Mediatek revealed the Dimensity 9000 chip, taking aim at the Snapdragon 800 series, the first announced chip to be produced on TSMC’s 4nm process — It runs 5G without mmWave, with Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.3. Also, it’s the first Armv9 SoC with Cortex-X2, A710, and A510 CPUs, there’s a new Mali-G710 GPU, and it has LPDDR5X compatibility.
- Tuesday’s Google Cloud outage knocked out Spotify, Snapchat, Discord, Nest, Fitbit, and a bunch of other services, and things only started to come back online on Wednesday.
- Rumors suggest the Google Pixel Fold is canceled, likely due to “An inability to compete as well as a materials shortage.”
- Google launched a “Fortnite Task Force” after Epic skipped the Play Store: Details emerged in a legal filing made by Epic this week, citing internal Google documents.
- And Android 12 finally hit Samsung phones, coming to the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra right now, and “soon” available for previous Galaxy S, Note, and Galaxy A devices, plus other foldables and tablets.
- Also this week, Google “improved” the Pixel 6’s fingerprint sensor with a new mid-month update.
- And Google confirmed our findings: Pixel 6 Pro charging is capped at 23W.
- GTA The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition became available to purchase and play again on Monday after the launch disaster that saw the game removed from sale on PC due to Rockstar “needing to remove files unintentionally included in these versions.”
- Battlefield 2042’s opening weekend was also a bit of a disaster, with the early launch plagued by hard crashes, server issues, and persistent problems.
- Xbox celebrated its 20-year anniversary! Xbox chief Phil Spencer reflected on 20 years of Xbox, while over 70 Xbox 360 and original Xbox games were added to its backward compatibility catalog in celebration.
- And surprise: Halo Infinite’s multiplayer campaign “Heroes of Reach” is out now in beta, with the game’s release still scheduled for December 8.
- This week Stadia celebrated its second birthday, with Google offering the Premiere Edition for a steep discount.
- And PAX East confirmed it’s returning in-person to Boston from April 21-24, 2022.
- Also this week, award-winning A Short Hike was released for PS4 on Tuesday.
- Meanwhile, Kotaku previewed Dying Light 2 — the open-world zombie sequel’s out in February and is “a big ol’ action game filled with zombies and loot.”
- Finally, GeForce Now is about to start streaming PC games directly to LG TVs. The app’s rolling out in beta this week and will make it easier to use the service on a big screen.
Move over Uber and DoorDash: there are new delivery kids on the block. The latest ultrafast delivery services promise groceries on your doorstep in 15 minutes or less, and they’re expanding fast. Companies like Jokr, Gorillas, Buyk, GoPuff, and Getir are beating the delivery services at their own game, with Uber rising to the challenge and promising superfast delivery services, starting in France.
But which companies are leading the pack, how are they fulfilling their promises, and what does this mean for the future of neighborhood stores and bodegas?
Store to door in under 15 minutes
Here are just a few of the hottest ultrafast delivery services around, coming soon to (or already in) a city near you:
This Philly-based ultrafast delivery startup is the brainchild of Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, who dreamt up the business idea while studying at Drexel University in Philadephia. They started small, delivering snacks and essential items from the back of their van around campus. Eight years later and they’re one of the biggest ultrafast delivery companies around, with over 500 micro-fulfillment centers delivering to over 1,000 cities.
Debuting in Brooklyn in May 2021, Gorillas bagged almost $1 million in funding in October, and promises to deliver from a selection of over 2,000 essential items in ten minutes or less by bike. There’s no minimum order and delivery costs just $1.80. The company has its roots in Europe though, operating in Germany, France, the UK, and the Netherlands before hitting New York.
Launched in June 2021 in select areas of New York City, Jokr has raised $170 million in investment to date. Their launch came hot on the heels of May’s Gorillas debut, and they promise delivery in 15 minutes or less via bicycle — great news for the environment — with no minimum spend and free delivery. As for profitability? The company says it will worry about that later, but had lost $73.6 million on just $1.7 million in revenue as at the end of July.
