MarketLine Blog

Posts written in October 2012

The iPad mini is official, but does its price place it out of touch of the competition?


  Cupertino technology giant Apple, Inc. (Apple) has officially unveiled its new iPad mini, a 7.9 inch screen version of its tremendously popular tablet computer to go against rival hardware from Amazon and Google. However, the higher price of Apple’s latest offering compared to its competitors’ products may serve to limit its competitive impact within the small tablet market space. At its press event last night, after a huge degree of industry speculation and now seemingly genuine product design leaks, the company lifted the lid off its latest expansion into… Read more

ARM’s Q3 2012 results show processor company on course for another profitable year


  A few months ago, MarketLine published a Case Study examining the strategy and performance of UK-based processor designer ARM Holdings. It noted that over 2001-2010 period, the company had never failed to return a profit. Judging by its latest results, this performance looks set to continue to 2012. The reasons for its success are instructive: a combination of solid product design advantages, and a clever business model. There are two approaches when it comes to designing the processors that are ubiquitous in modern electronic devices. CISC (Complex Instruction Set… Read more

EE’s 4G prices pave the way for the future of the UK mobile telecom industry

  EE, the new UK network established by Everything Everywhere in September 2012, has officially revealed pricing for its 4G service, which has a planned rollout date of October 30th. On offer are 24 month contracts, which range from 500 MB to 8GB data allowances, and support a range of Android devices as well as all varieties of Apples latest flagship, the iPhone 5. The cheapest consumer contract over 24 months will set customers back £36 (approximately $57.74) a month, and includes unlimited texts and calls but only 500MB of… Read more

Tax avoidance by large multinational companies in the UK is unfair to small businesses

  Starbucks has recently been in the news after it came to light that they have reportedly paid no tax in the UK for the last three years. Reuters has suggested that the company is making use of offshore licensing, steering profits to Switzerland, and intra-group funding to reduce the profits they earn in the UK. This has resulted in the company reporting losses, whilst expressing to investors how successful the UK arm of the business is. This contradiction is the result of tax avoidance through the use of an… Read more

Branch sale collapse leaves RBS in limbo

  Last Friday, it was announced that the Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) proposed sale of 316 branches and other interests to Santander had collapsed. The Spanish banking giant pulled the plug, citing the length of time the deal was taking to complete as its reason for doing so. The bank’s spokesmen stated that it did not feel the deal could be completed by a deadline that had already been revised. Santander has long felt that its share of the UK SME market is far lower than its natural market… Read more

Red Bull continues to push marketing boundaries with its Stratos event

  The Red Bull Stratos event is another indicator that Red Bull is a company that continues to change the way modern marketing and advertising is implemented, with its unique cultural and sporting sponsorship. The benefits to the company for funding such an event are likely to outweigh the amount invested in the project, as has been seen with some of Red Bull’s other investments (such as the Formula One racing team) and may similarly lead to a spike in revenues. On Sunday October 14th, after some nervous waiting, the… Read more

UK retailers working towards becoming more sustainable

  Many of the UK’s leading retailers are currently working towards and making progress with a range of initiatives with the goal of becoming more sustainable. This is according to a 2012 report released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), ‘A Better Retailing Climate: Towards Sustainable Retail’. The BRC argues that while the sustainability initiatives are good for the environment, they also make good business sense. The report has found positive results with regards to the sustainability targets. For example, retailers have been committed to reducing the amount of waste… Read more

In 2011 The Global Retail Lending Market Grew to Reach a Value of $32,916.3 billion

  Apart from a brief deceleration at the height of the global recession, the global retail lending market has remained buoyant and relatively stable. The retail lending market is intrinsically linked to current economic condition. When economic circumstances are stable, institutions generally increase their lending rate, while the reverse is true in times of poor performance. The global retail lending market grew by 3.8% in 2011, to reach a value of $32,916.3 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.7% for the period spanning 2007-2011. The United States… Read more

UK car insurance industry to face Competition Commission probe

  The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced on Friday (28th September) that it has referred the UK car insurance industry to the Competition Commission and recommended that a full investigation be undertaken. Following its own lengthy investigation into practices in the industry, the OFT concluded that insurers have inflated the cost of repairs and hire vehicles by £225m ($360.9m) and that this is negatively impacting the country’s motorists. The OFT’s Chief Executive succinctly summed up the issue: “Competition appears not to be working effectively in the private motor insurance… Read more