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Apple beats Samsung in smartphone sales, reports record quarter

Tech giant Apple has reported record revenue in the last quarter, powered by a strong demand for its iPhone 7 Plus. It beat out rival Samsung to reclaim the position of world's top smartphone seller. Apple's revenues climbed to an all-time record $78.4billion (72.6 billion euros) compared with $75.9 billion (70.3 billion euros) in the same period a year earlier, the company said Tuesday. Apple said it sold 78.3 million iPhones in the fiscal first quarter ending December 31, up five percent from the same holiday shopping period in 2015. That beat the Korean company Samsung's 77.5 million smartphones in the quarter, for the first time since 2011. The growth allayed concerns that iPhone sales, which account for more than two-third of the company's total revenue, were softening due to three quarters of sequential decline. The statistics come at a time when global demand for smartphones is slowing and cheaper Android alternatives are flooding the market. "We're thrilled to report that our holiday quarter results generated Apple's highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way," Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in the earnings release. "We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, services, Mac and Apple Watch," Cook added. The company, however, did see its revenue in the Chinese market drop 12 percent to $16.2 billion.

Tech giant Apple has reported record revenue in the last quarter, powered by a strong demand for its iPhone 7 Plus. It beat out rival Samsung to reclaim the position of world’s top smartphone seller. Apple’s revenues climbed to an all-time record $78.4billion (72.6 billion euros) compared with $75.9 billion (70.3 billion euros) in the same period a year earlier, ... Read More »

FBI iPhone case ‘bad for America’: Apple CEO

Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended his company's decision to refuse an FBI demand to help crack an encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. To do so would be "bad for America," said Cook. "This is not about this phone," Apple chief Tim Cook said during an interview on US broadcaster ABC News on Wednesday. "This is about the future. It is a precedent that should not be done in this country, or in any country." The FBI wants Apple's help hacking the iPhone of US citizen Syed Rizwan Farook. Along with his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik, Farook gunned down 14 people and wounded 22 others at the San Bernardino county health department in December, an attack believed to have been inspired by the so-called "Islamic State." While the San Bernardino case is Apple's most high-profile legal fight with the US government, the company is battling the government over unlocking devices in at least 10 cases. When questioned about how he felt about Apple taking the stand with the chance that information on Farook's iPhone might prevent another terrorist attack, Cook admitted that "some things are hard and some things are right. And some things are both. This is one of those things." 'Equivalent of cancer' Cook expressed sympathy for families of the shooting victims, and said that Apple had provided engineers and technical advice to authorities investigating the case. However, he said authorities were now asking the company "to write a piece of software that we view as sort of the equivalent of cancer." In a separate interview on Wednesday, CIA director John Brennan said that he supported the FBI's side in the high-profile battle. Speaking with National Public Radio, Brennan said the public would never accept criminals or terrorists having exclusive access to a physical storage box, and asked why an encrypted phone should be treated any differently.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended his company’s decision to refuse an FBI demand to help crack an encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. To do so would be “bad for America,” said Cook. “This is not about this phone,” Apple chief Tim Cook said during an interview on US broadcaster ABC News on Wednesday. “This ... Read More »

