Creative Labs: The Business Of Technology ~ Creative Labs Zen MP3 Players Sound Blaster Card
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Friday, October 5, 2007

Creative Labs: The Business Of Technology

Creative GigaWorks T20 Speaker System @ Apple Store
This is a very detailed and interesting article about business and how is it related to technology and their case study for this week is Creative Labs. In term of business, Creative Labs(NASDAQ: CREAF) is in a bad shape and at its lowest point in term of the share price. Earlier in Sep 2007, they have also voluntarily delist themselves from NASDAQ saying that its costly to having to list at 2 exhanges, namely SGX and NASDAQ. The trading volume is very low at NASDAQ so do not justify the costly maintenance of the NASDAQ listing.

The article also mentioned that Creative is now in a transitional period where they are moving out of their once-used-to-be a stronghold, making sound blaster soundcards. And the many problems caused by the new Microsoft Vista has given them more headaches. Besides, the market is shrinking to a small market of gamers and professionals. They even predict that the current X-Fi soundcards will be their last series. They are desperately trying to find new business and generate more revenues.

The speaker area is highlighted as a good potential business to go into, after suffering a big MP3 war defeat against Apple iPod and now they also have problem catching up with Sandisk which holds about 10% of the market now. Last night, while checking out the US online store @, we were thrilled to find the Creative's Gigaworks T20 2.0 speaker on sale there! This is the first time that Apple has selected and selling Creative audio speaker @ their stores.

Creative is still staying on with their portable audio and video devices. They have launched the new Zen Stone Plus which is quite successful in their sales, especially in Europe, the Creative ZEN and also a lower end MuVo T100 which looks like a Zen Stone with USB plug. However, while we were writing this, Microsoft Zune has just launched a new batch of Zune which are capable of wireless transfer of songs and even has social networking in it. So Creative now has many competitors and these are giants with billions of dollars of market capitalisation.

In conclusion, we also want to highlight that there is a conflicting observation that the R&D expenses are reducing for the past couple years ago. Based on past reports, Creative only reduce their R&D expenses when they are doing well. This behaviour is quite different from before. Or maybe they are just reducing R&D expenses to help do some cost cutting.

Via The Business of Technology: Creative Labs.

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