Displaying items by tag: Tim Cook

Apple in hot water over Google’s antitrust case

Written on Wednesday, 28 October 2020 10:58

The US Justice Department has filed (yet another) antitrust lawsuit against Internet behemoth Google and it could have major repercussions for Apple. It is estimated that Google pays Apple between $8 billion to $12 billion a year to be the default search engine on Apple’s devices and soon it may all come to a head.  

The scrutiny of the deal, which was first agreed 15 years ago and has rarely been discussed by either company, has highlighted the special relationship between Silicon Valley’s two most valuable companies —‘an unlikely union of rivals’ that regulators say is unfairly protecting its monopoly and preventing smaller companies from flourishing.  

The Justice Department, which is asking for a court injunction preventing Google from entering into deals like the one it made with Apple, argues that the arrangement has unfairly helped make Google, which handles 92 percent of the world’s internet searches, the center of consumers’ online lives.

The lawsuit describes that the relationship's evolution from Google being the default search engine on Apple's Safari browser in 2005 in exchange for ad revenue to a broader agreement that included iPhones and later Apple's assistant Siri. "Today, Google's distribution agreement with Apple gives Google the coveted, preset default position on all significant search access points for Apple computers and mobile devices," the Justice Department stated.

While the deal is nice for Google - which sees about 50% of its searches originate from Apple devices, it is much more lucrative for Apple considering that the payments are purely profit. This is believed to be the single biggest payment Google makes to anyone, and it is estimated to account for 15 to 20 percent of Apple's annual profits.

"There is a risk, if you play it out, that there actually could be more financial impact to Apple than there is for Google," Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst for Bernstein, told The Wall Street Journal in an article, estimating that Apple stock could decline as much as 20% if the agreement with Google is dissolved.

If we estimate that payments from Google stood at about $10 billion in the fiscal year ‘19 and Apple had to forgo the entire amount, services revenues would be lower by about 22% with total revenues lower by about 4%. The impact on Apple’s profits would be much more evident as it likely incurs no costs to earn these revenues.

However, the Financial Times reported that Apple is stepping up efforts to develop an alternative to Google search. In a small change to the newest model of the iPhone working system, iOS 14, Apple has started to point out its personal search outcomes and hyperlink on to web sites when customers sort queries from its house display.

That internet search functionality marks a necessary advance in Apple’s in-house improvement and provides an alternate if regulators block its profitable partnership with Google. Nearly half of Google’s search traffic now comes from Apple devices, according to the Justice Department, so the prospect of losing the Apple deal has been described as a “code red” scenario inside the company. 

The landmark lawsuit, which follows a 16-month investigation by the House of Representatives' judiciary committee, is a part of a broader regulatory push against big tech. However, it remains unclear which of the Silicon Valley companies will prove more vulnerable to mounting regulatory pressure.

Published in Government

Apple unveils its own processors for Macs

Written on Tuesday, 23 June 2020 05:16

Apple has announced plans to create its own processors for Mac computers, marking a giant shift in the company's strategy.

The company made many announcements at its annual developer conference, which it held virtually for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest update for the iPhone, iOS 14, was also launched which includes a new home-screen layout and a new feature that lets you use functions from an app without launching the full version.

Apple said it would build its own chips to power its Mac computers to create a "common architecture" that integrates them into the same ecosystem as the iPhone and iPad.

The new "Apple silicon" initiative ends a longstanding partnership with chipmaker Intel and enables the computers to run the same apps as those on iPhones.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said the move represents "a huge leap forward for the Mac," which would get a more powerful and energy-efficient system that operates more like Apple's mobile devices.

Cook said the first of the new Mac computers will be shipping by the end of the year.

Apple also offered a first look at its iOS 14 for the iPhone which gives a new look to its home screen and allows users to more easily manage their apps.

The new operating system will organize apps into a cleaner "app library" with the most frequently used ones prominently featured.

The update "transforms the most iconic elements of the iPhone experience, starting with the biggest update we've ever made to the home screen," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering.

Apple said the software would include a "digital car key" allowing the iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock and start a car. The virtual key for compatible car models can be shared using messages, or disabled if a device is lost.

Apple said iOS 14 would also include a translate feature for 11 languages powered by its Siri digital assistant and allow for "app clips" or fragments of apps that can be quickly downloaded and used for transactions at partner merchants and services.

A revamped Apple Maps app will for the first time include directions for bicycles, a feature which has been available for years on Google Maps.

Updated software for the Apple Watch, known as watchOS7, will include a series of health and fitness features including improved sleep tracking and automatic handwashing detection to help users clean their hands for the 20 seconds recommended by health officials to help prevent virus spreading.

Published in Devices

US tech giant announces recruitment cutback

Written on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 06:26

US technology giant Apple has announced that it will impose a recruitment cutback - which has been primarily forced due to weak sales on the company’s iPhone devices in the lucrative Chinese market.