Facebook, Google and Twitter back Apple in encryption fight with FBI

Tech giants, including Facebook, have said Apple was right to refuse a court ruling to help the FBI break into the iPhone of a California shooter. Detectives think the shooter's phone could hold clues to the attack. "We will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems," a Facebook representative was cited by Reuters as saying on Thursday. "These demands would create a chilly precedent and obstruct companies' efforts to secure their products," the spokesperson added. The social media giant's public support of Apple follows similar backing by the likes of Google, Twitter and WhatsApp against a court order to help crack the encryption on an iPhone belonging to San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook. On December 2, Farook and his wife killed 14 people in an attack at an office Christmas party, which officials say was inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) militant group. Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said the case "could be a troubling precedent" and warned that "forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users' privacy." FBI adamant But two of New York's top law enforcement officers accused Apple of being irresponsible by not allowing investigators to hack into the phone. The FBI wants the tech giant to disable a feature that wipes the phone's data after 10 failed password entries. Police intend to use the software to try all password possibilities until it finds the right one. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said the case was "the most visible example of how Silicon Valley's decisions are thwarting criminal investigations and impeding public safety." Vance's office currently holds 175 seized iPhones that remain inaccessible despite court orders allowing prosecutors to search the devices. Apple has until Tuesday to file a protest to the decision by a magistrate in California. The company's chief executive Tim Cook said the demand is dangerous and an overreach of government power. Analysts said Apple is likely to seek to invoke free speech protection measures as one of its key legal arguments to block the order. The company's defiance has led to a wide variety of supporting and opposing comments on social media, with some people calling for users to #boycottapple.

Tech giants, including Facebook, have said Apple was right to refuse a court ruling to help the FBI break into the iPhone of a California shooter. Detectives think the shooter’s phone could hold clues to the attack. “We will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems,” a Facebook representative was cited by ... Read More »

Google’s Alphabet overtakes Apple as world’s most valuable company

Alphabet, the company that owns Google, has surpassed rival Apple in after-hours trading to become the highest valued company in the world. A strong quarterly report sent Alphabet shares soaring. Google's parent company Alphabet flew past Apple to become the world's most valuable company on Monday. The firm's quarterly profit increased five percent to reach $4.92 billion (4.51 billion Euros), the result of solid online advertising revenue as customers used their services to search for holiday gifts. Alphabet shares jumped by more than five percent on the better-than-expected earnings figures. "This holiday season, we found that shopping moments replaced shopping marathons," said Google CEO Sundar Pinchai, implying that allowing customers to consider and browse was part of the company's recipe for success. The global reach of the incredibly popular search engine at the heart of the company's business has continued to climb as more people use smartphones and tablets for a rising amount of daily tasks. Google and Apple have worked to develop mobile computing, and their competition has seen Apple's iOS smartphone operating system battle Google's own Android for dominance since the latter emerged on the market in 2008 and became the system of choice for Samsung. The South Korean tech giant is in turn Apple's major rival in smartphone production, and the two are locked in litigation over patent infringement. At the end of trading on Monday, the combined worth of Alphabet's shares was $554 billion, cleanly leaping over Apple's $534 billion. In order for Alphabet to officially be called the most valuable firm on earth, however, shares must open at the same price on Tuesday. Apple itself sailed past Microsoft in 2010 after Microsoft's long period of dominance gave way to the world's obsession with the iPhone. The recent news that Apple was expecting the first ever drop in sales for its smartphone have led to speculation that the firm's momentous growth could finally be coming to an end .

Alphabet, the company that owns Google, has surpassed rival Apple in after-hours trading to become the highest valued company in the world. A strong quarterly report sent Alphabet shares soaring. Google’s parent company Alphabet flew past Apple to become the world’s most valuable company on Monday. The firm’s quarterly profit increased five percent to reach $4.92 billion (4.51 billion Euros), ... Read More »

Large-scale cyber attack on Apple

Apple's App Store has become the target of a large-scale cyber attack for the first time. The company has stated that the malicious programs found on a number of applications have been removed from the App Store. Several cyber security firms reported finding a malicious program called XcodeGhost that was embedded in hundreds of legitimate apps. This program allows hackers to collect data from devices like iPhones and iPads. The affected applications included the popular WeChat app, the car hailing app Didi Kuaidi and a music downloading app. The hackers embedded the malicious program by convincing developers of legitimate software to use a counterfeit version of Apple's software for creating iOS and Mac apps, which is known as Xcode, Apple stated. "We've removed the apps from the App Store that we know have been created with this counterfeit software," Apple spokeswoman Christine Monaghan stated in an email, quoted by Reuters. "We are working with the developers to make sure they're using the proper version of Xcode to rebuild their apps." Olson: Other hackers might copy this approach However, Apple has not said what steps iPhone and iPad users could take to find out whether their devices were affected by the cyber attack. The counterfeit version of Xcode was downloaded from a server in China that developers may have used because it allowed for faster downloads than using Apple's US servers, said Palo Alto Networks Director of Threat Intelligence Ryan Olson. His company was among the cyber security firms that reported finding the malicious program. According to Olson, no examples of data theft or other harm were recorded as a result of the attack. However, he called it "a pretty big deal" because the attack showed that the App Store could be compromised if hackers infected machines of software developers writing legitimate apps. Olson warned that other hackers might copy this approach.

