Tag: apple

Galaxy 8 out today and the Tame Apple Press is terrified

The Tame Apple Press is doing its best to rain on Samsung’s Galaxy 8 parade as early indications suggest that it is going to be far better than what Apple is going to release in October.

Apple’s favourite news agency Reuters  took time out of its busy day to warn users of the dire “fire-prone Note 7” smartphone and demanded to know why the company was not focusing the launch on battery safety rather than concentrating on things like functionality and what the phone does.

It quoted a Los Angeles-based Eric Schiffer, a brand strategy expert and chairman of Reputation Management Consultants saying that highlighting the safety issue at this point will cause the other narrative to be recycled, “so they have elected to suppress and hope”.

To be fair to Samsung, only the Tame Apple Press thinks that the Samsung Galaxy 8 will catch fire. Reuters was finding it hard to dredge up a tame expert who would say that the batteries were a problem. Lewis Larsen, president of Chicago-based battery technology consultancy Lattice Energy said that Samsung had taken measures that should certainly improve battery safety and durability. “These are most definitely not just cosmetic steps ‘for show.'”

But that did not stop Reuters hacks interviewing their word processors to talk about how the new quality measures “can’t guarantee there will be no future problems”.

They even hinted that it did not matter if the failure rate was low at first, in the long term they would catch fire. Of course, they have no way of knowing that and if we were Samsung we would have sued them.

At the heart of the story is that analysts are going on record to say that the S8 will outsell the Galaxy S7, which was Samsung’s best seller in its first year from launch.

Reuters is recommending people not to buy it and to wait a few months to see if it does not catch fire. If people were stupid enough to listen to that advice then it would mean that it would give Apple a chance to release new iPhone as competition.

To put this into perspective, when Reuters covers iPhone launches it bangs on about how anticipated the phone is and focuses on its “game changing” technology, even when the iPhone’s tech has been unchanged for years with incremental changes to the chips, thinning down slightly, and the inconvenient loss of the headphone jack.

Apple may have knifed Andy Rubin in his Essentials

Earlier this year, Andy Rubin, creator of the Android operating system, was happily building a new company called Essential and working on a “high-end smartphone with a large edge-to-edge screen that lacks a surrounding bezel.”

Much was riding on a $100 million investment from Softbank. Rubin’s company, Essential Products, was to release a new high-end smartphone this spring, and SoftBank planned to market the phone in Japan

However suddenly it appears that Softbank has withdrawn the investment and no longer wants to market the phone on its home turf. The reason appears to be that the fruity cargo cult Apple has suddenly developed an interest in working with Softbank.

Apple has written a $1 billion cheque to SoftBank’s Vision Fund, and according to the Wall Street Journal that deal “complicated” SoftBank’s investment in Essential Products.

Jobs’ Mob did not directly block the deal but the Journal claims but Rubin’s premium phone would be released ahead of the 10th anniversary iPhone and it would have been happy to see it not in the shops.

Appeals court backs Apple against Texas troll

US court in deep in the heart of Texas

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided to save the fruity tax-dodging cargo cult from the clutches of a patent troll.

The court decided to throw out the verdict of a two-year old legal case against Apple based on data storage patents.

The original verdict reached by a Texas jury stuck Apple with $533 million in damages.  It had been hoping for a hanging but settled for the next best thing.

Smartflash mostly targeted game developers who largely all settled out of court in 2014, but Apple defended its use of data storage management and payment processing technology in court.

The trial judge vacated the large damages award a few months after a Texas federal jury imposed it in February 2015, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said on Wednesday the judge should have ruled Smartflash’s patents invalid and set aside the verdict entirely.

A unanimous three-judge appeals panel said Smartflash’s patents were too “abstract” and did not go far enough in describing an actual invention to warrant protection.

It is unlikely that Smartflash will rise again to hit other companies.

 

Apple tries to appease Trump with some strange numbers

The fruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple has told the world that it spent roughly $50 billion last year using US-based suppliers.

The move is an attempt to suggest to the US president Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump that Apple does not really make all its gear in foreign parts.  Apple has previously not mentioned this figure before.

Speaking at an annual shareholder meeting, Cook gave the previously undisclosed data at a time when Apple has come under pressure from President Donald Trump for building its iPhones in China.

“We’re always looking for more ways to help our country. We know that Apple can only exist in the US,” Cook told shareholders.

Cook named 3M and Corning as US companies which Apple buys its stuff from.  But the figures look rather strange and fly in the face of similar announcements a few years ago. In 2013 Apple said it spent Apple Spent Over $3 billion with 7,000 US business suppliers.  That announcement was touted as proof that Jobs Mob was building out its US supply chain.

Named by Cook were US companies 3M and Corning Glass.  The figure sounds quite high but given that an iPhone costs $200 to make and Apple sold 290 million of them in 2016 that means that the total cost was $58 billion. So Cook expects the world to believe that most of Apple’s manufacturing dollar was spent in the US?  Even if Cook’s figure does not just cover the iPhone, it strikes us a trifle high.