Buyk (pronounced “bike”) launched in Manhattan in the Fall, delivering online and mobile orders in 15 minutes or less, with no delivery fee and no minimum spend. Founders Rodion Shishkov and Slava Bocharov previously started Samokat, a European ultrafast delivery service. Buyk plans to expand across all New York boroughs by the end of the year, expanding to larger metro areas across the US in 2022.
Turkish grocery delivery business Getir debuted in Chicago in November 2021, offering delivery of around 2,000 popular items in ten minutes or less on scooters. The company’s opening a storefront in Andersonville and will operate seven “dark stores” that act as fulfillment centers in the city. Getir was actually founded in 2015 in Istanbul, later expanding to nine countries, the USA being the most recent. By the end of 2021, the company aims to be live in New York City and Boston.
Go Grocer went live in Chicago around the same time as Getir, differing from some of the other apps on this list by having 16 brick and mortar stores that serve walk-in customers. These stores also act as micro-fulfillment centers, promising delivery of over 4,000 popular products in 15 minutes or less.
How does ultrafast delivery work?
In order to keep their promises, these companies don’t get their products from traditional stores. Instead, they run “dark stores” or micro-fulfillment centers in key delivery areas. Picking and packing are automated by robots, taking place in a space too small for human workers. This isn’t new: companies like Walmart already use these centers in some locations.
- Typically these micro-fulfillment centers stock between 1,500 to 5,000 products, far fewer than the typical 35,000 products in your average grocery store.
- Most of these companies — but not all — hire full-time workers rather than relying on the gig economy (more on that shortly). This costs them more but means employees get hourly wages, benefits, and tips — and when the company expands, they’ll have enough staff on hand to cover shifts.
- Delivery fees are kept low, or in the case of some companies like Jokr, free, and many have no minimum order. Many also operate 24/7, so if you have a late-night ice cream craving, you know who to call…
Is ultrafast delivery really so great?
This speedy delivery is changing the way we shop — less planning ahead, more “get it now” mentality, but could it have consequences for our neighborhoods?
- Skeptics worry that micro-fulfillment centers could eventually displace neighborhood bodegas and grocery stores.
- And these companies may never reach your neighborhood if you don’t live in a densely populated major city — they’re likely to be hard to implement in smaller cities or rural areas, as most deliveries are by bike or scooter.
- Back in July, JP Morgan warned that ultra-fast delivery startups were “a major threat to the grocery landscape,” putting pressure on other online delivery services and with the power to “potentially change significantly” our grocery shopping behavior.
- There’s a risk of poor conditions for workers: GoPuff is just one of the companies coming under fire for its exploitative gig worker labor model…
Meanwhile, Gorillas has received criticism for its “grueling delivery times” in Europe.
- Vice asked what the point of 15-minute grocery delivery was, particularly when most start-ups operate in dense urban neighborhoods where the nearest grocery store is never more than a ten-minute walk away.
What about environmental impact?
Despite the negatives, it seems there could be environmental benefits to ultrafast delivery services:
- According to the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College, 40% of food in the US is wasted.
- Jokr founder Ralf Wenzel says the company aims to use “proprietary data and machine-learning algorithms” to only order and stock what customers want, when they want it. Of course, that’s not so different from the analytics used by most major grocery stores.
- Jokr also tries to use local brands as much as possible, reducing the distance goods have to travel, as well as cutting out wholesalers and middlemen, producing food from farms and small businesses directly wherever possible, reducing its carbon footprint. These supply chain changes could have a significant impact.
Whatever your thoughts on ultrafast delivery services, and whether you use them or not, retail analysts say they could struggle to survive financially if they continue delivering for free or at low cost on smaller orders. We guess time will tell if they catch on everywhere or fizzle out completely.