Thursday, 22 February 2018

iPhone Profit At Risk As Apple Exploits Cobalt Mines

Apple's plans to approach its cobalt suppliers raise an interesting question. What happens when you no longer have easy profits in the supply chain and all the low profits on the iPhone are gone?

Tim Cook's reputation at Apple was based on the management of his supply chain. Highlights included reducing the time it ended, but unsold stocks remained on Apple's books, which increased the efficiency of Apple's shipping operations and oversaw significant resource coverage as Apple acquired technology and resources to block competing manufacturers.


Upon arrival, Cook had a lot of slack in Apple's systems, and the reduction of the slack increases the profits. In that sense, Cook's management of these problems was the biggest victory for the iPhone. Although sales year after year have declined sharply for the iPhone since 2015, Apple's revenues and profits have risen, due to the increased efficiency that drives margins and the market that accommodates higher prices per device.

But eliminating the slack is a one-time option, so you are left with a tense arc cord that is under increasing pressure to deliver. And the tense strings have the habit of breaking in difficult times.

Apple has implemented many new features in the software in recent years, but as the iOS package reaches maturity and obvious applications are resolved, it is not so easy to push the limits of the envelope. The easy gains, the slack, everything has been absorbed. The errors and failures that are infiltrating iOS that demand more time to resolve are a symptom of a system that needs more resources; either time, engineers or both. There is nothing left in the iOS department, so something has to be broken. That broken string is the annual tray of Apple treats at WWDC: the tray will be much smaller this year (but with fewer bugs).

The loss of control of Apple is also visible in the supply chain. Samsung Display is hired by Apple to supply the OLED panels for the iPhone X, so the reduction of orders in Q1 2018 from 40 million to 20 million leaves Samsung with an excess of production and stock. Apple is wrong with its sales estimates, which means that Samsung has an OLED overcapacity, which will probably mean that more mid-range Android phones will be sent with OLED screens for the remainder of 2018. Another key advantage of the iPhone was lost through a supply chain simply too tight to accommodate fluctuating orders.


Now we read that Apple is looking to shorten the supply chain related to the use of cobalt, a key ingredient of modern batteries. While there are legitimate concerns about the increase in cobalt prices due to the number of batteries required by electric vehicles, Apple is playing the same cards by reducing the distance of the supply chain and dominating a resource through the purchase of coverage. Once you have gone directly to the mines, there is nowhere else to go to make your savings. This part of Apple's empire is now as close as it can be.

Why is this important? It's a long-term sign that things are changing. When Apple announced its record numbers for the fourth quarter of 2017, the share price fell. Apple continues to be successful and remains one of the most successful companies in the world, but the potential to maintain its high profit levels is shrinking, business conditions are not improving, and times will be increasingly difficult.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Everything Apple Will Be Working On In 2018


Apple released a lot of things in 2017, and in typical Apple style, it made a lot of money by doing it.

Most of these things were not surprises. We have a new Apple Watch and an Apple TV that look and generally work like the previous models; an iPad Pro of different sizes; expanded the lines of the Mac computer (now it comes in black!); and two smartphones that are almost identical to the iPhone 7, and a third that costs $ 1,000.

In a word, the year was quite boring.

While nothing was particularly revolutionary, neither was anything particularly terrible. Analysts had expected the company's product launches to unleash a "supercycle" of sales during the year, but so far, it seems that Apple's earnings and earnings were broadly in line with recent years.



It remains to be seen if that will change with the iPhone X and Christmas sales, but what does Apple have for 2018? Will there be a new device with aluminum cladding that will inspire another technological revolution like the iPod or the iPhone, or will we see another year of iterative updates to the existing product lines? This is what could be to come in 2018.

HomePod

One thing that is almost certain to be released in 2018 is HomePod, the answer of Apple's smart speaker to Amazon's Echo and Google Home. When it was announced at Apple's developer conference in June, Apple expected to ship it in December. Since then, the company said the device will be shipped in early 2018. The $ 350 speaker, which is approximately $ 300 more expensive than Amazon's and Google's smart hub offerings, will focus more on playing music than controlling other IoT devices, answering questions such as Echo and Home in general. Apple has a lot of ground to catch up in the growing field; Estimates suggest that Amazon has already sold more than 15 million Echo devices. Apple has a lot to prove with a $ 350 device if it's going to match or beat Amazon and Google.

