Clinton Stark - Stark Insider.

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Stark Insider – Camera news, reviews, videos Olympus Imaging – product lines include ILE bodies (MFT), compact PEN cameras, lenses, and compact zooms
Tesla Model 3 and Y still selling well despite increasing competition https://www.starkinsider.com/2021/04/tesla-3-and-y-still-selling-well-amidst-increasing-competition.html Thu, 01 Apr 2021 19:10:47 +0000 https://www.starkinsider.com/?p=213027 UPDATE: Tesla delivered 184,800 vehicles in the first quarter of 2021, Model S and X production dropped to zero (CNBC) Tesla appears to be holding the line. Even though there’s seemingly a new EV model introduced every week these days, Tesla managed to hold on to the #1 and #3 spots for global EV sales […]

By Clinton Stark - Stark Insider.

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UPDATE: Tesla delivered 184,800 vehicles in the first quarter of 2021, Model S and X production dropped to zero (CNBC)

Tesla appears to be holding the line.

Even though there’s seemingly a new EV model introduced every week these days, Tesla managed to hold on to the #1 and #3 spots for global EV sales in February 2021.

According to the EV Sales Blog, unit sales for the month looked like this:

Global EV Sales: Feb. 2021

Rank Model Unit Sales
1 Tesla Model 3 28,014
2 Wuling HongGuang Mini EV 20,167
3 Tesla Model Y 13,971
4 GW ORA Black Cat 4,565
5 BYD Han EV 4,100
6 Ford Mustang Mach-E 4,023

 

José Pontes calls the Model Y the “rising star,” but notes that three of the five best sellers are Chinese EVs. He also points out to keep in mind that typically February is the lowest month when it comes to sales volume.

Almost cracking the top five with a solid showing is the new (and well-received) Ford Mustang Mach-E with 4,023 in unit sales for the month.

Tesla Quarterly Sales & Predictions

Meantime Tesla sold 180,570 cars (deliveries) in Q4 2020, up by about 30% quarter-over-quarter:

Tesla Q4 2020 Vehicle Production & Deliveries

Source: Tesla IR

Clearly the Model 3/Y platform is the gravy train that Tesla had been hoping for when the company set its sight on the mainstream buyer, accounting for about 90% of all deliveries. The premium S/X models make up for the remaining 10% of last quarter.

Now that Q1 (Jan-Mar) is over, as usual all eyes turn to the quarterly numbers and the upcoming Tesla investor call due end of April 2021.

And this, of course, is when the analyst armchair quarterbacking begins with all manner of predictions. Here’s a Tesla prognostication based on analysyt conensus as rolled up by Motley Fool:

  • Q1 2021 consensus Tesla deliveries: 162,000

As noted in the article that volume would represent 83% year-over-year growth. Impressive no doubt. Then again, the result would be congruent with general expectations of such a high growth company.

And wouldn’t you know it, there’s plenty of variation in these types of forecasts. Some are resolutely bullish and see this company as headed to the moon (literally in some cases).

Others pull equally resolutely in the opposite direction, typically pointing to the company’s wild growth over the past year or so.

Oh: also, is Tesla a car company or a tech company? Or something altogether different and not easily categorized?

Ah, Bloodsport.

EVs — A Once-in-a-Century Shift?

Tesla Model S factory delivery at Fremont plant in 2013. I wrote about the experience on Stark Insider (that’s not my S, but a relative’s) way back when. Little did I know how things would change in just under 10 years. If only I was savvy enough to put some of my allowance into TSLA stock back then!

Regardless of what happens in 2021 Tesla will continue to be an incredible story to follow. There’s so many interesting aspects about this particular company and the EV industry as a whole that it’s hard not to believe that in a few decades we will all won’t be looking back at this time as, at minimum, transformative.

