Watch Apple’s boss Tim Cook getting ice bath to benefit ALS research

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 15, 2014

Yesterday, Apple’s marketing honcho Phil Schiller undertook the Ice Bucket Challenge. In a tweet accompanied by a series of images showing himself dumping a bucket of ice water on his head at the beaches, Schiller called on Apple CEO Tim Cook to accept the challenge and also get doused, by tagging him in the post.

Sure enough, Cook rose to the occasion and had a bucket of ice water poured over his head by recording artist Michael Franti.

Even better, this all happened in front of company employees who earlier tonight gathered for Apple’s Diversity beer bash at 1 Infinite Loop headquarters. And in an even more peculiar move, the iPhone maker has documented this in a video posted to its official YouTube channel and included for your viewing pleasure right below the fold… Read More

 

Apple.com pays tribute to Robin Williams

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 12, 2014

Following the tragic death of Robin Williams, Apple has paid tribute to the actor and comedian with a new ‘Remembering Robin Williams’ webpage on Apple.com, in addition to a similar section on iTunes published earlier today.

Moreover, Apple CEO Tim Cook yesterday published a tweet expressing grief and sorrow caused by Robin’s passing.

“Heartbroken by the news of Robin Williams’ passing,” Tim’s tweet reads. “He was an incomparable talent and a great human being. Rest in peace.” The company is also honoring the Oscar-winning actor with a special iTunes Store section featuring more than forty movies and stand up comedy routines.

Williams died yesterday at the age of 63. The actor was found unresponsive at his residence in Marin County, California, and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Marin County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement that Williams died of asphyxiation caused by hanging himself… Read More

 

NYT sheds light on internal training program for teaching the Apple way

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 11, 2014

In what seems to be a change of heart for The New York Times which notoriously dissed Apple in a nine-part iEconomy series of articles, the newspaper on Monday ran a rather positive frontage piece about the iPhone maker.

The write-up provides interesting details about Apple University, an internal training program at the firm’s 1 Infinite Loop headquarters in Cupertino, California that teaches future company leaders the Apple way of doing things.

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who passed away nearly three years ago, in 2008 hired former Yale business school dean Joel Podolny to run Apple University. After naming Denise Young Smith its new head of human resources earlier this year, Podolny, who is a vice president at Apple, is now focused full time to teaching the Apple culture to employees… Read More

 

Samsung’s troubles prove Apple knows exactly what it’s doing with its iPhone business

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2014

Samsung’s co-CEO and mobile chief J.K. Shin is in the hot seat as the company posts its third straight quarter of operating-profit declines.

It’s fascinating to watch how quickly things are turning for the conglomerate responsible for nearly one-fifth of South Korea’s Gross domestic product.

Operating profits were down sharply, decreasing a whopping 25 percent year over year. More importantly, Samsung’s favorite business metric – the market share – is under pressure, too: its worldwide share of smartphones slipped to 25 percent in the second quarter from 32 percent a year earlier.

This is bad news considering that 76 percent of the firm’s profit comes from smartphones. What gives? Read More

 

Apple reportedly laying off some Beats staff, transitioning Beats Music to iTunes servers

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 30, 2014

Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Music, a music-streaming service, and Beats Electronics, a highly lucrative premium headphone business, is nearing its completion.

Monday, the European Commission okayed the deal, saying it won’t stifle competition in Europe.

Though still pending regulatory approval in the United States, Apple is expecting to complete the purchase by the end of September.

Analyzing the inner workings of the Cupertino firm in the wake of the Beats acquisition, a reputable publication has shed more light on the transition phase and behind-the-scenes moves… Read More

 

Apple said to be buying Swell Radio app

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2014

Following a TechCrunch report last Friday which claims that Apple has recently acquired data-style book analytics services BookLamp (basically a “Pandora for books”) to beat Amazon at its own game, Re/code is reporting early Monday that the Cupertino firm has another acquisition target in its crosshairs – a radio/podcast app Swell (“Pandora for talk radio”) which raised $7.2 million from investors including DFJ, Google Ventures and InterWest Partners… Read More

 

Tim Cook says Apple plans to release corporate diversity data

By Cody Lee on Jul 9, 2014

As we reported earlier, Tim Cook is in attendance at Allen & Co.’s annual Sun Valley conference in Idaho this week. The conference is a major  gathering for executives in technology and media industries, and has in the past facilitated high profile negotiations.