More phones

With the iPhone X, 8, 8 Plus and SE, Apple put more new models of smartphones on sale in 2017 than ever before. Reports suggest that this trend will continue in 2018 with three iPhone models that look like the current X, but in sizes that match 8, 8 Plus and X. There is also talk of a new SE model in miniature, which means that Apple could continue to attract a range of customers with new devices that start at approximately $ 350 and continue to more than $ 1,000.

New AirPods

Analysts expect Apple to release an updated version of its AirPods wireless headphones in the second half of 2018, according to 9to5Mac. There is not much information on how they will be different, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities suspects that Apple will ship more than 26 million units next year, twice as many as 2017. The new AirPods probably have a case that can load wirelessly, as Apple announced this at their iPhone event in September. What brings us to ...

Wireless everywhere

In September, Apple also showed a new type of wireless conductive charger that can charge multiple devices at once, including an Apple Watch, an iPhone and AirPods in a new case. Although Apple has stated that its new phones have backup glass because it is much easier to charge wirelessly through glass than through metal, we may be able to see more Apple products that can be charged wirelessly in the future. Many competing smartphones use plastic on their backs (which is also good for conductive charging), so perhaps we will see Apple incorporate wireless charges on their iPads and Macs in the near future, bringing it one step closer to its apparent objective. to produce glass and metal slabs perfectly hermetically sealed.

FaceID everywhere

Apple introduced the "TrueDepth camera system" in the iPhone X, which is essentially a series of cameras and sensors that map and recognize the face of a person with intricate details. He uses it for FaceID, his security technology that replaces the fingerprint-based TouchID that has been in the last generations of the iPhone. It does not always work perfectly, but it's often fast and would be a useful way to log in to other Apple devices, like iPads and Macs, all of which already have front cameras. Many experts have asked Apple to incorporate the technology in the next Apple products, and considering how TouchID proliferated to iPads and then to MacBook Pros, it seems very possible that this is something that Apple will do in some of its new products.


More wearables

Apple has hinted that it plans to delve into medical wearables, beyond its work with the current Apple Watch. Some have suggested that you intend to develop a separate device to provide more information and health monitoring in real time for people who need it. He has worked with the US Food and Drug Administration. UU (FDA) to better understand how to develop software for medical purposes. Third-party add-ons for Apple Watch, such as AliveCor KardiaBand, which tracks heart health through an EKG sensor, have already obtained FDA approval to send information from an Apple Watch to the user's doctor.

Next year may be when Apple goes from being an auxiliary player in the medical field to one that is creating a portion of the $ 2.7 trillion that EE. UU Spends annually on medical care. "There is much more in the area of ​​health, there are many things that I can not tell you about the ones we are working on, some of which is clearly a commercial business there," CEO Tim Cook told Fortune in September. "I think it's a big area for Apple's future."

CAROS?

Apple has been working on autonomy and cars for some years, without a discernible end goal. At one point, reports circulated that he was working on a rival car for Tesla, and then reports indicated that the project had been reduced. Apple has admitted that it is working on some autonomous technologies: it filed an application for registration as a freelance car testing company in California in April and published online investigations in November.

"It's a core technology that we consider very important," Cook said, calling autonomy "the mother of all AI projects," in an interview with Bloomberg in June. He confirmed, for the first time publicly, that Apple is working on "autonomous car systems," rather than automobiles themselves. While still tight-lipped, Apple has been more eloquent about its medical and autonomous research than about other technologies in the past. Maybe we are preparing for a world in which Apple carOS works with autonomous vehicles. We may learn more about your ambitions in 2018 as car companies extend their testing of autonomous vehicles throughout the year.

Glasses AR?

