To bolster its stock in the eyes of investors, Apple recently announced it would buy back $60 billion worth of shares. Such a move makes sense – after all, the iPhone maker does have this cash hoard of nearly $150 billion. However, it turns out Apple won’t touch that money, opting instead to borrow the funds.
By borrowing the money, Apple keeps its billions out of the reach of U.S. taxes, saving the corporate giant money while also retiring expensive stock dividends.
You didn’t think there was any altruism involved, did you? The move, however, isn’t without its pitfalls. Moreover, Apple isn’t alone in a corporate game of chess where it’s all about manipulating the tax code, according to a report Friday… Read More
Apple’s flying saucer-shaped Campus 2 building, an upcoming 2,800,000 square foot 4-story glass structure and home to 12,000 employees, is coming online in 2016. The building was originally planned for completion in 2015, but the project got pushed back until 2016.
The reason: the initial three billion dollar budget has ballooned to as much as five billion dollars because of Steve Jobs’s perfectionism. The company earlier in the month submitted revised plans. Published Wednesday, the documents reveal several previously unknown tidbits.
For starters, Apple employees working at Campus 2 will be able to enjoy unprecedented bike pathways and sidewalks depicted in a set of exquisitely rendered images… Read More
Have you ever wondered how Apple CEO Tim Cook drinks his coffee? Does he take it black, or with cream and sugar? Is he a cappuccino man, or an espresso drinker? If you have a few thousand dollars to spare, you could find out.
TechCrunch is reporting that the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, with the help of charity marketing firm CharityBuzz, has just launched an auction that will give you the chance to sit down with Apple’s CEO for a cup of joe and the chance to pitch him your ideas for the next big thing… Read More
Graphics giant Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has wooed another semiconductor expert away from Apple. Raja Koduri, who had previously worked at AMD before Apple poached him in April 2009, specializes in graphics technology and is understood to have helped with Apple’s own chip-design efforts a great deal.
At AMD, Koduri will reportedly lead engineering efforts in visual computing, reporting to the company’s Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster, another Apple hire who left the iPhone maker over cultural incompatibility and after falling out of favor with late co-founder Steve Jobs… Read More
Verizon just posted its calendar 2013 first quarter earnings. The nation’s top wireless carrier activated four million iPhones on its network throughout the quarter, half of which were the iPhone 5. The figure beats the 3.5 million unit consensus and represents a 25 percent increase over the 3.2 million iPhones Verizon activated a year ago. Representing just over 55 percent of all smartphone activations for the quarter, the iPhone during Q4 2012 represented nearly two-thirds of activations, which isn’t surprising given the holiday rush, iPhone 4/4S price cuts and the iPhone 5 launch hype.
The company added 720,000 net new subscribers, including 677,000 people who signed two-year contracts, up 35 percent year-over-year. Turnover rate increased slightly to 1.01 percent from 0.96 percent a year ago. Smartphones represented 61 percent of contract subscribers, a record smartphone penetration. Shares climbed 1.94 percent during Thursday’s pre-market session… Read More
Although Apple compensated its CEO Tim Cook for the calendar year 2012 with a $1.36 million base salary and $2.8 million in compensation related to incentive plans, he didn’t made the top five highest-rewarded corporate executives list in Standard & Poor’s top 500 companies. Instead, per Bloomberg’s report filed Monday, four members of the Apple leadership dominate that list.
To be clear, these numbers count both base salaries and stock options companies usually give to their top dogs as sort of a retainer. Specifically, Bob Mansfield, Peter Oppenheimer, Bruce Sewell and Jeffrey Williams all made the top five highest-paid execs list, according to fiscal 2012 compensation figures for top earners filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission… Read More
Apple’s upcoming 2.8 million square foot circular glass structure, officially called Campus 2 and also known as iSpaceship, could face further delays because it is now reportedly $2 billion over budget. Originally estimated to cost a whopping $3 billion to build, the budget for the new home to about 12,000 employees has now skyrocketed to nearly five billion dollars, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Because of the risings construction costs, Apple’s Campus 2 could easily become an investor relations nightmare, the publication observes… Read More
AT&T and Verizon, the two leading U.S. wireless carriers by subscribers and revenue, have reportedly joined forces in a massive bid to acquire London-headquartered Vodafone, a multinational telco which operates networks in over 30 countries and has partner networks in over 40 additional countries. The transaction would easily dwarf the monumental AOL/Time Warner merger as Vodafone already is a huge corporation: it’s the world’s second-largest wireless carrier after China Mobile and commands 403 million subscribers worldwide.
This compares to AT&T’s 107 million subscribers, Verizon’s 116 million customers and China Mobile’s 703 million subscribers. What’s really interesting is Vodafone’s existing U.S. partnership with Verizon Wireless: the nation’s leading telco is actually a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone where the former holds 55 percent ownership and the latter controls the remaining 45 percent ownership of the joint venture.
Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known in the Western world as Foxconn, is Apple’s favorite manufacturer that assembles a lot of its products, with Pegatron taking care of the rest. Foxconn also helps a number of other tech giants build and assemble their gadgets.
As Apple is its most visible high-volume client, Foxconn’s earnings are often scrutinized for hints of Apple’s sales performance. Today, Foxconn reported a record quarterly profit on increased manufacturing efficiency and output of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, after having solved production bottlenecks in the prior quarter.
The increased revenue and improved profit margins also could mean that Foxconn may have had some room to push Apple for better pricing, Bloomberg reports… Read More
Earlier this month we told you that Apple’s frenemy Samsung confirmed a plan to pour a cool $112 million into buying a three percent stake in Sharp. Making matters complicated, Sharp, an Apple supplier, has been trying to negotiate another investment from Apple’s favorite manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry, known in the Western world as Foxconn. Last year, as you know, Foxconn was trying to acquire an eleven percent stake in Sharp.
There have been indications that Foxconn wanted to re-negotiate after Sharp’s share price tumbled, but most recent reports assert the deal has all but fallen apart. We’re now hearing that Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has cancelled talks with Sharp after learning that his potential partner has gone to bed with Samsung, even more so now that Sharp is expected to supply more LCD panels to Samsung than to Apple… Read More
You’d be forgiven for being oblivious to ARM Holdings. After all, the UK-based company “only” supplies Apple – along with three hundred other device makers – with blueprints for dull computational engines that crunch numbers and run your sexy iPhone apps.
In all seriousness, ARM’s new CEO today acknowledged the company isn’t for sale, not to Apple, not to Microsoft, not to anyone. The right course of action, he argues, is to stay independent rather than side with one of its biggest clients and risk loosing others who “rely on the neutrality of our position.” This includes Apple, arguably the most well-known ARM licensee… Read More
More major corporate changes happening at Google. After Andy Rubin yesterday stepped down as Android boss, The Wall Street Journal just reported (and Reuters corroborated) that the Internet giant is breaking up mapping and commerce unit, with Senior Vice President of Maps and Commerce Jeff Huber stepping aside. The two-part management shift at Google also saw some major shakeup of Google’s Android and Chrome OS teams. Google’s mapping business will be folded into the company’s search unit as part of these changes… Read More
In a totally unexpected move, Google Wednesday announced its long-time Android head and Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content, Andy Rubin, is stepping down.
He will be replaced by Chrome vice president Cundar Pichai, who will lead Android, in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps. Google CEO Larry Page wrote in a blog post he expects Pichai to “double down on Android”, noting “the pace of innovation has never been greater”.
Despite Android’s indisputable lead in terms of device activations, latest data suggests that Apple’s iOS stole some share from Google’s mobile platform in the United States, the most important market for smartphones. The iOS platform is also the preferred choice for developers because Apple leads in terms of metrics that matter.
The decision to replace Rubin at the height of his career cries for parallels with Apple CEO Tim Cook’s firing of iOS boss Scott Forstall in August 2012, whose abrasive management style is said to have created unnecessary friction between key Apple executives… Read More
OMG, Apple is doomed, run for the hills! Yes, the stock is taking some beating, but business fundamentals look as good as ever. Apple is doing just fine without Steve Jobs and remains the most profitable technology company out there – and by a large margin, too.
That’s why I’m glad comedian Bill Maher mocked some media outlets for insisting on a negative spin to their Apple reporting. “What does it take to make people happy in this economy?”, he asks rhetorically. “This is our problem, nothing is ever good enough.”
He nailed it. Arianna Huffington (rightfully) blames the stock market. Apple should give stock manipulators a finger and just follow in Dell’s and Amazon’s footsteps and go private again. At least Tim Cook & Co. would no longer have to wear the straight jacket of what these crazypants analysts are expecting. All of Wall Street runs its spreadsheets on Apple devices, by the way… Read More
Apple is Samsung’s largest buyer of components, accounting for 8.8 percent of Samsung’s revenue. The two firms are also bitter enemies when it comes to litigation as they remain entangled in a complicated web of more than 20 lawsuits spanning continents.
As if that weren’t bad enough, now comes the definite confirmation that the Galaxy maker pledged to spend $112 million to buy a three percent stake in Sharp, which has been struggling to stay afloat amid losses and low manufacturing yields.
The investment, a strategic move on the part of the South Korean conglomerate, is meant to give Samsung a steady supply of LCD panels from diversified sources. Apple, too, was rumored to have spent to the tune of $2 billion to prevent Sharp from going under.
Additionally, the iPhone maker is thought to have tried to save the Japanese giant through its preferred contract manufacturer Foxconn, which last year wanted to buy eleven percent of Sharp. The deadline for that transaction closes later this month, but the deal may have already hit the wall after Sharp’s share price tumbled… Read More
Less than two weeks after recruiting OLED display expert Dr. Jeung Jil Lee from LG, Apple has hired another high-profile executive away from a major company. According to a new report, the Mac-maker has picked up Rolls Royce’s Josh Rosenstock.
Rosenstock has been with the London-based aerospace firm for 4 years, as the director of external communications. It’s believed that he will join Apple in a similar role, as it attempts to bolster its corporate communications for its EMEIA region… Read More
Nevermind that iSpaceship, Apple’s breathtaking curved-glass, circular-shaped research campus, won’t open until mid-2016 - in Silicon Valley, the race is on on who gets to build the most spectacular corporate structure first. Graphics powerhouse Nvidia has thrown down the gauntlet by announcing Wednesday a state of the art new HQ.
Covering one million square feet, the massive site will be comprised of two triangle-shaped buildings with a distinct feature: a nearly translucent glass roof. Part of its campus expansion in Santa Clara, Nvidia describes the upcoming headquarters in Apple’s parlance, as “iconic”… Read More
Back in March 2011, when Adobe’s proprietary Flash plug-in was still predominantly used for web video, a new paid-for iPhone browser, Skyfire, made headlines. It helped alleviate the situation by detecting Flash-encoded clips on web pages and then tapping a cloud computing platform to translate Flash video into an iPad-friendly format, on the fly.
Since then, Skyfire has seen over 20 million downloads across iOS and Android devices and developers claim it now converts over 200,000 web sites with Flash video into an iOS-friendly format. While most of web video is delivered via HTML5 these days, the Skyfire iOS app has seen several major updates that over time brought social features, even built-in extensions, to the table.
In a surprising move, Norway-based Opera Software, which makes the multi-platform Opera browser, Friday said it acquired the Skyfire team, hoping to broaden its solutions “beyond the browser”… Read More
In another sign of Apple’s inventory levels perhaps finally catching up to demand, it has been discovered that the company has relaxed its annual 3-device limit on products bought by employees, their friends, family members and other participating entities. Previously, Apple employees were allowed to purchase up to three devices each year.
Rather than set a new specific number limit, Apple says it’s now “a judgment call”. And as part of the Employee Purchase Program (EPP), a 15 percent discount applies to select products. True to its form, Apple half-jokingly advises employees against “advertising a 15 percent discount on Apple products for all of your Facebook friends”… Read More
As announced yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook is speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Interactive Conference in San Francisco. Right on schedule, he began discussing topics of interest at 7.15am Pacific, 10:15am Eastern time, just after the markets open. Originally scheduled at 4:15pm Eastern, Cook’s segment was shifted so he could be whisked more than 2,000 miles to Washington DC to sit beside Michelle Obama for the President’s State of the Union address.
Apple is streaming its chief executive’s remarks live on its Investor web site and should post the full audio shortly after the event. If you don’t have the time to sit through the whole thing, we’ve got you covered with the most interesting bits and pieces from Cooks’ presentation… Read More