H&M Ignores Underserved Market by Pulling Plus Size Clothing from Stores (Watch)

Popular retail chain H&M has reportedly removed all plus size clothing from its stores in New York City. A representative for the company explained that the stores simply don’t have enough room for those clothing options anymore since they’ve added new product lines like home goods and beauty supplies.

But this move could very well turn out to be a negative one for the retailer, even with the new product lines. Fashion industry experts including Tim Gunn and Christian Siriano think that the fashion industry is failing its female consumers by not offering enough fashionable options for plus size women.

And H&M already launched an ad campaign with plus size model Ashley Graham earlier this year. But the company had to include a fine print disclaimer that said customers can only buy those plus size clothing options online.

Will this example of abandoning underserved markets be a lesson in missed opportunity?

Plus size clothing consumers make up a fairly high percentage of the market. And if you believe those industry experts, it’s a segment that’s fairly underserved at the moment. So by pulling those clothing options from stores, H&M could be missing out on an opportunity. In addition, if those customers can only shop for their clothing options online, they’re less likely to see all those new home goods and beauty products that are carried in stores.

H&M Store Photo via Shutterstock

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[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Apple Reportedly Pulls Nokia-Owned Withings Products From Its Stores

Apple Reportedly Pulls Nokia-Owned Withings Products From Its Stores
Amid the escalating patents row with Finnish smartphone maker Nokia, Apple has reportedly pulled all products made by Withings – a French company and now a Nokia subsidiary – from Apple Stores, be it online or retail.

Several Withings iOS-compatible products – mostly health-related connected accessories – have been available at Apple Stores for nearly two years as part of a retail alliance, AppleInsider reported on Saturday.

The Withings product sales continued even after the company was acquired by Nokia in April for nearly $190 million. The Withings brand was integrated into Nokia’s Digital Health unit.

“Now, the devices made by the Nokia subsidiary are no longer listed on Apple’s website. Previously, Apple carried a wide range of iOS-compatible Withings devices in its retail stores, including the ‘Body Cardio Scale’ and ‘Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor,'” the report added.

Five years after Apple and Nokia settled a lawsuit, the tech giants have again locked horns over patents with Apple filing an anti-trust lawsuit against third-party companies Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) that act on Nokia’s behalf, and the Finland-based firm suing Apple directly earlier this week.
Nokia filed a suit in Europe and the US, claiming Apple is still infringing on Nokia patents.

The lawsuit covers 32 patents, including display, user interface, software and video-coding technology.

Nokia said that since settling the initial case, Apple has “declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other [parts] of its patented inventions, which are used by many Apple products.”
In its lawsuit, Apple argued that Nokia already has agreements to license its patents for fair and reasonable terms, also know as “FRAND” (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory).

“But Nokia is transferring these patents to PAEs in order to aggressively pursue money,” Apple argued.

According to the Cupertino-based tech giant, Nokia has been conspiring with PAEs patent assertion entities (Acacia Research and Conversant Property Management) in an “illegal patent transfer scheme” to wring money out of Apple because Nokia’s cell phone business is failing.

According to the AppleInsider report, Apple has now “expunged all mention of Withings and its product line from the Apple.com online retail database”.

“Whether or not the recent Withings removal is related to Nokia’s shady legal dealings has yet to be confirmed, but Apple has in the past used its retail might as a retaliatory weapon,” the report added.

In 2011, the two companies settled a patent fight over smartphone technology through a licensing agreement that committed Apple to make a one-time payment to the company and to pay regular royalties in the future, media reported.

The companies also agreed to withdraw complaints against each other with the International Trade Commission over the use of intellectual property.

Tags: Nokia, Apple, Withings, Mobiles, Internet

[“source-ndtv”]

Taiwan to Ask for Removal of Uber Apps From Apple, Google App Stores

Taiwan to Ask for Removal of Uber Apps From Apple, Google App Stores

Taiwan to Ask for Removal of Uber Apps From Apple, Google App Stores
Taiwan plans to ask Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pull apps of Uber Technologies available in Taiwan on their app stores, a government official said, upping pressure on the ride-hailing firm that is locked in a dispute with the island.

Uber operates in Taiwan as an Internet-based technology platform rather than a transportation company, which Taiwanese authorities have said is a mis-representation of its service and has ordered it to pay back taxes.

