Today, I’m going to talk about ride-sharing company Lyft’s NASDAQ listing and Samsung’s new bendy phone.
So, after much hype about who’s going to list first, Lyft appears to have won against Uber as it is now expected to list on the NASDAQ by the end of next month.
It originally filed with the SEC last year in the midst of the final quarter’s tech downturn, but things appear to back on a more even keel for a March listing. Interestingly, the founders are looking into adopting the typical Silicon Valley entrepreneur playbook of creating different classes of shares that will give them exponentially powerful voting rights meaning that they will still control the company despite only having 10% of the shares. Facebook, Alphabet and Snap have all done this and no-one’s had a problem until the wheels started falling off tech stocks at the end of last year.
It may well be that by coming to market before Uber that Lyft can suck up the goodwill that still remains for these kind of listings before investor scepticism starts to set in.
The second thing I wanted to talk about was Samsung’s new bendy phone!
The South Korean consumer electronics giant announced some new phones yesterday, but the one that I’m most interested in is the Galaxy Fold which has a bendy screen enabling a transformation from a “normal” smartphone into a tablet. Bendy screens have been around for a while now, but this is the first “proper” smartphone maker to come to market with an actual product.
Smartphone sales worldwide have been stagnating for quite some time now as new phones tend to show more evolution rather than revolution so this new technology could be the thing to make consumers want to buy again. The big problem is that it is going to cost a rather hefty $1,980 when it comes to market in April so I think it would be fair to say that this is going to be bought by doshed-up early adopters. Still, I think it’s a great idea – but it’s just not going to be one for the masses at this price point.
If Samsung is going to be charging nigh-on $2,000 for this handset I dread to think what Apple will charge when they bring one out!
Other than that, in today’s edition of Watson’s Daily, I talk about Honda fallout, ongoing issues facing the automotive industry, Sasda’s near death experience and retail landlord Intu’s problems.