It's that time of the week again. We're picking our way through the week's news to decide on who came on top and who was a massive flop. It's Q3 financial results week and the big four are all making boatloads of cash. Meanwhile, consumers are going to pay more for a hugely popular service.
The end of each financial quarter is always a refreshing reminder of just how much wealth the big four have amassed over the past decade as we hand over our eyeballs to advertisers ready to fill their pockets. The figures are mind-boggling.
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, increased its revenues by 14% to $38.01 billion. Facebook also exceeded expectations in Q3, with $21.5 billion in revenues it's up 22% year-on-year. Amazon's sales grew by 37% to $96.1 billion bringing in net profits of $6.33 billion. Apple's results are more modest, posting quarterly revenue of $59.7 billion, an increase of 11%, but the iPhone 12 boost is yet to come in Q4. It's all good in Silicon Valley, then.
Winner of the week: Realme hits 50 million sales in record time
Fast-moving smartphone brand, Realme, has become the World's Fastest Smartphone Brand to reach 50 million in sales. The brand, which is part of the BBK Electronics group that also owns Oppo, OnePlus, and Vivo announced the news via Twitter. It's crazy to think that the brand was born just two years ago. The Chinese manufacturer grew by 132% in Q3 2020. "Realme grew to become one of the top five, or even top three, brands in its key markets, including India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Philippines, and some other Southeast Asian countries", said Research Analyst Abhilash Kumar at Counterpoint.
To carry forward our legacy of providing you with #TechTrendsetter products has been our utmost priority. This #DareToLeap vision has helped us in becoming the World's Fastest Smartphone Brand to reach 50M in sales.— realme (@realmemobiles) October 30, 2020
Thanks to you #1in50Million for being part of this journey. pic.twitter.com/vpbbwHjSqS
Realme's relentless release schedule - it feels like there's a new smartphone out every two weeks from Realme - has clearly paid off in terms of sales. At IFA 2020, the brand announced huge plans for Europe and Latin America, and clearly, it will not stop at 50 million in sales. In an exclusive interview with NextPit, Realme Europe CEO Madhav Sheth told us that the goal is to break into the top five by the end of 2021.
You can roll your eyes at this all you want, but Realme is posting the numbers to back up its Dare to Leap ambitions, and it's exciting to see. For consumers who have gotten tired of the $1,000+ flagship market, Realme is a brand to keep an eye on.
Loser of the week: Netflix is getting more expensive
There was bad news for Netflix subscribers this week. The video streaming giant announced that it will raise the price of its most popular standard subscription to $14 a month, an increase of $1. Netflix Premium is also going up to $18 a month, an increase of $2. The basic plan, however, will stay at $9 a month. For new subscribers, the increased fees start right now. For existing subscribers, the new prices will be rolling out over the next couple of weeks, so check your billing information for more details.
Netflix last increased its prices in the USA in January 2019. The company handles price changes on a country-by-country, so just because it's going up in the US does necessarily mean it will increase in other regions, such as Europe, immediately. However, this has tended to be the case in the past.
A spokesperson for Netflix told The Verge that a price increase was necessary "so that we can continue to offer more variety of TV shows and films". Netflix has been increasingly spending on original content. Its annual content budget for 2020 was estimated to be $18.5 billion.
Who were your winners and losers of the week just gone? Let us know below the line.
More highlights on NextPit this week: