Displaying items by tag: Apple

Samsung takes the fight to Apple by opening new US stores

Written on Monday, 18 February 2019 12:53

South Korean conglomerate Samsung has unveiled its ambitious strategy to enhance its market share in the US by launching three new retails stores nationwide.

Samsung officially announced that it will open the new retail facilities as it gears up to launch an updated version of its flagship Galaxy handsets in the United States.

Some consumer experts are also claiming that the marketing strategy adopted by Samsung indicates clearly that the Seoul-based behemoth is directly challenging Apple in its domestic market.

Samsung said in a detailed statement that it made the move based on feedback from its customers.

The statement said, "They told us that they love having the ability to walk into a store and experience how the latest technology from Samsung works together to create a unique, immersive experience. Galaxy fans, in particular, mentioned that they were looking for a space to call their own, a place where they can get a feel for Samsung products first-hand."

It was further disclosed that the new stores will be located at the Americana at Brand mall in Los Angeles; Roosevelt Field in Garden City, New York; and The Galleria in Houston, Texas.

In addition to this, Samsung is holding a product launch in San Francisco amidst speculation it may launch a folding smartphone, which would make it the first of the major handset makers in the segment.

President of Samsung Electronics America, YH Eom, expressed his delight at the announcements and said the decision would solidify Samsung’s position as the world’s most popular smartphone manufacturer.

He said, “Our new Samsung Experience Stores are spaces to experience and see Samsung technology brought to life, to empower people to do what they never thought was possible before. We want to build a 'playground' for Samsung fans -- a place to learn about and try out all of the amazing new products we have to offer."

Samsung remained the number one global handset maker with a 20.8 percent share in 2018 despite an eight percent sales slump for the year, according to research firm IDC -- which also said last year showed the worst overall decline in sales for the smartphone sector.

Published in Devices

US chipmaker Qualcomm has robustly defended its business practices as the antitrust lawsuit against them draws to a close.

In their closing testimony Qualcomm declared that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had ultimately failed to prove that the chipmaker’s business practices had harmed its competitors during the course of the trial.

FTC have alleged that Qualcomm used its market dominance in its smartphone chip development to force phone suppliers to pay higher patent licensing fees, in other words it claims the company which is headquartered in San Diego had an unfair monopoly.

Both parties now must wait for the ruling from the judiciary, although reports have suggested that the decision is not likely to be delivered any time soon.

In a statement which summarized Qualcomm’s closing argument in court, the company’s EVP and general counsel Don Rosenberg said the FTC hasn’t come close to meeting its burden of proof in this case.

Rosenberg said, “All real-world evidence presented at trial showed how Qualcomm’s years of R&D and innovation fostered competition, and growth for the entire mobile economy to the benefit of consumers around the world.”

In addition to this, Rosenberg highlighted that Qualcomm’s licensing rates were established long before it had set up its lucrative chip business and accurately reflected the value of its comprehensive patent portfolio.

The FTC closed their arguments by stressing to the judiciary that the powerful chipmaker had used its muscle and dominance in the 3G and 4G chip market to force smartphone manufacturers like Apple to sing licensing agreements with excessively high royalties.

Prosecutors on behalf of FTC argued this approach would continue in the 5G era if Qualcomm isn’t stopped.

During the trial, the FTC called witnesses from a number of handset companies including Apple, Samsung, Intel and Huawei to testify that Qualcomm had used unfair practices, harming competition in the industry.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Apple under-fire from politicians following FaceTime glitch

Written on Wednesday, 30 January 2019 13:25

US technology behemoth Apple is under-fire following the stunning revelation that its FaceTime app was allowing users to listen to audio from the phone of the person they’re calling even if the recipient hadn’t picked it up.

Published in Apps

Irish capital is Europe’s data hub

Written on Thursday, 24 January 2019 12:28

A new industrial revolution is underway in the heart of the Irish capital as clusters of warehouses housing vast quantities of data continue to emerge.

Dublin has really embraced technology in an effort to boost its flagging and shrinking economy following the global crash in 2008. Internet behemoths such as Facebook, Apple and Google all have their European HQ’s in Dublin and the city has become the continent’s No.1 data hub.

A familiar term within the ICT ecosystem is that ‘data is the new oil’ and will fuel the global economy. Those sentiments were echoed by Brian Roe, Commercial Director of Serve-Centric, which is a data center company.

Roe said, “Data is the new oil, definitely.  These powerhouse developments provide 24/7/365 access to the massive data, processing power and storage that digital services around Europe require. People are saying, ‘Well everything is going to come from the cloud’.  Well where's the cloud? The cloud is data centers."

Ireland’s industry lobby group Host has said the new phenomenon has become the unlikely engine room for everything from video streaming to phone apps and social media.    

In addition to this, progressive government incentives, a highly-skilled workforce and high connectivity to Europe and America are helping attract data center construction investment which is expected to reach nine billion euros ($10 billion) by 2021.

The sector employs 5,700 people in full-time equivalent roles including 1,800 as data center operators, according to a report produced for Ireland's investment agency. Many of Ireland’s brightest young talent were forced to emigrate after the recession, but many are no returning to avail of the exciting new opportunities presented by Dublin’s transformation into a tech hub.    