The good side about announcing a figure like that is that no one can check it.

 

Silicon Valley lost to the carmakers

While the press is still full of stories about self-driving cars, it is starting to look like Silicon Valley has failed to get behind the driving seat.

If you believed the tech press Apple, Google, and Uber were going to totally change the way cars were made and effectively take over.

But all that started to grind to a halt as Silicon Valley realised it was out of its depth. Last year Apple laid off most of the engineers it hired to design its own car. Google stopped talking about making its own car. And Uber, despite its sky-high market valuation, is still a long, long way from making its own autonomous cars.

The issue is that people outside of the auto industry doing realise what a can of worms making cars is.  Apple for example thought all it had to do was design a car and start making it.

But Tesla, which is the only successful automotive company to come out of Silicon Valley so far, has made only 80,000 cars last year and it’s been in business for nearly 15 years

Basically the tech industry, particularly Apple  thought it would monopolize the technology, then dictate terms to the traditional Original Equipment Manufacturers. But Ford, GM, Audi, Mercedes, Nissan and others launched in-house autonomous programmes. They also bought Silicon Valley companies to bolster their efforts, not the other way around.

Silicon Valley also runs on a different model. They expect a 40 per cent profit margin or they cannot be bothered getting out of bed. Car makers would only give them ten per cent if they were lucky.

According to AutoBlog where Silicon Valley is re-aligning, itself is into the field car-based data. Unlike automotive manufacturing, Big Data analytics driven by Artificial Intelligence does not require large capital investments in factories and equipment. That translates into 90 per cent profit margins.

 

 

 

 

Cellbrite can unlock the iPhone 6 and 6S

Cellebrite has announced that it can unlock and extract the full file system from locked iPhones including the 6 and 6+ with their Advanced Investigative Service (CAIS) product.  Apparently Apple’s encryption is no object.

The Tame Apple Press is furious with the company for daring to prove that hacking an IPhone is a walk in the park and has been running conspiracy stories about how Cellbrite is really an agent of evil government forces who want to take away Apple users Coldplay  and Taylor Swift collections, or something like that.

“Companies like the Israel-based Cellebrite make a mint selling tools to local and federal law enforcement agencies in the United States as well as countries like Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.,” hissed Reuters.

Every version before the 6+ can also be unlocked by Cellebrite whose forensic researchers say they have successfully bypassed Apple’s so-called impossible to break security and encryption.

CAIS is the in-house product on sale from Cellebrite. They also offer products like the new version of the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) Physical Analyzer 6.0 for use in the field by their customers. The company has been increasingly advertising their newest product’s ability to easily extract and investigate data from encrypted secure messengers including Signal, Telegram, Threema and Surespot.

The company charges $1,500 to unlock an individual phone, while a yearly subscription to the service runs for $250,000, according to a report from the Intercept last year.

To top off the new offerings, Cellebrite’s also now targets Uber apps on Android and iOS, a potentially massive source of personal data that includes the user’s account and locations. That’s in addition to the ability to extract and analyze vast mountains of data from apps ranging from Chrome to Facebook to dating apps, all of which can contain extremely private information.

“In most devices, Cellebrite’s proprietary boot loader can bypass all security mechanisms, even if the device is locked, without jailbreaking, rooting or flashing the device,” according to the company.

Apple’s App store is the kiss of death for sales

For a long-time, developers have been forced to bend over backwards to satisfy the fruity cargo-cult Apple’s controls so that they can be granted entry to its App store.

While developers admit that Apple is a nightmare to work for, the belief is that they can be sure of getting money back by being involved in the store.

However, developers are starting to question the wisdom of their Apple involvement and are discovering that pulling apps from Apple’s store do them no harm at all.

Techcrunch spoke to Dash creator Bogdan Popescu who thought he was in trouble when Apple pulled his Dash app off of the App Store. In the 100 day period since the move, Dash maintained and even increased revenue and found that its users didn’t care which platform they were using.

More than 84 per cent of the customers simply moved over to the independent app license from the App Store license and Popescu found that he did not have to deal with Apple anymore. He had full control over his business and did not have any App Store installation/updating/purchasing issues.

Paul Kafasis tried something similar. When he pulled his Appl a year ago he found that the 50 per cent of sales which went through the App Store turned into direct sales through his website.

“It appears that nearly everyone who would have purchased Piezo via the Mac App Store opted to purchase directly once that was the only option,” he said.

It appears that the Mac App Store was not driving sales to developers it was driving sales away from our own site, and into the Mac App Store.

Maintaining the app for the app store is costly and much of his revenue went to paying the App Store a commission. Moving to a direct model was much better than trying to obey Apple’s channel rules.

Basically, developers are discovering that having more than one sales channel is also massively important.

