Examining the Apple business model

We are attending this event on “Apple Business Model” sponsored by the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (Cresc)

This workshop has a double aim. First, we aim to be more analytic about the Apple Inc’s company business model without assuming this is representative or transferable. Researchers will present argument and evidence about Apple’s multiple sources of advantage in manufacturing, sourcing, branding and architecture and focus on the consequences especially for the supply chain in China. Second, we aim to make the connection with broader academic and practitioner debates about the outcomes of globalization and financialization, specifically about where the good jobs and skills have gone and the effects of shareholder value in the high-income countries.

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Reparing mobiles in Nairobi – since 2001

We took this video in March 2012 during a visit to Kenya. We have known Ephraim Ngali for three years, and he has since been a saviour for personal and our friends’ devices. If a device is broken, Ephraim either already knows how to fix it, can call someone to access a spare part, or is willing to go the extra mile and learn how to fix it.

Getting to know the ethos of his work was an eye-opener, and a big inspiration for what is today the Restart Project. This is a first cut of the interview with Ephraim, but it already gives plenty of food for thought on smartphone design, designing for repairability, learning from Kenya and the Global South in how to deal with gadgets in need of repair…

“The curse of beautiful technology”

We enjoyed “Steve Jobs, Kraftwerk and The Curse of Beautiful Technology” by Joshua Kopstein on Motherboard. He touches on something really important here about the “man – machine relationship”, saying that “we must keep our desire for elegant technology in check.” He describes what he calls “the curse of beautiful technology”

the confinement which leaves us unable to pursue our own ideas of beauty and perfection. From within the confines of beautifully integrated systems, we see marketplaces, music services, everything the average person could possibly want. Everything, so you never have to leave. I’ve likened it to living inside a lavish resort hotel: spacious, convenient and attractive, but its walls stay the same color and you know you could never go out back and build a deck. Because it would have to be a white marble deck, with rounded edges, and you would have to be an officially licensed deck-builder.