Apple has been working on smart glasses that superimpose information about the real world for a while, but with the exception of a few leaks of potential prototypes from its manufacturing facilities in Asia, very little information has been discovered. Like medical and self-contained devices, Cook has hinted that AR is a transformational technology. He also said that AR could be "a great business opportunity" for Apple, and reports suggest that the company could have an augmented reality product in the coming years. The signals point to 2019 or 2020, but maybe Apple will surprise us with a new piece of portable technology in 2018, as it did with its AirPods wireless headphones in 2016.

The company also announced the first Macs that are compatible with VR headsets and software in June, so maybe we can also see Apple dig into the world of virtual reality next year.

What about the business of Apple?

Beyond the new products, 2018 could be a crucial year for Apple's businesses. In 2016, the company recorded the first drop in revenue year after year in more than a decade. For 2017 (its fiscal year ends in September), Apple grew again, registering revenues of $ 229 billion, above the $ 216 billion generated the previous year. But it was still below the $ 233 billion it generated in 2015, which remains the best year of revenue and earnings to date. Apple will exceed those heights, or we have to play "Apple peak"?

There are some signals to analyze in the next year to determine how healthy Apple's business is:

China and India


 Cook has repeatedly considered China and India as growth areas for Apple's business, although neither has arrived. The company is launching low-cost phones, such as the iPhone SE, and investing in the regions, hoping to increase awareness and goodwill towards the brand. Cook has said he is "very optimistic" in India, and opened a center to help Indian developers get applications on their App Store in March. Similarly, Apple has invested in Chinese companies and Chinese energy, as well as research and development centers in the country. China is the third largest Apple market, after the Americas and Europe, but in 2015, it was the second largest. Unless Apple can show why its products - which have a premium over many Chinese models that do most of the same things - are superior to those of its competitors, it is likely to continue to face an uphill battle in these markets.

Services

Apple's service sector, which includes sales of music, games, applications and movies, as well as subscriptions from AppleCare, iCloud and Apple Music, and Apple Pay rates, has been on the verge of being depleted in recent years. It is now Apple's second largest business after the iPhone, generating almost $ 30 billion in revenue in 2017.


Apple invested in the original programming in 2017, presenting two (not very good) shows, Carpool Karaoke, based on the talk show segment of James Corden, and Planet of the Apps, an imbecile Shark Tank, but for applications. Fortunately, he hired two Sony TV veterans who worked on successful programs such as Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Crown and, ironically, Shark Tank, during the summer, and a British television executive in October. With any luck, what it produces in the future will be more visible and, in reality, could convince potential customers to subscribe to Apple's subscription services, rather than rivals such as Netflix or Hulu. Look to see what other offers of original content Apple works in 2018 to keep users locked in their ecosystem.

All that foreign income

Apple has more than $ 200 billion in offshore accounts of non-US companies that have not repatriated to avoid paying US taxes. The Trump administration has suggested a tax plan that would create a one-time "repatriation holiday," allowing companies to return money to US shores. UU To obtain a discounted tax rate. Trump has yet to specify what this rate would be, and Max de Haldevang, of Quartz, explained why he does it and whether it will work as planned:

 As Trump says, money can go back into the economy and "work, work and work". When Congress tried to do this in 2004, the money really went back to the US coasts. UU; $ 312 billion in gross revenue. The problem, however, was that most of it was returned to shareholders, rather than reinvested in the US economy.

Anyway, Apple would almost certainly take advantage of this opportunity to take much of its income in foreign currency to the US. UU For a low price. The company has already committed to invest in companies that manufacture products in the US. UU., Including the optical components company Finisar and glass manufacturer Corning, which will probably delight Trump and encourage him to announce those vacations sooner rather than later. If Apple actually spends more of its billions in new plants, stores or jobs in the United States, it is uncertain, but it would definitely free up funds for some of its most ambitious projects.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Apple Plans To Let Developers Offer Discounts On in-app Subscriptions


Apple plans to give developers more freedom on launch price levels of in-app subscriptions. Apple evokes the beta notes of iOS 11.2 rated by 9to5Mac. Apple plans to extend full pricing and free pricing options to include a new low cost option to entice new subscribers to sign up with an activated automatic payment. Prior to this date, developers were allowed to use only one-time free trials to encourage users to sign up for the automatic payment system. It is not clear exactly when iOS 11.2 will arrive, but this should be done in the very near future.

