🎶 Apple does DIY audio

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

Apple to every 3rd party provider: "It's not you... it's me."

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Hey Snackers,

Happy hump day! May your patience for all things 2020 be longer than a camel's ability to go without water (much, much longer).

Stocks fell sharply after President Trump said he would halt negotiations on COVID stimulus relief until after the election. A few hours earlier, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell warned the US could face "tragic" risks if the gov't doesn't provide enough aid.

1. Apple cuts ties with Sonos and other audio retailers — it's going 100% DIY

The only jam in this store... is apple. Like a bad-tempered college RA, Apple's shutting down the speakers (except for its own). Apple has long sold 3rd-party hardware on its site — now it's giving "outsider" audio devices the boot. It's also telling employees to remove them from physical stores, leaving 0 memories of the brands it's breaking up with:

  • Sonos’ smart speaker had to move out of Apple's stores, pushing Sonos stock down 7% yesterday.
  • Logitech’s speakers also got the boot, driving the stock down 6% while "Sad Tunez" played.
  • Bose's headphones and speakers were dumped, too.

You came in like a wrecking ball... For a while, there was speculation that Apple could acquire Sonos, just like it snatched up Beats in 2014 (#putaringonit). The potential of an Apple-cquisition boosted Sonos stock. Apple just killed that dream, so Sonos stock plunged. Apple is clearing out its drawers to make space for its new (Apple-only) audio babies:

  • AirPods Studio: Apple's 1st over-ear headphones could turn up at its big hardware event on October 13th.
  • HomePod: Apple is also expected to drop a smaller version of its smart speaker.

Apple is moving toward ultimate self-reliance... It's a strong, independent company (FYI: the most valuable in the world), so it's taking a DIY approach. In 2014, it stopped selling Fitbit wearables after Apple Watch launched. This year, it dropped Bang & Olufsen devices. Soon, it'll start making Macs with its own Apple-crafted chips (sorry, Intel).


No Fake Friends... The RealReal cares more about "no fake bags." The luxury consignment startup can sniff out a knockoff Celine Mini purse from a mile away (the C looks a little off). It IPO'd last year, bringing its online marketplace for verified 2nd-hand luxury goods public. It's now worth $1.3B and has over 17M users, though sales have struggled during the pandemic (no one sees your Yeezys on Zoom). How it works:

  • For sellers: Those Louboutin pumps cost you $900, so you're probably not dropping them off at Goodwill. TRR checks that they're legit, prices them, then sells them for you.
  • For The RealReal: TRR takes a big cut of your sale — generally around 40%-50%, depending on the item price/category. Then it pays you the rest in commission.
  • For buyers: Buyers want that stainless steel Rolex at a discount, and want to be sure that it's not a Fauxlex — though, TRR doesn't have a perfect record catching imposters.

Like a vintage Birkin bag... TRR just landed a big fish. It's launching a clutch partnership with Gucci, offering a dedicated Gucci e-shop with consignors’ items and merch provided directly by Gucci itself. Also: for every “G”-stamped item sold, TRR will plant a tree (claaassic "throw in a tree" move). TRR stock jumped on Gucci's nod of approval.


The trend is your friend... More like frenemy. For years, designer labels have resisted second-hand markets for fear that they'll hurt full-price sales. Luxury brands have even burned millions of dollars worth of unsold clothes to remain exclusive. Since labels didn't disrupt themselves, companies like TRR and Thredup sprang up with more sustainable, more accessible fashion. Now, Gucci wants in on that trend (well — at least the sustainable image part).

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Grubbed: Lyft finally did something newsworthy-ish  —  It's partnering with Grubhub to offer Lyft Pink members free delivery.
  • Jeanius: Levi's stock popped 11% after market close since online sales grew 52%, helping offset brick-and-mortar losses.
  • Action: AMC and Cinemark say they won't close the 80% of movie theaters that are now open, even as mega titles get pushed to 2021.
  • Okay: Google rebrands G Suite (Docs, Gmail, etc.) to "Workspace," offering new tools and fresh logos. 6M businesses pay for these apps.
  • Descended: Boeing slashes its 10-year forecast for new aircraft demand by 11% from a year ago.

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Snacks Daily Podcast

"Put it on my card..." Try saying that next time someone Venmo requests you.

PayPal-owned Venmo just launched a credit card through Synchrony Financial. Venmo takes care of the appy-tappy stuff, Synchrony takes care of the banky-swipy stuff.

Over 100 brands, from Amazon to Banana Republic, offer Synchrony-powered cards. Tune into our snackable 15-minute pod to hear why partnering with a bank is much easier than becoming one.


Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Apple

ID: 1356963

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