Thursday, April 7, 2011

Link roundup

1. Remember this the next time you see the iPad or iPhone prominently displayed:

Try finding the Xoom in Best Buy. It’s not on an endcap and it’s not in the new tablet section located in the mobile department. There are no signs pointing it out. It’s just stuck in with the netbooks, sitting there like an under-appreciated tween in gym class. And they wonder why no one is buying it. There is nothing calling consumers away from the blindingly white iPad display . . .

The bean counters could be to blame for poor placement. Of course this is just me speculating based on six years of Circuit City experience, but profitable products are generally given more visible shelf space than low margin products. For instance people that buy iPads tend to buy accessories. And there are a lot of iPad accessories. Plus, Apple is the king of keeping manufacturing costs low, which often results in higher profit margins that are generally passed on to retailers. The Xoom likely doesn’t have a cushy profitability level, which makes it take a backseat to those products that actually make money.
2. "Comedian Mark Malkoff sets out to prove that getting around in New York City via Big Wheel is more efficient than riding an MTA bus by racing against the M42 across 42nd street."

3. Land is becoming so expensive in China that people can't afford a decent grave:
In Beijing and Guangzhou, where the average per sq m price of a burial plot now exceeds that of houses, some Chinese call themselves fen nu (grave slaves). This label is derived from fang nu (housing slaves) - those burdened with huge housing mortgages.

*Buy iPads at eBay.