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⚡ Welcome again to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 169th edition has Mediatek's new chip, the Xbox 20th anniversary celebration news, new Motorola launches, and more.


🎮 This week I've mostly been ooh-ing and aah-ing at just how gorgeous Kena: Bridge of Spirits is on PS5. It's difficult, too, or maybe my reactions aren't fast enough!

November 20, 2021
Popular news this week
Mediatek Dimensity 9000 chipset
Supplied by Mediatek

Mediatek:

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.

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Elsewhere:

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Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Features

Weekly Wonder

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:

GoPuff

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.

Gorillas

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.

Jokr

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

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.

Getir

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

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.

Tech Calendar
  • November 24-30: Steam Autumn Sale
  • November 26-29: Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend
  • November 30-December 2: Snapdragon Tech Summit (Snapdragon 888 successor?)
  • December 6-8: RSC-V Summit
  • December 8: Halo Infinite release date (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC)
  • December 14: Final Fantasy XIV’s Endwalker expansion (December 3 for pre-orders)

Tech Tweet of the Week

Someone discovered this snail and chose to name it so pic.twitter.com/VdlVfwKvQn
— Rob N Roll (@thegallowboob) November 17, 2021

Something else we learned this week from The Hustle: Did you know Betty Crocker was never a real person?

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