The change will not be too much felt by users, but it should be a win for developers if they can find a more comfortable middle ground between a free trial and a full-price subscription. Apple has already softened the deal for app makers selling subscriptions with a change in the App Store policy, introduced last year, which reduced subscription revenue by 30% to 15%, provided that a user has been paying for the subscription for more than 12 months.

Now, with more price freedom, Apple is encouraging even more developers to sell software subscriptions through the App Store. Considering the revenue from Apple's service division, which includes the App Store, is now larger per quarter than the iPad, Apple Watch and combined headsets divisions, it's easy to see why the iPhone maker wants to invest in fixed money in the long term to do business.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Xiaomi’s Latest Laptop Targets Apple’s MacBook Pro



Xiaomi entered the notebook market last year with its My Notebook Air that was designed to target Apple's MacBook in name and design. This year the Chinese company is shifting its focus to Apple's MacBook Pro with the launch of its own My Notebook Pro. The My Notebook Pro includes a 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080) screen with narrow bezels, the latest quad -core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB of Nvidia GeForce MX150 SSD storage and GeForce MX150 graphics.


There is even a fingerprint sensor built into a precision trackpad, a 3-in-1 card reader, two USB-C ports, two standard USB ports and a full-size HDMI port. Xiaomi is quick to point out that this is a more diverse mix of ports than Apple's own MacBook Pro, which only features four USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. The specs certainly look good on paper (apart from a 1080p screen ), but we'll have to take a closer look at the laptop to find out more.


Xiaomi is pricing its My Notebook Pro at 6399 yuan (980 dollars) for the base model, but it is unclear when and where the laptop will be available. Xiaomi previously started selling its My Notebook Air in China, so it is likely that the Notebook Pro will be limited to China initially.


Thursday, 1 September 2016

What To Expect From Apple's 'See You' iPhone Event


It is once again that time of the year. It is the end of summer, and Apple is once again about to introduce a new iPhone. This year alone, there is a different rumor. Cupertino talked about was playing relatively safe with a new smartphone for the second year or even eliminate taking secular headphones. What's wrong with that? And of course, most likely it's just the tip of the iceberg. Apple clock is long in the tooth, new versions of iOS and Mac OS are almost ready ... and how many will tell you, large file extensions iPad and Apple Mac collecting dust. But what you see when Tim Cook and company take the stage? We have assembled some of the most plausible leaks, rumors and conjectures to help set expectations for September 7th Apple multimedia show.

The next iPhone: Apple giveth, and Apple taketh away


Historically, Apple introduced the iPhone a major redesign every two years, with a smooth upgrade "S" between the two. However, this year is something special: The Wall Street Journal and other sources expect the next iPhone (unofficially known as iPhone 7 and 7 Plus) to play safely. Although there will be biggest external changes we have seen in the iPhone 6s, Cupertino team willing to reinvent the wheel either. Would share the same aesthetic you saw from the iPhone 6 in 2014, with curved aluminum frame largely, but most of the time without relief. Cleaner lines and possible new colors (black options rumors and dark blue) antenna may be the only visible to show that you have a new phone forms.

This does not mean that changes are purely cosmetic - far from it. It is expected that the standard size for iPhone a larger camera that can provide better light sensitivity, while most variant can boast of two cameras that offer better development and low-light photography, like what is found Huawei in P9. There is also talk of a start button touch work style, A10 chips faster, basic storage increased to 32 GB (with a choice of 256 GB) and even a possible dual SIM support for countries like China and India. A rumor says that we will see high-resolution displays, but the jury is still out on this report.

There is a great thing that probably will not get this year, however: a headphone jack. As with the Moto Z and the last Leeco phone, or connect to the data port (in this case, port lightning) or wirelessly and listen to their songs. This does not mean that your favorite headphones cable to instantly obsolete, they care about. Some leaks have suggested that Apple could offer a 3.5 mm headset adapter Rayo accommodate legions on the market today. There is no guarantee that this connector will come in the box, but you probably have some sort of alternative in case you're not quite ready to embrace Bluetooth.