During a Q&A session this afternoon, Cook was asked if Apple planned to release data on its corporate diversity—something the company has been criticized over many times— at any point. Cook said it will eventually, but right now it’s “more focused on actions.” Read More

 

Apple loses senior Maps engineer Chris Blumenberg for Uber

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2014

Apple’s senior engineering manager with the Maps team is leaving the company for Uber, the popular ride-sharing service founded in 2009.

Chris Blumenberg, who long worked on Maps for iOS and OS X and managed Apple’s Maps Apps and Frameworks teams, will be taking a position at Uber, according to a report by The Information.

The departure comes as Apple appears to be ramping up hiring to overhaul the Maps backend.

More importantly, this development reaches us amid talk of internal politics, personal issues and managerial incompetencies allegedly causing significant Maps delays, as evidenced by the lack of major iOS 8 Maps announcements at WWDC… Read More

 

WSJ: iWatch due in Fall, Tim Cook actively looking to add fresh faces to Apple’s board

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 7, 2014

Tim Cook’s recasting of Apple is in full bloom as the CEO pushes executives to be more collaborative while broadening the firm’s legendary laser focus, as per a new report by The Wall Street Journal. The story also mentions that Cook is very much looking to add new directors to Apple’s eight-person board.

That’s hardly a surprise given that six board members are aged 63 or older. It’s also worth mentioning that Cook has inherited the board from Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs so these people may not be necessarily 100 percent loyal to Cook in the long run.

Moreover, people familiar with the Apple’s plans told WSJ that the firm will introduce its rumored iWatch with “advanced sensors to track a user’s fitness and health” alongside new iPhones in the Fall, matching up with previous reports… Read More

 

AAPL splits 7 to 1

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 9, 2014

As promised during Apple’s most recent earnings call, the Cupertino, California headquartered consumer electronics powerhouse is set to open on Monday at $92.22 a share as the company puts forth its plan to split stock, its fourth stock split to date.

All common stock owners will receive six additional shares for each share in existence. As a result, the value of each individual share will drop accordingly, but the value of their total holdings will not. Read on for the full reveal… Read More

 

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre could see grand introductions as Apple executives at WWDC

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2014

Should Apple’s rumored $3.2 billion deal to buy Beats Electronics, LCC come through, its most visible co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre could show up on the Moscone West stage to be introduced as Apple executives, as per Billboard. An annual pilgrimage for programmers, Apple’s 5-day Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC, kicks off on June 2.

If history is an indication, Tim Cook will share the stage with other senior executives to tell us what’s next for Apple’s mobile and desktop operating systems. Given the amount of coverage WWDC typically enjoys, it would be the perfect venue to make such a high-profile announcement… Read More

 

FT: Apple to buy Beats Music for $3.2 billion

By Christian Zibreg on May 8, 2014

Apple is said to be on the verge of finalizing what would class as its biggest acquisition ever, a deal to buy Beats Music in a transaction valued at $3.2 billion. According to a Financial Times report on Thursday, citing people familiar with the negotiations, the deal could be announced as early as next week. Nothing is certain though as the parties have yet to agree on certain specifics so talks could still fall apart. Apple and Beats both declined to comment on the rumor… Read More

 

Apple invites employees to participate in San Francisco’s annual LGBT Pride Parade

By Christian Zibreg on May 7, 2014

San Francisco is many things to many people. To us, geeks, the city is synonymous with hot technology startups that challenge the status quo and strive to change the world. But if you’re a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), San Francisco has a much deeper and more personal meaning as it’s home to some of the most vibrant LGBT community on the planet.

Because Apple has always pushed for equality in workplace, it’s really no surprise that the leadership team is encouraging its employees to march in the annual San Francisco LGBT Pride ParadeRead More

 

Apple’s PR chief Katie Cotton retiring

By Christian Zibreg on May 7, 2014

Apple’s longtime PR boss, Katie Cotton, is set to retire after spending eighteen years with the company. As Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications, Cotton managed Apple’s media relations and handled all public relations matters under both Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook.

