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Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai. BBC News - Apple bans two hazardous chemicals from assembly lines. 14 August 2014Last updated at 12:49 ET By Joe Miller Technology reporter Hundreds of factories in China are linked to Apple's supply chain Apple has banned two potentially hazardous chemicals from being used in the final assembly process at 22 of its iPhone and iPad production plants. Benzene, which is a carcinogen, and n-Hexane, which can cause nerve damage, will no longer be used in cleaning agents or degreasers at the facilities, the firm said.

The move follows a campaign urging the tech giant to scrap the substances. One campaign group said Apple needed to "look deeper into its supply chain". Apple's environmental director, Lisa Jackson, announced the commitment in a statement, saying the company launched an investigation after questions were asked about whether the chemicals were used at its factories. The firm said it found "no evidence of workers' health being put at risk" at any of the 22 plants visited, although four of the facilities were found to have traces of benzene or n-hexane.

Power of iPhone 6 hype-gasm: Apple a sniff away from record stock high. Boost IT visibility and business value Peak Apple Apple's stock today inched toward the company's record high as investors eager for new products pushed shares over $100 apiece. It's the first time Apple stock price has hit triple figures since the company undertook an ambitious 7:1 stock split in June this year.

Apple used the split to put more shares on the market and, in doing so, increase the number of potential investors. Stockholders saw each of their company shares broken down into seven smaller shares that could then grow in value faster and bring more money when sold off as a whole or portion. If you owned one share worth, at the time of the split, $644, you'd get seven $92 shares, post-split.

Today's $100-per-share value seems a far cry from the company's all-time single share price record of $705, but don't forget that larger figure is pre-split so it should be divided by seven before it can be compared to today's value. Boost IT visibility and business value. So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL. Opinion It’s that time of year again, when Apple’s annual iPhone launch is looming and the mobile chattersphere becomes entirely dominated again by one handset maker.

In 2007 and 2008, that was completely justified. Since then, there have been progressively fewer reasons to define the whole smartphone sector by Apple. New models have been increasingly non-creative (and not just since the death of Steve Jobs), while Apple remains the second largest smartphone vendor, but with its share falling. Most importantly, the benchmarks are increasingly being set by new arrivals on the scene. Of course Apple will remain significant, and if it can pull off a genuinely innovative iPhone – after three generations of failing to do so – it will start to claw back share from Samsung. Forget London and New York: look to the East Next iPhone — anticipation and pressure Activist investor Carl Icahn, according to Bloomberg, is convinced that Apple is undervalued.

Three aspects are particularly important: Apple slings fanbois' data at Chinese servers in China Telecom deal. Boost IT visibility and business value In an effort to woo buyers in China, Apple has inked a deal to store Chinese customer data in Chinese servers for the first time. Plenty of technology firms are leery about storing sensitive information in China (although given the NSA's reach, US servers aren't exactly private) but Apple has hired China Telecom to use the telco's servers to store iCloud data for Chinese customers. "Apple takes user security and privacy very seriously," Cupertino told Reuters. "We have added China Telecom to our list of data center providers to increase bandwidth and improve performance for our customers in mainland china.

All data stored with our providers is encrypted. That sounds pretty definite, but if the Chinese government decides it wants data that's stored on Apple's servers then it's possible the firm will hand it over. "On the other hand if they don't store Chinese user data on a Chinese server they're basically risking a crackdown from the authorities. " Dog bites man: Apple's Macs trounce all Windows PCs in customer love. Once again, Apple's Macs – desktops and laptops – have outscored any and all windows PCs in a customer-satisfaction survey: the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). "Apple maintains the strong lead it has held for a decade, inching up 1 per cent to an ACSI score of 87," the consumer-surveymeisters write in a report (registration required) published on Tuesday.

Apple's score edged up one point higher than in last year's survey – ACSI has been doing this since 1995 – and is seven points higher than its closest competitor, HP, which also rose one point from last year. Number three, Dell, sank two points from its previous score. Noting that the Windows-based PC manufacturers all lag behind Apple, ACSI offered condolences. "Microsoft's revamped Windows 8 operating system, included in all new Windows-based PCs since its release last year, does not seem to have provided a bounce in sales or in customer satisfaction for these manufacturers," it writes.

