Tag: apple

Donald Trump could be Apple’s arch-Nemesis

poison-appleApple is hoping for a better 2017 after an embarrassing fall in dominance last year, but it is starting to look it might have found itself an enemy for all things Applish in the new president Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump.

Apple was a frequent target of Trump’s criticism on the campaign trail. He encouraged supporters to boycott Apple because of its encryption policies while also condemning the company for building its products overseas.

One of the few things we know about Trump’s stated economic and trade policies is that damaging large, multinational tech companies who don’t have a plant in the US is high on the agenda. Apple and any company that relies heavily on overseas manufacturing and the global economy and this is the same business model which will suffer.

Trump said that the aim was to get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries.

Things would be bleak had not Trump has backed away from or moderated his tone on some of the issues he brought up during the campaign. He didn’t jail Hillary Clinton and he backtracked on corporate lobbying – several of his cabinet represent big companies. But he did rather go on about Jobs’ Mob.

Trump claimed to have spoken to Apple CEO Tim Cook about building “a big plant in the United States” and about cutting taxes and regulations that would currently keep Apple from doing so.

Trump claims he’s going to get Apple to “build a big plant” in US. Apple will then be made an example of and it could avoid a huge amount of pain if it does what it is told.

Apple makes most of its gear through Chinese outfits Foxconn and Pegatron. Foxconn has already said it is investigating building a plant in the US. It probably will not create many jobs as the outfit has said that it wants to be nearly fully robotic. However, if Trump says that Apple’s tech is being made in the US he will use that to create a sound-bite win and hope the country are too think to notice that it has made no difference to jobs.

If Apple is clever, it will suck up more government money and maybe get a tax break or too to bring its cash pile to the US and have the phones made by Foxconn robots.

But Apple’s Tame hacks at the New York Times reported that Apple’ Chinese manufacturing arrangements would be nearly impossible to replicate elsewhere.

Cook also has a balancing act to play out if Apple wants to stay in the lucrative Chinese market. While the Chinese interest in Apple has fallen lately, the outfit did get its foot in the door.

Trump has hacked off China big time and appears to be itching for a trade war.

Trump has promised to impose a 35 percent import tax on American companies that manufacture their products in countries like China and Mexico. This will be increased to a 45 percent tax on all Chinese imports from the country, compared to an average tax rate of about three percent currently.

While this could jack up the price of consumer goods, particularly smartphones and other technology China has promised to retaliate by further raising prices.

Obama raised taxes on Chinese tyre imports to 35 percent and the country added between two and 21.5 percent to the taxes for cars imported from the US and caused hell for US companies trading in China.

If Trump follows through, China will buy Airbus instead of Boeing. US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted.

Apple has promised to invest in China and Chinese companies in an effort to maintain good relations with the country, but if the Trump administration takes a hard line on China, the benefits that the company relies on to keep its costs down and margins high could evaporate.

Tim Cook the chief executive officer of one of the world’s most valuable companies still showed up to Trump’s tech summit in New York last month, despite looking less than pleased about it.

He explained his presence at the meeting to Apple employees in an internal memo saying that he had to show up because Governments can affect the company’s ability to do what Apple does.

This year we will see how much of Apple is going to go down in a blaze of Trump.

Apple faces another antitrust case

apple queueA US appeals court has allowed phone app purchasers to sue the fruity-cargo cult Apple over allegations that the company monopolised the market for iPhone apps by not allowing users to purchase them outside the App Store.

Apple has form for playing monopoly but it had thought that this case would have gone away. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling dug up a long-simmering legal challenge originally filed in 2012 taking aim at Apple’s practice of only allowing iPhones to run apps purchased from its own App Store.

A group of iPhone users sued saying Jobs’ Mob’s practice was anti competitive and meant prices were too high

Apple’s mighty briefs claimed that users did not have standing to sue it because they purchased apps from developers, with Apple simply renting out space to those developers. Developers pay a cut of their revenues to Apple in exchange for the right to sell in the App Store.

A lower court agreed with Apple, but Judge William Fletcher ruled that iPhone users purchase apps directly from Apple, which gives iPhone users the right to bring a legal challenge against Apple.

The Tame Apple Press insists that Apple is safe because the case has not really got to court yet as the wrangling has been over whether they have the right to sue Apple in the first place. However if the challenge does succeed Apple will be forced to let people shop for applications wherever they want, which would open the market and help lower prices.

Apple to pay people damages for the higher than competitive prices they’ve had to pay historically because Apple has used its monopoly. The case will run and run of course. Apple tends not to know when it is beaten, even when it has clearly lost. It took one case to the Supreme Court where it got a good kicking for its trouble.