However, Uber has said it is communicating with Taiwan authorities and complies with local regulations.

“Uber has not done what it says it will do, so we are looking at another way by requesting its apps be removed from Apple and Google (app stores),” Liang Guo-guo, a spokesman for Taiwan’s Directorate General of Highways, which is handling the matter, told Reuters by phone on Wednesday.

Liang said the request would include the removal of UberEATS app, which Uber launched in Taiwan on Tuesday as part of its effort to expand beyond its core taxi-hailing business around the world.

It is unclear if the move would succeed in hampering Uber in Taiwan as removing the app would not prevent alternative ways to download it. It is also not clear how apps that have already been downloaded by users will be dealt with.

Uber and Apple did not immediately respond with comments.

A Google spokesperson pointed to policies on Google Play, its app store, which indicate that the company does not allow apps that facilitate or promote illegal activities, but declined to comment further.

Taiwan transport authorities have begun penalizing UberEATS by fining motorcyclists who deliver the takeaways and suspending vehicle licenses for two to six months, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Uber has been facing similar legal scrutiny in markets across Asia. It entered the Taiwan market in 2013, and its growing popularity has triggered anger from domestic taxi drivers, who staged a massive protest against Uber earlier this year.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Uber, Apps, Android, Google Play Store, App Store, Apple

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Sony PlayStation VR Hits Stores Shelves Thursday to Take on Oculus and HTC

 

Sony PlayStation VR Hits Stores Shelves Thursday to Take on Oculus and HTC

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The games unit is now the single largest profit contributor for the group
  • Rival offerings in VR headsets include Oculus Rift and HTC Vive
  • Sony hopes to lure in customers with its more modest price tag

Sony Corp will join the race for virtual reality (VR) dominance on Thursday with the $399 PlayStation VR, a headset the Japanese electronics group hopes will beat pricier rivals and revive its reputation as a maker of must-have gadgets.

(Also see: PlayStation VR First Impressions)

Emerging from years of restructuring, Sony is reshaping itself to focus on lucrative areas such as video games, entertainment and camera sensors – rather than televisions or smartphones where demand is flat, competition acute and margins thin. The games unit is now the single largest profit contributor for the group.

The PlayStation VR headset, Sony’s first major product launch since it declared its turnaround complete in June, will put the company back on the offensive and test its ability to compete in one of the most talked-about spaces in the industry.

Rival offerings in virtual reality headsets include Facebook’s $599 Oculus Rift and HTC’s $799 Vive.

Sony hopes to lure in customers with its more modest price tag and by tapping the 40 million existing users of its flagship consoles – the headset is designed to plug into PlayStation 4, rather than requiring new equipment.

“Sony is well-positioned to build an early lead in the high-end VR headset race,” market researcher IHS Technology said in a report, forecasting sales of 1.4 million units in 2016.

Sony, developer of the Walkman portable cassette player and maker of the first compact disc player, hopes the headset will be a springboard to pull ahead of rivals in VR, gelling with the content portion of its business, specifically music and film.

In an interview with Reuters in September, Andrew House, Sony’s gaming division chief, said he was already in talks with media production companies to explore possibilities for Sony’s VR headset.

“We are talking about years into the future, but these are interesting conversations to start having now,” House said.

Sony, however, will compete in a crowded market. Nomura analysts expect cumulative shipments of all VR headsets to expand more than 20 times to 40 million by 2020, which along with accessories and other non-game content could be worth $10 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said last week the Oculus business will spend $500 million to fund VR content development and is working on an affordable standalone VR headset not tethered to personal computers or consoles.

Other new entrants include chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm, which said they are working on standalone headsets. They plan to make their technologies available to help developers make headsets using their chipsets or systems.

To counter those competitors, Sony may have to eventually open up its PlayStation console to make it compatible with other headsets, said Atsushi Osanai, a former Sony official who is now professor at Japan’s Waseda University Business School.

Sony’s largest gaming rival Microsoft Corp plans to release a new Xbox One console next year that is expected to support VR headsets of its partners including Oculus.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Sony, PlayStation VR, PS VR, Virtual Reality, VR, Wearables, PlayStation 4, Gaming, Home Entertainment

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]