Apple’s App Store has become the target of a large-scale cyber attack for the first time. The company has stated that the malicious programs found on a number of applications have been removed from the App Store. Several cyber security firms reported finding a malicious program called XcodeGhost that was embedded in hundreds of legitimate apps. This program allows hackers ... Read More »

Apple enters refugee crisis with donations

Apple has enabled its customers to make a "financial donation" to aid refugees in Europe. CEO Tim Cook told employees the company will also make a donation in hopes of easing "the hardship so many are enduring." American technology giant Apple enabled a function on its operating system's App Store allowing iPhone and MacBook consumers the ability to make a donation to the Red Cross in response to Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II. "Help people affected by the refugee and migration crisis across the Mediterranean Sea and in Europe by making a financial donation to the American Red Cross," the company said on the App Store's donation page. The move comes as the EU struggles to cope with the mass influx of refugees from war-torn countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Meanwhile, a message from CEO Tim Cook posted on Apple's Intranet site said that the company would be making a "substantial donation" to relief agencies responding to the refugee crisis. "Apple is making a substantial donation to relief agencies which provide humanitarian aid to refugees in Europe and around the Mediterranean," Cook said. Cook also noted that donations from employees would be matched "2-for-1" if made to the Red Cross campaign or select others. "Apple is dedicated to advancing human rights around the world. We hope the actions we're taking will help make the situation less desperate for some and ease hardship so many are enduring," Cook concluded. Earlier this week, Google also said it would be contributing to easing the refugee crisis, stating it would match at least $5.5 million (4.86 million euros) of donations made through its dedicated page. According to the website, it has already raised 10 million euros ($11.28 million) "globally for refugees and migrants," which will be donated to its relief partners Doctors without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children and the UN Refugee Agency. The EU witnessed 213,000 first time migrants apply for asylum within its borders between April and June of this year.

Apple has enabled its customers to make a “financial donation” to aid refugees in Europe. CEO Tim Cook told employees the company will also make a donation in hopes of easing “the hardship so many are enduring.” American technology giant Apple enabled a function on its operating system’s App Store allowing iPhone and MacBook consumers the ability to make a ... Read More »

Google challenges Apple with Android Pay

Google has unveiled a new pay-with-a-phone system for Android devices in an attempt to boost mobile payments. The new application may also allow the company to better compete with rival Apple. Android Pay, unveiled at the Google Developers' conference in San Francisco on Thursday, brings together mobile carriers, payment networks, banks and retailers. It allows smartphone users to use their handsets instead of payment cards, and comes after Apple unveiled a similar system last year. Like Apple's system, Android Pay can be used to store major credit and debit cards in smartphones that can be used to pay merchants equipped with terminals that work with the technology. At the event, the Mountainview-based firm presented the next version of its Android operating system that will boast new ways to fetch information and protect privacy on mobile devices, among other things. The Android update is currently known simply as "M". 'An exciting journey' Most of the Android renovations unveiled on Thursday, however, won't be available until late summer or early fall. That's around the same time that Apple is expected to release the latest overhaul of the iOS software that powers the iPhone and iPad. Google engineering vice president Dave Bruke said Android Pay would work in more than 700,000 US retail outlets that accept contactless payments. "We are at the start of an exciting journey, we are working closely with payment networks, banks and developers," he said. A Google blog post said the system was in partnership with the major credit card firms including Visa and Mastercard and payment processing firms including Braintree, CyberSource, First Data, Stripe and Vantiv. Both Google and Apple are vying to make their products more ubiquitous by transplanting much of their mobile technology into automobiles and Internet-connected televisions and appliances. At its conference, Google also annonced the launch of a new photo service providing unlimited storage of all pictures up to 16 megapixels and high-defintion video up to 1080p. The service, called Google Photos, will be available on Android and Apple devices. As AP news agency put it, it "is the latest example of Google's desire to wrap its tentacles around virtually every part of people's lives."