Samsung wants to sell 10 million S8 phones

SamsungSamsung has set an initial production target of 10 million Galaxy S8 smartphones.

Samsung is counting on the S8 to rejuvenate sales after it scrapped the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones last year in one of the biggest product safety failures in tech history. The phone will go head-to-head with Apple’s iPhone 8 which is being touted as everything the iPhone 7 should have been.

The newspaper said the world’s top smartphone maker would start production in March and planned to start selling them in April. Galaxy S7 phones went on sale in March last year.

Leaks about the S8 indicate the phone will be rather special, if expensive. For a start it will come with the latest AI features and Qualcomm’s new 10nm Snapdragon chip.

To push it, Samsung must prove that it does not feature the mistakes of the Note 7. So far no one knows for certain what those faults were, but it would appear to have been too thin for the larger battery.

Samsung has denied anything which has been written about the S8 but fortunately the Far Eastern companies leak like a Welsh tin bath.

 

Apple sells out key ally to the Chinese

tim-cook-apple-ceoWhile the New York Times has faithfully acted as Apple’s unpaid press office and sacrificed its credibility as a technology source, it seems that the fruity-cargo cult has sold it out at the first opportunity.

Apple has removed the New York Times news apps from its app store in China following a request from the Chinese authorities.

It purged both the English-language and Chinese-language apps from the iTunes store in China just before Christmas.

The request comes as the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s top internet regulatory body, has called for greater media scrutiny, citing fears of social disorder, moral harm and threats to national security.

New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told Reuters that the request by the Chinese authorities to remove our apps is part of their wider attempt to prevent readers in China from accessing independent news coverage by The New York Times of that country.

It has asked Apple to reconsider its decision, after all Apple owes it more than a few favours. Apple claims that the app is in violation of local regulations, so  it does not matter how many glowing reviews the paper writes on the iPhone 7 it is not going to get into China.

The Chinese government has blocked The Times’ websites since 2012 when it actually did it job and ran a series of articles on the wealth amassed by the family of Wen Jiabao, who was then prime minister.

Ironically apps from CNN, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, were still available in the app store.

 

Apple sued for not making something

keep_calm_and_love_your_patent_lawyer_2_inch_round_magnet-re8c2c059dc99401ca676f1a1e58344f5_x7js9_8byvr_324Fruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple has been sued for not making a product it patented and thus killing a child.

James and Bethany Modisette are suing the toy-maker after a car crash two years ago that killed one of their daughters and injured the rest of the family. The driver of the car who hit them was using Apple’s FaceTime video chat.

The plaintiffs claim that if Apple had implemented technology it received a patent for in 2008 which was “a lock-out mechanism to prevent operation of one or more functions of handheld computing devices by drivers when operating vehicles,” such as texting or video chatting the accident would not have happened.

The complaint cites Apple’s “failure to design, manufacture, and sell the Apple iPhone 6 Plus with the patented, safer, alternative design technology” — in other words, lack of the programme’s inclusion — as a “substantial factor” in the crash.

It is a bold move taking this argument into a court and while we think it is unlikely to that it will go anywhere it does highlight a point. Tech companies patent shedloads of things and then never produce a product with them.  In this case it was a fairly obvious piece of tech which would have saved a life. Apple could easily have incorporated it into the iPhone 6 but it didn’t.

iPhone 7 hands free lost with all hands

imagesubmarine2sinkingApple appears to have realised that its iPhone 7 is not doing as well as it has been claiming.

For a while now the Tame Apple Press has been telling the world+dog that the iPhone 7 has been heading for a recording breaking year. This is even though it shipped with wireless headphones, which no-one wanted, and no real noticeable difference from the iPhone 6S.

Apple had already ordered less of the iPhone 7 from its Asian partners than the iPhone 6, but increased its orders when its main rival the Galaxy Note 7 started melting.

Word on the street is that most Galaxy Note 7 owners remained brand loyal and refused to buy an iPhone and left Apple with rather a lot of stock on hand.

The Nikkei financial daily said Apple has trimmed production of iPhones by about 10 percent in the January-March quarter of 2017citing calculations based on data from suppliers.

This is on top of its original 30 percent cut in January-March this year due to accumulated inventory.

This means that the iPhone seven production is down 40 per cent in total and Apple can’t shift the phones it has in stock.

Apple is saying nothing because it means that the iPhone 7 is to Apple what Vista was to Microsoft.