There is one last, the question looming on the iPhone: When is it going to happen? Leaking store AT & T suggests that the carrier may be preparing to launch a store on September 23, but that is exceptionally long wait for Apple. Usually prefers a statement on the second Friday after the event, which would be the 16th day Well known for leaks Evan Blass he heard the retail release is scheduled for the 16th, it seems that the most likely date .

The first Apple Watch refresh


Unless you count new bands and colors of cases such as hardware upgrades, Apple clock has been coming intact for almost a year and a half, in April 2015. This is ripe for an update level ... and many suspect you will have its first major revision in the September event. From a logical standpoint, this makes sense. WatchOS 3 was tested throughout the summer, existing supplies are low, and Apple likes to present major revisions of the platform with the new hardware. Moreover, rumors were showing a principle of the new sponges wrist Mars. If she was not ready for him to be ready right now.

So you get if appear? Like the iPhone 3G, the second model may be more on addressing the obvious problems in the first model of a complete revolution. The first rumors of a camera are dead, and should not cellular data to make the cut due to concerns battery life. Instead, the big case can be GPS: You can perform precise navigation and tracking without relying on your iPhone.

After that, it can be a matter of refinement. analyst at KGI Ming-Chi Kuo, who is often the ball on Apple's plans, believes the upcoming Apple Watch will be a barometer to track altitude, high water resistance, higher capacity battery and a processor faster. This last part is especially important. While WatchOS 3 accelerate many tasks by itself, a processor upgrade might further reduce annoying delays affecting the clock apple today.

The real mystery is when the second generation SmartWatch looks. There was no credible leak, and no extensive story to tell. The gap of six weeks from the introduction and release date of Apple Watch in March 2015 is not typical for the company. If the team is ready to go, however, we could imagine that comes along with the new iPhone in mid-September.

Software upgrade release dates: iOS 10 and more


Software usually plays an important role in the September Apple event, and this year is probably not an exception. Since Apple still joins a new iPhone hardware for new versions of iOS in the fall, we expect to see a 10 date for iOS update event. Society tends to send these updates at least days before the arrival of the new iPhones.

As with other programs? It is more difficult to determine. WatchOS 3 appears to be one of the favorites in an announcement of the release date (it was in testing developers as long as IOS), especially if there is a new watch Apple unveiled simultaneously. A software update TVOS is true that there is no word of a corresponding hardware upgrade Apple TV, though it may occur on the day the software updates Apple TV sometimes have gathered new versions of iOS. And Sierra macOS launch? Well, that is in the air. While Apple has sold Captain at the end of September last year, there is no certainty that Sierra will be ready in a similar period. He may have to wait until a new Mac hardware. On that note ...

Wild cards: new Macs and iPads


If you are asking the devotees of what is Apple to the next level, many of them shouting "Mac". It is for good reason, too. Outside the 12-inch MacBook and iMac, most Mac range has not been updated for more than a year ago. Some of this is due to the slowdown of the update cycle of Intel and diminishing returns in performance, but the fact remains that the line Apple Computer could keep a redesign.

But it will get this review in September? It seems unlikely. A recent leak Bloomberg says a MacBook Pro with a fingerprint reader, a strip of OLED control and USB-C is in the works for the fall, but will not show on September 7. And the word Mom in other reworkings of Mac beyond vague hints of an update of the MacBook Air. Apple has recently stopped selling ray screen and is rumored to be building an independent 5K screen that would go well with the new Mac, but the mill was silent about his fate in recent weeks.

You can see the new iPads. IPad 2 air nearly two years older, and forecasters AppleInsider suggests that at least 12.9 inch iPad Pro can get a promotion. Like the Mac, however, there is nothing that suggests strongly that substitutions or appear in September. The updates could end up waiting until a separate event in October, if not next year. Just keep an open mind - some might expect the iPad Pro to be introduced along with the new iPhone last year, and Apple simply can introduce improved modestly in September tablets instead of keeping them for later.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Apple iOS 10 Public Live Blog: iMessage is Now A Lot More Fun

Apple started rolling out the iOS 10 public beta for users and here's our experience of the OS.


