By Christian Zibreg on Dec 5, 2013
Facebook-owned Instagram is hosting a special media event next Thursday, a week from today. The photography service has unusually opted to send out invites via FedEx, not email. The invitation graphics does not seem to allude to any specific new feature introduction.
The all-white background is adorned with the Instagram logo and a short message which invites select members of the press to “share a moment” on December 12 in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, at 10am EST / 7am Pacific Time. That being said, we have a pretty good idea what Instagram might unveil come next Thursday… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2013
In an unusual move yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook reached out to company employees via a video message urging them to familiarize themselves with Apple’s Business Conduct Policy. The message, posted to Apple’s internal system, quotes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr saying “The time is always right to do what is right” in order to encourage employees to speak up about conduct that may violate Apple’s policy.
Along with the video message, employees also received an email from Apple’s top lawyer who goes on to reiterate Apple’s core values of honesty, respect, confidentiality, and the “critical obligation of every Apple employee to adhere to legal principles”, such as antitrust and anti-corruption laws.
Apple has even put together a new code of conduct iBook for employees with multimedia content including galleries, video, audio and multitouch widgets. The full message is right after the break… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2013
Some people question Carl Icahn‘s motives and wonder what if the billionaire activist investor will stop at nothing in order to push Apple into burying itself in debt, just to fund his massive $150 billion stock buyback proposal so he could put a nice little profit into his pocket.
I’m not afraid of Icahn, but understand why some watchers are. And rightfully so, as Icahn is notorious for pushing for CEO and board room changes to have his way, often with little regard for a company’s well being afterwards. So, what’s the size of Icahn’s investment in Apple, does he have a leverage over Tim Cook and what exactly is he up to? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2013
‘Gadgets that build gadgets’ should have been the headline of the Bloomberg piece which details Apple’s multi-billion dollar investments in custom-engineered manufacturing equipment, machines and robots which dutifully churn out your shiny new iPads and iPhones with their diamond-cut chamfered edges, precision crafted down to the micron.
‘The Rolex of smartphones’ is impossible to mass-produce using the existing tooling and manufacturing techniques. Because Apple custom-designs everything, it shouldn’t surprise you that it also designs its own manufacturing processes, techniques and cutting-edge production equipment.
Just how does the company utilize its billions on these pricey robots? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 12, 2013
Thousands of lives were lost after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall and ripped through the Philippines last Friday. As you could imagine, companies and organizations around the world are banding together and contributing to the relief efforts with donations. This includes Apple, which on Tuesday activated Red Cross donations through iTunes to help with relief efforts.
Apple normally takes its customary 30 percent cut on iTunes proceeds, but the company surrendered the commission for the relief effort. You can donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 or $200 and Apple will transfer 100 percent of your donation to the American Red Cross in the region, to help distribute food and relief supplies to survivors and help with search and rescue efforts… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2013
Apple has overcome the last hurdle as the City of Cupertino in October approved the spectacular ring-shaped glass structure called Campus 2, also known as the iSpacehip project. Now, it’s already over budget and behind schedule so don’t look forward to working in outer space before late-2015 or early-2016, when Campus 2 is slated for completion.
Wired has obtained a batch of new renderings which depict some interesting Campus 2 tidbits, including detailed shots of the interior design, including the cafeteria, the gym area, the upper level of the 1,000-person underground auditorium and even the parking garage. Jump past the fold for the full gallery… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 7, 2013
Current CEO Tim Cook under Steve Jobs used to run Apple’s vast network of suppliers and contract manufacturers and has largely been credited with turning the company into a well-oiled money-printing machine. But making sure trains run on time involves the incredible complexities associated with hiring tens of thousands of workers – and fast, too – who tediously assemble iPhones and iPads in factories located in China and Taiwan.
Apple and its manufacturing partners have been taking a lot of heat over worker treatment in these sweatshops so the iPhone maker eventually started tracking the work hours of 1+ million supply chain workers and took other proactive measures to ensure fair hiring.
But now, another issue is making headlines: the inhumane treatment of would-be employees by employment brokers who take high advance fees from workers and their families, contrary to Apple’s rules. Read on… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Oct 30, 2013
Sprint, America’s third-largest wireless carrier, announced Wednesday that 1.4 million of the five million smartphones it sold during the third quarter were iPhones, of which 40 percent were to new customers.
The iPhone sales are just under the 1.5 million Apple smartphones Sprint activated during the same period in 2012.
The iPhone numbers have helped the carrier reduce the gap from a $398 million operating loss, rebounding from a $767 million loss during the same quarter in 2012. By comparison, Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest carrier, announced selling about 3.9 million iPhones during the third quarter… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 27, 2013
Now that the City of Cupertino Council has approved Apple’s upcoming flying saucer-shaped, 2.8 million square feet corporate building called Campus 2 (or iSpaceship, informally), the company’s slated to break ground real soon. The 4-story, eco-friendly building is already $2 billion over budget and should open by 2016.
The project includes a massive 1,000-person auditorium designed for hosting Apple’s theatrical product unveilings. We’ve seen incredibly detailed mockups and the wonderful scale model by the world-renowned architect Sir Norman Foster and now come renderings of Apple’s auditorium which looks like a flat saucer hovering over the ground… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 24, 2013
If you run a multi-billion dollar corporation and your secretary tells you activist investor Carl Icahn is on line 2, the very thought of that should send chills up your spine. Icahn is known for his ominous “increase shareholder value” mantra and stops at nothing to put forward massive corporate stock buyback programs, even pushing for board and CEO changes if need be.