How much of a role Tesla continues to play in this seismic shift is pretty much anyone’s bet — surely there’s plenty more bumps and bruises along the way during this joyride. But, no question, Team Musk has the early head start. Now we’ll see if they can payoff in the long run.

Disclosure: I’m long Tesla (TSLA).

By Clinton Stark - Stark Insider.

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Tesla Q4 2020 Vehicle Production & Deliveries Tesla-Factory-Pickup-stark-insider-8702
San Francisco International Film Festival kicks off April 9, features both live events and streaming programs https://www.starkinsider.com/2021/03/san-francisco-international-film-festival-kicks-off-april-9-features-both-live-events-and-streaming-programs.html Wed, 31 Mar 2021 17:13:11 +0000 https://www.starkinsider.com/?p=213011 In addition to being the longest-running film festival in the Americas, the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM Festival) is, per organizers, “a showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities.” The 64th edition runs April 9–18 with both live events and streaming programs, and features a drive-in venue, […]

By Jeanne Powell - Stark Insider.

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In addition to being the longest-running film festival in the Americas, the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM Festival) is, per organizers, “a showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities.”

The 64th edition runs April 9–18 with both live events and streaming programs, and features a drive-in venue, juried awards with cash prizes, and an extensive roster of filmmaker guests.

Featuring 103 films, the festival includes both online and in-person events, with digital screenings being hosted through the SFFILM website and live screenings and performances at the Fort Mason Flix drive-in theater. The 2021 Festival will run April 9–18, with tickets and streaming passes on sale at sffilm.org.

San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM) - 2021 details, schedule, news

Like many festivals and events during the pandemic we’re told the online elements of this year’s re-imagined SFFILM Festival have been designed to allow new ways for audiences to connect digitally with artists and other festival-goers through the SFFILM website. These opportunities include filmmaker talks and Q&A’s, online festival and film parties and industry networking events, along with artist and audience mixers.

The Festival’s diverse film lineup is composed of 42 feature films, 56 short films, and five mid-length films, a new category. Thirteen films will be making their world premiere with an additional 15 making their North American premiere. The lineup includes films from 41 countries around the world. Among the full Festival lineup, 57% of the films were helmed by female filmmakers and 57% by BIPOC filmmakers.

Things kick off April 9 with the world premiere screening of Naked Singularity from director Chase Palmer. Shown online and at the drive-in, the film stars John Boyega and Olivia Cooke, and focuses on an impassioned public defender (Boyega) who stumbles into a drug heist while his reality collapses around him.

The Festival centerpiece film will be Bo McGuire’s Socks on Fire. Making its North American premiere, the documentary tells a story from the filmmaker’s life, exploring old family wounds between his homophobic aunt and drag queen uncle. It will be shown both online and at a live drive-in event on April 10, with the in-person screening accompanied by a drag show featuring local performers and emceed by director Bo McGuire.

Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street
‘Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street’ (2021). Director: Marilyn Angrelo

The Festival will wrap up April 18 with both online and drive-in screenings of Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street. This fascinating documentary delves into the origins of the beloved children’s show. With humor, never-before-seen footage, and special guests, Street Gang explores the ongoing emotional resonance of the Sesame Street series.

A documentary on Rita Moreno’s 70 years in show business (Just A Girl Who Decided to Go for It); a portrait of a Turkish-German radical feminist lawyer (Seyran Ates: Sex, Revolution and Islam); a loving relationship set against the backdrop of civil war (Skies of Lebanon); and forbidden love in Mexico (Dance of the 41) are among the many entries in this year’s SFFilm Festival.

By Jeanne Powell - Stark Insider.

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San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM) – 2021 details, schedule, news Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street
Trendspotting: Voltswagen is a genius marketing stunt gone wrong https://www.starkinsider.com/2021/03/trendspotting-voltswagen-genius-marketing-stunt-re-branding.html Tue, 30 Mar 2021 18:18:31 +0000 https://www.starkinsider.com/?p=212978 "A new name for a new era of e-Mobility". lol...