Bloomberg has reported that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, announced the recruitment cutbacks just a day after he sent a letter to Apple investors that warned the company was bracing itself for a year-on-year decline in revenue for its fiscal Q1, which would shave $5bn from its guidance. 

In a series of meetings that were held following the disclosure, it was reported that Cook informed some staff that a number of divisions would reduce hiring, but stated that he didn’t think a complete freeze in recruitment would be an appropriate solution to take.

In addition to this, it has been further disclosed that the CEO is also yet to determine which divisions will face hiring cutbacks. However, it is believed that divisions such as Apple’s AI team will not be affected due to the leverage of investment made by the US tech company into the emerging technology.

The move will also not affect plans to open a state-of-the-art new office in Austin, Texas or its expansion plans in Los Angeles, where the company is fleshing out its original video content ambitions.

Bloomberg also pointed out that Apple has hired new staff at a significant rate over the past decade. The company recruited 9,000 workers in its most recent fiscal year, taking the total up to 132,000, while adding 7,000 a year earlier.

Published in Devices

US tech giant signs content agreement with Samsung

Written on Tuesday, 08 January 2019 09:22

US technology behemoth Apple has signed a new agreement with Samsung in relation to its streaming and content services in an effort to offset a decline in iPhone sales. The deal brokered between Apple and the South Korean conglomerate will enable the use of iTunes streaming services on Samsung smart TVs.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Trump thanks Apple CEO for job opportunities in Texas

Written on Monday, 17 December 2018 07:15

Plans for a $1 billion Apple campus in Texas has won the praise of President Donald Trump.

Published in Apps

US technology colossus Apple is reportedly renegading on a previous commitment that they made to the Irish government on the construction of $1 billion data center in rural Ireland. Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has publicly disclosed that Apple CEO Tim Cook will no longer commit to the ambitious project.

However, the Taoiseach stressed that Dublin would do everything necessary in order to keep the project alive and facilitate whatever Apple needs to see the data center constructed. Apple initially disclosed its intentions to erect the facility in a rural location in the West of Ireland in February 2015. Its decision to go to a rural location was to take advantage of green energy sources located nearby.

However, the project has been subject to lengthy delays due to a number of planning objections over the last two years, and now Apple is eyeing up other potential location for the construction of its new data center. Varadkar met Apple’s CEO, but admitted that Cook did not commit to the proceeding with the project.

The Taoiseach said, “We didn’t get a start date, or a definite commitment or anything like that, but I did stress to Apple that the government would do anything within our power to facilitate the resumption of the project.”

Ireland’s Prime Minister is currently touring the US meeting potential new investors. Ireland relies heavily on foreign multinational companies like Apple for the creation of one in every 10 jobs created across the economy and sees major investments such as data centers as a means of securing their presence in the country.

Apple declined to commit when pressed on whether they remained committed to the project. A similar Apple center which was announced at the same time in Denmark is set to begin operations later this year, whilst Apple also announced in July that it would build its second EU data center in the Nordic region.

The government has said it is considering amending its planning laws to include data centers as strategic infrastructure, thus allowing them to get through the planning process much more quickly. However, such legislation is expected to be met with opposition by those within parliament.

Ireland has a checkered history when it comes to planning permission and previous governments have been brought down due to shady financial agreements between developers and politicians. A change in legislation to facilitate Apple’s attempts to construct their data center is not likely to be well received by the general public still dismayed at the country’s refusal to accept an EU ruling that Apple owed the state €13 billion in unpaid taxes.

Published in Infrastructure

Accenture and Apple partner to create iOS business solutions

Written on Monday, 04 September 2017 12:21

Accenture and Apple have partnered to help businesses transform how their people engage with customers through innovative business solutions for iOS. The partnership will take full advantage of the iOS platform, and Accenture’s capabilities as a leader in industry and digital transformation, to help companies unlock new revenue streams, increase productivity, improved customer experience and reduce costs.

Accenture will create a dedicated iOS practice within Accenture Digital Studios in select locations around the world. Experts from Apple will be co-located with this team. Working together, the two companies will launch a new set of tools and services that help enterprise clients transform how they engage with customers using iPhone and iPad. The experts will include visual and experience designers, programmers, data architects and scientists, and hardware and software designers.
 
“Starting 10 years ago with iPhone, and then with iPad, Apple has been transforming how work gets done, yet we believe that businesses have only just begun to scratch the surface of what they can do with our products,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Both Apple and Accenture are leaders in building incredible user experiences and together we can continue to truly modernize how businesses work through amazing solutions that take advantage of the incredible capabilities of Apple’s technologies.”
 
Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO, said, “Based on our experience in developing mobile apps, we believe that iOS is the superior mobile platform for businesses and are excited to be partnering with Apple. By combining Accenture’s vast digital capabilities and industry expertise with Apple’s market leadership in creating products that delight customers, we are in a perfect position to help our clients transform the way they work.”

The new iOS tools and services will take full advantage of the latest Apple technologies and tap into Accenture’s digital and analytics capabilities, including new ecosystem services to help clients address the full range of iOS integration requirements to connect to back-end systems, leveraging Accenture’s systems integration expertise and the unique iOS advantages built by Apple with key partners like SAP and Cisco.

It will also include Internet-of-Things (IoT) services featuring new tools templates and predesigned code to help clients take greater advantage of the data from IoT platforms in their iOS apps, putting more power into the hands of workers.

Some of the most prominent figures in the US technology sector have publicly expressed their dismay and anger following the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last week. Microsoft, Apple and Facebook have all announced they will implement measures in a bid to fightback against the rise of white supremacists in the US.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook criticized President Trump’s response to the events last week - and in a letter to his employees said counter-protesters were standing up for human rights. Cook said, “I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”

Cook revealed that Apple would contribute $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, who are both human right groups. In addition to this, he said it was suspending its Apple Pay support on websites that sell white supremacy clothing and accessories. E-commerce platform PayPal has also implemented similar measures.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella also voiced her concern at the violence in Virginia, and said there was absolutely unequivocally no place for such racist rhetoric in the US. In a letter to employees, Nadella said, “There is no place in our society for the bias, bigotry and senseless violence we witnessed this weekend in Virginia provoked by white nationalists.”

Cloud security and performance firm Cloud-flare also publicly announced that it has now terminated its account with neo-Nazi outlet ‘The Daily Stormer. The publication drew widespread criticism following the publication of a hate-filled feature on the victims of the Charlottesville violence.

Social media colossus Facebook has also moved swiftly to take action and suspended the account of infamous white supremacist Christopher Cantwell’s accounts on both Facebook and Instagram. Twitter has also removed the online account of The Daily Stormer from its platform.

President Trump drew criticism from technology leaders following his appointment to The White House in November. His controversial policies on immigration were widely condemned in Silicon Valley, and while President Trump has taken steps to build relationships with technology firms in Silicon Valley since taking office – there scathing criticism of his response to Charlottesville will not be well received by either Trump or his republican administration in Washington DC.

Published in Government

Apple’s revenue up 7% year-on-year in quarterly results

Written on Sunday, 06 August 2017 13:10

Apple posted quarterly revenue of $45.4 billion for its fiscal 2017 third quarter ended July 1, 2017, and posted quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.67. These results compare to revenue of $42.4 billion and earnings per diluted share of $1.42 in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 61 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

“With revenue up 7 percent year-over-year, we’re happy to report our third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth and an all-time quarterly record for Services revenue,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We hosted an incredibly successful Worldwide Developers Conference [WWDC] in June, and we’re very excited about the advances in iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS coming this fall.”

Apple beat Wall Street analyst predictions who expected on average Apple to post $44.49 billion in revenue and earnings per share of $1.56. Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about a "pause" in iPhone sales in May ahead of the release of the iPhone 8 this September which is expected to have a new design and represent a major upgrade that could spur sales.

Ahead of the results, Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White said Apple's quarterly results and outlook would be “less important” as investors are “focused on the iPhone 8 this fall, along with the company's capital distribution initiative, depressed valuation and new innovations showcased at WWDC.”

Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO said, “We reported unit and revenue growth in all our product categories in the June quarter, driving 17 percent growth in earnings per share. We also returned $11.7 billion to investors during the quarter, bringing cumulative capital returns under our program to almost $223 billion.”

Apple provided guidance for its fiscal fourth quarter predicting revenue between $49 billion and $52 billion, and gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38 percent. The company predicts operating expenses between $6.7 billion and $6.8 billion, and other income/expenses of $500 million.

Apple’s board of directors declared a cash dividend of $0.63 per share of the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on August 17, 2017 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 14, 2017.

Published in Finance

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has committed to building three large manufacturing plants in the United States, President Donald Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Trump claims Cook has promised to build “three big plants, beautiful plants,” but didn’t go into more detail.

About 80,000 people work for Apple in the US and is said to employ about two million people in total. The company was criticized last year by Trump during his presidential campaign for outsourcing its manufacturing to factories in China. In an interview with TIME, Trump said he hoped Apple would shift its manufacturing to the US.

Only a small amount of Apple products are produced in the US, according to the WSJ, and are made in the country on contract. Flex has a deal with Apple to make Mac computers in Austin, Texas, while Quanta Computer produces Macs in Fremont, California.

However, majority of Apple products are being made in China, mainly by Foxconn Technology, a company that produces iPhone products and others. Trump also claims Foxconn has plans to build a large plant in the US and is considering locating it in Wisconsin.

Published in Telecom Vendors
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