Her retirement was first reported by Re/code. An Apple spokesman said Cotton was leaving because she had wanted to spend more time with her family “for some time now”Read More

 

Apple donates $500,000 to San Francisco anti-poverty charity

By Christian Zibreg on May 5, 2014

Apple has joined SF Gives, a local San Francisco anti-poverty initiative, and has donated half a million dollars to the charity, sources revealed to Forbes Monday. SF Gives was set up by the CEO of non-profit Tipping Point, Daniel Lurie, and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff.

It was established in March to help fight poverty and fund charitable programs in the Bay Area.

Apple is one of many companies supporting the cause. Other corporate contributors include Google, LinkedIn and Zynga, to name a few… Read More

 

CEO of indoor positioning startup Wifarer has joined Apple ahead of iOS 8 Maps push

By Christian Zibreg on May 1, 2014

According to an exclusive TechCrunch report Thursday, Philip Stanger, the CEO and co-founder of indoor positioning startup Wifarer, has joined Apple’s Maps team ahead of the anticipated push to improve the company’s in-house mapping software in time for the assumed launch of iOS 8 this Fall.

He’s now with the Apple Maps team in a “leadership role,” the publication has learned though the report cautions that Apple did not acquire the startup as some sources have speculated.

Wifarer, which is available as an iOS and Android app, features dynamic real-time indoor positioning to help people navigate malls, museums and other venues. Apple of course has its own micro-location indoor positioning system in the form of iBeacons.

Watchers have speculated that these micro-transmitters installed in shopping malls, retail stores, airports and elsewhere could also be used to collect data to improve Apple Maps and Stanger’s hiring certainly seems to point in that direction… Read More

 

Facebook buying Moves app in a bid to join fitness-tracking fray

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 24, 2014

After acquiring virtual headset maker Oculus Rift for $2 billion (the deal got a thumbs-up from feds), Facebook now seems to be moving into the fitness tracking space with news of its latest acquisition, Finnish startup ProtoGeo Oy that created the fitness-tracking app Moves, available free in the App Store.

The development comes amid some major reshuffling in the fitness and health tracking market.

For instance, Nike is currently in the process of shuttering its wearable-hardware division that produces FuelBand-branded accessories and there are rumors that the company is collaborating with Apple on a sensor-laden fitness band that would control other devices via gestures… Read More

 

Apple reports earnings Wednesday: Here’s what analysts expect

By Jake Smith on Apr 21, 2014

Apple reports its quarterly earnings on Wednesday for the January to March quarter – a typically slow time for technology companies following the Christmas quarter crunch.

On its last earnings call in January, Apple told investors to expect revenue between $42 billion and $44 billion, gross margin between 37 percent and 38 percent, operating expenses between $4.3 billion and $4.4 billion, other income/(expense) of $200 million, and a tax rate of 26.2 percent. Really, no better than the company did last year.

Analysts have been checking with industry sources, looking at retail logs, and number crunching to predict what Apple will announce on Wednesday. Whether the company misses or beats the expectations could have a big impact on the stock price, which is up roughly 36 percent year-over-year. Last quarter, the stock tanked in after hours following a bad guidance for the numbers that are set to be report on Wednesday. Here’s what analysts are expecting:  Read More

 

New iSpaceship video touts ‘the most energy-efficient building of its kind’

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2014

In addition to a press tour of its upcoming data center and solar array installation in the Nevada desert, a nicely done ‘Better’ video narrated by Tim Cook and fresh updates on its Environmental Responsibility microsite, Apple in advance of Earth Day 2014 also posted an overview video of its monstrous Campus 2 project, affectionally dubbed by the press the iSpaceship.

The footage was actually first shown at a city planning commission meeting in October of last year, but Apple has now decided to make it available to the general public in high-definition to tout its “office of the future”… Read More

 

Apple to webcast March quarter earnings

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2014

Apple is scheduled to release its second fiscal quarter earnings Wednesday, April 23. Like it always does, the iPhone maker is going to provide a free live audio stream of the conference call with analysts and investors through its website.

The firm has issued a media release confirming that the conference call will be available as a QuickTime webcast on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices running iOS 4.2 or above, Macs running OS X 10.5 or above and Windows PCs running QuickTime 7 or later.

The live webcast will begin at 2pm PDT on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at this linkRead More

 
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