Displaying items by tag: Apple

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

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

Tech giants collaborate in music streaming war

Written on Tuesday, 04 December 2018 07:49

Amazon has announced that Amazon Echo will now support Apple music.

As of December 17th, Apple music’s 50 million tracks will be available to play on Amazon's Alexa-powered speakers. It comes as a turning point for the two competing tech giants, as they broaden their service offerings to users of rival devices.

Apple – who has around 50 million subscribers to its music streaming service – is hoping the merge will bring a key service to consumers who do not have an iPhone or other Apple device, and will help the California giant's efforts to diversify its revenue base and reduce dependence on smartphone sales.

Apple currently have their own speaker device, the Homepod, which is voice activated by Siri. But with less than 6% market share, and smart speakers quickly becoming mainstream media platforms, it is hoped their collaboration will help expand its audience in its competition against market leader Spotify.

Music is one of the most popular features on Alexa -- since we launched Alexa four years ago, customers are listening to more music in their homes than ever before," said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices.

"We're thrilled to bring Apple Music -- one of the most popular music services in the US -- to Echo customers this holiday."

"Customers will be able to ask Alexa to play their favorite songs, artists, and albums -- or any of the playlists made by Apple Music's editors from around the world, covering many activities and moods," Amazon's statement said.

Published in Gadget

Google Fi finally available to other devices

Written on Thursday, 29 November 2018 12:29

Google is set to expand its virtual telecommunication service “Google Fi” to a wider range of devices, including Samsung and iPhones. The service had been previously limited to select Android-powered smartphones, and to newer Pixel handsets made by Google.

"Our plan now works with the majority of Android devices and iPhones," Fi director Simon Arscott said in a blog post, who promises a simple pricing scheme that makes the Fi wireless experience “fast, easy and fair”.

Fi - previously known as Project Fi - works by hopping between carriers; shifting smartphone service between Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Wi-Fi hotspots to provide optimal signals, says Google. Launched in 2015, Fi offers its US users unlimited domestic call and texts, plus texting internationally, for $20.

The service will let users pay based on how much data they use and allow for international roaming in up to 170 countries and territories.

Published in Devices

Trump warns Apple could be hit with 10% tariff charge

Written on Wednesday, 28 November 2018 12:20

Comments made by President Donald Trump suggest he could implement a 10% tariff on Apple products imported from China. In an interview with The World Street Journal, Trump was questioned about the possible iPhone and laptop tariffs.

“Maybe. Maybe. Depends on what the rate is,” He said, “I mean, I can make it ten percent, and people could stand that very easily.”

A 25% tariff increase on $200 billion of Chinese goods are expected by Trump, and he will also add $267 billion worth of tariffs onto goods that are not already subjected to existing tariffs if the two countries don’t make a deal.

When asked about whether he would delay an increase in tariffs from 10% to 25% on January 1st, Trump said it would be “highly unlikely”, which looks set to cause further tensions between him and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The trade war is likely to hurt American brands such as Apple, and affect their sales.

Previously exempt from the tariffs, Apple products such as the IPhone, AirPods and the Apple Watch would be affected. His comments saw the Apple stock down nearly 2% in after-hours trading.

Published in Devices
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