By Clinton Stark - Stark Insider.

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Update: well, then, how about that? So hilarious, I guess. I’m starting to see a pattern with Volkswagen. Can this company be trusted? Also, according to the the Associated Press:

The fake release could land Volkswagen in trouble with U.S. securities regulators because its stock price rose nearly 5% on Tuesday, the day the bogus statement was officially issued. Investors of late have been responding positively to news of companies increasing electric vehicle production, swelling the value of shares of Tesla as well as of some EV startups.

Original Stark Insider article:

Voltswagen.

How great is that?

By now you’ve probably seen the (many) headlines: that Volkswagen is re-branding its US operations to ‘Voltswagen’. It’s part of an effort to change the public’s perception of a company, one that is typically associated with economy ICE and diesel-powered cars.

The marketing push is also an effort to lay down the gauntlet. Tesla, let it be known, is not going to own the electric car category all on its own. VW is planning for EVs to account for 20% if its sales by 2025 and will invest $41 billion in battery-powered cars over the next five years.

Per The Verge the name change will come into effect in May of 2021. And there’s even a new VW logo to accompany its EV-centric aspirations:

Voltswagen - A new name for a new era of e-Mobility

The message associated with the new branding is this tag line:

Voltswagen – A new name for a new era of e-Mobility

e-Mobility? Interesting.

Given the announcement’s original proximity to April 1st, some suggested this was merely a joke. But it appears this re-brand is the real deal. In fact if you check out the VW US media site, indeed, you’ll see the “About Voltswagen” section which states that Voltswagen of America was “founded in 1955.” Wow, that’s foresight.

Currently there’s only one EV selling today in the US, the ID.4 SUV. For a first effort the car looks good, with a modern aesthetic that today’s EV buyers expect. And range of a claimed 250 miles is admirable, though still short of the best of what you get from Tesla which easily exceeds 300 miles on long range models.

Voltswagen — Origin Story?

But the thing I like best about this bit of automotive news is how the seed of the idea — Volkswagen beget Voltswagen — came to be.

Who thought of the name?

When and where did this genius bit of inspiration strike?

And what was the reaction when it was shared with management?

In all likelihood the stunt was an idea that germinated from a PR firm. A bunch of consultants probably had umpteen brainstorming sessions with the larger goal of establishing a massive campaign to shift the public’s perception of the company to EV. Part of that would be branding and naming. And so the team likely had many whiteboards with many ideas. And, behold, up comes Voltswagen. How perfect!

But I prefer to believe these strikes of lightning happen when a single person is doing something mundane.

Imagine, someone mowing the lawn. Mind wandering. And boom: Volkswagen becomes Voltswagen.

Or maybe they were singing in the shower.

Vacuuming the mud room.

Dancing at a silent disco.

Cleaning grout lines.

Or, most likely, were smackdab in the middle of making a Gravadlax with cucumber pickle and dill mustard mayonnaise.

Inspiration strikes at the most unexpected times.

Then of course this person would present the idea of Voltswagen as a re-branding to a very staid, very German board meeting. Which obviously would be full of stereotypes and go down in a very Austin Powers manner with the meek underling presenting possibly the weirdest, boldest marketing move ever made in automotive history. Er, yeah, change one letter and look what happens! I wish I could be a fly on the wall.

In any case, however the idea came to be, I think it’s truly a testament to creativity and the ability for a large conglomerate to be not-so-serious for a moment and embrace some grass-roots thinking. How refreshing.

Regardless if this whole thing turns out to be master level trolling, or a joke, or a temporary publicity stunt the deluge of headlines given to Volkswagen over the past day or so suggest that if association of VW+EV was the goal, then: mission accomplished.

More here: Volkswagen is really rebranding as ‘Voltswagen’ in the US (The Verge)

By Clinton Stark - Stark Insider.

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Voltswagen – A new name for a new era of e-Mobility