Yesterday, Icahn tweeted he “just sent a letter to Tim Cook” concerning Apple’s buyback program. And now, the contents of the letter has been published on his newly launched website called the Shareholders’ Square Table.
Should Tim Cook be worried? Read on… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 17, 2013
Apple’s upcoming spaceship-shaped corporate building, called Campus 2 or iSpaceship, has cleared the last hurdle as the City of Cupertino Council approved the project. Encompasses more than 2.8 million square feet, Steve conceived iSpaceship to house office space, various amenities and roughly 12,000 employees (to put that in perspective, the city of Cupertino has a population of just over 60,000).
Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney and Apple’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer spoke at a press conference yesterday, officially announcing the approval of the Apple Campus 2. They also filed a bunch of sometimes nonsensical questions, have a look after the jump… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 17, 2013
The leading wireless telco in the United States, Verizon Wireless, this morning released its third quarter results revealing 3.9 million iPhone activations (which is different than the actual unit sales).
It’s the same as its previous quarter and 26 percent up from 3.1 million iPhone activations in Q3 of 2012.
Apple’s share of total smartphone activations at the Big Red carrier, however, has jumped from 43 percent in the second quarter of 2013 to as much as 51 percent of the 7.6 million total smartphone activations in the third quarter.
Due to iPhone supply constraints, there will be some carryover in sales to the fourth quarter, Verizon cautioned. Year-over-year smartphone activations at the carrier were up by 26 percent and revenue improved 4.4 percent to $30.28 billion, CFO Fran Shammo said in an earnings call with investors. More tidbits after the break… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Oct 16, 2013
Ireland’s Finance Minister announced plans to close a loop-hole in the country’s corporate tax laws, eliminating the ability for companies such as Apple to operate as virtually ‘stateless’ firms ungoverned by any nation’s taxing authority. The change in the Irish laws means the iPhone maker cannot avoid declaring tax residency in either the U.S. or Ireland.
Earlier this year, Apple’s ability to funnel payments through a unit in Ireland to avoid paying taxes brought U.S. scrutiny by the Senate and testimony by Apple CEO Tim Cook… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2013
In a surprising late-night press release, Apple said it’s finally found its new retail chief. In case you missed it, soon-to-be-former CEO of clothing retailer Burberry will be joining the iPhone maker as its new SVP of Retail, responsible for both Apple’s online and offline stores and retail operations across the world.
Today, CEO Tim Cook issued a memo to Apple employees explaining why Angela – after John Browett’s much maligned and short stint as Ron Johnson’s replacement – is “the best person in the world for this role”… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2013
The Wall Street Journal-owned technology blog, AllThingsD, reported last week that Apple’s next media event will take place on October 22, that’s next Tuesday. Sure enough, the company just sent out invites for the October 22 event to select members of the press. The invitation-only press conference will be held at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco and will begin at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT, John Paczkowski of AllThingsD first reported and The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple subsequently confirmed.
The invite graphics features a close up of the Apple logo set against the white background and a bunch of colorful apple leaves. “We still have a lot to cover,” reads the tagline… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2013
You can tell the end is nigh when a company buys full-page print ads to post an open letter making the case for its future. In the case of Canada’s BlackBerry, formerly Research In Motion, the writing has been on the wall ever since Steve Jobs took the stage at the January 2007 MacWorld Expo to introduce the world to the iPhone.
Given its former co-CEO’s state of denial and just plain stubbornness, I’d written off BlackBerry in my book long before first signs of trouble became public knowledge. Of course, BlackBerry continues to defy critics by insisting that it’ll find a way out of the hole it’d dug for itself.
Starting tomorrow, the BlackBerry feel-good aimed at customers, developers and investors will appear in over 30 major print newspapers across nine countries, including The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal in the United States.
Here’s the crux… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 7, 2013
Apple is set to announce earnings for its fiscal 2013 fourth quarter (translating to the third calendar quarter) on Monday, October 28, according to today’s note on the Apple Investor web page.
The conference call with investors is scheduled at 2pm Pacific / 5pm Eastern, after the markets close.
Eagle-eyed watchers will be keeping an eye on newswire services as Apple usually posts a media release announcing key quarterly metrics just after 1:30pm Pacific / 4:30pm Eastern… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2013
“I realize many of you worked tirelessly to bring us this far. I know it required great personal sacrifice,” wrote Apple’s boss Tim Cook in an email to the company’s employees before making a surprise announcement.
“In recognition of your incredible efforts and achievements, I’m happy to announce that we’re extending the Thanksgiving holiday this year,” reads the memo.
Although the extended Thanksgiving holiday won’t apply to Apple’s retail and support army “so we can continue to serve our customers,” the rest of Apple will shut down with pay on November 25, 26, and 27, Cook wrote. I’ve included the full contents of Cook’s email to employees right below… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 23, 2013
Nine million opening weekend iPhone sales is music to the ears of Wall Street. Matter of face, most analysts were expecting somewhere between five to ten million handsets so clearly launch numbers are on the high end of most people’s expectations.
Needles to say, following the company’s announcement this morning, $AAPL has surged toward $500 in pre-market trading. And now, encouraged by its own strong numbers, the Cupertino firm has increased its quarterly revenue guidance… Read More