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Black phones are boring but sell Yet for brands color still matters

first_img Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Over in China, Huawei said also leaned into color to attract the attention of women and youth. “We need to make sure our color range [is] more approachable to the female consumer and also a more younger demographic,” he said, adding that Huawei wants to appeal to buyers who embrace fashion, something a black phone can’t do.Aren’t you just going to put a case on it anyway?Any time I gush over a phone color or design, someone (usually CNET editor David Carnoy) quickly retorts, “Who cares? You’re just going to put a case on it anyway.” He isn’t wrong, and you really should use a case and glass screen protector to shield your phone, even if just to preserve its resale or trade-in value. But in the decision-making process, that logic might matter less.1783oppo-find-x-edited Angela Lang/CNET “People want to protect their precious phones,” said Huawei’s Kim, a former Samsung product designer before moving to Huawei. “But when they make their purchase decision, we really need to put out … an attractive product,” Kim said, adding that changing out cases is another way to express your style. Maybe phone colors are like fancy lingerie: Who cares if nobody else sees it? You know it’s there.Black is boring, but it sellsWhile colorful phones are exciting to look at, the reality is that they’ll never outsell black, white and gray. Huawei’s Kim knows this, acknowledging that the P20 Pro’s Twilight color, a blue-pink-purple gradient, can’t surpass black. “[The] Twilight color has been very popular,” he said. “But … really, really the final sale, the neutral color really sells more.Google knows this, too, which is why its Not-Pink Pixel 3 veers more toward beige than bubble gum or rose. Now playing: Watch this: Owning a brightly colored phone says something about you, the buyer. “It makes your phone much more unique, and personalizes the phone,” Kahn said. It can also prove to others that you’re riding the latest trend. “That makes a different reason to purchase.”Standing out from the crowdhuawei-mate-20-pro-0041The Mate 20 Pro has a striking look. Josh Miller/CNET Dazzling you for the sake of self expression is one thing, but don’t forget the competitive edge. Huawei’s P20 Pro, Mate 20 Pro and Honor View 20 are bullish about eye-popping gradients and patterns in part to separate the brand from its rivals.”We had a lot of disadvantage because we’re not a well-known brand to consumers [compared to] our other competition, which is bigger and better recognized in the industry,” said Joonsuh Kim, the chief design officer of Huawei’s consumer business, which includes phones.He’s referring to Samsung here, the world’s largest smartphone maker. But make no mistake, Huawei is no seedling startup. Last year it ousted Apple to become the planet’s second biggest phone brand, and it plans to take Samsung’s crown by 2020. While Samsung admitted to slower sales in 2018 (Apple did, too), Huawei announced that its shares were rising: 200 million units sold by the end of 2019. Its investment in flashy phones seems to have paid off.Samsung, for its part, has sold phones in every color of the rainbow, the most recent being a deep blue Galaxy Note 9 with a sunny yellow stylus to go with it. It popped. See All 28 Photos Yep, the Galaxy S10 leaked again reading • Black phones are boring, but sell. Yet for brands, color still matters • 6 “We wanted to make sure we have something classic and conservative, something light and fresh, and Not Pink [is] a little bit of a statement while also being neutral,” Olsson said, adding that Google’s design team worked on the color for 2 and a half years, holding back because it deemed it world-unready until now.”What’s great about Not-Pink is that it has that specific appeal, but isn’t gender-specific,” Olsson said.A sign of slowing tech?There’s one other reason why smartphone brands might