Apple 'sapphire glass' fronts for iPhone 6? It's NEWS to SUPPLIERS. Boost IT visibility and business value Several Apple analysts have speculated over the past few months that the next iPhone and perhaps even the near-mythical iWatch will use super-tough sapphire glass in some capacity. But that claim has been thrown into question after the industrial analysis firm TrendForce claimed a tiny issue – not actually having the sapphire glass to do this – might hamper production. The Taiwanese analyst claimed that despite talk of an Arizona factory that would churn the stuff out, global production for sapphire glass has shown no uptick to date, which is not what you might expect if Cupertino was about to flood the market with phones using the wonder material.

Crucially, the material does not appear to have been sent to Apple's manufacturing partners ahead of the expected September launch, adds the analyst. The analyst wrote: "The much anticipated sapphire cover glass remains missing from the picture. Boost IT visibility and business value. iTime for a smartwatch: Apple granted modular wrist-puter patent. Build a business case: developing custom apps Rumors that Apple will unveil a smartwatch this year became slightly more concrete on Tuesday, on news that Cupertino has been granted a patent for a wearable device that may or may not be called iTime.

Or, as Apple explains in the patent summary, "the invention pertains to an electronic wristwatch. " The text of the patent doesn't give any formal name for the device, but one of the accompanying drawings shows the screen labeled with the word "iTime" – though there's no telling whether Apple will stick with that moniker when/if the device actually ships. So what makes Apple's smartwatch different from the others? As usual, the language of the patent is sufficiently obtuse that it's hard to picture what the finished product might look like, but we can make some educated guesses.

Sure looks like a smartwatch to us! If Apple's past track record is any indication, however, keep your eye on the courts Build a business case: developing custom apps. Peak Apple: Mountain of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s ordered. Build a business case: developing custom apps Apple has told its Chinese suppliers to build a mountain of 70 to 80 million new iPhone 6s, which are expected to come in two different sizes and hit the shops this year. This means that the number of brand-new iPhones could match the population of Germany, which is inhabited by slightly more than 80 million souls, and totally outstrip Iran and the UK, which have populations of 77.6 million and 64.1 million people respectively. According to secretive sources whispering to the Wall Street Journal, up to 80 million 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sixth-gen iPhones will be on sale by December.

It looks likely that these models will come in a range of colours familiar to owners of the garish iPhone 5C or the rather more sophisticated gold or gunmetal-grey 5S. To make up for future demand or replace failed models, Apple has called for the production of 120 million iPhones by the end of 2014. Build a business case: developing custom apps. Welcome to the BIG APPLE: IBM sells iPads, iPhones to enterprises. Build a Business Case: Developing Custom Apps IBM and Apple will together tout software to the enterprise: Apple will handle support and IBM will sell iPads and iPhones crammed with Big Blue's ported apps. The "landmark partnership" was announced by the two companies on Tuesday, and will see each firm help the other make money from a business area it has no particular affinity for.

IBM, for instance, will "sell iPhones and iPads" loaded with any of 100 industry-specific software products codeveloped by IBM and Apple, while Apple while handle phone support for the products. Inevitability, on-site support will be handled by IBM. As part of this, IBM will port about 150 of its applications to iOS. This software should be available starting this autumn, the New York-headquartered giant added. Apple, meanwhile, will get a load more enterprise software on its various mobile devices without having to develop the applications themselves. The Big Finger ... Great Fall of China: iPhone 5C sales lag as blinged-up 5S sells out. Peak Apple Apple has failed to conquer the Chinese market with the iPhone 5C, its (slightly) cheaper and more garishly coloured release. Despite the gold version of the iPhone 5S selling out across the massive nation, Chinese consumers have not warmed to the other versions of the flagship phone and appear to have entirely rejected the 5C, according to local newspaper reports.

"Not only in China, gold versions in the world are basically out of stock," a spokesperson from state-owned telecommunications firm China Unicom told Xinhua (via Google Translate). Google's rather interesting translation described how "fruit powder" were seen queuing up for the "Tyrant King" iPhone. Translated into Reg speak, we assume this means fanbois were queuing up for the bling-bling Jesus phone. However, the 5C appears to be doing very badly in the People's Republic, with lots of stock left in shops and immediate availability on the website.