Many developers are considering setting up a system where they exist on the App store but charge more for the product. Smarter customer will go to the website where they can get it cheaper, but the lazier types will effectively end up paying Apple’s tax.

Apple blesses Brexit

apple-cultFruity tax-dodging cargo-cult’s supreme dalek Tim Cook told UK PM Theresa May that he was optimistic about Britain’s future after it leaves the European Union.

Cook met May at Downing Street and said he thought the UK would be “just fine” outside the European Union.

Last year, Apple said it was moving its London headquarters to the landmark Battersea Power Station, a move that was hailed by the government as a sign that major firms are still investing after the Brexit vote.

Of course, as far as Apple is concerned there is the small matter of having an English-speaking country which is free to negotiate over the troubling matter of the Jobs’ Mob paying its tax. European countries tend to have to answer to Brussels if they offer the sort of sweeteners that Apple likes.

Ireland might actually take on a big tech company

xblarneystone.jpg.pagespeed.ic.gZas-gsqnYThe nation which tends to give illegal sweeteners to big tech companies is gunning for Facebook.

Ireland’s privacy watchdog has launched a bid to refer Facebook’s data transfer mechanism to the European Union’s top court in a landmark case that could put the shifting of data across the Atlantic under renewed legal threat.

The move is the latest challenge to the various methods by which large tech firms such as Google and Apple move personal data of EU citizens back to the United States. It does not appear that Ireland is going for Google or Apple yet.

The issue of data privacy came to the fore after revelations in 2013 from former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden of mass U.S. surveillance caused political outrage in Europe and stoked mistrust of large technology companies and an overhaul in the way businesses can move personal data – from human resources information to people’s browsing histories – so as to protect Europeans’ information against US surveillance.

Ireland’s data protection commissioner, who has jurisdiction over Facebook as its European headquarters are in Dublin, wants The Court of Justice of the European Union to determine the validity of Facebook’s “model contracts” – common legal arrangements used by thousands of firms to transfer personal data outside the 28-nation bloc.

Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon has formed the view that some of the complaints against the model contracts are “well founded.”
Collins said only the CJEU and not a national court or the Data Protection Commissioner has the jurisdiction to rule a European Commission decision invalid.

He said that under EU law, a transfer of data can only be made to a country outside the EU if that country ensures an adequate level of protection.

However the court agrees it could be a major headaches for companies that need to transfer personal data to the United States. Ironically Facebook is building a huge data centre in Ireland which is designed to prevent this sort of data shifting to the US.

The court has since agreed to a request to allow the United States government to join the case, potentially giving the new US administration a platform to lay out its views on surveillance laws. Since Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump has already signed an executive order which removes the safe harbour rules negotiated between the US and the EU it is unlikely that he will prove particularly helpful to Facebook.

Facebook, which is due to speak in court during the case, said in May that it was one of thousands of companies that used model clauses and said it had a number of legal ways of moving data to the United States.

Apple did not have a record quarter

Apple sauceThe Tame Apple press did a number on analysts and their readers last week when they reported that Apple had produced record results.

Last week the Tame Apple Press reported that Apple had total revenues of $78.4 billion bringing in a profit of $17.9 billion, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he as “thrilled” with the results and Wall Street was happy, too.

However, those who do not want to sacrifice their analyst and journalistic credibility smelt a rat. After all, Apple’s tablet sales were slumping and Apple had not ordered so many of its disappointing iPhone 7s.

Market Watch spotted that for the first time since 2013 Apple had recorded a quarter of 13 weeks.

On a prorated basis, Apple would have needed to report earnings per share of about $3.53, higher than its reported EPS of $3.38 a share, to account for the extra week of business. Revenue should have been $81 billion versus the reported $78.4 billion, which was a miserable three per cent increase anyway.

Basically, most Apple fiscal quarters are 13 weeks long. Occasionally, however, they have a 14-week quarter. Apple’s Q1 2017 was a 14-week quarter, for the first time since Q1 2013. This means that Jobs’ Mob could add in the results of an extra week’s profit.

The only reason it seems as if Apple grew is that there was an extra week added to Q4 2016 results that was not there in Q4 2015. So the company had 7.6 percent more time to add to revenue and EPS, but instead the net result was a weekly run rate contraction of 4.11 percent and 4.76 percent, respectively.

This was also a period in which archival Samsung suffered greatly, and Apple had the chance to reap the rewards. But it didn’t. Total iPhone shipments climbed only five percent in the three months through December as Samsung issued a recall for its flagship Galaxy Note 7. Samsung shipped 77.5 million smartphones in the period, almost the same as Apple which is terrible news for Jobs’ Mob.

Analyst Thomas Kee said that Apple should have been making 10 times what it claimed it was earning and he thinks it is a good idea to get rid of the shares quickly before the market realises.

But that was not the only thing Apple did. A huge settlement benefit  hit the first quarter of FY16, which makes Services look even better – but doesn’t change the overall net – so everything is artificially inflated.