gravitate toward colorful cases rather than neutral tones. Phones aren’t wearing out as fast as manufacturers want them to, and customers are holding on to them longer. Technology has slowed, giving buyers less of a reason to upgrade.At this point, the classic marketing move for any industry is to change up the color palette each year to entice you with a fashion statement you just have to have or else you’ll die.iphone-xs-iphone-xr-iphone-xr-max-7A little color goes a long way. Angela Lang/CNET “If you’re not going to improve on the tech significantly, you frequently see a move to design and aesthetics,” said Kahn, pointing out that the same thing happened with wired telephones in the 1980s, luring in kids with princess-themed, neon and translucent phones. The tech didn’t change much, but the packaging did.Things in 2019 are different. Samsung is set to announce its first foldable phone on Wednesday, poised to be followed by a rush of folding phone designs from competitors like Huawei, LG and Xiaomi. Phones with 5G connectivity will also start to crop up this month at MWC, the world’s largest phone show. And phones with three or more rears cameras are also about to take aim, shaking up a flat landscape with tantalizing possibility, whether it all pans out or not.Will color continue to play a leading role for mainstream devices? Will daring foldable phones like Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy X/Galaxy F/Galaxy Fold come in only black? Whatever happens, it’s a sure bet that phone makers won’t give up the need to find a competitive edge any way they can.”We always want to be the pioneers in the industry. We need to move on to the new thing,” Kim said of Huawei. “We’re not going to stay where we’re at right now.”First published Feb. 16, 4 a.m. PT.Update, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.: Updates article throughout.March 2 at 10:54 a.m. PT: Corrects spelling of Barbara Kahn. Pixel 3 in Not Pink is pretty accurate. Shot with things that are actually pretty pink, and things that are actually pretty white #madebygoogle #Pixel3 @CNET pic.twitter.com/9o7lcI7kTs— Jessica Dolcourt (@jdolcourt) October 9, 2018center_img 3:49 Share your voice Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it The Galaxy S10 in Canary Yellow and Flamingo Pink. The foldable Galaxy Fold in Martian Green. OnePlus 6T in Thunder Purple. The list goes on. Every sales figure and expert tells us that people buy phones for their camera, battery and screen. But any product designer or marketer will tell you that color and finish matter, too.Just think. If color were inconsequential, why bother coming up with fancy names like Jet Black, Phantom Blue and Prism White, rather than simply black, blue and white? Why even have white at all?”Color has always been a very important visual element,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at The Wharton School. “It’s something people notice right away.”The OnePlus 6T in Thunder Purple. Angela Lang/CNET Shelf appeal is important when selling any product. It’s what gets a thing noticed. But a colorful phone can be personal and meaningful as well.”Color gives us joy in our lives,” said Isabelle Olsson, who helped lead the team that designed the Pixel 3 in Not-Pink. I hear echoes of Marie Kondo’s treatise on sparking joy. “We’re craving something new,” she added, not just “black, glossy boxes.”Apple is a good example of this philosophy. For years, the most “special” iPhone colors have been white, gold, rose gold and jet black, all fairly neutral tones. Only with the cheaper iPhone XR and iPhone 5C did it let its hair down with bold blue, yellow and coral choices to offset the polished stoicism of the higher-end iPhones. The one exception: the special-edition red iPhone, born of a partnership with the nonprofit Product RED charity. Honor View 20’s hypnotic colors will make your jaw drop Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Apple Comments Phones Tags Google Huawei LG Samsung Applelast_img read more

