Apple begins losing wireless headset market ground despite the growth of AirPods by the push of Asian brands - This season it seems that Apple will not be enough to increase sales of AirPods, its wireless headsets. The fact is that the Apple firm leads the market, and it does it loosely. However, the progressive consolidation of new competitors in the segment, will lose ground. And, therefore, it will not be enough to improve your figures.

This is advanced by the forecasts of the wearable business that, although the firm that runs Tim Cook will continue to increase its distribution Year by year, selling up to a third more AirPods, it will not maintain its market share, as details Bloomberg.

Apple will place 82 million wireless units this year, according to data from the consultant Counterpoint cited by the same source.

Apple begins losing wireless headset market ground

Although the brand's weight in wearables is undeniable, it has gone from holding 50% of the market to having more than a third in the second quarter of 2020, 35%. But only in 2019 their sales accounted for half of the global total.

The reason is that Asian firms, such as China's Xiaomi or South Korean Samsung, are following him more and more closely. The former has a market share of 10% and the latter 6% from April to June, according to the same data. In addition, 43% of the business is covered by other competitors, with a diverse offer of wireless.

Read more: Apple Watch will be able to monitor your sleep and see when you wash your hands thanks to watchOS 7

For example, Samsung has released the Galaxy Buds Live for 199 euros, an attractive model for its design and because it includes sound cancellation. Meanwhile, Apple's latest model, the AirPods Pro, costs 279 euros. They also stand out for their specifications.

China Huawei also competes in this field, with its FreeBuds3, at 119 euros. These brands offer more product ranges, not just the highest, which makes it more likely for consumers and makes things harder for Apple.

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Barcelona is studying implementing an Amazon fee, but e-commerce companies see it unfeasible: "it is neither feasible nor fit for reality"

The City Council of Barcelona is studying how to implement a last mile fee that affects electronic commerce that does not have a physical presence in the city. An Amazon Tax, different from the Google tax, since the central axis on which the tax would revolve is the use of public space.

"It is a fee per occupation of the public domain. Something for which the municipalities have power", explains Montserrat Ballarín Espuña, socialist councillor of Finance in the city of Barcelona.

The germ of this initiative is born from a request of Barcelona merchants who seek to equate forces with companies without physical headquarters but if they generate negative externalities in the city with their activity: increased traffic and increased pollution due to increased distribution of products.

The PSC already included this Amazon fee in its 2019 election program and also subscribed to the government agreement with Barcelona in Comú. Subsequently, from ERC presented a political proposal to begin its processing to which the other political forces except PP and citizens joined.

Currently, the initiative is in an initial phase where the parties must develop a complicated technical work. In addition, the University of Barcelona is conducting a study to obtain more information on the impact of e-commerce.

"Easy is not, there are many elements to consider. Now the most important thing is to perform the technical work that can last 3 or 4 months. Then you have to make an ordinance that would also last between 3 and 4 months. Anyway, this is a tribute that would be charged on a monthly basis so there is no rush, " notes Ballerín. If it were to do so, it would be the first city in the world to apply such a tax.

The tax would be an affected tax, i.e. its collection would be pre-allocated. In this case it would be to promote sustainable mobility, and, above all, to strengthen the local trade of Barcelona, as detailed the councilor of Hacienda to Business Insider Spain.

Ballarin does not declare himself against the e-commerce company, but he claims that merchants play at a disadvantage with large platforms that do not pay taxes or rents in Barcelona. "They are not on the streets, with everything that provides that to the city in terms of security and neighborhood coexistence," he says.

"The fee also has a pedagogical function, explaining to people that it is not the same to go to buy a pen in the bookstore next door to bring it a Salesforce platform," Ballarin comments.

For Jose Luis Zimmermann, director of the employers of e-commerce companies Adigital, this fee has no route. "There is so much disinformation about the real impact of all this, especially in the proximity trade, that decisions are made very happily. In part, because companies are getting bigger and selling more and more, and you have to find a way to capture that value. But they always do it with false arguments",

With regard to the payment of taxes, Zimmermann gives an example of the property and Real Estate Tax (IBI), which e-commerce pays where they have their warehouse.

The key element for any tax is the tax base, in this case would be the quantification of the use of public space. "The occupancy rate is always taxed through parameters such as the square meter or the basic module, that is, through physical parameters that for this case would be very difficult," comments Ballarin, who believes that despite the difficulty possibilities exist.

The proposal of the socialist councillor is inspired by the model of taxation of gas or electricity. "As it is very difficult to see he public space that is used underground or on the street with poles and wiring, it pays some percent of the gross revenue invoiced in the corresponding population." A formulation that qualifies only as a starting point.

For the director of Adigital, depending on how little is known about the plans of this new tribute, he would not feel it to measure it like this. "Deals in the cities there are kicking, as you will discriminate who has physical space in the city or not. For example, catering companies have their stores outside, and that's e-commerce too, " he says.

E-commerce platforms usually work with intermediaries who are the ones who carry the physical goods to the customer's final door. Something that within the sector they know as last mile deal.

So who does the increase in traffic and pollution are not directly e-commerce platforms. A circumstance that they take into account from the city of Barcelona: "who we want to record is not the riders, it is the companies that get the profits. That's where the problem is technically."

A crossroads to which Ballerín sees solution and to illustrate it resorts to the case of ATMs where the user is who occupies the public road when using the service. "The Supreme Court has made a disconnect between who uses the public space (it would be consumers) and who gets the benefit (the bank)."

The director of Adigital, however, sees it very difficult that the fee end up falling on a company like Amazon, as they may be selling a product of their own or acting as intermediaries for another provider.

"The rate is neither feasible nor adjusted to reality. If you take Amazon out of the equation, home delivery companies have existed since the beginning of time. As differences that the MRW or Seur truck is delivering a final product or a product to supply a local trade, " asks Zimmermann.

When applying a tax in economy must be very careful, since it depends on how it is designed and the characteristics of the market, the tax can be transferable and end up paying the consumer. Zimmermann is clear: "in companies it will not fall, and if it can not fall into the intermediary, it will undoubtedly be in the final consumer".

The councilor of Finance of Barcelona also recognizes that it can end up having an impact on the end user: "Yes, it may be half a euro or a euro more expensive to buy from Barcelona but I do not think they will apply a big increase".

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