APPLE IS FINALLY MOVING BEYOND THE SMARTPHONE INDUSTRY FOR GROWTH Apple’s iPhone has been a driving force behind the company’s growth and revenues. In the first three months of 2019 alone, Apple sold $31 billion worth of iPhones. So, it is interesting to see Apple moving beyond the iPhone as its major cash cow as the smartphone industry continues to stall globally. iPhone revenue accounted for 53.5% of Apple’s revenue for the company’s fiscal second quarter, last year, during the same quarter, iPhones sales were 61.4% of the com- pany’s sales, and in the most recent quarter that ended in December, it accounted for 61.7% of Apple’s total sales. The smaller share of iPhone revenue shows that Apple is getting more focused and skilled at selling other hardware or what it calls its “wearables” business, which includes AirPods, Apple Watch and Beats headphones along with its software products to its loyal base of over 900 million iPhone users.


RETAIL NUMBERS SHOW THAT AMERICANS ARE CUTTING BACK ON SPENDING U.S. retail sales declined 0.2% in April, accord- ing to the Commerce Department, as Ameri- cans cut back their spending after a big 1.7% jump in March. Leading the decline was a drop-in home and garden supply stores sales of 1.9%, electronics and appliance stores dropping 1.3% and vehicle sales down 1.1%. Economists are having a difficult time gauging the mood of consumers this year as sales have been up and down. January sales were up then down in February, followed by the big jump in March and now a drop in April. The data suggests Americans are reluctant to spend freely, despite steady job gains and modest wage increases. Retail sales are closely watched and can be of a concern as they make up about one-third of consumer spending, which drives most economic activity.

Blue Origin founder and chairman of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, recently unveiled the company’s “Blue Moon” lunar lander as well as a new BE-7 rocket engine for the first time. According to Bezos, The Blue Moon lander can bring 3.6 metric tons to the lunar surface.

Canada is joining a U.S. led project that will see humans return to the moon and set the stage for further explo- ration to Mars. The project Known as Lunar Gateway includes an outpost that will provide living space for astronauts orbiting the moon, a docking station for visiting space- craft and laboratories for research. An external robotic arm with artificial intelligence capabilities is one of the elements that NASA has already identified as a possible Canadian contribution. The Canadian government has committed $2.05 billion over 24 years toward the Canadian space program and $150 million over five years toward the Lunar Gateway as this will project and others will create hundreds of well-paying jobs and contribute $100 million annually to Canada’s gross domestic product, according to govern- ment officials. Canada’s space sector currently employs 10,000 highly skilled workers and generated $2.3 billion for Canada’s economy in 2017, according to the federal government.

“It’s time to go back to the moon and this time stay,” Bezos said.

Blue Origin, established nearly two decades ago, has remained relatively quiet about the rockets, engines and capsules it is develop- ing. With its Latin tagline of “step by step, ferociously,” Blue Origin has been working on multiple space systems at the same time with Bezos investing more than $1 billion in the company each year.





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