At Kashmere High Principals Plan To Save Struggling School Starts With Consistency

first_imgLaura Isensee/Houston Public MediaTeachers and administrators at Kashmere High are focused on turning the school around this year and getting off of the state’s list of struggling schools.At Kashmere High, Principal Reginald Bush starts his day with the kind of discipline usually seen in the military. He wakes up at 4:15 a.m. Just after 5 a.m., he’s hopped on a conference call with one of his lead administrators. By mid-morning, he checks on students as he strides through the main hallway, which is bright and clean with fresh paint.It’s his first year as principal of Kashmere High and Bush has a big task: Save the historically black school from the threat of being closed by the state. Bush is laser-focused on that goal with a kind of steely optimism.“Consistency, consistency is the big piece,” Bush said in an interview. “I think if we remain consistent, with the momentum that we have, there’s no doubt in our mind that Kashmere will receive distinctions this year.”That would mean Kashmere High wouldn’t just pass the state’s accountability system, which is largely based on state test scores. It would pass with high marks. If successful, that would mark a major turnaround. For nine years straight, Kashmere High School in Northeast Houston has been on the state’s list of failing schools. That’s the longest for any school in Texas.So, the big question this year is: Will they break the streak and win state approval? The answer matters a lot. If they don’t, the Texas Education Commissioner could close the school — or even replace Houston’s entire school board. Kashmere High is one of four struggling schools in the Houston Independent School District that could trigger a state takeover of the largest district in Texas, under the law known as HB 1842.READ: Here’s what you need to know about a potential state takeover of Houston schoolsLaura Isensee/Houston Public MediaThis is Reginald Bush’s first year as principal at Kashmere High. He previously led Kashmere Gardens Elementary, which beat the odds and got off the state’s watch-list.Consistency is just one part of Bush’s strategy. And he’s optimistic because his students are scoring better on practice tests in English, science and social studies.“Everything is pretty much still moving, the needle is still moving,” he said. “We’re watching the growth of kids.”Bush doesn’t want his team or students to get distracted by naysayers.“If you’re not in the work, you’re in the way,” he said. “And so, we encourage people —  if they really want to make this happen — they will come in and jump in the work, because the more and more we say negative things, those things do get in the way.” Listen 00:00 /04:00 Here are other strategies Bush and his team are laser-focused on to make the state’s grade:Student engagement: Bush said that he wants more students to be involved in some club or activity on campus. When he started, less than 20 percent were involved. Now more than half of the school’s 700 students have some activity. They’ve started new clubs to foster that — additional dance teams, a nutrition group and cooking club. Student involvement may not be directly counted by the state’s accountability system, but Bush maintains that it’s vital. He explained that it boosts attendance, giving students a reason to come to school and giving teachers a greater chance to reach them. “Because when students are engaged on a daily basis, they begin to take ownership. They begin to take ownership of their lessons. They begin to take ownership of their destiny,” he said.Focus on English-language learners: While Kashmere High is a historically black school, over 10 percent of students are learning English as a second language. Bush said that they’ve brought in tutors to work with these students. If they improve, that will help Kashmere High close the gap. “Making sure students grow, that’s the goal,” he said.Looking beyond high school: Bush is trying to emphasize what happens after high school. That means more college-prep courses, like Advanced Placement, in the master schedule; more students working towards industry jobs certifications; or enlisting in the military. That helps Kashmere High build points in the state’s accountability system.Revamped reading team: Bush said that he didn’t want to replace a lot of Kashmere’s teaching staff. Instead, he wanted to give them more support — with specialists and professional development. The English Language Arts department highlights that, which now has a 10-member team of expert coaches and interventionists. Shundra Harris-Mosley leads the team. In the morning, she and her team members check in on English classes, to see how things are going. Then, they confer in her office, where most of the walls are covered with posters with hand-written notes. Some display the dates for the upcoming state exams underneath a picture of a school for freed slaves. Behind her desk, there’s a poster of Martin Luther King, Jr. After they confer, they walk through classes again in the afternoon. It’s constant monitoring to make sure everyone is on track. “That is one of our biggest pieces, getting the right help, getting the right people,” Harris-Mosley said.Laura Isensee/Houston Public MediaShundra Harris-Mosley works with teacher coaches on what they’ve observed in English classrooms during the morning.Kashmere alum and parent, Christopher Ray, said that he’s seen a shift since his daughter enrolled as a freshman at the school. She’s now a junior, active in multiple groups from dance to Junior ROTC and planning on college at Prairie View A&M University or Texas Southern. She’s about the 25th member of their extended family to be a Fighting Ram. And Ray doesn’t want her to be the last.“I have hopes and dreams that they will (pass),” Ray said. “The way it’s projected and was told to me, it seems like they will but you know it remains to be seen.”He said that a lot of things make the school great, starting with an alumni base that’s passionate to see the historically black school thrive. Then there are dedicated teachers, he said, some of whom were on campus when he was a student in the early 1990s. Ray said that he knows they have his back, now that his daughter is there. Still, Ray said that he sees other ways Kashmere High can improve. One is to bring back vocational programs, such as cosmetology and auto shop. Another is stable leadership. Kashmere High has had four principals in eight years, according to Houston school records.“We have to have stability — right now,” Ray said. “Whatever the state is going to decide what they’re going to decide. But, ultimately, it has to be a decision that’s going to enhance — not to tear down, not to hinder.”For some, passing the state’s accountability standard is just the first hurdle. Jasmine Jenkins, who leads the advocacy group Houstonians for Great Public Schools, said that she’ll be surprised if they don’t meet that bar. Her group has been canvassing parents and students in the dismissal line on campus. They’ve heard positive reaction about an increase in enrollment and drop in fights — but also an interest in more challenging classes.“We can’t claim success for any of our schools until the district reaches a much better rate of students who are not just prepared for college and career, but who are pursuing credentials after high school,” Jenkins said.center_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Sharelast_img read more