New iPhone sells out, millions in hands of lucky fans, Cook cock a hoop ... Updated Apple has given itself a pat on the back after shifting nine million of its latest iPhone 5S and 5C models over their first weekend on sale. However, while we know that the iPhone 5S has sold out across the world, the success of the cheaper plastic-sheathed 5C is less clear. Apple has not broken down the new iPhone 5-series sales figures, meaning we cannot yet measure the success of the lurid new handset.

Meanwhile, 200 million devices are now running Apple's new iOS 7 operating system; the company claims this is "the fastest software upgrade in history". The fruity firm said that – surprise, surprise – demand for the iPhone 5S has "exceeded the initial supply" and reassured fanbois and gurlz that any outstanding orders will be posted out in the coming weeks. “This is our best iPhone launch yet – more than nine million new iPhones sold, a new record for first weekend sales,” beamed Tim Cook, Apple CEO, adding: "We’ve sold out of our initial supply ...

Update. Apple ups revenue estimates in wake of nine million–phone weekend. In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple has announced that it now expects its revenue to come in at the high end of the range it projected when it announced its financial results for its third fiscal quarter of 2013 this July. In the filing this Monday, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer cited the sale of nine million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c units in the three days since their release last Friday.

Although he avoided a direct use of words such as "because" or "due to," his intent was clear – so we will. Because of the strong sales of its two new handsets, "Apple expects total company revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter to be near the high end of the previously provided range of $34 billion to $37 billion," Oppenheimer wrote, and due to those sales, Apple "expects gross margin to be near the high end of the previously provided range of 36% to 37%.

" As of Monday, Yahoo! Apple beckons fanbois back into its golden era... of, er, 2010. 5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup As the world mutters about Apple's uncertain future, the fruity firm has offered out-of-date fanbois a way to relive its glorious past. Cupertino's online App Store will now let users of old iPhones and other iThings download previous versions of software, so they can continue to use such technological innovations as the Fart Button and other must-have utilities - even if said users haven't installed (or cannot install) the latest release of iOS.

In other words, punters can download archived builds of programs that are compatible with the old system software on their devices. This is particularly useful if you're on a gadget that can only run iOS 4 and the apps you want have been updated to require at least version 5.0: now you can download the old iOS 4-era versions. Peeps on Reddit discovered Apple's nod to the past yesterday. But he was greeted with a sign saying he could download a previous version of the app, which he duly did. Did Apple Make a Mistake By Releasing Two New iPhones?

Apple CEO Cook: 'We're not in the junk business' Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended his company's strategy of sticking to the high end of the device market – read "expensive" – rather than competing at the low-cost, low-margin low end.

"There's always a large junk part of the market," Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek in a wide-ranging interview on Thursday. "We're not in the junk business. " When Cook & Co. rolled out the iPhone 5c and 5s last week, the chattering classes were quick to pounce on the unsubsidized price of the "unapologetically plastic" iPhone 5c – $549 for 16GB and $649 for 32GB – saying that such a hefty sum would be an insurmountable barrier to Cook's oft-stated desire to crack the smartphone markets in emerging economies, primarily China.

But to hear Cook tell it, Apple has never intended to compete at the low end of the market – maybe at the mid-range, but not at the mass-market level. "We never had an objective to sell a low-cost phone," Cook says. Bootnote. Peak Apple: Samsung hits DOUBLE the market share of iPhones. Not even the cheapest iPhones could help Apple claw back ground lost to Samsung - whose smartphone gear has now amassed more than twice the market share of the iPhone.

The smartphone market expanded 46.5 per cent in Q2 with more than 225 million units shipped worldwide, data from beancounters Gartner showed. However it was the Korean chaebol that really made the most of the expanding sector, selling 71.3 million devices compared to 45.6 million a year ago, capturing 31.7 per cent market share, up two per cent. "We see demand in the premium smartphone market come mainly from the lower end of this segment in the $400-and-below average selling price (ASP) mark," said principal analyst Anshul Gupta. "It will be critical for Samsung to step up its game in the mid-tier and also be more aggressive in emerging markets. Innovation cannot be limited to the high end," he added. Gartner did not reveal the ASPs for any of the major vendors. Peak Apple? HOGWASH! Apple is 'extremely undervalued,' says Icahn. Apple slugs Australia with iPhone tax. PEAK APPLE: One MILLION fewer iPads sold this quarter.

No Apple fanbois here: Man United BANS iPads from Old Trafford. Apple's Australian profits crash after tax adjustment - Hardware - iTnews.