Data has become a hot topic in Europe following the introduction of GDPR. Enterprises have been forced to examine their data harvesting and storage practices in a more forensic manner. Consumers have also now been awakened to the dangers of providing their data online following the high-profile Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal which emerged last year. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) -- which provides cloud services for hire -- is a particular concern for Paul O' Neill, a researcher based at Dublin City University. "The ethical implications of hosting AWS data centers in Ireland are potentially vast," he said.

AWS, which has announced plans to expand its Dublin operations, sells controversial facial recognition technology to US police.

"These corporations are or have been involved in many of the dominant controversies and debates of our contemporary networked era including privacy, data breaches and surveillance.”

Published in Infrastructure

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

Apple executive blasts Qualcomm during antitrust lawsuit trial

Written on Thursday, 17 January 2019 10:28

A prominent Apple executive has testified that Qualcomm refused to let the US technology behemoth use its chip technology in their latest line of iPhones due to an ongoing dispute between the two companies over licensing fees.

The admission was made by Apple COO Jeff Williams, during court proceedings in relation to an antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Federal Trade Commission.

Williams told the court that the global smartphone manufacturer expressed a desire to use both Qualcomm and Intel chips in its 2018 iPhones, but stated that Qualcomm withdrew support for Apple by refusing to sell them chips.

In addition to this, he disclosed that Apple has not been able to reach an agreement with the US chipmaker in relation to a new design since it filed a lawsuit in January 2017, which accused Qualcomm of using anticompetitive licensing tactics.

Williams also detailed the company’s fee negotiations with Qualcomm, noting Apple repeatedly traded exclusivity for a lower chip cost in order to keep the latter’s technology in its devices. Williams said, “We needed their chip supply, and we didn’t have a lot of options.”

Qualcomm has yet to mount its full defence in the litigation proceedings. However, it must be said that the claims made by Williams come in stark contrast to testimony provided by Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf last week.

Reuters published a report which claimed that the Qualcomm CEO declared that the chipmaker had sought an exclusivity arrangement not to shut out the competition, but instead to ensure it would recoup a $1 billion “incentive payment” made to Apple in 2011 in an effort to help cover technical transition costs incurred in switching chip suppliers from Infineon.

Williams’ statements were also contradicted by comments made by Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon during an earnings call in July 2018 noting the company would gladly be an Apple supplier again if the opportunity presents itself.

Mollenkopf also stressed that there was no reason the pair could not work together again noting that it makes sense that the technology leader in mobile should partner with the product leader.

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

European court places ban on older iPhones

Written on Sunday, 06 January 2019 11:40

Chipmaker Qualcomm has won a patent dispute against phone giant Apple.

Following a ruling in the District Court of Munich, Apple will no longer sell iPhone 7 and 8 across German stores and websites.

The court ruled that Apple phones were infringing on Qualcomm’s intellectual property related to power saving technology in two of its older smartphones.

Qualcomm was required to post a $1.34 billion security bond with German courts before it would take effect.

Apple’s German website no longer features the iPhone 7 and 8, listing only the newer models such as the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max.  

The court has also ordered Apple to recall infringing iPhones from third party resellers.

Contrary to the ban, Apple assured that “all iPhone models remain available to customers through carriers and resellers in 4,300 locations across Germany,” and has plans to appeal the ruling.

The injunction is the latest development amidst an ongoing feud between Apple and Qualcomm. The California-based phone maker sued Qualcomm in the United States and in China, accusing the company of extortion and anticompetitive conduct in its negotiations over patent licensing.

In December, Qualcomm won a Chinese lawsuit that forced Apple to recall its products due to a copyright infringement. The court ruled that Apple had violated two of Qualcomm’s software patents specifically related to resizing pictures and managing applications.

To lift the ban, Apple released a small update to its iOS version 12.1.2, which contains software changes exclusive to China.

Following the hearing, Apple described the ban as “another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world.”

Published in Devices

Germany bans the sale of iPhones

Written on Friday, 21 December 2018 07:20

A German court ruled in favor of US chipmaker Qualcomm in a patent dispute case against Apple, which could lead to a ban on sales of iPhones in Germany. This marks a second major win for Qualcomm in a month after a court in China on December 10 ordered a prohibition on iPhone sales over a separate patent dispute there.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Qualcomm wins court injunction against Apple in China

Written on Wednesday, 12 December 2018 10:18

The chipmaker has won a preliminary injunction that would ban the sale and import of Apple’s recent iPhone models in China, including the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

The court ruled that Apple is violating software patents held by Qualcomm that are specifically related to resizing pictures and managing applications.

Qualcomm has accused  Apple of ‘stealing’ Qualcomm’s source code to share with rival modem supplier Intel, and that the American phone giant continues to benefit from their intellectual property while refusing to compensate them. It has spent the past year trying to ban iPhone sales in China.

Apple accuses Qualcomm of using its market dominance to unreasonably raise prices, commenting:

“Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world.”

Apple continues to sell the devices in China.

Published in Telecom Vendors
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