Apple hit a market cap of US$ 2 trillion today after doubling in valuation in just over two years. The iPhone maker is the first American company to reach that milestone.
The most surprising part is, most of the momentum came in just a few months ago. Markets crashed globally in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but recovery has been extremely quick and the US’ NASDAQ 100 index is already hovering around an all-time high.
While a plethora of industries have taken a radical hit due to the pandemic, technology companies are leading the bullish wave. On July 31, Apple surpassed oil giant Saudi Aramco to become the world’s most valuable publicly-traded company.
Apple was an almost bankrupt company in 1997. In the last two decades, the company has grown rapidly thanks to cutting-edge innovation. The Cupertino giant went on to revolutionize the music industry with iPod and iTunes.
The portable music player became a cultural icon, making way for the iPhone. Apple’s iPhone is often credited for single-handedly dethroning leaders like BlackBerry and Nokia. Further evolving its lineup, the company went on to make the Apple Watch.
Today, it controls an ecosystem comprising of the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and more. While the company continues to rely on hardware sales as its primary revenue source, services like Apple Music and Apple Arcade have received positive feedback. This opens another door of secondary revenues for the company.
However, the timing of the milestone is intriguing because the company is being investigated for having too much control. Antitrust hearings are ongoing and many in the Senate want to split up big tech companies. However, Apple isn’t the only one who’s valuation is consistently rising amid the pandemic. The stock of Microsoft, Facebook, and Google has also witnessed a wave of bullish investments.
Google: Digitizing businesses key to P5 trillion value by 2030
Google to play big part in PH economy
The digital transformation of businesses could create up to PhP5 trillion in annual economic value by 2030, a new Google Philippines-commissioned report finds.
Of this value, PhP3.5 trillion could come from technologies that help businesses mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and future similar events.
Key findings from the report include:
- Businesses derive 363.4 billion pesos in annual benefits from Google tools and services, through increased revenues, millions of connections with customers and greater efficiencies, saving time and money;
- App developers in the Philippines earn 384 million pesos in annual revenue through Google Play, reaching over one billion users globally;
- Consumers receive 214.5 billion pesos in annual benefits by experiencing greater convenience, access to information, and enhanced productivity. Search saves users almost five days a year; and
- By enabling businesses to unlock new revenue streams and expand their businesses through the use of Google Ads, AdSense, and YouTube, Google indirectly supports over 110,000 jobs in the Philippines
This could be a game-changer for the Philippine economy, as the country is still hard-struck by the global health situation and has lagged far behind other nations.
Prepared by economists at AlphaBeta, the report explores eight transformative technologies and the robust economic potential they bring to Philippine industries.
This includes Artificial Intelligence (AI) which can be used to drive data-based public health interventions, mobile internet to help digitize retail distribution channels, and the Internet of Things (IoT) for use in supply chain tracking.
To fully realize and unlock the opportunities presented by digital transformation, the report has identified three main pillars of action the Philippines could take: enhancing digital skills training and education, accelerating digital adoption and innovation, and promoting digital trade opportunities.
There exists a huge potential for the Philippines, and a lot of positive work has already been done in this area within the last year.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its secretary Ramon Lopez is wary of the important role digital transformation plays when it comes to the country’s economic recovery post-pandemic.
Which is why Google and the DTI have been digitizing small businesses through its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Caravan campaign for the past two years, being able to train more than 46,000 MSME business owners and employees.
In fact, Google’s tools and services are already helping the Philippine digital economy, as local business, consumers and the wider society derive over 578 billion pesos in annual benefits through increased revenues and millions of connections online.
One of the businesses that benefited from the digital training workshop is Germano’s Chilli which continues to thrive until today.
Germano’s Chilli started in 2008 to recreate the experience of eating chili garlic from restaurants to people’s homes. The concept was fairly new at that time and the business struggled with brand awareness.
Owner Gerome Panlilio then took a Google Philippines-hosted seminar in 2018 to get himself acquainted with features such as Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) on Google Search and Maps, as well as vital knowledge and tools.
This enabled his products to be searchable online, which led to more revenue. Before the pandemic, Germano’s Chilli’s online sales only peaked at 3 percent, but in the past year and a half, it increased to 15 percent.
Digitizing is the way to go
Google Philippines is aiming to aid more businesses like Germano’s Chilli, creating a world that supports digital freelancing and accelerates the shift towards digital payments to let go of disruptions to business operations.
Providing business such access to global markets and equipping them with the necessary digital capabilities to expand reach, business will be able to manage the long-term economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facebook reportedly planning to change its company name
To focus more on the metaverse
Facebook really doesn’t want to be Facebook right now. Amid the wave of situations plaguing the company now, Facebook is reportedly changing its company name later this month.
Reported by The Verge, Facebook is changing its company name to focus more on other products in its lineup. Currently, Facebook’s name comes from its huge social media network. Since the start of its network, the company already expanded into different industries including the virtual and augmented reality markets.
Facebook’s new name will reportedly focus on these new products which they have collectively named the metaverse. Even outside of its new peripherals, they also own other networks like WhatsApp and Instagram.
However, a paradigm shift might not be the only reason for a name change.
A tough whistleblower situation has recently revealed a lot of controversies going on behind the scenes of the social media platform. And it’s not their first controversy either. Prior to the ongoing situation, the company was already facing anti-competition controversies last year. A rebrand can potentially save the company from further damage.
Facebook isn’t the first among its contemporaries to create a new company outside of what it is known for. Google, arguably the most popular example of such, founded its current umbrella company called Alphabet. Though Google still exists, Alphabet deals with the brand’s other endeavors.
For its part, Facebook will reportedly announce its new name during its Connect conference on October 28.
Converge commits to 100% renewable energy
Its main office now runs in clean energy
Converge finally switches to 100 percent renewable energy to power its main office in Pasig City. The company committed to a total of 2.5 megawatts of geothermal energy up to 2023.
First Gen, a clean energy corporation, will be the energy provider for the Internet company. Converge is serious about reducing its carbon footprint and marching its sustainability commitment.
“The Philippines is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and this has direct implications on the future of our business too. We have chosen to take decisive action now. This is the first major step in our journey to becoming carbon neutral,” said Benjamin Azada, Converge’s Chief Strategy Officer.
The clean energy will be sourced from the Tongonan geothermal power plant in the province of Leyte. During the first year, the energy firm will provide a maximum of 1.5 megawatts, and will increase to 2.5 megawatts through its second year.
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