Fitbit buys Pebble’s software assets, but cancels new hardware

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 7, 2016

Fitbit, the maker of popular activity and fitness trackers, has officially acquired Pebble. The deal was finalized this morning, both companies have said.

The acquisition includes all of Pebble’s software assets, but excludes any hardware. Yup, that’s right—looks like the Pebble smartwatch is officially dead.

“Due to various factors, Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity,” the company said. “We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices.” Read More

 

Take a closer look at iSpaceship’s underground auditorium, R&D building and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2016

Drone footage of iSpaceship site captured by YouTuber Matthew Roberts has impressed us thus far and his latest video is no exception. In addition to showing continuous progress in terms of landscaping and solar panels on the massive flying saucer-shaped building, new videos provide a closer look at an R&D building and an underground auditorium where future events will be held. Read More

 

Apple R&D center launching in Indonesia in 2017

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 28, 2016

According to Indonesian publication Tempo, Apple has agreed to set up a research and development center in Indonesia, home to 250 million people. The country’s Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara told the outlet that Apple will be setting up its R&D facility in early 2017 in the city of Jakarta.

While Rudiantara couldn’t reveal the investment value, he expressed hope that Apple would build additional R&D centers in other Indonesian regions. Read More

 

Apple has stopped disclosing how much it spends on advertising

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2016

Apple has stopped disclosing how much it spends on advertising, as revealed in its annual report (10-K) filed with the United States Securities and Exchange (SEC) commission in October.

Apple’s motives behind this move are unclear and the SEC filing makes no mention of its advertising expenses for the whole 2016. In 2015, Apple’s ad spend rose fifty percent to a record $1.8 billion.

The decision to stop reporting how much it spends on advertising may have something to do with the fact that the iPhone maker ended 2016 with its lowest operating margin since 2009, partially due to spending more ad dollars to drive total revenue. Read More

 

President-elect Trump promises tax incentives for Apple to build “Made in USA” iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 23, 2016

Apple reportedly asked contract manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron to look into assembling iPhones in the United States and now we learn that Tim Cook phoned President-elect Donald Trump following his victory to talk about U.S. manufacturing.

In an interview with The New York Times, Trump reveals he’s promised tax incentives to Apple to build its products domestically rather than outsource component production and assembly work to Taiwanese and Chinese suppliers and contract manufacturers. Read More

 

Samsung to buy Harman for $8 billion

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2016

Galaxy maker Samsung today announced it is purchasing Harman International for $112.00 per share in cash in a deal valued at approximately $8 billion. If the deal goes through, it’ll be Samsung’s largest acquisition to date. With the purchase of Harman Samsung is essentially buying a competitive advantage as it looks to take on Apple’s rumored Project Titan and the CarPlay platform, Android Auto and other automotive systems. Read More

 

Foxconn revenue rises on brisk iPhone 7 sales, but earnings fall due to losses at Sharp

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2016

Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s top contract manufacturer and the biggest assembler of Apple products, reported rising revenues for the September quarter and a decline in net profit. Revenue for the July-September quarter climbed from NT$1.066 trillion ($33.43 billion) a year earlier to NT$1.075 trillion ($33.7 billion) thanks to brisk sales of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

However, losses produced by Foxconn-owned electronics maker Sharp caused net profit to fall to NY$34.6 billion ($1.09 billion) from NY$37.9 billion ($1.19 billion) a year earlier. Read More

 

Ireland is cheering in favor of Apple in EU state aid tax ruling

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 10, 2016

In August, the European Commission slammed Apple with a tax bill from hell over a sweetheart deal it received from Ireland—which, in the Commission’s view, constitutes “illegal state aid”.

Dublin promptly promised to join Apple’s fight against EU and it’s put its money where its mouth is.

Michael Noonan, Finance Minister in the Irish government, said that Dublin today challenged the EU judgment by submitting an appeal to the European courts in a bid to block the decision, ArsTechnica reports. Read More

 

Tim Cook calls for unity in a memo to troops issued after 2016 presidential election

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 10, 2016

Following an extremely divisive 2016 presidential election in which Donald Trump scored an upset victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Apple’s boss Tim Cook issued a company-wide email to all employees, a copy of which was obtained by BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski.

In the memo, Cook urges employees to reach out to colleagues “if they are feeling anxious” about the election results and underscored that Apple celebrates the diversity of its employees regardless of “what they look like, where they come from, how they worship or who they love.” Read More

 

New aerial footage shows major landscape changes as iSpaceship nears completion

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 31, 2016

YouTubers Duncan Sinfield and Matthew Roberts flew their drones above Apple Campus 2 like they do every month, bringing us breathtaking visual updates of construction progress at the iSpaceship site. Last month, we saw a bird’s eye overview of the enormous ring-shaped building facade glowing at night and the month before landscaping work was beginning to show. Their latest footage reveals major landscape changes with large trees sprouting up everywhere around the new campus. Read More

 

AT&T announces buying Time Warner as it looks to compete nationwide with cable companies

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2016

Following reports that AT&T, the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier, held talks regarding a possible acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T has now formally confirmed that it will be purchasing the entertainment conglomerate in a stock-and-cash transaction valued at $107.50 per share. The purchase price implies a total equity value of $85.4 billion and a total transaction value of $108.7 billion.