Google has unveiled a new pay-with-a-phone system for Android devices in an attempt to boost mobile payments. The new application may also allow the company to better compete with rival Apple. Android Pay, unveiled at the Google Developers’ conference in San Francisco on Thursday, brings together mobile carriers, payment networks, banks and retailers. It allows smartphone users to use their ... Read More »

Apple, Google Call Truce In Smartphone Patent War

SAN FRANCISCO: The technology titans behind the top two smartphone platforms in the world called a truce Friday in a long-running patent war. "Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies," the companies said in a joint statement. "Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform." The companies made it clear that the detente does not include licensing their technology to each other. Motorola filed a patent lawsuit against Apple in US federal court four years ago, prompting the iPhone maker to fire back with a patent suit of its own. Litigation has spread to more than a dozen other courts. Google took on the legal wrangling when it bought Motorola Mobility in 2012 in what was seen at the time as a move to use its patents for defending Android operating software in the increasingly litigious smartphone and tablet markets. Early this year, Google agreed to sell Motorola Mobility to China-based computer giant Lenovo. The sale has yet to be completed. - Widespread patent fight - California-based Apple has been battling smartphone competitors in courts around the world, accusing rivals using Google's Android software of copying features from its popular mobile devices. The legal truce between Apple and Google does not take the pressure off South Korea-based Samsung, which has been a prime legal target for the maker of iPhones and iPads. A Japanese court ruled earlier that Samsung could seek minimal damages from Apple for patent infringement, with both sides claiming victory in the their latest legal skirmish over the design of their smartphones. Japan's Intellectual Property High Court ruled that Samsung could claim 9.96 million yen ($98,000) from its US arch-rival for use of Samsung's data transmission technology, found to have been used in Apple's iPhone 4 and iPad 2. Early this month in Silicon Valley, jurors at a different patent trial held the line on its $119.6 million damages award to Apple in a patent battle with Samsung. While the amount of the award is huge, it is only a fraction of the more than $2 billion Apple had sought at the outset of the trial against is South Korean competitor in the hot smartphone and tablet computer market. Jurors agreed that Samsung violated three of five Apple patents at issue in the two-month trial. Jurors also found that Apple violated a Samsung patent and said Apple should pay its rival $158,400 in damages. (AFP)

SAN FRANCISCO: The technology titans behind the top two smartphone platforms in the world called a truce Friday in a long-running patent war. “Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies,” the companies said in a joint statement. “Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas ... Read More »

EU quizzes telcos on Apple sales tactics against rivals

BRUSSELS: EU antitrust regulators are seeking information whether Apple’s iPhone distribution deals with mobile telecoms operators may be aimed at shutting out rival smartphones makers, in a move which could lead to a formal investigation into Apple. In a nine-page questionnaire sent to mobile telecoms companies last Friday and obtained by Reuters, the European Commission said such behavior may breach ... Read More »

Apple, Congress spar over taxes ahead of Tuesday hearing

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO: Using an unusual global tax structure, Apple Inc has kept billions of dollars in profits in Irish subsidiaries to pay little or no taxes to any government, a Senate report on the company’s offshore tax structure has revealed. In a 40-page memorandum released a day before Apple CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to testify before Congress, the Senate’s ... Read More »

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