Consumer Reports will not bow to Apple pressure

apple-dalek-2The nonprofit outfit Consumer Reports is standing by its damning verdict on the MacBook Pro and is refusing to print testing results from the Apple marketing department instead.

Apple, and its legends of fans in the Tame Apple Press, was insisting that Consumer Reports re-run its tests until they are similar to those Apple uses in its advertising.

Apparently, that is how IT product testing is done in the US these days. However CR has said it doesn’t think re-running the tests will change anything and it is standing by them.

It said that experiencing very high battery life on MacBooks is not unusual for us – in fact we had a model in our comparative tests that got 19 hours. We confirmed our brightness with three different meters, so we feel confident in our findings using this equipment. Finally, we monitor our tests very closely. There is an entry logged every minute, so we know from these entries that the app worked correctly, it added.

Apple’s VP of Marketing, Phil Schiller said the company was working with the magazine to understand the review. Schiller insisted that Consumer Reports’ findings didn’t resonate with their “extensive lab tests or field data.”

Apple must have been stunned. This was the first time that Consumer Reports hasn’t recommended a MacBook Pro model. The review said that battery life on the new MacBook Pro was all over the place, hitting 19 hours in a test, but less than four hours in another. Apple could not believe that it was at fault and it must have been those pesky people in the press getting their reviews all wrong.

It also confirms complaints that some users have had with the notebook. A report on Bloomberg earlier this month claimed that Apple had faced challenges with an improved battery module on the new MacBook Pro and it settled with older battery technology to meet the holiday shipping target.

Apple’s Nokia spat turning ugly

fish fight It appears that hell hath no fury like an Apple exec with his knickers in a twist.  The fruity cargo-cult has announced that it is pulling Nokia goods from its  cathedrals of pointless consumerism, until Nokia accepts that it can use its technology without paying anything.

For those who came in late, Nokia sued Apple after the outfit decided not to pay out for 32 licences on its tech  in Europe and the U.S. courts.  The Patents that Nokia claims Apple infringed, cover technologies such as display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets and video coding.

Nokia said Apple agreed to license a few of Nokia Technologies’ patents in 2011, but has declined offers by Nokia since then to license other patents whose inventions have been used in Apple mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad, and the Mac.

Now Apple is fighting back by refusing to sell Nokia’s Withings products.  Nokia bought Withings, which makes Wi-Fi scales and other digital health and fitness gear.

A Google search finds a listing on Apple’s web store for both a bathroom scale and smart thermometer made by Withings, but clicking on the link leads to an error message on Apple’s site.

 

Nokia wades into Apple

wellington-bootThis week has seen the former maker of rubber boots Nokia sending patent lawsuits daily to the fruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple.

Nokia said yesterday it had filed a new set of patent lawsuits against Apple in Asia, Europe and the United States.

This follows the announcement on Wednesday it was suing Apple, accusing the iPhone maker of violating 32 technology patents. All up this means that Apple is facing 40 patents suits in 11 countries.

The Tame Apple Press has warned Nokia that a battle with Apple could hold up royalty payments that are vital to shoring up the Finnish company’s profits, but Nokia pointed out yesterday that Apple had stopped paying anyway.

Apple’s airpods are a disaster

Man uses an ear trumpetFruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple might have surprised the world by getting its Airpods into the shops in time for Christmas, but it turns out they are as useful as having too much ear wax.

Early buyers of the ear-buds say that they fall out, which can be expensive if you lose one down the back of the sofa.  But it turns out that in addition to being expensive, they will be a major problem for recyclers.

Jobs’ Mob has been touting its environmentally friendly image of late having come under fire in the past for constructing its devices so tightly that their components can be difficult to cost-effectively disassemble for recycling.

Apple’s AirPods are a back to the days of creating environmental time bombs. Apple glued-in tiny lithium batteries that make recycling difficult.

Kyle Wiens, chief executive of iFixit said that Apple was claiming that these are the future of headphones which means that the planet will see a billion of these things over the next decade.

Apple claims the $159 AirPods can be returned to the company for recycling but it did not say how it would go about recycling it itself.

The AirPods contain three lithium-ion batteries, one in each pod and one in an accompanying charging case.

Recyclers shred wired headphones and send them to a smelter that will melt them down for the copper inside. But the lithium-ion batteries in AirPods cannot be shredded because they could catch fire while being destroyed.

The AirPods warn that the they cannot be thrown away in the trash and should be disposed of as electronics waste.

Recyclers say it would be too expensive to recycle because it could not be done by hand because it would be too expensive. What is likely then is that the batteries would be shipped to some Chinese landsite where they would be dumped and leak toxic waste which would eventually kill polar bears.