The agreement has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies. It gives AT&T access to Time Warner’s precious media properties like CNN, HBO, TNT and Warner Bros, as well as films like Harry Potter, Batman, Superman and next-generation super hero movies being developed by DC Comics.

The blockbuster merger, pending regulatory approval and closing before year-end 2017, will create a unique company that’ll “define the future of media and communications”. Read More

 

“Online Stores” dropped from Angela Ahrendts’s title, but she is still Apple’s retail boss

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 3, 2016

Apple’s boss of online and physical retail stores, Angela Ahrendts, no longer has “Online Stores” in her official title. Instead, Apple is now referring to her role simply as “Senior Vice President, Retail” to better reflect its efforts to simply retail branding. Her reworded title along with a tweaked job description is live at the Apple Leadership webpage.

The change occurred over this past weekend. This is a purely cosmetic change: her responsibilities have not shifted and she is still in charge of all things retail at Apple. Read More

 

Latest 4K drone flyovers show off iSpaceship facade glowing at night & more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2016

A pair of new flyover videos from YouTubers Duncan Sinfield and Matthew Roberts reveal that Apple has installed exterior lights at Apple Campus 2 site, showing the iSpaceship building facade glowing at night. It’s quite a spectacular sight given the enormous scale of the flying saucer-shaped structure.

Apple Campus 2, as it’s officially called, will become home to more than 12,000 employees when it’s completed some time in early 2017. Read More

 

Apple to open R&D center in China’s “Silicon Valley” that’ll employ 500 people

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2016

Tim Cook said during his August charm offensive in China that his company could deepen its cooperation with the local government by launching its first Asia-Pacific research and development center. According to local media reports today, the facility will open in Zhongguancun Science Park, situated in the Haidian District in northwestern Beijing. Read More

 

London’s iconic Battersea Power Station will be Apple’s new UK headquarters

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 28, 2016

The British newspaper Evening Standard reports that Apple will be opening a “stunning new” campus in London’s iconic Battersea Power Station. The $11.7 billion project will create a new home for 1,400 employees in the brick “cathedral of power,” which had been powering and lighting London up to 1983. Read More

 

Apple will hold September quarter earnings call on October 27

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 27, 2016

Apple said on the Investor webpage that it has scheduled an earnings call to discuss fiscal 2016 fourth quarter earnings a month from today on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 2:00pm PT / 5:00pm ET. The company’s fourth fiscal quarter corresponds to the third calendar quarter. A press release will go out 30 minutes in advance of the earnings call. Read More

 

The government of Ireland will back Apple in its fight against EU’s tax bill from hell

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 2, 2016

Following news earlier this week that the European Commission had ruled that Apple must pay €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes to the government of Ireland because its sweetheart deal with Dublin that lets it be subjected to a lower tax rate constitutes “illegal state aid,” the Irish government said today it would join Apple in its fight against the ruling.

“Paradoxically, Ireland is determined not to accept the tax windfall, which would be equivalent to what it spent last year on funding its struggling health service,” says the report. Read More

 

Here’s Tim Cook’s message to Apple community regarding massive Irish tax bill

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 30, 2016

The European Commission has ruled that Apple is on the hook for €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes as its “sweetheart deal” to pay a lower tax rate in Ireland has been characterized as “illegal state aid”.

Apple is going to appeal the ruling and now CEO Tim Cook has penned an open letter, entitled “A Message to the Apple Community in Europe,” in which he explains Apple’s position in this case, writing he is “confident” that the huge tax bill will be reversed. Read More

 

EU orders Apple to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 30, 2016

At a press conference Tuesday, the European Commission’s competition commissioner Margarethe Vestager announced that the European Union has ordered the government of Ireland to collect up to €13 billion, or about $14.5 billion, in back taxes from Apple. The sum represents Europe’s largest tax penalty and a significant increase over the 1 billion figure floated around ahead of the ruling.

Apple will appeal the decision. Read More

 

European Commission to reportedly rule against Apple’s sweetheart tax deal with Ireland

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 29, 2016

According to a 130-page judgment seen by The Financial Times, the European Commission (EC) is set to rule Tuesday against Apple’s sweetheart tax deal it struck with the government of Ireland back in 1999.

The Commission is reportedly set to demand that Ireland recoup over 1 billion euros in back taxes from the iPhone maker, or circa $1.12 billion.

“Apple will on Tuesday be hit with Europe’s largest tax penalty after Brussels ruled that the company received illegal state aid from Ireland,” warns the financial newspaper. Read More

 
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