Apple started rolling out the iOS 10 public beta, or second version of the developer preview, late last week. After a bit of contemplation I have decided to take the plunge and upgrade the iPhone 6s Plus to the latest version of the Apple mobile OS.

Over the next few days I will chronicle my experience with iOS 10. Below we look at the latest addition in iMessage.

The upgrade

My phone had over 50GB of data, and hadn’t been backed up after a point — my iCloud is on the free 5GB limit. So after I decided to upgrade, the first thing I had to do was a backup. As suggested by some experts, I chose to opt for the encrypted backup, this way it’s easier to recover the phone if things go wrong.

The entire beta download process on Apple is smooth and very easy to understand. Go to the page, download the profile and restart your phone. Then you will start seeing the new update in your software updates tab.

On my 8Mbps Wifi connection the 1.7GB download took close to an hour. The installation that followed lasted nearly 15 minutes.

The phone sprung back to life with my Slack and Whatsapp notifications buzzing on the lock screen. My data and apps were all untouched. I was happy.


First Impressions

The first thing that hit me was the lock screen and notifications screen. This seems to be Apple’s answer to Google Now. Everything you need to know is here from weather to calendar and news. It’s all very easy to navigate and comprehend. The search bar is on top and the only thing missing are the Siri apps. For that, we might have wait till Fall, when the full release is rolled out.

Notifications come wherever you are, as a card that can be easily dismissed or acted on. You can pull down the notifications like before, but the cards are better sorted now.

One of the first new features I ended up using was in the clock app. There is now a Bedtime tab that sort of decides when you should sleep and sends you an alert before this time. It does this based on the time you want to wake up and the expected hours of sleep. If only life what was simple.


iMessage
For me the most anticipated feature was the new iMessage app. It is pure shock and awe given that the old app was basic. Now, it is the best of messaging across all third-party apps and has some cutting edge stuff on top of it.

The first new thing I tried was sharing a song with someone else on a iPhone. It went through, though the person could not reply in kind.

The App Store will give you lot of fun stuff to play with in messages, but it has limited options now.
The scribble and sketch option is what I suggest will end up being used a lot. With some practice, you can write a full message like this and pray the person on the other side understands.

The full impact of this on messaging behaviour will take some time to gauge, but it’s sure a start and one that will give some sleepless nights to third party apps like Whatsapp.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Apple Takes Another Important Step Toward Building A Waterproof iPhone


Apple iPhone 7 will be one of the hottest smart phones to hit stores this year, and a lot of rumors design and some of the most important new features we have discussed it expected. . In fact, new discoveries show that Apple's future may better waterproof and audio technology and even better sport.

Found by Apple Insider, patent No. 9,364,589 describes a Liquid resistant acoustic device. That’s a fancy way of describing a speaker that will have waterproof or water-resistant features, thus helping the iPhone resist spills even better than it already does.


The patent describes a mesh umbrella that can be used between an audio ports (such as language) and below the diaphragm in the housing of a device, placed in order to direct fluid away from the internal components of the device. If the pressure increases, the mesh may allow liquid to pass through in order to avoid structural damage.

used to describe (pictured above).

Second patent awarded to Apple EarPods performance improvement company describes the technology. System and method of mixing signals accelerometer and microphone to improve audio quality in a mobile device as, Patent No. 9364596 describes that bone conduction headphones and accelerometer technology to improve noise cancellation features to use.





This technology can be used for hands-free phone calls, but also to talk to a more advanced version of Siri useful. These headphones that both the iPhone is clearly in an image, but also work with other devices is shown.

S about all of Apple's patents, there's nothing to suggest the tech described in this document will be used in the next iPhone 7 series. But it certainly looks like Apple is interested in making the iPhone is waterproof without changing their plans, and also interested in improving the overall audio experience.