HTC CoFounder Cher Wang to Take Some Duties From CEO

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 2 min read A workload shift at HTC will increase the duties of co-founder and chairwoman Cher Wang as the company focuses on regaining market share.Wang will take on operational duties for the Taiwanese smartphone maker, and CEO Peter Chou will lessen his load at the company to focus on innovation, according to the Financial Times.In what is being touted as a temporary move, Wang will expand her day-to-day presence from two to six days a week to work on sales, marketing and supplier relationships, according to the FT. Chou, who has served as the company’s CEO for nearly a decade, will concentrate on product development.“I have become very focused in the past couple of months. Before that I was too busy,” Chou told the FT. “I took on too many things. I need to be more focused on innovation and [the] product portfolio.”Related: HTC’s Cher Wang on Innovation and the ‘It’ Product It’s been a rocky period for the company. In October, the smartphone and tablet maker reported a bigger than expected quarterly loss. It was the first quarterly loss for the company since going public. Some wondered if Chou would stick around but, in June, he reportedly said he had no plans to leave HTC.Earlier this year, the company introduced the HTC One, a smartphone expected to be a competitor to Apple and Samsung mobile devices, but failed to make a huge dent in the market.Last year, Wang spoke to Entrepreneur.com about staying ahead of trends. “We must always keep an eye on our environment, to keep track of what changes are happening in technology, in infrastructure, in markets, in how people across the world are living their lives, working and communicating. We need to anticipate these trends and innovate to meet them. Within HTC, hundreds of ideas are tested and discarded to find those rare ideas that define the HTC user experience,” she said. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals October 21, 2013 Register Now »last_img read more

Federal Government Hopes to Get a Grasp on the Sharing Economy

first_img Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Uncle Sam is trying to keep up with Silicon Valley.Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez says that this week he traveled to the startup hub to talk with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and industry leaders about the evolving workforce.“Thanks in large measure to innovation in recent decades there, the American workforce — and the very nature of work — is experiencing some profound changes,” Perez wrote in a recent blog post. “It’s not just the growth of new technologies, but also the rise of entirely new industries and new job structures.”  The expansion of the gig, or freelance economy, has been largely fueled by the expansion of the sharing economy, which includes companies such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Postmates and Taskrabbit. Instead of holding one full-time job with a single company, individuals are increasingly creating their own web of multiple part-time, flexible jobs.The trouble for the government, though, is that this tech-enabled evolution in the job market is particularly hard to track.Related: The Sharing Economy Is More than a Buzzword. It’s Changing How We Live.“This is an exciting, entrepreneurial development that is tapping into powerful consumer demand while giving workers flexibility and enabling them to monetize existing assets, like their cars or extra rooms in their homes,” Perez says. “At the same time, the on-demand economy raises important questions about how to continue upholding time-honored labor standards and how to promote economic security for American workers in a changing labor market.”To generate national-level data on this rising gig economy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will partner with the Census Bureau to bring back the Contingent Worker Supplement, which tracks independent contractors, temporary employees and workers holding multiple jobs at the same time. The Contingent Worker Supplement will be part of the next population survey, expected in May 2017.The government is not alone in its struggle to keep pace with the recent rapid evolution of the job market. Uber has been involved in legal battles over whether drivers on the platform should be considered employees or contractors.To be sure, we are only just starting to understand the far-reaching implications of the recent reinvention of the workforce.Related: What a Sharing Economy Startup Does to Build Trust in Its Community Listen Nowcenter_img 2 min read January 29, 2016last_img read more

Why Tech Is HRs Friend Not Its Enemy

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 5 min read April 18, 2016 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Why is it that human resources is the one department people love to hate? From the outside, the job looks simple. So, why can’t HR professionals just process requests faster, be better organized and manage talent more efficiently? people ask.Related: How This Company Is Helping Businesses Find Zen in Human Resource PaperworkWell, those same people need to exercise a little more brain power here, because the notion that every HR department is old-fashioned, full of red tape and works in a bubble is a misguided stereotype.Nonetheless, because of the surplus of innovative HR tech available, some thought-leaders in the industry are questioning if we even need HR at all. Can’t apps and platforms do what whole departments used to do? they ask. Can’t they do it better?The reality is crystal clear: People are the most important asset to any business, and employers will always need experts to manage them. While tech can automate administrative work and take the productivity of many important HR tasks to the next level, HR professionals are — and will continue to be — a vital part of every business.In the age of automation, HR isn’t going anywhere. Here’s why:HR knows which new tech will benefit employees most.Tech will never fully replace the power of people. HR analytics are great, but people are the ones who make the important human decisions regarding employees.New HR tech can help give employees all the tools they need: self-service employee profiles, affordable employee benefits, a social news feed to keep everyone connected and more. But it’s HR professionals who guide and grow a company culture, encourage career development and analyze the important “people” data coming out of the tech a company uses.Businesses don’t need just anyone to drive the use of tech forward — they need HR. In 2016, HR departments are more focused on innovation and adopting new technologies to improve employee experience, suggests Deloitte’s 2016 Human Capital Report. And that’s what’s key — they’re focused on the employee experience.In a 2015 report sponsored by Visier and released by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, 44 percent of the 323 CEOs surveyed said their workforce planning was driven by finance and didn’t take talent availability into consideration.So, while those in the C-suite remain focused on speeding up processes, improving productivity, boosting profits and reducing costs, HR sets its sights on people. HR tech and processes bring a unique view to the table by analyzing which tools and resources will make work easier for employees. And employers need that point of view.Related: 17 Great HR Resources for EntrepreneursIn fact, a July 2015 CareerBuilder survey of 88 leaders at companies with revenue of at least $50 million found that 65 percent of CEOs thought that HR opinions at their organizations carried increasingly more weight with senior management.Employers need HR’s unique input, then, to make sense of new tech and analytics and to make the best decisions for employees, the culture and the business as a whole.Employees need guidance, even with new tech.Tech can handle a lot of the time-consuming duties that used to occupy HR. It can automate payroll and benefits enrollment, provide paperless onboarding and maintain all employee data in one place for easy reporting. But these processes represent only half the picture.Specifically, there will always be a “human” side to human resources. Automation doesn’t put HR professionals out of a job — it helps them to do their jobs better, enabling them to spend even more time on the human and strategic aspects of their work.People are the resource best suited to provide opportunities for career development and standardize processes around promoting from within. People are the best resource for handling delicate workplace issues — and then making a company culture the best it can be.Apps can help deliver benefits communications and information, but they can’t answer individual questions or explain confusing plans step by step.Apps and tools can’t really listen to employees. HR tech is a game-changer for communication. Social news feeds allow the whole company to communicate in real time. Mobile apps mean people can find and contact coworkers instantly. Surveys and reviews collect feedback whenever it’s needed.But employees want a living, breathing human they can share their concerns with. And employers need someone to take that feedback and turn it into action. That person is an HR professional.No matter what technology is implemented to improve communications, HR is the sounding board and voice of employees — a role in which even managers may even fall short. A 2015 SHRM survey of employees found that only 37 percent of respondents described themselves as “very satisfied” with the consideration their ideas received. And just 23 percent were “very satisfied” with communications with senior management.Related: A New Wave of HR Technology Is Disrupting the MarketEmails and social platforms may make communication easier, but HR makes that communication count. HR professionals mediate problems between peers and managers, make improvements based on suggestions and take employee concerns seriously. Tech can’t do that.HR’s power to make communication effective is uniquely its own. Register Now »last_img read more